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Will a speeding ticket increase my car insurance rates?

Driving beyond the speed limit can often result in a speeding ticket and the first thing many drivers think of is how a speeding ticket will affect their car insurance rates. Since car insurance premiums are based on risk and being convicted of speeding is a high risk activity there is a chance you will see higher auto insurance rates. However, the final determination will be made by your car insurance company and there is really no solid answer which applies to every driver.

Some car insurance companies automatically raise rates (mostly by taking away the good driver discount) while others may look the other way for a minor speeding ticket. It’s important to understand that driving in excess of any speed limit is dangerous and there is always a potential to have your car insurance rates increase.

How much more car insurance will I have to pay?

Speeding tickets can have a couple consequences. One is the obvious fine imposed by the state (which can vary depending on where you live) and the other is the potential increase to your auto insurance premiums. While a single speeding ticket doesn’t always increase your risk profile it can void some car insurance discounts which have the same effect as a premium increase. Drivers have reported as much as 15% or more increase in car insurance premiums when their policy is up for renewal after a single ticket.

Are there any state laws to avoid higher car insurance rates for a single speeding ticket?

Yes. Some states have imposed laws which prevent car insurance companies from raising rates after a single speeding ticket as long the driver was not engaged in excessive speed – defined as driving more than 15 miles above posted speed limits. The catch is that there no laws to prevent car insurance companies from taking away certain car insurance discounts which lowered your prior premiums so essentially the law prevents penalization on one hand but car insurance companies can make up for it on another. This catch 22 is common for almost any possible rate increase and governments have almost an impossible task trying to police the way insurance companies calculate premiums.

When will my car insurance rates increase after a speeding ticket?

For most drivers an immediate increase will never be seen. It may take one or two renewal periods for a car insurance company to adjust your risk profile and even then it’s possible not to see an increase. Not everybody who gets a speeding ticket will be subject to higher car insurance rates but the potential is there.

Should I switch car insurance companies after a speeding ticket?

This is tricky as any new application for car insurance will ask about your prior driving record and potential providers will pull a copy of your driving record and right away you may be considered ineligible for some discounts. Shopping around for car insurance with a fresh speeding ticket on your record is a little more difficult than when you had a good driving record. While its possible to find lower rates don’t be surprised if some of the potential car insurance companies penalize you for any moving violations in the last 12 months.

Will a Driving School Course help avoid higher car insurance rates?

Yes and No. This really depends on you where you live. Some states allow driving school as an option to avoid conviction and apply a status of “adjudication withheld” for the moving violation but some car insurance companies still count this against you. You don’t have to be guilty to be considered higher risk. Driving school is certainly beneficial to avoid accumulating points on your drivers license but as far as car insurance goes its best to speak with your car insurance company about how they view a driver opting for traffic school.

Should I get a traffic ticket attorney?

If you really want to avoid higher car insurance rates than its certainly worth consulting with a traffic ticket lawyer as success rates are high in most all cities and for a fraction of the fine its very possible to have you ticket thrown out of court. Of course, there is always a chance you can get stuck with higher fees also but its certainly worth discussing your options with a traffic ticket defense attorney.

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