There's not much worse than seeing police car lights in your rearview mirror as you're being signaled to pull over. A speeding ticket with a hefty fine is a financial pain that you can no doubt do without.
If you've recently received a speeding ticket, you may be wondering whether this will affect the average car insurance rates you pay with your insurance company.
The short answer is that you may not necessarily see an increase at all, although there are some circumstances where you will. There are more serious offenses that insurance companies typically take into consideration when it comes to raising your insurance premiums.
For example, a traffic ticket that includes convictions such as drunken and reckless driving will immediately increase your car insurance rates. CheapInsurance.com takes a closer look at how and why speeding tickets can impact your car insurance premiums, and your ability to find cheap insurance.
If you are wondering whether you need to notify your insurance company of any speeding tickets, the good news is that you will not need to do so.
Once your speeding ticket has been registered with the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), it will appear on your driving record. The DMV will not notify your insurance company of any tickets that you may have. Insurance providers will typically run motor vehicle reports on their customers every six to twelve months.
Once they have the report, they will update their records and at the same time, update your insurance policy. If your auto insurance policy has just been renewed, then any impact that the speeding ticket has on your car insurance rate will only happen on your next renewal.
On average, you can expect your car insurance policy to increase by roughly 25% at renewal. This number is an estimate in the insurance industry and can depend on a few factors such as:
A speeding ticket will generally be visible on your driving record for a period of three years.
Your insurance rates will also be impacted for the time that the speeding ticket is on your record.
In other words, if you have been given a speeding ticket and it remains on your driving record for three years, you can expect to pay higher car insurance premiums for three years.
However, this can vary based on your situation. The truth is that insurance companies weigh up violations differently. Your insurance company may waive any increase in your insurance premiums depending on a few factors:
Depending on which state you live in, your insurer may not charge you higher insurance premiums if you have a speeding ticket on your driving record.
If you have only gone slightly over the speed limit—say by one to five miles—your insurer may not see this as reckless driving and may keep your insurance premiums the same.
If this is the first time you have received a speeding ticket or have been convicted of a driving offense, your insurance company could waive any increase in your premium.
When you are looking for a car insurance company, it is a good idea to ask them about how they view driving violations. You may be able to find a provider that will not penalize you as severely if you have been convicted of a minor offense.
Any major or minor moving violation that appears on your driving record will increase the likelihood of a rise in your insurance rate. In most cases, this depends on how your state and insurer treat the violation.
Most states in the U.S. will add points to your driving record if you break the law. The number of points added varies depending on the actual violation, and will also vary depending on the state that you are in. For example, Arizona will add three points to your driving record after you have been convicted of a speeding violation.
While your insurer will not factor points into your insurance premium quote, they will look at the types of violations you have committed, if any. This tells them whether you are a high-risk driver or not.
Here are some common traffic violations and how they can impact your car insurance rates:
Some states forbid insurance companies from considering tickets issued for texting while driving for the purpose of setting rates. In states where it is not banned, insurance companies may, however, still treat these as minor moving violations, which means that your insurance premium could increase.
If you get a red light ticket in the mail, you could face higher insurance rates. Just like with texting while driving violations, it depends on how your state treats this scenario.
Some states will completely ban the use of red light tickets to determine your car insurance rates, while in others they will be viewed as a minor moving violation, which will result in a rate increase.
If you are cited for not stopping at a stop sign or not yielding to traffic or pedestrians when you should have, you may pay higher insurance rates.
Again, this depends on your state and how it treats the violation. It is important to note that if you cause an accident by failing to respectively stop or yield at a sign, you will definitely see an insurance rate increase.
The tickets that you receive out of state could very likely increase your insurance premiums.
However, the way that your home state treats the violation could result in a minimal rate increase or none at all.
Driving under the influence (DUI) is a major traffic violation and will almost always increase your insurance premium—and possibly result in the need for an SR-22 filing. There are some insurers who will go so far as to not insure you if you have a DUI.
