So you were caught speeding and got let off with a warning. You didn’t technically get a speeding ticket, but you’re still concerned about the affect on car insurance prices. Does a speeding warning affect your car insurance rates? Will you pay more for car insurance because of a traffic warning? Today, we’re explaining everything you need to know about speeding warnings and car insurance.
Warnings Should Never Affect Car Insurance Rates
Generally, any type of traffic warning will not affect your car insurance rates. If you were pulled over and the officer gave you a written or verbal warning, then this is unlikely to affect car insurance premiums in any way.
If you are pulled over and the officer does not wish to write you a ticket, then you may receive either a verbal warning or a written warning.
A verbal warning is verbally spoken by the officer. The officer might tell you to slow down in the future, for example, or else you will receive a full warning or ticket. If you receive a verbal warning, then there’s unlikely to be any record of the incident that could be reported to the DMV or your car insurance company. For all intents and purposes, the verbal warning is “off the books” and cannot impact insurance rates.
A written warning, however, could be handled differently.
Written Warnings May Be On Your Record
Different states handle warnings in different ways. Generally, warnings do not affect car insurance rates. However, there are some situations where a written warning could exist on your record.
If the officer gave you a written warning (not a citation or a ticket), then you may wish to contact the DMV to determine if the warning is on your driving record. In some cases, a written warning may appear on your driving record, either in a database or as a hard copy in a filing cabinet. If the DMV has a record of your written warning, then it’s possible for your insurance carrier to find evidence of that written warning.
However, even if evidence of your written warning exists at the DMV and your insurance company finds the record, it is unlikely to affect car insurance rates. It’s rare for any type of warning – written or verbal – to affect car insurance prices.
Nevertheless, some states keep documentation for all types of written warnings, including minor offenses. If you received a written warning for speeding, then it’s possible your local DMV has evidence of that warning – although it’s still unlikely to affect car insurance rates.
What Else Do I Need to Know About Warnings?
Speeding warnings – and all other types of traffic warnings – are unlikely to affect your insurance rates. However, that doesn’t mean there are no consequences to your warning. Some of the other things to know about your warning include:
Your Insurance Company May Have Access to your Warning
Sometimes, your insurance company will have access to your warning. As mentioned above, some written warnings are reported to the DMV, and your insurance company may have access to these records. Even if you did not receive a speeding ticket, it’s possible for your insurance company to use your warning as proof that you are a high-risk driver.
Generally, insurance companies will not raise rates for a minor offense – like a burnt-out headlight or a single speeding ticket.
However, if the insurance company checks your driving record and finds multiple warnings for speeding, then it’s possible they will charge you higher insurance premiums. You’re seen as a riskier driver to insure. It’s within the insurance company’s rights to raise rates for riskier drivers.
If you’re switching to a new insurance company, then the new insurance company is more likely to take a closer look at your profile than an existing insurance company. A new insurance company might request a complete background check, for example, and pull up your entire driving history. Your existing insurance company typically only does this once every 2 to 3 years.
A Combination of Tickets and Warnings Could Raise Insurance Rates
A single speeding ticket will not significantly raise insurance rates with most insurance companies, nor will a single speeding warning.
However, it’s possible that a combination of warnings and speeding tickets will raise insurance rates. If the insurance company checks your record and finds one warning and one ticket, for example, then they will be more likely to raise rates than if they had found one of either.
Conclusion: Contact the DMV To Determine If your Speeding Warning is On the Record
Ultimately, it’s unlikely for a speeding warning to impact your car insurance rates.
However, in some situations, a written speeding warning may end up on your record. Some states keep records of all traffic warnings. Your local DMV may hold those records. If the DMV has a record of your warning, then your insurance company may be able to find that warning. In this situation, it’s possible your insurance company will raise rates after a warning – although it’s still unlikely.
Consider contacting your local DMV to determine if your speeding warning is on your driving record. In most cases, however, you have nothing to worry about – especially if it was just one speeding warning and you have a clean driving history.