Did you just get a speeding ticket and you're nervously wondering what the fall out will be? Or maybe you have a little bit of a heavy foot and are just checking in ahead of time to see what might happen if you were to get caught zooming down the highway?
According to Forbes, the average amount that car insurance rates increase after a speeding ticket is 24%. This might vary depending on the state you live in, and your personal circumstances, but 24% is the rough average.
Whatever the increase, it’s worth understanding how auto insurance rates work and how to save on premiums — particularly when you anticipate a rate hike related to a speeding ticket.
How do they determine the increase?
Insurers assess the risk of offering car insurance before issuing a policy and setting a rate. Insurers do their best to determine the likelihood they’ll have to pay out a claim, and this calculation plays a key role in setting rates.
Factors considered include age, gender, driving experience, location, and your driving record.
That’s where a speeding ticket comes in. Since those stay on your driving record for 3-5 years, depending on your state.
Insurers consider how much you were speeding, where you were speeding, and your history of speeding along with the rest of your driving record.
In some cases, you may not see a rate increase. For example, if you weren’t more than 5 mph over the speed limit and it’s your first ticket. It also depends on state laws and your insurer. Some insurers offer forgiveness programs with their policies. You’ll need to ask your agent about these policies to understand how they work and if they apply to your situation.
If you’re not getting around a rate increase related to your speeding ticket, there are other savings you can lose. Most insurers offer safe driver discounts and driving monitoring programs that allow drivers with good driving records and safe driving habits to pay lower rates.
Insurance rates also tend to lower as you have more experience driving and are older. Getting a speeding ticket will also affect your ability to benefit from these savings.
For more serious cases, speeding tickets can affect your insurability as a whole. An insurer may look at a history of speeding or reckless driving and decide to discontinue coverage. It can be difficult in those cases to find another insurer who’s willing to issue coverage.
Not having car insurance directly affects your ability to drive since carrying insurance is required by law.
How do I mitigate the damage?
After you’ve gotten a speeding ticket, talk to your insurance agent. They’ll be able to help you understand what to expect the next time you’re billed for insurance and steps you can take to soften the blow to your budget.
You may be able to take an approved defensive driving course to help keep your insurance rates low. In some cases, you can get your speeding ticket removed from your record after completing an approved course.
If your rates are too high, you can consider other insurers. It can be as easy as doing some quick quote requests online. You may be able to find more favorable rates compared to your current insurance company. Some insurers even offer discounts for switching to their coverage from a competitor.
However, be sure to purchase coverage with a new insurer before ending your current coverage. Making sure you have the coverage you need before you end your current coverage will avoid a situation where you’re without coverage, which is particularly important if you’re close to being considered uninsurable.
While experiencing a rate hike and paying a speeding ticket are no fun, the good news is that the ticket will come off of your record in a few years and your rates will come down as you practice safe driving habits.