Each year, 1 in every 6 people in the U.S. get a speeding ticket at the average cost of about $150. But tickets aren’t the only price you pay for speeding. Your auto insurance rates could take a hit; how much depends upon important factors like your driving record, the state where you live, and how fast you were traveling.
Your driving record is important.
Speeding increases your chances of causing an accident which impacts your policy and your pocketbook in a negative way. If your previous driving record includes speeding, accidents, and other violations, you could be considered risky to insure. Your insurer would likely raise your rates in that case. You may even have trouble getting insured.
For most states where California Casualty offers insurance, the maximum minor convictions per driver is two over a 3-year period. Once you reach three, you no longer meet our new business acceptability guidelines.
In addition, in most states, points are used to keep track of moving violations. You get points added to your license for each offense, with more points given for serious ones like driving under the influence (DUI). Too many points can cause your license to be suspended. (In the states that don’t use points, they still keep track of violations.)
From an insurance standpoint, a minor ticket like speeding is surcharged for a 3-year period from the date of conviction. Major convictions can impact your rates and acceptability from 3 to 10 years, depending on the state.
Your insurance company is not typically notified by the Department of Motor Vehicles that you have points on your license because of a speeding violation. However, before quoting you a price, an insurer will order a new motor vehicle report to get updated information.
Speed and location make a difference.
There’s a difference if you’re going 5 miles over the speed limit or 25. The latter may be considered reckless driving, a more serious charge.
NerdWallet found that car insurance typically increases about 25% after a speeding ticket.
Insurance.com notes that if you are 11-15 miles over the speed limit, that can raise your rate by 20% on average. If you have two tickets going that speed, that can raise your rate by an average of 43%.
It also varies by state. A speeding ticket in Texas for 16 miles over the limit costs customers an average insurance increase of $600 over three years. Nationwide, the average speeding ticket raises rates $1,380 over three years.
These increases don’t always happen right away. They are usually calculated at the time that you renew your auto policy. Of course, speeding charges can impact you immediately if you start a new policy or make changes to your existing policy. Be ready.
Here’s how to lower your premium after a speeding ticket.
Paying the speeding fine and moving on may seem like that best thing to do. However, you can take extra steps that could help save you money on your future insurance premium.
• Take a defensive driving course. Ask for the court’s permission to take a driver safety course to help get your ticket dismissed or the points reduced. You may need to pay some upfront fees to do so, such as court costs and for the driving course. You’ll also have to spend 6 hours in training for a refresher on safety like how to share the road with others. However, it may be worth it to save money on your insurance premiums in the future. Be aware that some states limit the number of times you can take a driving class within a certain period of time.
• Ask for a deferred deposition or adjudication. This may be an option in your state if you were going less than 25 mph above the posted speed limit. Ask the court to delay a decision on your case for a specified timeframe. You’ll be placed on probation during this time period. If you follow the rules, your case may be dismissed. You most likely will have to pay additional court fees for this option.
• Ask for mitigation. While you can plead guilty to speeding, you can explain the circumstances to the court and ask if they can reduce the points on your license. They may even be able to change the charge to a non-moving violation. If reduced to a VEQ (Vehicle Equipment Violation), the ticket is ignored for surcharging and for acceptability purposes for all states. You likely will still have to pay a fine, so come prepared.
• Contest the ticket. If you feel the ticket was in error, it is in your best interests to contest it. Go to court, and plead not guilty. You may wish to bring a lawyer to present your strongest case.
• Keep track and notify your insurer. One benefit of California Casualty is that if you call us the day after a minor conviction turns 3 years old, we will remove the surcharge. At that time, we’ll order an updated Motor Vehicle Report so we have all of the current information.
This article is furnished by California Casualty, providing auto and home insurance to educators, law enforcement officers, firefighters, and nurses. Get a quote at 1.866.704.8614 or www.calcas.com.