It’s universal: No one likes to see red and blue flashing lights in your rearview mirror. Every driver knows breaking the speed limit is against the law… but that doesn’t seem to stop us. In fact, it’s estimated that 41 million speeding tickets are issued in the United States every year.
But what are the impacts on your wallet after you pay the fine? Let’s find out how a speeding ticket might affect your auto insurance rate.
DO SPEEDING TICKETS INCREASE MY AUTO INSURANCE RATE?
In short, the answer is yes. Here’s why:
- Your driving record matters: Ultimately, what ends up on your insurance bill depends largely on what you drive and how you drive (as well as other factors). While every insurer handles things a little differently, your track record on the road will often impact your rate.
- Consistency is key: Insurance companies have found that past performance is often an indicator of a driver’s future behavior. Recent speeding tickets, accidents or other violations will likely cause your auto insurance rate to be higher compared to rates for drivers with spotless driving records.
Have questions about your rates? We’ve got you. Contact us to help you understand how your coverage works and what you’re paying for – so don’t be shy to reach out.
WHAT IF IT’S MY FIRST VIOLATION?
Maybe you’re not a habitual speeder; you just missed the reduced speed limit sign and made an honest mistake. Will your otherwise clean driving record make a difference?
- Your first violation might still count. While the exact answer will depend on your insurer, you’ll likely see some impact to your auto insurance bill, even if it was your first offense.
- You could see an impact on future discounts. Most insurance companies offer some type of safe driving discount for policyholders with no claims or violations on their record. Generally speaking: Even if your actual rate doesn’t increase much (or at all), the loss of a discount can still lead to a higher monthly payment.
Looking for ways to save? Talk to your local agent about available auto insurance discounts.
Decades ago, you may have been able to receive a ticket in another state without your home state finding out. But today, most states share traffic data. So that violation will likely appear on your in-state motor vehicle record. That means out-of-state tickets can still impact your premium regardless of where they occur.
WILL MULTIPLE TICKETS RAISE MY RATE MORE?
As a general rule, insurance companies determine auto policy rates by assessing how risky a driver is to insure. So the more violations, or points, you have on your driving record, the more you can likely expect to pay in premiums.
Also: Your insurance company can cancel or decide not to renew your policy following a more serious violation, such as a suspended or revoked license.
HOW OFTEN DOES MY INSURANCE COMPANY CHECK MY DRIVING RECORD?
Again, the answer here depends on your insurance company and your unique situation.
- Getting a new policy: If you’re applying for a new auto policy, you can pretty much guarantee the insurer will check your driving record.
- Renewing an existing policy: For policy renewals, the average is every 6 to 12 months, depending on your insurer and policy, so your experience may vary.
Article courtesy of Erie Insurance.