How Speeding Tickets Affect Existing Car Insurance Policies

Nobody enjoys getting speeding tickets, but the worst aspect of a citation is usually the effect that it has on drivers' car insurance policies. Insurance companies want to know about anything that might affect your chances of getting into an accident, and speeding tickets are a big red flag. Drivers who receive one or more citations are much more likely to be involved in accidents according to insurance company statistics, and even if you have been a fairly safe driver, your car insurance premiums will take a nasty jump after a ticket.

The exact effect of speeding tickets on existing car insurance policies varies depending on several factors, most notably the nature of the violation. Drivers who receive tickets for going 20 mph over the speed limit will see a bigger change in their rates than drivers who are clocked at 5 mph over. Insurance companies are required by law in many states to explain how car insurance policies will change when speeding tickets are issued, but the explanations that they submit to state insurance commissions are almost always too complex to be of any use to the average driver. A general speeding ticket may result in a rate increase of anywhere from 10 to 30 percent in a driver's insurance premiums. The increase will occur as soon as the speeding ticket posts to your driving record, as your car insurance company will find out about the ticket at this time.

Speeding tickets can also affect drivers' eligibility for special insurance programs. Good driver discounts, for example, are usually only available for drivers with clean records. This is also true for accident forgiveness programs. If you have been receiving any discounts, or if you are enrolled in any good driver programs with your car insurance company, you should check your policy immediately after receiving a ticket to see how your policy has changed. It can also be helpful to read the language in your policy before a ticket is issued so that you know what to expect. Consider taking a driver improvement course or a defensive driving class. These classes can all but erase the effects of speeding tickets from drivers' car insurance policies, allowing them to apply to safe driver programs again or at least allow them to find lower car insurance rates.

If you receive a speeding ticket, take early action to avoid a rate increase. Call your car insurance company to discuss your options, and look online for better car insurance rates. Every driver makes a few mistakes, but some quick, logical action will prevent those mistakes from costing you a large amount of money in car insurance premiums.

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