Most drivers know that getting a traffic citation usually means an increase in their car insurance rate. In fact, the increased car insurance premiums you'll suffer for a single speeding ticket are often far worse than the cost of the ticket itself. The best you can hope for when you're being pulled over is that the officer will have mercy and give you a warning instead of a ticket. However, many drivers wonder whether or not the warning from a police officer is reported to their insurers, and whether warnings can have a detrimental effect to the cost of a car insurance policy.
In this case, there's some good news. Traffic warnings are generally only kept in police department computers, and are not reported in a way that your insurance company could find out about them. This means they won't affect your car insurance rate. Most warnings are removed from police department computers after about a year. However, within that year, the warning will increase the probability that you'll get a traffic citation if you're pulled over again. Police officers will be aware that you've been warned, and if you're pulled over for the same offense, you don't have a very good chance of getting away without paying a ticket (and you'll quickly be paying much more for your car insurance policy).
Unfortunately, traffic tickets are public record, and won't be hidden from your insurer. Still, you can avoid seeing sky-high premiums if you take some immediate steps. First, get court supervision on your ticket if it's available in your state. This prevents the ticket from becoming a part of your record as long as you're able to avoid another citation for a set length of time. Then, look into defensive driving courses. Many car insurance companies will allow you to avoid a rate increase if you complete a class. These classes are low-cost or free, and also serve to keep the ticket off of your record. They're also fairly short, simple, and for most drivers, they're well worth the time.
The best defense against rate increases is to take your time when looking for a car insurance quote, and choose an insurer that gives you a decent rate. Then, stay out of trouble. It's impossible to count on getting a warning rather than a ticket, so watch your speed and avoid driving aggressively. If you're pulled over, be polite and courteous, pull well off of the road to avoid endangering the officer when he walks up to your window. Additionally, be ready to provide proof of insurance and your driver's license. You'll greatly decrease your chances of landing a ticket, and your car insurance premiums will thank you.