Getting a speeding ticket is expensive and stressful. If you get a ticket in Washington, you join the 18.7% of drivers there who receive a speeding ticket each year. If you get caught going five miles per hour or less over the speed limit, your fine is $105. Iowa has the highest number of speeding tickets issued in any state, with 23.2% of drivers receiving a ticket for driving over the speed limit. You'll pay $114 for going ten miles per hour over the speed limit, there.
The bad news is that paying the fine isn't your final cost. Even if it's your first speeding ticket, you may see a rate hike when your policy renews. Here's how a speeding ticket may affect your insurance rates and some things you can do to help reduce the cost.
Getting a Speeding Ticket Could Mean an Insurance Premium Increase
According to insurance.com, a speeding ticket of 1 to 15 miles per hour over the posted speed limit could mean a 20% increase in your insurance premium.
For the insurance company, a speeding ticket proves that you could present a higher accident risk. For drivers who have a clean record and are over 25, the first-ever speeding ticket may not increase your premiums if you have insurance through certain companies. The only way to find out if your premiums will go up is to call your insurance agent and ask.
If your premiums go up after you get a ticket, the change in price happens when your policy renews.
If you don't have a prior history of accidents or driving infractions and your insurance goes up after your first speeding ticket, get quotes from other reputable insurance companies to see if you can reduce your insurance costs by switching to a different insurance provider. Be sure to let your current insurer know you are shopping around and ask them how you can offset the premium increase. They may have suggestions about how to bring your premiums back down.
How Multiple Tickets Affect Your Car Insurance
If you have multiple speeding tickets or other driving violations, you could be facing the high costs of SR-22 insurance. SR-22 certification may be required by your state after you get several speeding tickets in a short amount of time, or even a single speeding ticket if it's combined with a charge like reckless driving or driving without insurance. The SR-22 certificate provides proof that you carry the minimum amount of state-required insurance. In some states, you'll need an SR-22 certificate before you can get your suspended or revoked driver's license reinstated.
For DUI (driving under the influence) charges, SR-22 insurance may cost an average of 89% more. It's important to shop around for this type of insurance, as well. Prices for SR-22 insurance vary wildly, so don't take the first quote you get from an insurance company.
SR-22 certificates are mandated by your state, not by the insurance company. In fact, some insurance carriers won't provide an SR-22 certificate. If you want to keep your primary insurer but need SR-22 insurance, you may have to purchase an additional insurance policy to meet the state's SR-22 requirements.
How to Reduce the Negative Effect of a Speeding Ticket
There may be a few simple things you can do to help take the edge off the rate hike.
For example, many insurance companies offer insurance premium discounts for insured motorists who voluntarily take an approved defensive driving course or online driving class. This type of class is especially important for young or inexperienced drivers, even if they've already completed the DMV-mandated driver's ed course.
In fact, insurance rates may be highest for new drivers, due to the frequency with which new drivers submit insurance claims. A speeding ticket could make rates go up even more.
As a driver becomes more experienced, their chances of making mistakes statistically decrease. According to the Centers for Disease Control, male teens aged 16 to 19 are at higher risk for car crashes, which is why insurance rates for male drivers are typically higher. The motor vehicle death rate for teen male drivers was more than twice the death rate for female drivers in the same age group in 2017. The crash rate per mile for 16-year-old drivers is 150% of the crash rate for 18- to 19-year-old drivers.
"Think of this from the perspective of the insurance provider; when they issue a policy then they are assuming a very high risk of a claim that then begins to taper off over time," says Joel Ohman, Certified Financial Planner and founder of CarInsuranceComparison.com.
Additional driving instruction can help reduce the risk of car accidents, which makes insurance companies more likely to encourage enrollment and give premium discounts to drivers who complete a defensive driving course.
At some point, most drivers get a speeding ticket. If you have an otherwise clean driving record, one ticket shouldn't make a huge difference to your insurance premiums. If it does, feel free to shop around for better rates.