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, a speeding ticket will likely lead to an increase in your insurance rates. Most tickets won't impact your rates for more than three years, but your rates may increase for up to 10 years if you were traveling more than a few miles an hour over the speed limit.
TL;DR (Too Long; Didn't Read)
The length of time a speeding ticket affects your insurance varies based on the laws in your specific state and the rules of your auto insurance policy.
The amount that your monthly premiums increase depends on the seriousness of the speeding ticket. It also varies from one insurance company to another. Generally, if you were traveling less than 15 MPH over the speed limit, 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 in premiums, if your carrier will still cover you. At this speed, your insurer may choose to end your insurance coverage altogether. The more tickets you have, the more likely your rates are to increase and the greater the increase may be. Your age may also play into the equation.
Rate Increase Duration
You could probably live with an insurance rate hike for a few months, but speeding tickets will affect your premiums for years. The increase in your rates can last as long as 10 years, while the average is three. In some areas, insurers will add a surcharge to your insurance for the ticket and remove it if you remain ticket-free for one year. Ultimately, the insurance industry rules for your state determine how long a ticket remains on the insurance company's books,
Getting a Pass
Negotiate with your insurance company once you're 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.
Options for a Reduced Rate
There are some ways to regain control of your insurance costs after your rates increase. 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 insurers 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.
Robert Morello has an extensive travel, marketing and business background. He graduated with a Bachelor of Arts from Columbia University in 2002 and has worked in travel as a guide, corporate senior marketing and product manager and travel consultant/expert. Morello is a professional writer and adjunct professor of travel and tourism.