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 do affect 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 regarding the affects tickets have on your insurance rates and tips for reducing premiums after getting a ticket.
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. It 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 cellphone while driving - 16%
- Driving without a license or permit - 12%
- Driving without insurance - 10%
- Seat belt infraction - 3%
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 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 Tickets Can Affect Your Car 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 N.C. 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 the 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
Call Us Today!
If you have received a ticket for speeding or other violation, 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 toll-free at 877-288-6557.