Like it or not, speeding tickets happen. But you should be careful to avoid getting one—and not just because exceeding the posted limit can be dangerous. The expense of getting a speeding violation may not end after you pay the associated fine. It can also trigger an increase in your auto insurance premium.
Speeding tickets can affect your insurance because your premium is determined in large part by your driving record. Violations can be viewed as increasing the risk that you’ll file a claim.
How much does a speeding ticket raise insurance?
If you’ve gotten a speeding ticket and are wondering how severely it will impact your premium, there are a number of things to consider. First, it may not affect it much, or at all. If you have an exceptional driving record and the infraction is minor, the violation may not trigger a change. However, the following factors are at play and can mean the infraction will impact your insurance:
- Severity of the violation: How far over the speed limit were you cited for driving? As a general rule, the higher the number, the more likely you’ll see a cost increase. This goes back to the risk factor—higher speeds increase your risk of an accident, thereby increasing risk of future claims.
- Your driving history: If you have existing or prior violations, a speeding ticket can have a bigger impact on your premium. Providers look at the number of years of driving experience, and years without violations or accidents, in determining premiums.
- Your state of residence: Car insurance is regulated at the state level, so different states have different rules regarding how much and how long a ticket stays on your driving record.
Even if your rate does not immediately increase, a speeding ticket can cost you by preventing future reductions or discounts. And if you rack up too many violations, you might even have difficulty getting coverage at all.
How long will a speeding ticket affect insurance?
Insurance providers check your driving record from time to time—similar to how banks review a credit score. So as long as you continue to have a safe driving record, any impact a speeding ticket has on your insurance will end in time. The typical time-frame that a violation affects your insurance is 3-5 years, depending on your provider, your state of residence and the severity of the infraction.
What to do after you get a speeding ticket
If you’ve recently gotten a speeding ticket, here are some simple things you can do to help combat any insurance increase you might be facing:
- Consult an attorney for your options
- Practice safe driving: In this case, the best defense is a good defense. If you already have a ticket on your record, slow down to avoid any future infractions that could really hurt you.
- Take a safe driving course: Some providers offer discounts for taking defensive driving courses, either online or in-person, that could offset an increase due to a violation.
- Change your coverage: If your insurance becomes too high, you can always look into changing your coverage.