One of the biggest concerns when you get a speeding ticket is how it will affect your auto insurance rates. Depending on your state and insurance company, one speeding ticket can raise your car insurance premium by quite a sum. But how are out of state speeding tickets handled? Will those affect your insurance rates?
How Car Insurance Rates are Calculated
Your car insurance company will run your driving record to determine your car insurance rates. Some car insurance companies run your driving record each time you renew your policy, usually ever six months. However, some car insurance companies will only run your driving record every one or two years. Therefore, a ticket that you get in state or out of state may not affect your rates right away.
When it comes to out of state tickets, whether or not they affect your auto insurance rate will depend on how they are reported on your in-state driving record. Most states notify each other of traffic violations when they occur. However, not all states participate, and different states handle out of state traffic tickets differently.
As a general rule, thanks to the Driver License Compact, your out of state speeding ticket will be reported to your local DMV. There are 45 states and Washington DC that are part of the Driver License Compact. Most of these states will access points on your driving record for the reported out-of-state ticket. However, some states treat out of state tickets differently.
Exceptions to the Rule
The states that are not part of the Driver License Compact are Georgia, Massachusetts, Michigan, Tennessee, and Wisconsin. However, some of these states will still report your out of state ticket to your local DMV, even though they are not required to do so.
Just because your out of state speeding ticket is reported to your local DMV does not mean that it will be added on your driving record. Some tickets, especially speeding warnings, will not be added to your record. Remember, your driving record is what is used to determine your auto rates. In these states, you may be able to avoid a premium hike due to your out of state ticket.
Colorado and Pennsylvania do not record out of state traffic tickets on your driving record if they are considered minor offenses. New York residents who get a ticket within the country will not have that out of state ticket reported on their driving record, but if you get a ticket in Ontario it will be added to your record.
What Tickets Will Affect Your Auto Insurance Rates
Just because an out of state speeding ticket is reported to your local DMV does not mean that it will raise your auto insurance rates. It all depends on the state that you live in and the insurance company that you are working with.
Some states do not allow insurance companies to raise rates if you only have one traffic violation. If you live in one of those states and you have only one out of state speeding ticket, it may not raise your rates. However, in most states, your car insurance rate will rise if the ticket is reported on your driving record.
Some insurance companies offer “good driver programs” that can lower your premiums. For these insurance companies, getting just one violation may not result in a direct increase in your rate, but you could lose your good driver status. Losing your good driver discount will raise your rate some, but perhaps not as much as the speeding ticket would raise your rate with another company that didn’t offer such programs.
While most states have a points system for determining your worthiness as a driver, car insurance companies do not use the state’s system. The different car insurance companies have their own points systems for rating your risk. If an out of state speeding ticket is reported on your driving record in your state but the state does not assess points, it can still affect your auto insurance rate.
What You Can Do
The best way to avoid auto insurance hikes to your premiums is to avoid getting speeding tickets and other traffic violations regardless of where you are in the country. If you do get a speeding ticket, attempting to fight it in court might result in a higher penalty cost but could keep it off your driving record.
If you do get a speeding ticket in another state, make sure that you pay it promptly. Your state of residence is likely to enforce driver’s license suspensions of other states for failure to pay tickets, which will definitely result in higher insurance rates for several years.