UPDATED: Mar 13, 2020
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You’ve been pulled over for speeding, and the officer has decided that he or she is going to give you a speeding ticket. Now you’re left wondering – what is this speeding ticket going to do to my insurance? Will it go up? Will I lose my safe driving or other discounts?
In this article, we’ll try to shed some light on how your auto insurance company will approach speeding tickets that you receive, and how they will impact your car insurance. Although the advice and tips in this article are genuine, they are also general; for the best possible information, it’s best to contact your auto insurance company and have a conversation with them.
Your First Speeding Ticket Might be Okay
The first speeding ticket that you collect when you’re with a new insurance company might not actually be that bad for your auto insurance, but you’ll have to read the fine print to ensure this is true. Insurance companies know that their drivers are human and that sometimes people make mistakes and get caught for it. If you don’t have a long history of speeding or other driving infractions, you can generally make the case that this was a one-off occurrence and that it’s not going to happen again in the near future.
The DMV Points System and Auto Insurance
Nearly every state has a Department of Motor Vehicles that loves to collect additional fines on top of every infraction and ticket that is issued to you as a driver. These are generally called “points”, although they are little more than a way for the DMV to soak you for considerably more than the ticket actually cost in the first place, and if you collect enough of them they will either suspend your driver’s license or revoke it entirely, in the name of public safety.
While these points can be horribly difficult and expensive to remove from your license, they can also wreak havoc with your auto insurance policy. Insurers typically have a great relationship with the DMV and can gain access to your driving record on a regular basis to see exactly how many points you’ve collected and whether or not you’ve been paying them off. If you’ve got more than a certain number of points, you can rest assured that your auto insurance company will be raising your car insurance premiums, as you present more risk than the average driver.
How “Violation Severity” Affects You
Violation severity (and other terms like it) is how insurance companies refer to the risk involved with how a driver is collecting infractions like speeding. For instance, consider two scenarios: the first is a driver that was pulled over for driving 6 miles per hour over the limit on the interstate through the countryside; the second is a driver that was pulled over for driving twenty miles per hour over the limit through a designated school zone in the middle of a city. As you can see, both of these situations resulted in a speeding ticket but they are far different in terms of severity.
When you earn more severe infractions, you also tend to earn more points at the DMV, your tickets will be far more expensive, and you’ll end up suffering more in your auto insurance. If keeping your auto insurance costs low is something that’s important to you, make sure you consider this before speeding through the city on your way to work.
Remember to Fully Disclose when Purchasing Auto Insurance
It might seem like a good strategy to “forget” or “misremember” past speeding tickets and other infractions when you’re purchasing a policy from a new auto insurance company, but this actually can dig you into a hole with your insurer from the start. Insurance companies can access your driving history; simply accept that you’ve made mistakes in the past and move on. The last thing you want to do is lie to the insurance company that’s offering you an excellent deal to move away from your current insurer, only to have them revoke the offer because you weren’t forthcoming about your past speeding tickets.
Another tip is to ensure that all of your points are cleaned off of your record at the DMV before you try to make a change to another insurance company. If you fail to clean your record, your new insurer might think that you are trying to evade something at your older insurer, and they might refuse you coverage entirely.
Bottom Line: Keep Clean and You’ll Save Money
It’s always bothersome to hear that you need to slow down, but the truth is that speeding can cost a fortune in tickets, points, and of course in increased auto insurance costs. If you keep things within around five miles above the speed limit, you’re far more likely to stay on the clean side of the law and prevent yourself from suffering financially. You’ll also be much safer while on the roads, and you may end up preventing an accident along the way. Speed limits exist for a reason, so try to stay within their bounds and you’ll be set!
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