Driving over the speed limit is actually relatively common. A lot of people do it, until they recognize the shape of the police car up ahead of them.
For those who have been pulled over for speeding it’s definitely one of the worst experiences you ever get. When you see those lights flip on in your rearview mirror, it definitely doesn’t make you feel comfortable. It gives you a pit in your stomach as you know just what’s going to happen next.
Now, once you do get pulled over, it’s all about the ticket you get and just what it’s going to do to your insurance.
Does your insurance go up if you get a speeding ticket?
A speeding ticket can absolutely affect your car insurance. The important thing to look at is just how serious that speeding ticket is. That’s because the increase in your car insurance is going to depend on that severity. Although, you could end up with differences based on the insurance company that you work with as well.
With some insurance companies you can get a little bit of leeway. If you weren’t speeding by much or if it was your first offense they may actually let it slide. Some may give you up to 15 miles per hour over the limit before they actually start charging you anything.
What’s the New Cost?
As we mentioned, sometimes you won’t have to pay anything extra if this is the first time you’ve gotten a speeding ticket, or if you were speeding by just a little. You may also not need to pay more if you speed less than 15 miles per hour over the limit.
Ticket Types – There are all different types of tickets out there, and each one is going to raise your rate differently. A DUI will be different from a speeding ticket, which is different from a hit and run or failure to obey a signal. The way they work is on a point system and each one has a different point system. One example is a 27-year-old who gets a speeding ticket of 15 miles per hour over the limit. On average this will increase premiums by between 10 and 15%. But for those in lower age brackets or higher brackets it could be more or less.
Your History – For those who have never gotten a ticket before a first offense may be no big deal with your insurance, especially if you’re in an mid-range age bracket. Those who have a lot of moving violations, however, could see a drastic increase in their premium or they could even be dropped by their insurance.
State Laws – Every state has different laws and different point systems for moving violations so the effects are going to vary for you. If you get a speeding ticket in a state like Texas, for example, you may not have as much of a problem as getting one in California.
How long does a speeding ticket affect your insurance?
Now, you may be wondering how long it’s going to take to get that off your record. The truth is that it can take years for it to wipe clean.
Now, different insurance companies look at violations in different ways. That means some may only look at 2 years of minor violations and some may look at 3. On the other hand, you’re generally going to get a discount if you go at least 5 years without accidents or any type of violation. You may even get accident forgiveness if they consider you a safe driver. If your rates are increased, however, it could be for anywhere from 3 – 10 years. Since the financial affect can be significant, You might consider refinancing your loan with myAutoloan to a lower APR or extending the term to lower your car payment.
This is also going to depend on what type of moving violation you actually received. Careless driving is one of the worst you can get, along with a DUI.
In most states you’ll probably see your points disappear in 2 years or at most 3. For example, Nevada removes points for just about everything after only a single year. A DUI is the exception to this in just about every state, where you won’t actually get points but you are going to lose your license for a period of time. If you’re lucky your insurance may only increase your rate for a short period and then remove that increase if you continue to behave appropriately on the road (meaning no more tickets in that period of time).
It’s actually going to depend on what the state says about insurance companies and how long they can keep your rates up.
When will my rate increase?
Usually an insurance company isn’t going to be scouring through your driving record or the state records for tickets each and every month. That means you’re generally not going to see an increase until it’s time to renew. That’s when they like to take a closer look at your record and how you’ve been driving.
If you’re a relatively good driver and you’ve never had problems before they may not take a look at your record even when renewal time comes. If you’re not so great of a driver they may check every few months even if it’s not time for you to renew. If you report an accident they’re also going to take a look at your record to see what’s been going on (and what happened with that accident). From there, they’re able to increase your rates because you’ve now become a bigger liability to them.
Another thing to think about is changing your insurance. If you change insurance policies or you change insurance companies you could end up with a higher quote because of the ticket. These companies are going to find out at the time of the switch.
What Can I Do to Lower My Insurance?
There are a few things that you can do to try and decrease your insurance after you’ve gotten a ticket.
Negotiate – One of the best things you can try to do is negotiate with the company. Wait until they get the ticket as part of your driving record and then talk to them about your record. Explain to them how you’ve been a great customer or that you’ve always paid on time or anything you can about your driving record that shows this is a fluke, not a norm. From there, try to explain the negative affects of a raise in your premium. Some companies may be willing to work with you and keep your rate down with a warning or offer a compromise of some sort.
Safe Driving Course – There are a number of different options for this one in different states but generally if you complete a safe driving course, where you’ll learn how to be a better driver, you can actually remove the fine from your ticket as well. You’ll have to pay for the class, but it could take away your fine and even remove your points off your license. Plus, it wipes out the ticket, which means that your insurance company doesn’t even see it.
Telematics Insurance – This is actually a little box that will keep track of how you drive and report it back to the company. It can measure your speed, your style of driving (whether you’re a defensive driver, for example) and then your insurance company can make a decision based on that.
If the insurance quotes you’re getting after a speeding ticket aren’t so good then you may want to take a look at an insurance company that offers something like this or one that generally works with people who have moving violations.
New Coverage – Changing to a new insurance company could be another way that you lower your insurance rates. Now, it’s going to depend on your specific factors and where you’re switching from and to, but you can absolutely get a new start with a different company. As you shop around when you’re looking for a new credit card, mortgage or loans - shop around also for a new insurance company.
Drive Better – If you drive safely and you don’t get more tickets you can actually lower your premium back down over time. Your driving record will reflect that you’re typically a safe driver and that makes you a lower risk over time.
Violation Forgiveness - If your insurance company offers ticket forgiveness, even if you have to pay for it, this is a great thing to consider. What it means is if you ever have a minor violation your insurance can’t raise your rate because of it. Usually you don’t have to pay much to get it and you can use it on the first moving violation you get within x number of years.
It’s important to keep track of your insurance and to make sure that you always have it. If you have a moving violation you still want to have insurance coverage. Not having insurance is going to be a disaster if you get caught and it’s even more of a disaster if you get into an accident. In fact, it’s generally illegal and even if it’s not you may find yourself financially ruined.
Also, even if you don’t have any problems while you’re not covered it’s a whole lot harder to get insurance again after the fact. You could end up with more problems yet again, even after that ticket is off your record. Keeping an active policy and just driving better is the most important thing.
Overall, speeding tickets are going to cause an effect on your driving record and your insurance. After all, you’re considered a higher risk at hat point and you may have an increase to your premium. That’s why it’s important to do what you can to drive carefully and avoid tickets wherever possible.
Article by Guest blogger, Baruch Silvermann
Baruch Silvermann is a personal finance expert, investor for more than 15 years, digital marketer and founder of The Smart Investor. But above all, he is passionate about teaching people how to manage their money and helping millions on their journey to a better financial future.