Many drivers have experienced it: being late for work and speeding up to make up time, or accelerating to enjoy the open road, and seeing those flashing lights in the rearview mirror. The Bureau of Justice Statistics reports that police conducted 26.4 million traffic stops in the year 2011. Of those, 46.5% were for speeding violations. On average, that’s more than 33,000 traffic stops for speeding a day.
After receiving a speeding ticket, you might wonder how it could affect you auto insurance.
Here’s some basic information from Allstate on how, and why, getting a speeding ticket could affect your auto insurance.
Speeding Tickets Matter to Insurers
The cost of auto insurance depends on a range of factors. Some of these may be specific to your individual circumstances. One potential factor is your own personal driving record.
According to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC), an auto insurer may take into account your driving record when setting the cost of your insurance. Insurers may consider that traffic violations increase your risk of having an accident or making an insurance claim. The perception that you’re at higher risk of an accident may affect the cost of your insurance policy.
How a Speeding Ticket Can Affect Your Insurance
- Increased rates. First, speeding tickets may increase the amount you pay for your car insurance policy. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau explains, insurance companies can check your driving record and see whether you have traffic violations, including any speeding tickets. The more traffic violations you have, the more likely it is that you will see increase in the cost of insurance. Drivers who receive speeding tickets may be considered a higher risk group, and therefore be charged more for auto insurance even if they haven’t made any claims themselves, says the NAIC.
- Less cost reduction over time. Getting multiple traffic violations may cause you to miss out on cost reductions on your insurance. In general, the Insurance Information Institute (III) explains, more experienced drivers are likely to pay less amount for auto insurance. However, a poor driving record might reduce or even eliminate any benefit you might receive from gaining driving experience in the future.
- Loss of standard coverage. Finally, if your record of accidents and traffic violations is serious enough, you may not be able to find a private insurance company that will offer you auto insurance coverage at all, says the III. If that is the case, one potential way to get insurance is through a state-run risk plan. A risk plan may be available; check with the state’s department of insurance.
What You Can Do to Help Reduce Premiums
- Safe driving. Above all, focus on safe driving and being careful on the road. The better your driving record is, the lower your premium may be. Even if you’ve had one speeding ticket, avoiding any more may help to keep your car insurance costs lower.
- Consider changing your coverage. If your car insurance premiums have increased, you may be able to reduce those costs by changing the coverage you have. This option will depend personally on your individual insurance needs.
- Take a safe driving course. You may also be able to reduce your premium by taking a defensive driving or accident prevention class. In Pennsylvania, insurers may give a discount on auto insurance to drivers who have completed a state-approved accident prevention course. See if you may qualify: Defensive Driving and Driver Training Discounts