How does a speeding ticket affect car insurance rates?

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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 and your driving record is a critical element of the formula for assessing how much a risk you pose as an individual driver.

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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.

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

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 and depending on how fast you were going it could easily be much more.

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Are all states the same?

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.

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.

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