How Much Tickets Affect Insurance Rates: Real Examples
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A parking ticket may not seem like a big deal at first. You get a little annoyed at yourself for misreading — or overlooking — the parking meter, toss the ticket in the glove box, and eventually dig it out to pay off the fine a few days or weeks later. Speeding tickets tend to be a little more alarming, but even then, you can usually pay a fine without ever going to court.
The surprise comes when you renew your auto insurance policy and discover that your insurance rates have increased because of a parking or moving violation. And then you’ll probably be asking yourself questions like, “How do tickets affect insurance?” and “How long does a speeding ticket stay on my record?”
Keep reading to learn more about the effect of tickets on insurance rates, how long tickets stay on your record, and ways you can lower your insurance premium.
If you were recently surprised with a rate increase and are curious if better insurance rates can be had elsewhere, Compare.com’s rate comparison tool can provide an instant online quote from top car insurance companies like GEICO and Nationwide.
Don’t Let That Ticket Keep Your Premium High
Don’t Let That Ticket Keep Your Premium High
Do Parking Tickets Affect Insurance Rates?
It depends on the kind of ticket you receive. Parking tickets typically do not affect your insurance rates. Parking violations aren’t considered moving violations like running a red light or failing to come to a complete stop at a stop sign. You won’t get a suspended license or higher insurance rates simply for misreading a parking sign.
That said, unpaid parking tickets can affect your car insurance rates in states where insurers are allowed to check your credit score. That’s most states, except for California, Michigan, Massachusetts, Hawaii, and a few others.
So if you’ve gotten a ticket for double-parking, don’t hide it in the glove compartment forever. It’s important to pay your parking tickets on time to avoid any unpaid tickets going to a collection agency and ending up on your credit report.
Do Speeding Tickets Affect Insurance Rates?
If you don’t have any unpaid parking tickets and you’re still wondering, “Why is my car insurance so high?” then you may need to look for another explanation for rate increases. Are speeding tickets likely to affect your insurance rates?
Here’s how tickets affect your rates, depending on insurance coverage. This data was collected by Quadrant Information Services.
|Liability-only insurance monthly payment||Full-coverage insurance monthly payment|
|Clean driving record||$123||$274|
|1 speeding ticket||$160||$347|
|Difference||$37 more with ticket||$73 more with ticket|
Other Factors That Affect Your Premium Hike
The exact amount will depend on a few factors, such as how fast you were driving over the speed limit, the amount of time since your last ticket, and whether or not you’re classified as a high-risk driver. High-risk drivers are more likely to be involved in an accident or receive a traffic infraction.
For example, in North Carolina, the Safe Driver Incentive Plan requires insurers to raise your rates by 40% for minor speeding violations. That rises to a whopping 90% for reckless driving.
Massachusetts has a similar Safe Driver Insurance Plan program with a merit-based system made up of credits and surcharge rules for insurers to use. This results in lowered rates for good drivers and increased rates for high-risk drivers.
If your rates increase because of a speeding ticket, you can ask your insurance provider what your options are to bring your cost down. You might be able to secure a lower rate after completing a defensive driving course or participating in one of the many discount programs offered by auto insurance companies.
A ticket can negatively impact your insurance rates for three years, so it might be worth it to see what steps you can take to get a discount. Also, remember, just because your rates went up, it doesn’t mean you can’t shop around for a better auto insurance quote elsewhere.
Check Out Your Options
Check Out Your Options
How a Speeding Ticket Affects Your Driving Record
Most states use some type of point system to keep track of your driving habits. Points are assigned based on the frequency and severity of traffic violations. Your total points are then used to determine any potential rate increases.
A speeding ticket is assigned a specific number of points against your driving record, depending on where you live. After accumulating a certain number of points, you could be required to enroll in a driver improvement course, or the DMV may suspend your driver’s license altogether.
Since driving laws vary from state to state, it’s a good idea to brush up on each state’s laws if you’re going on a road trip. For example, Georgia has some unusual traffic laws like the Super Speeder law that can catch unwitting motorists by surprise. This law dictates that anyone caught driving over 75 mph on some roads, or over 85 mph anywhere in the state, will be hit with a $200 state fee. And that’s not even including local penalties.
