Many or all of the products here are from our partners. We may earn a commission from offers on this page. It’s how we make money. But our editorial integrity ensures our experts’ opinions aren’t influenced by compensation. Terms may apply to offers listed on this page.
Car insurance can be complicated, and you're not alone in having questions about it. One of the most common is "Do speeding tickets affect insurance?" The short answer is yes, it can increase a motorist's rates because it's on their driving record, and insurers check this regularly to figure out premium costs. Below, we'll look at how much insurance goes up after a speeding ticket and how you can keep costs low.
How much does insurance go up after a speeding ticket? There are two main factors car insurance companies consider when they review someone's driving record. Here's what they are.
Insurers typically penalize a driver more for going further over the speed limit. If someone gets pulled over because they were driving five miles over the limit through an unfamiliar area, that could just be an honest mistake. But if a driver were going 50 miles over the limit, there isn't usually a good excuse for that.
Speeding tickets are considered a good predictor of accidents, and it makes sense. When you're going faster, it's more difficult to stop suddenly or react to a vehicle or object that suddenly appears in front of you. If a driver is more likely to get in an accident, they're a greater risk to insurers. And insurance companies charge motorists accordingly.
Following a driver's first speeding ticket, insurance rates may not go above the average cost of car insurance by much, if at all. It depends on the insurer. Each company weighs a driver's record a little differently. Some dish out harsher penalties to drivers with speeding tickets than others.
All insurers will charge drivers with multiple speeding tickets more than drivers with a single ticket, though. Multiple tickets show a repeated flouting of the law and suggest a driver who routinely engages in risky behavior likely to cause an accident.
The point system in your state -- which assigns points to drivers who commit traffic violations -- can also influence how much a speeding ticket raises insurance rates. If speeding tickets cause a driver to rack up so many points that they're on the verge of losing their license, insurers may raise the driver's rates significantly, even if the individual incidents didn't involve driving at particularly high speeds.
A violation between one and 15 miles over the speed limit results in a 20% premium increase on average, according to Insurance.com. A violation between 16 and 29 miles over the speed limit could increase premiums by 22% or more. Speeding by 30 miles or more results in a 30% average increase to a driver's premium.
But how much your insurance will go up after a speeding ticket varies depending on the factors discussed above. It could be more or less than these averages depending on where you live and whether you have previous speeding tickets or traffic violations on your record.
Once people learn that speeding tickets can raise their car insurance rates, their next question is usually "How long does a speeding ticket affect insurance?" It's generally three to five years, but this also depends on where a driver lives.
A ticket affects rates as long as it remains on a driving record, and each state determines that time frame. You can check with your state's department of transportation if you're curious how long speeding tickets stay on your driving record.
The effect a speeding ticket has on a driver's car insurance rates should decrease over time, assuming they're not racking up new ones. But they likely won't see their rates fall to pre-ticket levels until the ticket is off their driving record.
If you get a speeding ticket and you're concerned about your rates, do the following:
The best way for a motorist to keep a speeding ticket from raising their car insurance rates is to avoid getting speeding tickets. Once a driver has one, every insurance company will be able to see it on their driving record. Most of them will increase rates accordingly.
Insurance companies have access to your driving record. This contains information on all traffic and moving violations you've incurred in the last three to five years, depending on your state. Insurers review this information periodically and use it to determine rates for the next policy period.
Moving violations tend to affect car insurance rates while parking violations typically don't. These usually aren't recorded on driving records, though this varies by state. If your state reports parking records, these could also affect your rates. However, they likely won't have as much of an effect as moving violations.
Camera speeding tickets are typically treated like parking violations and don't appear on driving records. But this also varies by state. If your state reports these speeding tickets on driving records, they'll likely affect car insurance premiums.
Car insurance rates can go up after a first speeding ticket. But how much they will increase depends on the insurer, where the driver lives, and how far over the speed limit they were going when they got the ticket.
We’re firm believers in the Golden Rule, which is why editorial opinions are ours alone and have not been previously reviewed, approved, or endorsed by included advertisers. The Ascent does not cover all offers on the market. Editorial content from The Ascent is separate from The Motley Fool editorial content and is created by a different analyst team. The Motley Fool has a Disclosure Policy. The Author and/or The Motley Fool may have an interest in companies mentioned.
The Ascent is a Motley Fool service that rates and reviews essential products for your everyday money matters.
Copyright © 2018 - 2021 The Ascent. All rights reserved.