speeding ticket

Convictions and Insurance Increase

Why do insurance companies always raise your rates every time you get a speeding ticket, even if it’s only your first one? Studies by highway and traffic safety experts show that the faster you go, the more likely you are to be involved in an accident or cause property damage.  If you receive a speeding ticket and are convicted, your insurer may attach a temporary surcharge to your policy for several years. One large auto insurance company is reported to raise your rate by up to twenty-six percent the first year, then gradually lower that surcharge and drop it completely after three years, as long as you have no additional traffic ticket convictions.

The size and amount of time your insurance rates increase depends on several factors, including:

Your relationship with the insurance company. Some insurers will not raise your rates or add a surcharge if you have had a long relationship with the insurance company and previously had a clean driving record.

Where you live plays an important part on if and how much your insurance rates are raised. Insurance law is regulated state by state, and different states have different laws regarding the raising the cost of car insurance when someone receives a traffic ticket. Some states don’t allow insurers to impose a surcharge for first-time speeding tickets, while others require insurers to raise rates for some speeding ticket. For example, a single male driver who lives in Phoenix and receives one speeding ticket will experience an average rate increase of sixteen percent, but the same driver will pay no more if he lives in Philadelphia.

How much you were exceeding the speed limit.  Much like the Pennsylvania Points system, auto insurance companies impose higher rate increases and surcharges when you exceed certain thresholds above the posted speed limit. Extreme speeding is considered reckless driving, a major violation. Even a first-time citation can more than double the cost of car insurance and inflate your car insurance rate quote. If you have a traffic ticket for more than fifteen miles per hour over the posted speed limit it is highly recommended that you consult with a traffic ticket lawyer as soon as you can.

Speeding tickets may also affect insurance rates other than your auto insurance. Insurance companies may look at your driving record when deciding whether or not you are a high-risk customer. If you have several speeding tickets or a ticket for extreme speeding, you could be charged higher rates for life, health, disability or long term care insurance.

When considering whether or not to hire a traffic ticket lawyer you need to factor, not only the cost of the ticket, but the cost of your insurance.  In many cases a traffic ticket lawyer may be able to have the charges against you reduced or even dismissed resulting in no additional points on your driving record and no increase in insurance rates. The amount of money you spend on a traffic ticket lawyer is often less than the amount you would pay in insurance increases over time.

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