Getting auto insurance seems like no biggie until you realize that a dozen factors affect the premium. If your friend or colleague has taken an insurance policy with the cheapest premium, there’s no guarantee that you will also have the same premium amount.
From your driving history to credit rating, multiple factors determine car insurance. A speeding ticket is one such factor and is usually clubbed with your driving behavior and history.
Does it mean that your car insurance premium will be higher if you received a speeding ticket before? Well, yes. That’s the most likely scenario.
But things are not always simple. Your first and only speeding ticket may not matter. Your third in three months definitely will. Speeding tickets are factored into premium calculation in different ways. Let’s read how it can affect your car insurance and ways to lower the premium to an affordable price despite getting a speeding ticket.
Do Speeding Tickets Affect Auto Insurance?
Speeding tickets are quite a burden to your wallet. They are an unexpected expense and one you cannot avoid paying. It is worse to not pay the fine imposed as it can lead to further complications.
However, in California and Virginia, speeding ticket penalties are very high. You may have to pay around $1000 in some instances. It’s definitely not worth the risk. But it doesn’t end there either.
There will be a mark on your license, an entry added to your driving record that you received a speeding ticket on X day at Y time in Z city/ lane. When you apply for auto insurance or go for renewal, the insurance company will perform a background check to calculate the premium. The background check will reveal this information. The insurer’s algorithm uses the data to calculate how much it will impact the company and increase the premium accordingly.
That said, all speeding tickets are not the same. They will not affect auto insurance the same way. For example, if you were going a few miles over the maximum limit, it won’t be a cause of concern. But if you were driving faster in a slow zone or specially marked zone, it will trigger the algorithm. That’s because driving at high speeds near schools, hospitals, etc., is an indicator of reckless driving.
Reckless drivers are more prone to be involved in collisions or accidents. This makes them high-risk customers to insurance companies as such drivers might file claims more often than normal or safe drivers. The premium price is increased to compensate for such future claims.
Car Insurance and Speeding Tickets
The insurance premium is directly proportional to how fast you were driving beyond the permissible speed limit in the region. For example, statistics show a 15% increase in premium if you are speeding by more than 30 m/hr (over the limit). The increase came down to 11% if the speed was just 15 m/hr over the limit.
But these statistics change depending on the database selected. The Zebra published The State of Auto Insurance Report in 2018, which showed that the increase in premium for speeding between 11 to 15 m/hr was a whopping 21%. Those who sped in the 65 m/hr zone saw the premium price increase by 28%.
While it seems scary for anyone with a speeding ticket, it’s not the end of the world either. A silver lining here is that the speeding ticket won’t affect your insurance premium forever. It depends on the state laws and insurance company’s rules.
For example, if the state law says that the speeding ticket record will show on your history for two years, the mark will be dropped after the two years. But if the insurance company has a lookback period of four years or five years, it will spot the speeding ticket in your records. That doesn’t mean you have to worry, though. If that’s the only speeding ticket, the insurer won’t make any drastic changes to the premium amount.
Ways to Lower Premium After Getting a Speeding Ticket
Alright! A speeding ticket is highly likely to impact your auto insurance premium. Isn’t there a way to bring it down? Yes.
- Defensive Driving
The easiest way to prevent the speeding ticket from affecting the premium is by completing the defensive driving course or the traffic school program. Each time you clear the course (you can join it once every two years), the record of a speeding ticket will be removed from your driving history. We also know that insurance companies offer discounts for defensive driving and avoiding an auto accident.
- Find New Insurer
You can always look for a new insurer and find the best quote by contacting independent insurance agents. That way, you’ll have more options to compare and can get other discounts from the insurer. Take your time before finalizing an insurance company.
Speeding ticket does affect the car insurance premium but can with some research, planning, and care from your side, you can ensure that the premium is within your budget.