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Compare car insurance after a speeding ticket
Your speed and where you get the ticket will affect insurance rate changes.
Updated . What changed?
Getting a speeding ticket leads your insurer to see you as an increased risk on the road. In most cases, expect to see hefty rate increases after your violation for up to three years. But if it’s your first violation on an otherwise clean record, you could minimize the effects on your premium.
How does car insurance change after a speeding ticket?
You probably won’t see a change right away. But if your provider pulls your motor vehicle record, one violation could be enough to remove your safe driver discount and possibly raise your premium. How your insurance company responds depends on your age, how much over the speed limit you were going and your past driving record.
- Speed matters. The amount of any premium increase is related to how many points you have against your license or how fast you were going relative to the speed limit. Additionally, speeding on the highway could carry an additional penalty because of how fast traffic moves already.
- Age matters. Getting a ticket as a teen driver, or even as a driver younger than age 25, is a much bigger deal. This is mostly because insurers already see you as a risk to insure.
- Your first ticket isn’t a big deal. If this is your first speeding ticket and you have an otherwise clean driving record, your insurance company may be willing to overlook the incident. You still may lose any safe driver discounts you have.
- Ticket forgiveness can help. Some companies advertise a ticket forgiveness add-on to your auto policy, meaning you’re paying a little extra every month to ensure that you don’t have a large premium increase if you do get a speeding ticket down the road.
Compare car insurance rates after a speeding ticket
How much does a speeding ticket affect car insurance rates?
Insurance companies raise premiums on a scale for speeding tickets based on how fast you are driving compared to the speed limit in the area.
According to a 2019 study by the North Carolina Department of Insurance, expect your insurance to go up by around 20% after a speeding ticket.
|Speeding||Increase of insurance rate|
|Speeding 1-15 mph over the limit||20% increase or $288 more annually|
|Speeding 16-29 mph over the limit||22% increase or $317 more annually|
|Speeding 30 mph or more over the limit||30% increase or $427 more annuall|
Every insurance company and state handles things a little bit differently. For example, North Carolina’s Safe Driver Incentive Plan requires insurance companies to raise their rates in a prescribed way based on the points associated with the violation.
So if you’re speeding 10 mph over a speed limit under 55 mph, you may only have a 30% premium increase. But if you’re caught driving over 75 mph when the speed limit is under 70, your increase is 80%.
Higher rates after speeding
Cassidy received a speeding ticket for $150 after driving 10 mph over the limit. In response, Cassidy’s car insurance premium rose from $1,300 to $1,625 per year, a 25% increase. When all was said and done, Cassidy paid $975 for three years’ worth of raised premiums. The total cost of her speeding violation was $1,125.
What to do after getting a speeding ticket
Once you’re tagged with speeding, you have a few options to lower the impact the ticket has on your insurance rates. You can:
Lower the penalty
Most states allow you to request mitigation over a court hearing. Mitigation means you have the opportunity to plead down the consequences. For example, you could offer to pay the fine but not have the points added to your driving record. Or, you could offer to go to traffic school to have the ticket dismissed.
Negotiating a lower penalty works best when your previous record is clean, showing that this was a one-time offense.
Fight the ticket
While you shouldn’t fight the ticket when you’re pulled over by a cop, you can still argue your case later. Going to court doesn’t provide a guarantee, but having your ticket dismissed removes the points from your license. However, fighting a speeding ticket is difficult, especially if the officer used radar equipment to clock your speed. What to expect when going to court:
- Get evidence. Judges want to see proof or reasoning behind fighting the ticket. Here, using GPS data or a dash cam to prove your speed could help. If you didn’t see speeding signs, you might bring proof that signs were hidden or not posted along your driving route. Known for your habit of slow driving? Bring along character witnesses or other passengers in the car to testify those details.
- Consider a lawyer. A lawyer specializing in traffic cases can strategize questioning or lower a steep penalty without stepping into a full-blown court case. However, hiring a lawyer costs extra money, typically a few hundred dollars. It may not be worth it unless you’re facing a big offense, like felony speeding or a DUI.
- The ticketing police officer won’t always show up. If the police officer doesn’t show, the judge will likely hear your side of the situation, review any official reports and make a ruling based on that. Without the opposition, you ‘ll have a better chance for a ruling in your favor.
Wait it out
Speeding tickets only stay on your record for three years in most states. Keep a clean record and wait for the violation to expire, and you can get a lower insurance rate again.
Improve your driving record
In the meantime, you might:
- Take a defensive driving course. Taking a driving course doesn’t just reduce points on your license. It could result in a discount from your insurance company, a plus when you’re facing higher rates from a violation.
- Shop around for a new policy. Some companies offer more forgiving policies that mean you pay less in the end. Rather than accepting a ticket-based rate hike, you could see if you can get a better rate from another insurer. At the very least, you should get new quotes after three years.
- Stay claim-free. Consider ways to protect yourself from accidents like taking less dangerous roads to work or parking in a safe area. And if you ding up your car after backing into a pole but nothing else got damaged, consider forgoing filing the claim. The longer you go without a claim, the better your history will look to your insurer.
What if this isn’t my first ticket?
If you have multiple speeding tickets over a three-year period, you could be labeled a high-risk driver, which changes the policies that you qualify for. High-risk policies could raise your rates by as much as 100%. So if you’ve got more than one speeding ticket on your record, compare quotes from high-risk insurance companies that will be more forgiving of a spotty driving record.
What happens if I don’t pay my speeding fine?
At best, you could receive notices from a collection agency, but more realistically you could get your license suspended for not facing your speeding violation. A suspension means additional fines, a waiting period before you can drive again and needing your car insurance company to file an SR-22 form.
This form proves to the state that you have car insurance and is a common suspension requirement that specialized high-risk insurers will handle. You can expect to pay higher car insurance rates as a result.
Instead of ignoring your traffic ticket, ask for a payment plan to help you manage the fine according to your budget.
How do I update my car insurance after a speeding ticket?
You don’t have to inform your insurance company about a traffic ticket. When your policy renews, the company will most likely run your motor vehicle report before setting your premium. Prepare for an increased premium without any safe driver discounts.
Speeding may or may not affect your insurance premium, but you can still take steps to lessen the damage by working to erase points from your license and by keeping your record clean. And if the increase is too much for you, take the opportunity to shop around and see if another company might save you money on your auto insurance.
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