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Noyes, Hall & Allen Blog

How Does Getting a Speeding Ticket Affect Your Insurance Rates?

November 7th, 2011     Noyes Hall & Allen
Police officer with radar gun

Photo credit: NY State Police

Getting a traffic ticket is one of life’s indignities. It’s expensive, embarrassing, and – depending on who’s in the vehicle with you, or who drives by while you’re pulled over – hard to live down. It might ruin your day, but in most cases, if you stay out of further trouble, you won’t have to regret it for too long.

How long do tickets stay on your record? Most insurance companies price insurance using the last 3 years of your driving record. Some companies use a 5 year experience period.

Will my rates go up if I get one ticket?

The good news is that one ticket USUALLY isn’t going to drive your Maine Car Insurance Rates up too much. If it’s a speeding ticket, and you were going less than 20 miles over the speed limit, most insurance companies consider this a “minor violation”. Passing a stopped school bus, driving more than 20 mph over the limit, and other more serious infractions have more serious consequences on your insurance rates.

Have the insurance rules about tickets changed?

Just a few years ago, most insurance companies had 3 underwriting tiers: superior, preferred and standard (high risk drivers went to non-standard insurers). If your driving record was squeaky clean when you bought your car insurance, you got the auto insurance discounts associated with the superior rate; if you had one ticket, you were usually still “preferred”. They usually didn’t bump you from your tier if you later had one minor ticket. But, if you got 2 tickets, they would probably knock you down a tier.

Now, car insurance companies have created 50, 75, even 100 pricing tiers, based on an “insurance score” that factors information about you, your vehicle, your driving record, and more. This scoring algorithm varies by company. They consider it proprietary, and guard it closely. Consequently, agents – and customers – don’t know for sure what caused their rates to be high or low. We suspect that insurance companies do now charge for every accident or violation, although probably not a lot for the first ticket.

Should I Shop My Insurance if I have a ticket?

Every insurance company’s rates are different. If you have just one ticket, and you think you’re paying too much for car insurance, check prices. If you live in the Portland area, auto insurance agents like Noyes Hall & Allen would be happy to provide a quote. We’ve even created a way for you to get your own online Maine auto insurance quote from 5 of our companies.It doesn’t hurt to check around; the worst you’ll find is that the rate you’re paying is a good one.

There are 2 comments for “How Does Getting a Speeding Ticket Affect Your Insurance Rates?”
  • James Shaffer thinks:

    Most localities often have outs where you can plead to non-moving violations with higher fines. The government doesn’t see any of those insurance surcharges as revenue so it is usually in their best interest to change the penalty into one that lets them directly capture the penalty.

  • Noyes Hall & Allen Insurance thinks:

    James, we haven’t seen that in Maine, but perhaps in other states. A non-moving violation (inspection sticker, expired registration, etc.) usually won’t count increase your insurance rates – at least among the companies we represent.

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