How Do Speeding Tickets Affect Your Car Insurance Rate?
Many factors impact your car insurance rates—including speeding tickets. Here's what to know and what to do if you've received a citation.
Many factors go into calculating your insurance premium, including your age, marital status, and driving record. When you're a safe driver, your insurer views you as less risky and will typically offer more favorable rates.
So, what happens if you get a speeding ticket? Do speeding tickets affect insurance? Here we'll explain why they do.
Insurers Put Driver Safety at the Forefront
As a rule, insurance providers don't like risk. So for insurers, a driver who often speeds or gets into accidents—even if they are minor fender benders—are riskier prospects than those with clean driving records. Due to that additional risk, these drivers may be asked to pay a higher premium for the same coverage.
Driving violations have two main categories: moving and non-moving violations. Some of these can depend on your state and how your insurer classifies them, but usually, moving violations include speeding tickets, car accidents, running a red light, and texting while driving. Generally, your insurance is likely to go up when you get tickets for these violations because they can indicate dangerous driving behavior.
Non-moving violations, such as parking tickets or a broken tail light, can impact your driving record, but many insurers likely won't consider that a reason to raise your rates. Or, if they do, the rate increases are typically minor. Often, these violations don't directly affect other drivers or make it potentially dangerous for them to share the road with you, so the insurer probably won't see you as riskier to cover.
Do Speeding Tickets Affect Insurance Premiums?
In most cases, the answer is yes.
If you are issued a ticket for speeding, you can expect your insurance premium to rise. How much depends on the insurer, your driving record, and the violation. Every insurer doesn't operate the same way when it comes to speeding tickets. So, it's important to know the factors your insurer considers when calculating your premiums.
Here's what your insurance provider may review:
- Your overall driving record
- If the speeding ticket was your first offense
- The miles per hour over the speed limit
- Where you were caught speeding
- The time between this offense and your last one
Depending on the insurer, they may classify some speeding violations as more dangerous than others. For example, suppose you were going ten miles per hour over the limit on an empty country road, and it was your first speeding ticket. On the other hand, your friend was ticketed for the second time in a year, going 25 miles per hour over the speed limit in the middle of a suburban town center.
In these scenarios, you both got speeding tickets, and you can both expect your insurance rates to go up. However, your friend will likely see much more severe rate increases than you because they have two violations in a short period for higher speeds.
What to Do After You Get a Speeding Ticket
A speeding ticket may cause your premium to increase anywhere from 20% to 30%, but that doesn't mean you'll have to pay higher premiums forever. Instead, you can do several things to help bring your premium back down and show your insurer that you're a safe driver:
- Drive carefully. Safe driving is not just a good habit; it also helps lower your premiums over time. In some states, speeding tickets are taken off after 5 years, but it may be more or less depending on where you are. Keeping a clean driving record in the meantime should help improve your rates
- Take a defensive driving course. Completing these courses may help reduce your premium. Check with your insurer and state about authorized instructors
- Shop around. Depending on the rest of your driving record, you may find another insurer offering a more affordable rate. Take some time to weigh the pros and cons of switching insurers
- Review discount options. Check with your insurer to see if you're taking advantage of all available discounts, or if bundling your coverage with renters or homeowners insurance can help lower your premium
Remember that if you get multiple moving violations—such as a speeding ticket—within a short period, your insurer may decide to pull your coverage entirely. In that case, you may only have a handful of very expensive options for car insurance.
Focus on Driving Safely
One of the tried-and-true ways to keep your insurance premiums down is by being a consistently cautious driver. Driving carefully and responsibly can help reduce the risk of accidents and moving violations, potentially helping you get more affordable insurance rates.