When a person gets pulled over for driving too fast, a frequent question he/she has is whether speeding tickets affect car insurance premiums. Since the rate you pay for automobile insurance is based primarily on your driving record, and speeding tickets are part of that record, then the answer is yes. Yes, speeding tickets affect insurance and the premium you pay.
Insurance companies review your driving record and use the information to help them determine what your individual risk of having an accident is or what the likelihood is of you making an insurance claim. Our Pinehurst law firm is knowledgeable about the laws as they apply to moving violations and how your vehicle insurance can be affected. In this article, we give you some information on how speeding tickets affect insurance rates and tips for reducing premiums after getting a ticket.
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Why Insurance Companies Assess Your Driving Record
The information on your driving record helps the insurance company in qualifying their risk. When your driving record includes speeding and traffic tickets, the perception is that you are at a higher risk of an accident, and this can affect the cost of your insurance.
A speeding ticket can also affect whether the insurance company renews your policy. How much your rate is increased is based on several factors such as the number of tickets received and what the violation(s) is(are).
How Much Insurance Increases After a Ticket
The amount that your auto insurance rate increases due to a ticket varies between insurance companies and depends on the type of violation. These are some of the factors taken into consideration:
- Your prior driving record;
- Whether the ticket was a first offense;
- The amount of time since your last moving violation;
- How many miles per hour you were going over the speed limit;
- The location where the violation occurred.
Typically, the more serious the offense, the more the rate increases. Here are some examples:
- DUI/DWI first offense - 79% increase
- Reckless driving - 73% increase
- Racing on a public highway - 71%
- Speeding 30+ over the limit - 30%
- Careless driving - 26%
- Texting while driving - 23%
- Distracted driving - 22%
- Speeding 16-29 MPH over the limit - 22%
- Speeding 1-15 MPH over the limit - 20%
- Following too closely - 20%
- Improper turn - 20%
- Talking on the phone while driving - 16%
- Driving without a license or permit - 12%
- Driving without insurance - 10%
- Seat belt infraction - 3%
Note that these increases are general estimations.
When the Rate Increase Occurs
Most of the time, the rate increase occurs when your policy is up for renewal. This is when the insurance company reviews your driving record and adjusts the pricing of the policy.
How Long Does a Rate Increase Last?
At a minimum, a speeding ticket stays on your record for three consecutive years. However, the look-back period differs by state and by the insurance company. Some companies go back to the date of the incident while others go back to the date of conviction. For major violations, like a DUI, companies may have look-backs from five to 10 years.
Other Ways Speeding Tickets Affect Insurance
Additionally, speeding tickets can affect your car insurance in other ways besides rates. Most insurance companies give cost reductions for good driving records as well as for being an experienced driver. Even though you may have a good driving record except for the ticket, you may not get the benefits of your driving experience due to the violation.
And, if your record of accidents and traffic violations is serious enough, traditional private insurance companies may not offer you insurance at all. You may lose standard coverage and have to look elsewhere, like a state-run risk plan. You will need to check with the North Carolina Department of Insurance to see whether an assigned risk plan is available to you.
What You Can Do to Help Reduce Premiums After a Ticket
After receiving a speeding ticket, there are some things you can do to help reduce your premiums over time. Basically, the insurance company needs to see that you are breaking irresponsible behavior and building a good driving record. Here are some tips for lowering your car insurance rate:
- Drive carefully, safely, and free of tickets
- Raise your deductible
- Consider changing your coverage
- Take a safe driving course
- Build a strong credit history
- Reduce coverage
- Reduce annual driving mileage
Final Word: How Speeding Tickets Affect Insurance
If you have received a ticket for speeding or other traffic violations, call us today! Our Moore County attorneys are experienced in representing many cases on speeding tickets resulting in increased insurance premiums, and looking for ways you can reduce insurance rates post-violation or conviction. Call us locally at 910-295-2525 or fill out the form below to discuss your options.
Will my insurance rates go up if I receive a speeding ticket?
In most cases, yes. Speeding tickets are considered a red flag for insurance companies, indicating a higher risk of accidents. This often leads to an increase in your insurance premiums.
How much will my rates increase after a speeding ticket?
The exact increase varies by insurance company and location, but it's typical for rates to go up by 20% to 30% or more after a speeding ticket. The severity of the speeding offense and your driving history can also impact the rate hike.
How long will a speeding ticket impact my insurance rates?
Speeding tickets usually affect your insurance rates for several years, often around three to five years. The duration can vary based on the insurance company's policies and your driving record.
Can I avoid a rate increase by attending traffic school after a speeding ticket?
In some cases, attending a defensive driving or traffic school may help mitigate the increase, but this depends on your insurance provider and local regulations. It's essential to check with your insurer to see if this is an option for you.
Do all speeding tickets have the same impact on insurance rates?
No, the impact can vary based on factors like the severity of the speeding offense, your driving history, and your insurance company's policies. More serious speeding violations, like reckless driving, can lead to more substantial rate increases than minor speeding tickets.
Disclaimer: The information seen on this website, including the article above, is not legal advice or legal counsel. If you wish to speak to a lawyer, contact our North Carolina attorneys directly using our online form or by calling 910-295-2525. While our law firm is located in North Carolina, our attorneys have tried cases and work with clients across the country, from Raleigh, Fayetteville, Pinehurst, and Sanford, to Virginia, Illinois, Oregon, and California to Florida. Call our experienced attorneys today.