What changes should I expect with my car insurance rates after a ticket?

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Joel Ohman
Founder, CFP®https://res.cloudinary.com/quotellc/image/upload/insurance-site-images/ciccom-live/41b5e36b-joel-ohman.jpg

UPDATED: Dec 16, 2018

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Here's what you need to know...

  • Getting a speeding ticket will most likely cause an increase of your car insurance premiums
  • How much your rate increase will depend on several factors
  • Different states and different companies have different rules on increase percentages
  • There are steps you can take to reduce your premium

How much will your car insurance rates increase if you get a speeding ticket? If you do get a speeding ticket, there might be some unexpected repercussions.

You might ask yourself, “How much does insurance go up after a speeding ticket?” Your auto insurance cost might increase by 3%, 10%, much more, or nothing at all.

Read on and you will find out what you can expect to happen, not just with the fine, but with your auto insurance coverage. Check out our FREE tool at the top of this page for finding the best car insurance today!

Getting a Speeding Ticket

Speeding Ticket

There are several reason drivers speed:

  • Inadvertently – Every driver, from time to time, finds themselves looking down from the road to their speedometer to find they are traveling ten to twenty miles over the speed limit. Most of them, once they realize it, will reduce their speed to a more acceptable limit.
  • Purposely – Of course, there are also those drivers who choose to speed and aren’t surprised at how fast they are going.
  • Distracted – And once in a while, despite the best intentions, some of us get a bit distracted by music, kids or life and completely lose track of how fast we are driving.

Regardless, it’s never fun to face the consequences of getting pulled over by a police officer and receiving a ticket.

The key to handling this situation is to be polite and do exactly what the officer tells you to do.

While being polite will not necessarily get you out of getting a speeding ticket, police officers are often faced with dangers; a surely, unresponsive or belligerent response from you may end up getting you in more trouble then you can imagine.

What’s more, if you are polite and explain you didn’t realize you were speeding (if this is indeed the case) and they don’t have multiple speeding citations for you in the system, there is always the possibility that they will give you a warning, this time.

What Happens After You Get a Speeding Ticket

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Once you get a speeding ticket, the officer who wrote the ticket goes back to his or her vehicle.

Depending on how updated the system is for that county, the ticket information is either inputted in a computer in the vehicle or the officer, once he or she returns to their assigned office, will enter the information into the computer there.

The information is then directed to two places, the first is to the county court, which is where you have to pay your ticket (or if you choose to plead not guilty, where you will go to dispute the ticket).

The second place is the DMV. The reason for this is that every ticket that you receive counts towards points being assigned to your driver’s license.

How many points and how they accrue is up to the state that you live in. In addition, how much you were going over the speed limit will determine how many points are added.

Once points are assigned to your driver’s license, the information is then placed on your driving record.

Your insurance company will find out that you have points on your driver’s license because they run DMV reports every six months; however, there are many cases where the information doesn’t catch up to them for up to six months (depending on how their system works).

This can work mildly in your favor as the longer it is from the time you had the ticket (and that you get no additional tickets) the less it will affect your insurance rates.

How Much Speeding Tickets Affect Your Auto Insurance Rates

When the speeding ticket is processed, the driver’s information is sent to the county clerk’s office and the Department of Motor Vehicles. The county clerk’s office is focused solely on the driver paying their fine.

The Department of Motor Vehicles assigns points to the driver’s license because of the speeding ticket.

The number of points that a person can have on their license before it is suspended, and the number of points each infraction puts on the license varies by state, so it is very important for the driver to known their state’s license point procedure.

This points system is how the driver’s car insurance provider finds out about their speeding ticket.

Knowing how much your speeding ticket will affect your rates is difficult to determine. There are many factors that are used to determine your rate increase.

The first thing that comes into play is the insurance company that you use. If you have a stellar driving record and this is your first ticket, you may end up not seeing an increase at all.

This is something that you can discuss with your insurance agent as he or she can answer any questions you have about your specific policy.

Some auto insurance companies have something called accident forgiveness and they apply the same policy for speeding tickets.

However, if you are a habitual speeder with multiple tickets (even if you have switched to a new insurance company) you are going to see a rate increase.

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Changes Based on Companies

Every insurance company has different rate increases for their customers who are caught speeding. Each company’s policy can vary depending on the state as well.

What might equate to a 10% increase in New York, for example, might be only 3% in Kentucky. What’s more, the more points that are assigned to your driver’s license, the higher the increase will be.

If you have multiple incidents, even if they aren’t all speeding, (such as an accident plus two speeding tickets) you will see an even larger increase or you might be dropped from your insurance completely.

Things, such as your age and gender, may also affect the increase that you receive after you get a speeding ticket.

If you are an older driver (between 27 and 62) you may see a smaller increase than a younger driver, who is viewed as a higher risk driver or a much older driver, who is also seen as a higher risk due to reduced reflexes.

This will vary from insurance company to insurance company as well.

How to Avoid Getting an Increase on Your Rates

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Whether or not you can avoid this issue depends on two things:

  1. The state in which you live
  2. How many tickets you have received in the past

Many states offer you a couple of options in order to prevent points from being assigned to your driver’s license, which in turn prevents your auto insurance from increasing. The most common option is to take a defensive driving course.

If you opt to take the driving course and you don’t have multiple speeding offences, many states will allow the course (that you pay for) to eliminate any points that would be assigned to your driver’s license.

Another way to avoid points is to contest the ticket and have it either thrown out or have the miles per hours reduced on your ticket (you should only do this if the officer made a mistake about how fast you were going).

If you weren’t speeding and you received a ticket, then contesting the ticket in court will typically yield good results for you (i.e. the ticket is thrown out). Many states do not assign points if the ticket is for five to ten miles over the speed limit (check your state’s laws).

If you were traveling 10 miles per hour over the speed limit and the officer put 11, contest that one mile so that no points are assigned (again, this varies from state to state).

Paying the Consequences

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Getting a speeding ticket isn’t the end of the world, but it does have some repercussions and most of them hit you right in the wallet.

The best thing that you can do for yourself is to drive within the confines of the law and drive carefully so that you can avoid facing a ticket at all.

However, once you have a ticket, it is important that you pay your fines or you will face more serious repercussions such as having your licenses suspended or even jail time.

If you do get a ticket and you find your rates increase, it might be time for you to consider another insurance carrier. Here is the bottom line: you are not required to stay with the same insurance carrier, even if you are in the middle of your current policy.

Signing on with an insurance company is not like signing a contract with a bank, if you are unhappy, you can leave at any time for any reason.

The only stipulation is that you must have new insurance before you allow your old insurance to lapse; otherwise, you face losing your license and having your vehicle registration suspended.

Comparing Rates

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If you find your insurance going up for speeding, finding new car insurance is easy. By using our free quote tool, which is conveniently located at the top of the page, you can compare rates right now with no obligation to make a purchase.

What’s more, you can determine whether your current auto insurance rates are competitive with what others have to offer you. You may end up staying with your current insurance company or you may find a great deal somewhere else.

You won’t know until you compare, so try our FREE car insurance quote tool at the bottom of this page now!

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