How Long a Speeding Ticket Stays on Your Record
Most states allow speeding tickets to drop off your record after a certain period, but each state is different regarding its driving laws and conviction visibility. So let’s look at how long a speeding ticket stays on your record in each state:
|State||Time a Ticket Stays on Your Record|
|Alabama||2 years for points to be removed, but the incident is permanent on your record|
|California||3 years and 3 months|
|Colorado||You can reduce your points, but the record of the incident is permanent|
|Illinois||Up to 5 years|
|Kentucky||5 years, but points are removed after 2 years|
|Montana||Points are removed after 5 years, but the record of the incident is permanent|
|Nevada||Points are removed after 1 year, but the record of the incident is permanent|
|New Hampshire||3 years|
|New Jersey||5 years|
|New Mexico||1 year|
|New York||1.5 years|
|North Carolina||3 years|
|North Dakota||3 years|
|Ohio||2 years count toward your suspension, but the record of the incident is permanent|
|Oklahoma||Up to 3 years|
|Rhode Island||3 years|
|South Carolina||2 years|
|South Dakota||3 years|
|West Virginia||5 years, but points are removed after 2 years|
|Washington, D.C.||2 years|
As you can see, the average length of time is between one and five years, with a couple of exceptions of states that don’t ever remove a ticket from your driving history.
During the time that a ticket is on your record, you are at risk of receiving second and third offenses, which will bring stiffer penalties. And after a certain number of infractions or points on your record, your license can be suspended.
You may get the option of a deferred conviction or a driver improvement course instead of having a ticket that stays on your record. Alternatively, if you don’t want to wait for the amount of time to pass before a ticket is removed from your record, you can contact the local, municipal, county, or state court clerk to discuss your options for expungement.
Keep in mind that DUIs and DWIs are not traffic tickets and can stay on your record for much longer. For example, in California, most traffic violations will be removed after three years and three months, but a DUI will stay on your record for an entire decade.
What Can I Do to Lower My Auto Insurance Premium?
If you’ve experienced an insurance rate increase because of a speeding ticket, you can ask your insurance provider what your options are to lower your rates. For example, you may be able to secure lower rates after completing a defensive driving course or participating in one of the many discount programs offered by auto insurance companies.
One of our favorite types of discounts is telematic discounts. Also known as usage-based insurance (UBI), telematics discounts are offered to good drivers and higher-risk drivers who agree to track their safe driving behaviors using a Bluetooth beacon or another GPS-enabled device. One UBI program, Allstate’s Drivewise, rewards drivers with an automatic 10% discount for enrolling and up to a 6% discount for continued participation.
Remember that telematics programs only monitor the number of miles you drive and your actual driving behavior (e.g., speeding and hard braking), and they don’t keep track of moving violations or at-fault car accidents. However, any speeding ticket you get while taking part in a telematics program will automatically be reported to your auto insurer, which will then determine whether or not to raise your car insurance premiums in line with other underwriting criteria.
In short, maintaining a clean driving record will help you avoid having to ask, “Do tickets affect insurance?” ever again.
Let’s Shop Around for Better Auto Insurance Rates
Parking tickets (as well as other types of tickets) do have a major effect on your insurance rates. If you don’t take action or attempt to receive a discount, a ticket can negatively impact your insurance rates for a minimum of one year. Still, just because you had a premium increase, it doesn’t mean you can’t shop for a better auto insurance quote elsewhere.
Now that you know the answer to “Do tickets affect insurance?” it only takes two minutes to request a free quote through Compare.com:
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Frequently Asked Questions
Can you have a ticket removed from your record?
Yes, a ticket can be removed from your record in some circumstances. For example, you can contest the ticket or a judge may allow you to take a driver improvement course.
Alternatively, you can wait until the ticket automatically disappears from your record, which can take up to 10 years, depending on where you live.
Is it bad to have a speeding ticket on your record?
Yes. A speeding ticket will lead to more points on your driving record, which can increase your insurance premiums and even result in a suspended license if you get too many speeding tickets.
How long do speeding tickets stay on your record for insurance purposes?
A speeding ticket will typically remain visible to insurance companies for about three years, assuming you don’t receive any additional tickets during this period.
Does a speeding ticket affect your insurance rates?
Your premiums may increase when you attempt to renew your policy. The more tickets you have, the higher your insurance premium will be. Certain companies can choose to drop you if you regularly receive tickets.
Methodology: All of the data referenced in this article has been gathered in collaboration with Quadrant Information Services. We analyzed more than 2.5 million rows of carrier-reported data to calculate the average rates referenced above. All rates are based on an insurance profile of a single-vehicle policy for a Honda Accord driver. For more information on how we calculate rates, please reference our data methodology.
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