Speeding tickets are damaging to both your driving record and your pocketbook. Just how damaging depends on the severity of the offense and the state in which it occurs. No matter where it happens, if you get a speeding ticket you should know that your insurance is about to rise -- and not just over the short term.
The amount that your monthly premiums increase depends on the seriousness of the speeding ticket. According to Insurance.com and The New York Times, if you were traveling just a few miles per hour over the limit, say from 1 to 14 MPH over, your insurance rate increase might be as little as 11 percent. For tickets issued to drivers traveling 15-to-29 MPH over the limit, the increase is typically about 12 percent. For 30 MPH or more over the posted speed limit you can expect a 15 percent rise and maybe even a dropped coverage notice from your carrier.
The real cost of a rise in insurance rates due to a speeding ticket conviction is not in the initial fine or even in the percentage hike. It's in the length of time it takes your rates to return to where they were before you ever got the ticket. According to Insurance.com and 21st Century Insurance, the increase in your rates can last as long as seven years, while the average is three. Ultimately, the length of time that your ticket remains on the insurance company books will be determined by the insurance industry regulations of the state you live in.
Getting a Pass
Negotiate with your insurance company once you've been found guilty and the ticket is officially part of your driving record. If you have been a loyal customer for an extended period of time, with a good payment history and an overall positive driving record, you might be able to soften the impact of the ticket. Explain why and how you got the ticket and how the rise in rates is going to hurt your finances. If your years as a policy holder have any value to the company, you might be able to negotiate your increase down, trade off a higher deductible in place of the increase, or get off with a warning if it's your first violation.
Once your rates have been raised you are left with a few options to regain control of the cost. Ask your carrier if there are any available discounts for bundled coverage or long-term loyalty. Ask about defensive driving discounts and whether a qualifying course exists in your area. If it does, you may be able to reduce your rates by attending a simple eight-hour course. If your carrier has nothing to offer, call other insurance carriers in your area, disclose your ticket conviction and request a rate rundown. Compare the rates with your current company and make the switch if the savings are worth it.
- The New York Times: What That Speeding Ticket May Really Cost You
- Department of Motor Vehicles: How Traffic Tickets Affect Auto Insurance Rates
- 21st Century Insurance: How Can a Speeding Ticket Affect Your Insurance Rates?
- The Wall Street Journal Marketwatch: 5 Ways to Cut the Costs of Traffic Tickets
- Forbes: Got A Ticket? Here's How Much Your Car Insurance Premiums Will Increase
- Fox Business: Traffic Violations and Your Auto Insurance
- Smart Money: Taming the Cost of Traffic Tickets
- Stockbyte/Stockbyte/Getty Images
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