Speeding tickets are expensive. In addition to the fine, you pay a time cost during the traffic stop. If you go to court, you incur another time cost — not to mention court and attorney fees.
The steepest cost of a speeding ticket, though, could be how it affects your insurance premiums. Although a speeding ticket won’t directly impact your auto insurance score, which focuses on your financial habits, it does increase your driver risk profile.
Just how much more can you expect to pay in premiums following a speeding ticket? Depending on your state and insurer, you’re likely to see your rate rise by 22% to 30%. In some states, like Michigan, the increase might be as much as 70%.
Wait, it Gets Worse
Think that’s a high price to pay for speeding? The following speeding ticket complications can make your rate skyrocket:
1. You were under the influence
More than a million people are arrested annually in the U.S. for intoxicated driving, and for good reason. Not only does drunk driving kill an American every 48 minutes, on average, but it costs society about $44 billion per year.
If you’re caught above both the speed and blood-alcohol concentration limit, the consequences aren’t limited to fines, court fees, and jail time. Chances are, your auto insurance rate will at least double. And because a DUI stays on your driving record for an average of five years, you might be on the hook for as much as $10,000 in additional premiums. If you’re accustomed to a good-driver discount, you can expect that to disappear for a full decade.
2. You’re a repeat offender
It might be true that you can afford a single speeding ticket. If you’ve had past violations, though, you might want to worry about your bank account. Because insurance companies calculate your rate based on your entire driving record, don’t expect a new ticket to be treated as a one-time mistake.
How much, exactly, might multiple violations affect your rate? When Insurance.com studied the subject across more than 32,000 policies, it found people on a one-car, one-driver policy paid 18% more for a single infraction. At two violations, drivers paid 34% more. With three traffic offenses, drivers paid an eye-popping 53% more for auto insurance than did peers with clean driving records.
3. You were in a school zone
Ignoring school-related speed reductions endangers students and workers, which both police officers and auto insurers take seriously. Speeding in a school zone, failing to yield to a school bus, or disobeying a school crossing guard can all boost your rates above and beyond what a standalone speeding ticket might.
Although some insurance companies treat school-related offenses like regular moving violations, many don’t. NerdWallet’s analysis showed that Progressive boosted rates for Florida drivers with school-zone violations by 50%, while Travelers raised them by 57% for New York drivers who failed to yield to a school bus.
4. You caused an accident
After an accident, law enforcement officials work with the drivers’ insurance companies to determine who’s at fault. Although the determination of fault is complex, speeding immediately before the accident greatly increases the chance you’ll be found at fault. If you’re the at-fault driver, you can expect to pay for both parties’ medical expenses and property damages.
What about your insurance premium? A second NerdWallet study found that insurance rates after an at-fault accident increased by more than 50 percent. In 16 states, drivers who caused an accident saw their insurance bills increase by more than $1,000 annually. Having multiple at-fault accidents on your record can push you into a high-risk pool or cause insurers to deny you coverage altogether.
Speed limits aren’t suggestions. Not only can violating them pump up your auto insurance premiums, but it can result in tragedy. A ticket might cost you more for a few years; actually hurting someone is a cost you’ll spend the rest of your life trying to pay back.