It’s an experience many drivers may know: being late for work and speeding up "just a little," or accelerating to enjoy the open road, and seeing blue and red flashing lights in the rearview mirror.
The Bureau of Justice Statistics reports that police conducted 26.4 million traffic stops in 2011. Of those, 46.5 percent were for speeding. On average, that’s more than 33,000 traffic stops for speeding per day.
After getting a speeding ticket, you may think, "Why didn’t I just stick to the speed limit?" You also might wonder, "How could this affect my auto insurance?"
Here's some basic information on how, and why, getting a speeding ticket could affect your auto insurance.
The cost of auto insurance depends on a range of factors. Some of these may be specific to your individual circumstances. One potential factor is your personal driving record.
According to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC), auto insurers may take into account your driving record when setting the cost of your insurance. Traffic violations, such as speeding tickets, are considered part of your driving record. Insurers may consider that traffic violations increase your risk of having an accident or making an insurance claim. The perception that you’re at higher risk of an accident may affect the cost of your insurance.
A speeding ticket can affect your car insurance in a number of ways:
- Increased rates. First, speeding tickets may increase the amount you pay for car insurance. As the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau explains, insurance companies can ’ check your driving record and see whether you have traffic violations, including speeding tickets. The more traffic violations you have, the more likely it is you’ll see increases in the cost of insurance. Drivers who receive speeding tickets may be considered a higher risk group, and therefore be charged more for auto insurance even if they haven't made a claim themselves, says the NAIC.
- Less cost reduction over time. Getting multiple traffic violations may cause you to miss out on cost reductions on your insurance. In general, the Insurance Information Institute (III) explains, more experienced drivers are likely to pay less for auto insurance. However, a poor driving record might reduce or even eliminate any benefit you might receive from gaining driving experience.
- Loss of standard coverage. Finally, if your record of accidents and traffic violations is serious enough, you may not be able to find a private insurance company that will offer you auto insurance coverage at all, says the III. In that case, one potential way to get insurance is through a state-run risk plan. A risk plan may be available in your state; check with your state's department of insurance.
If you have received a ticket, there may be things you can do to help lower the cost of auto insurance.
- Focus on safe driving. Above all, drive carefully! According to the III, the better your driving record is, the lower your premium may be. Even if you’ve had one speeding ticket, avoiding more may help to keep your car insurance costs lower.
- Consider changing your coverage. If your car insurance premiums have increased, you may be able to reduce those costs by changing your coverage. Whether this option is right for you will depend on your personal insurance needs. Your insurance agent can provide more information to help you make a decision about your insurance coverage.
- Take a safe driving course. In some states, you may also be able to reduce your premium by taking a defensive driving or accident prevention class. For example, in New York, insurers must give a discount on auto insurance to drivers who have completed a state-approved accident prevention course, according to the New York State Department of Financial Services.
In conclusion: Speeding tickets may affect the cost of your car insurance. Insurers may check driving records, and they may consider drivers with speeding tickets a greater insurance risk. That can increase premiums for drivers even if they haven’t made a claim. One good way to enjoy affordable premiums is to drive carefully and responsibly, and stay safe on the roads!