If you get pulled over for driving too fast, you may wonder whether speeding tickets affect your insurance. The answer is likely yes, speeding tickets may increase the amount you pay for car insurance. Speeding tickets are considered part of your driving record. Insurance companies can check your driving record, and they may use the information to help determine your risk of having an accident or making an insurance claim. The perception that you’re at higher risk of an accident because of traffic violations on your driving record may affect the cost of your insurance.
The more traffic violations you have, the more likely it is you’ll see increases in the cost of insurance, according to the Insurance Information Institute (III). Drivers who receive speeding tickets may be considered a higher risk group, and therefore be charged more for auto insurance even if they haven’t made a claim themselves, says the National Association of Insurance Commissioners. If you have too many risky behaviors, such as a high number of moving violations, your insurer may even decide not to renew your policy, says the III.
The amount that your auto insurance will increase after a speeding ticket varies between insurance companies. Some factors that will be taken into consideration include:
- Your prior driving record
- Whether the ticket was a first offense
- Amount of time since your last moving violation
- How many miles per hour you were going over the speed limit
- Location where the violation occurred
HOW A SPEEDING TICKET CAN AFFECT YOUR INSURANCE
Besides potentially raising your car insurance rates, a speeding ticket may affect your car insurance in other ways:
- Less cost reduction over time.
Getting multiple tickets or traffic violations may cause you to miss out on cost reductions on your insurance. In general, the III explains, more experienced drivers are likely to pay less for auto insurance. However, speeding tickets and a poor driving record might reduce or even eliminate any benefit you might receive from gaining driving experience.
- Loss of standard coverage.
If your record of accidents and traffic violations is serious enough, you may not be able to find a private insurance company that will offer you auto insurance coverage at all, says the III. If traditional insurance companies will not offer you coverage due to traffic tickets or other violations, you may be able to get insurance through a state-run risk plan. Check with your state’s department of insurance to learn whether a risk plan (sometimes called an assigned risk plan) is available where you live.
WHAT YOU CAN DO TO HELP REDUCE PREMIUMS AFTER A TICKET
If you have received a speeding ticket, there may be things you can do to help lower the cost of auto insurance.
- Focus on safe driving.
Above all, drive carefully! According to the III, the better your driving record is, the lower your premium may be. Even if you’ve had one speeding ticket, avoiding more may help keep your car insurance costs lower.
- Consider changing your coverage.
If your car insurance premiums have increased, you may be able to reduce those costs by changing your coverage. Whether this option is right for you will depend on your personal insurance needs. Your insurance agent can provide more information to help you make a decision about your insurance coverage.
- Take a safe driving course.
In some states, you may also be able to reduce your premium by taking a defensive driving or accident prevention class. For example, in New York, insurers must give a discount on auto insurance to drivers who have completed a state-approved accident prevention course, according to the New York State Department of Financial Services.
Some insurers may not raise premiums after a speeding ticket, if the driver is over the age of 25 and has not had a similar violation in the last three years. So, if you’ve received a ticket, focus on driving safely and avoid getting another moving violation.
Speeding tickets may affect the cost of your car insurance. Insurers may check driving records, and they may consider drivers with speeding tickets a greater insurance risk. That can increase premiums for drivers even if they haven’t made a claim. One good way to enjoy affordable premiums is to drive carefully and responsibly, and stay safe on the roads.