Auto insurance rates vary from state to state, as do the laws pertaining to when and why an insurance company can raise those rates. No matter which state you reside in, a speeding ticket can adversely affect your rates in several different ways. You would be wise to check with various insurance providers before signing a contract with them, in order to discover what their company policy is, as it relates to speeding tickets and rate increases. Looking into this matter before signing on with any prospective insurance company can save you time and a great deal of stress in the event that you incur a ticket for a moving violation somewhere down the road.
The Speeding Ticket Effect
When you sign up for auto insurance, you are quoted a certain rate based on many factors. These include the make, model and year of your car. They also include your previous driving record and whether you have been cited for moving violations or have had any accidents in recent years. If you have been involved in accidents or have received speeding tickets, you are unlikely to qualify for a “good driver discount”. This can mean paying hundreds of dollars more each year in insurance premiums. In addition, if you are a driver that qualified for the “good driver discount”, you are probably paying hundreds of dollars less every year for insurance. However, if cited for a moving violation, you are in danger of losing your discount, resulting in a dramatic increase in your yearly premium. Not only can insurance companies take away your good driver discount, they can also increase the base rate of your insurance premium according to whatever amount the statewide law allows (usually upwards of a 2% annual increase). This means a drastic increase in insurance premiums, just for driving too fast on the road.
Minimize your Risks
One of the best ways to reduce the risk of having your auto insurance rates dramatically increased in the event that you incur a speeding ticket is to do thorough research into prospective insurance companies before signing on with one of them. This research can be performed in a number of different ways:
1. Use the Internet – Entering a few key words into your favorite internet search engine will yield a large number of links to auto insurance websites all around the nation. These websites will allow you to gather cursory information on the various insurance providers within your budget and will give you information on the general policies of each prospective company.
In addition, the internet can provide you with links to several auto insurance forums, wherein you can find unbiased reviews of different companies and what they have to offer. If any given company has exhibited a proclivity toward unfairly raising the premiums of policy holders that incur a speeding ticket, that information is likely to be reported on one or more online forums.
2. Call the BBB – The Better Business Bureau is a watchdog organization that exists in order to foster honest relations between businesses and their clients. When researching prospective insurance providers, you may be wise to contact the BBB to ensure that the provider has received good reviews (or at least, few complaints) from previous clients. If your prospective company has a reputation for raising rates by ridiculous amounts after a moving violation, the BBB should have reports of it from angered policyholders.
3. Ask Your Sphere – Most every person has a sphere of friends, family and acquaintances around them who are eager to share both positive and negative reviews of their past and current car insurance companies. At least one of those people is likely to have acquired a speeding ticket in their driving history and can share firsthand information on how their insurance companies dealt with the situation. If you hear a good report about a particular insurance provider, that is your cue to get on the ball and find out more about the kind of premiums and treatment you can expect from the same company, should you choose to become a policyholder.
One of the best and easiest ways to find the best auto insurance quotes available is to use the Free Car Insurance Rate Finder tool at the top of this page.
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