What's one surefire way to throw a wrench in an otherwise good day? How about seeing red and blue police lights flashing in your rearview mirror? If you end up getting a speeding ticket, unfortunately, it's going to come with a few consequences. You're going to have to pay a fine. The violation is going to be recorded on your driving record. And it's going to be reported to your car insurance company. But, how much can you expect your premium to spike after one speeding ticket, and is there any way to avoid it? Here's what you need to know.
How Much Do Insurance Rates Increase After a Speeding Ticket?
The impact a speeding ticket has on your unique policy cost will likely vary from other people you know and industry averages, as insurance costs vary depending on your age, vehicle type, theft features you've installed, and driving record. That said, let's look to Progressive's research to give you a ballpark idea.
According to the insurer, the average cost of a six-month liability-only auto insurance policy is $100 per month in a medium-cost state. Additionally, customers who received a speeding ticket for the first time in three years saw their auto insurance premiums increase by an average of 15%. So, if you hadn't had a ticket in three years and were paying $100 per month for a liability-only policy with Progressive, you could expect your monthly payments to increase to about $115.
Why Do Insurance Rates Go up After a Speeding Ticket?
The riskier a driver is, the more likely they are to get in an accident and file a claim. When you get a speeding ticket, you're raising a big red flag in the eyes of your insurer. Why? According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, speeding has been involved in approximately one-third of all motor vehicle accidents for more than two decades. Further, there were over 11,258 speed-related deaths in 2020. These accidents all cost insurance companies a lot of money.
Once you have a speeding ticket on your record, you have to compensate for the increased risk you present by paying more. Drivers with lots of accidents and traffic violations can even become uninsurable and have their licenses suspended.
How Long Do Speeding Tickets Stay on Your Driving Record?
The amount of time a speeding ticket stays on your driving record depends on the laws in your state. For example, in California, tickets drop off after three years. In Colorado, it takes seven. You'll need to check with your state's motor vehicle authority to find out the limit that applies to you.
How to Help Keep Insurance Rates Lower After a Speeding Ticket
If you've received a speeding ticket but want to keep your car insurance as low as possible, here are a few things you can try:
See if you qualify for traffic school. If you're eligible, you may be able to complete the program and keep the ticket off your driving record altogether.
Take a defensive driving course. Many insurers offer discounts to eligible policyholders who complete these courses. Contact your agent to find out if it can lower your rate!
Try shopping around for a new insurer. If the ticket does hit your record and your rate goes up, you're not stuck. You can still shop around to see if any other insurers will offer you a better deal.
Check for discounts. Most insurance companies offer a variety of discounts. Check with your agent to ensure you’re taking advantage of all those that apply to you.
Assess your coverage. You may be able to adjust your coverage types, amounts, or features to lower your costs.
Hopefully, one or more of these can help to keep your costs down despite a recent speeding ticket. But remember, the best way to get the lowest possible car insurance rates is to be a low-risk driver. Plan ahead, give yourself plenty of time to get where you need to go, and give the road your full attention when you're behind the wheel. Want some more guidance? Check out these five apps that can help you become a safer driver.