Although the specific traffic control laws vary from state to state, there are a few ways in which you can keep a ticket off your driving record, and therefore save money on your car insurance premium.
By attending and passing a defensive driving course, you may be able to have your ticket dismissed. This means that it will never make it onto your driving record. Your local DMV will be able to provide you with a list of approved courses that you can take.
Getting a deferral means that while the court will find you guilty, the ticket will not be added to your driving record for a period of time. This period of time is usually for one year.
If you are able to make it through the deferral period without getting another citation, the ticket will be dismissed entirely and will never show on your driving record.
Check whether you are eligible for a deferral
You will be eligible for a deferral only once every seven years. Note that how deferrals are handled differs for each state. You can contact your local DMV to find out more about how a deferral will work in your state.
Request a deferral form from the court
You will receive a notice from the court with a hearing date for your case. Pay attention to the requirements of your court as some will need the deferral request to be submitted seven days before the hearing date. Other courts will need five days.
Sign a deferral agreement and pay the required deferral fee
Once your deferral has been granted, the court will set a date for you to pay. The fee generally ranges between $100 and $150.
Honor the deferral agreement
By honoring the deferral agreement, you will be able to keep the traffic violation off your driving record.
If it has been a long time since you last received a ticket, you could ask for mitigation. Although mitigation will not keep the ticket off your record, it will reduce the fine you have to pay.
When it comes to mitigation, you will need to explain why the violation occurred and ask the judge for leniency. Some judges may also offer you ways to keep the ticket off your driving record.
In some jurisdictions, the Clerk of the Court has the power to reduce your ticket to a nonmoving violation. They may also be able to offer you a deferral or allow you to take a defensive driving course to keep the ticket from appearing on your record.
Having a ticket on your driver's record may impact more than just how much you are going to be paying for car insurance.
It could also affect your eligibility for car insurance coverage with various insurance companies.
To understand your risk to them, insurance companies will evaluate your motor vehicle record (MVR) and complete a comprehensive loss underwriting exchange (CLUE) report. This will help the insurer to learn how many accidents, tickets, and other incidents such as a DUI you have had in the past three to five years.
Each insurance company has its own underwriting guidelines and these will dictate how far back they will assess your driving record. The more tickets and incidents you have on your MVR and CLUE reports, and the more severe those incidents are, the higher the chances become for insurers to deny you car insurance coverage.
The bottom line is that you can get insurance if you have a speeding ticket. You may need to shop around to find an insurer that will help you. To start the process, you can simply head to the top of our page, insert your zip code, and be presented with a wide variety of insurers to choose from.
Although your auto insurance premium may increase after you've received a speeding ticket, there are still ways that you can save on your car insurance.
Here are a few ways to save on your auto insurance:
Every insurance company has its own rating and underwriting system. This means that some companies will rate your ticket differently from others. Comparing quotes, in this case, is an excellent way to save money on car insurance.
You can remove a ticket from your driving record and reduce your car insurance premiums by taking a defensive driving course. Be sure to speak to an insurance representative to confirm that you indeed qualify for a discount and ask for a list of approved courses.
Most insurance companies offer various types of insurance, including homeowners or renters insurance, medical insurance, and car insurance. If you get all your insurance needs covered by one company, you could be eligible to receive a good discount on your premiums.
In addition to bundling your insurance products, there are other discounts that are often available. These include:
In short, while a speeding ticket can cause your car insurance rates to go up, the impact will vary depending on your individual circumstances. If you have a clean driving record and the violation was minor, you may only see a small increase. However, if you have a history of tickets or the violation was serious, you could face a significant rate hike. The best way to minimize the damage is to keep your driving record clean and shop around for insurance before your renewal. By comparing quotes from different companies, you may be able to find a more affordable rate, even with a ticket on your record.
Remember, speeding tickets are not only a financial burden, but they can also put your driving privileges at risk. So, it's always best to drive safely and avoid getting tickets altogether.
This story was produced by CheapInsurance and reviewed and distributed by Stacker Media.