Rachael Brennan has been working in the insurance industry since 2006 when she began working as a licensed insurance representative for 21st Century Insurance, during which time she earned her Property and Casualty license in all 50 states. After several years she expanded her insurance expertise, earning her license in Health and AD&D insurance as well. She has worked for small health insuran...

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Chris Harrigan has an economic degree from Limestone College and an MBA from Clemson University. He previously managed auto insurance claims for Enterprise Rent-A-Car. Currently, he is using his business and insurance expertise to provide insurance data analysis and visualizations to enhance the user experience.

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Reviewed by Chris Harrigan
Former Auto Insurance Claims Manager

UPDATED: Aug 12, 2021

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Key takeaways...

  • A single speeding ticket can significantly increase your monthly premiums
  • Your driving record plays a important role in your insurance rates
  • High-risk drivers pay more for car insurance than good drivers

For many drivers even a single speeding ticket can raise car insurance rates. So following posted speed limits is not only a safe decision but also a very smart financial move.

Car insurance companies base auto insurance premiums on risk. Your driving record is a critical element of the formula for assessing how much a risk you pose as an individual driver. Things like speeding, running red lights, and other traffic violations increase your risk of being in an accident. Looking at things like your driving record is one way for car insurance companies to price your policy to cover their risk ahead of time.

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What is a high-risk driver?

When a driver gets a speeding ticket they are automatically labeled as a “high-risk driver” or at least a higher risk driver than those drivers without a moving violation.

In fact, some car insurance companies even place you in the “reckless driver” category depending on the type and details of why you were ticketed.

If you were ticketed for multiple violations at once, for a DUI, or something else, the state may label you a high risk driver. This takes away the subjectivity putting you in a higher risk class with all auto insurance companies. This could affect your rates, policy service options, and even quick access to competitive rates. Even for basic liability insurance, valuable coverage will cost a lot more.

Either way, any driver with a speeding ticket needs to pay special attention to how it will affect their car insurance rates.

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How much will my car insurance rates increase with a speeding ticket?

In addition to the speeding ticket fine, many drivers experience a substantial increase in their car insurance rates equaling 10 percent or more from a single traffic ticket. Depending on how fast you were going, it could easily be much more. It depends partly on the insurance company, though. Some penalize you for your first or ensuing tickets more than others.

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Do All States Treat Speeding Tickets The Same Way?

Just like your auto policy, state laws differ. They don’t all treat speeding tickets the same way. Some things about your price (such as which discounts you get) could depend on your customer service agent in the same way that the severity of a ticket could depend on the cop or judge you get. Some states have eased the pain of a single speeding ticket creating laws to deny car insurance companies the right to raise rates after just one ticket as long as the driver was not cited for extreme speeding.

Extreme speeding is defined usually as 15 miles above the posted speed limit. However, car insurance companies can find a way around any law so unless you have a car insurance policy which provides a “one speeding ticket” waiver. This is also known as “accident forgiveness.” Keep in mind, it will not transfer from your previous policy.

Then, they can revoke any good driver discounts or other car insurance discounts which will raise your rates anyway, bypassing any violation of the state law.

Drivers in states without laws to protect car insurers from raising auto insurance rates due to speeding violations will see premium increases due to the formula used by their provider to calculate risk.

Since you will now be in the high-risk category expect to see an increase when your policy is up for renewal.

The good news is that car insurance companies cannot change your rates while a policy is in force so it may take 6 or 12 months to see an increase.

Can I opt for a driving course?

Many states use the point system and offer drivers an option to attend driving courses. In this manner, your driving record will not show a conviction for speeding but rather “adjudication withheld”.

The option to attend driving school in lieu of points and/or a speeding ticket conviction is limited and many times restricted to only once a year.

Have a speeding ticket on your driving record and want to compare car insurance companies? Enter your zip code below to get started for FREE!


  1. https://www.thebalance.com/what-is-a-high-risk-driver-527253
  2. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moving_violation
  3. https://www.geico.com/information/aboutinsurance/auto/determining-premiums/
  4. https://www.progressive.com/auto/discounts/compare-car-insurance-rates/