How Long Will a Speeding Ticket Affect an Insurance Rate?

You could be paying for a speeding ticket for several years via your insurance rates.
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When you see the flashing lights of a police car in your rear-view mirror, you likely suspect that you're in trouble. Part of that trouble will be the effect that speeding ticket has on your car insurance premiums. Exactly how long you'll be paying for your mistake depends on the state you live in, how fast you were driving and your insurance company's policies.

Clean Slate

Sometimes you don't have to worry about how long a speeding ticket will affect your insurance rate. If you're perceived by your insurance company as a low-risk driver, a single ticket might not raise your rates at all. If you're an older driver and have a clean driving record and a long history with your insurance company, this is more likely to be the case.

Three Years Standard

In many states, your speeding ticket will stay on your record for three years. If your insurance rate goes up from a speeding ticket, it will often stay at this hiked rate for however long the ticket stays on your record. Some insurance companies have a standing policy of only keeping rates up for three years for a speeding violation. After that, your policy costs should drop.

Extended Rate Hikes

More serious driving infractions might stay on your driving record longer than the typical three years time. Infractions classified as reckless driving can result in your insurance rate going up for longer than three years, and each state has its own threshold for when that occurs. The more serious the offense, the greater the affect on your insurance rates, because it indicates that you're a riskier bet for the insurance agency.

Point System

Some insurance carriers determine whether they will increase your rates based on how many points you have on your driving record. In Colorado, for example, you'll get four points if you speed 10 to 19 mph over the limit, while in Illinois this infraction could get you 15 or 20 points added to your record. Some states let you go to defensive driving school to get the points removed. In addition, some states will reduce your points if you drive infraction-free for a certain period of time. In these cases, your insurance rate could decrease once your points fall off your driving record.