Do I have to declare speeding points on car insurance?

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Joel Ohman
Founder, CFP®

UPDATED: Oct 14, 2019

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Here's what you need to know...

  • Even though speeding tickets don’t cost an insurer money, they are infractions that can turn into surcharges under your auto insurance policy
  • The reason that a speeding ticket can affect your rates is because drivers who have been caught speeding are statistically more likely to file claims for damages sustained in an at-fault accident
  • When you’re applying for auto insurance, you need to disclose a speeding ticket only if you’ve already been convicted of the moving violation. If you haven’t yet been convicted, the insurance carrier can’t consider the infraction while setting your rates
  • Most companies will ask that you declare the speeding ticket points that you’ve accrued from conviction in the last three years
  • When you apply for coverage or your policy is renewing, the company will run each driver’s motor vehicle report. If they see a speeding ticket, the surcharge will be added and the premiums will be adjusted

Many people refer to speedy drivers are drivers with a lead foot. If you’re guilty of cruising highways and freeways well above the posted speed limit, your lead foot could cost you more than just a court-ordered fine. Your speedy driving habits could also affect your ability to find low-cost insurance premiums.

When you buy auto insurance, the rates that you pay are dependent on several different factors. Sure, the company’s gross rate will affect the premiums, but it’s your personal factors that will dictate whether or not you’ll stay in your budget range.

Enter your zip code above for car insurance rates that fit your budget!

It’s tempting to keep quiet about your run-ins with law enforcement, but it’s your duty to be honest with your carrier. Here’s what you need to know about disclosing infractions:

Why do speeding tickets affect your car insurance?

Most people are familiar with the fact that moving violations affect insurance rates, but not everyone understands why.

Instead of just accepting the fact that points on your record will mean extra dollars on your premium, you should learn why that one speeding ticket can bump up your rates by as much as 30 percent.

Your driving record is a direct reflection of how you behave when you’re operating a car. An insurance company can’t monitor your driving habits day in and day out so they must take your driving record at face value. Having a speeding ticket shows that you violate the law.

Offenders who violate posted speed limits are statistically more likely to get into an accident where they are to blame.

How much more will you pay after a speeding ticket?


If you’ve just recently been cited for speeding, you might be curious to find out how much more you’ll pay for coverage. You’ll be happy to hear that some companies will forgive a loyal policyholder’s first ticket if they have an established driving record and it’s clean.

When a ticket does have an affect on premiums, it depends on how many years of driving experience you have, your current driving record, your current claims record, and what you were cited for.

Believe it or not, the surcharge for going 14 mph above the limit is a lot lower than the surcharge for going 20 mph over. Rates can go up between 11 and 20 percent for just one infraction.

What happens if you’re found not guilty of the offense?

When you receive a ticket for speeding, you are ordered to appear in court to plead guilty or not guilty.

If you pay the fine without appearing, you’re pleading guilty. If you fight the citation and you win, the speeding ticket won’t affect your rates. You don’t have to ask for the surcharge to be removed because it’s not added until you’re found guilty.

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You Need to Disclose Speeding Tickets When You’re Getting Quotes

If you’re shopping around to find cheap insurance after you’ve been convicted of traveling over the speed limit, you need to be sure to disclose the conviction in your quote for an accurate estimate. Agents don’t request electronic driving records when they are giving quotes.

Since the report isn’t run until later, it only affects you if you bend the truth.

As you’re soliciting quotes, it can be extremely helpful if you know the date of speeding tickets that will appear on your report.

When you have these dates, you can get a quote with the exact surcharge you’ll have to pay based on how much time has passed. Surcharges can go down if it’s been years since your conviction.

Do you have to declare speeding points if you completed traffic school?

Traffic school is an optional form of instruction when you are guilty of speeding or violating another law.

If you complete traffic school, it will mask one of your infractions from public view and erase points from your record. One of the main reasons why drivers complete traffic school is to avoid insurance rate increases.

If you’re getting quotes and you’re aware that you’ve had a speeding ticket, you generally have to disclose it. That’s not the case if you’ve completed traffic school for that ticket. Since the ticket isn’t seen on public motor vehicle reports, it’s not considered chargeable.

Do you have to call your existing insurer when you get a speeding ticket?

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There are reasons to pick up the phone and notify your insurer of changes in your licensing status, but getting a speeding ticket is not one of these reasons. Insurance companies don’t check your motor vehicle report every month.

Instead, they run your records once at each renewal. Some companies run reports every other renewal to save money.

You won’t see an immediate increase in your premiums before the ink on your ticket dries. Instead, you have until the renewal that runs after the conviction at the earliest. If you are eligible to complete traffic school, you don’t even have to worry about the stress of a rate hike.

Taking traffic school also keeps your Good Driver Discount intact.

It’s frustrating to know that after years of accident-free driving that you can be charged more for having a small lapse in judgment. If you want to avoid a rate hike, take traffic school. When you’re not eligible for the class, your best bet is to get rate quotes from different companies.

One way that you can get these quick quotes in a rush is to use an online rate comparison tool. Enter your detailed information and you can surely find a competitive rate with a highly respected insurance company.

In fact, you can enter your zip code now into our FREE tool below for car insurance rates from top companies in your area!

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