How a speeding ticket impacts your insurance in California
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Car insurance companies in California view speeding tickets as risky driving behavior. As such, when drivers receive one, it’s possible that their car insurance rates could be impacted for years to come. In some circumstances, such as if it’s your first ticket, or it has been 18 months since you received your last ticket, you could be eligible to remove it from your record by paying a fine and attending traffic school.
If this isn’t the case, it does mean that a speeding ticket could stay on your driving record and your insurance company could surcharge you. Bankrate’s study of average premiums before and after a speeding ticket with data from Quadrant Information Services could help you prepare for the increase. Additionally, even if you experience a surcharge, there are still strategies you could try to help lower your premium.
How much is a speeding ticket in California?
The cost of a speeding ticket in California can add up. Depending on the circumstances of your ticket, you can expect to be fined anywhere from $35 to $1,000.
Those fines do not include other surcharges, assessments and fees. Your auto insurance is likely to increase after a ticket, and you may have to pay to reinstate your license if it is suspended. Plus, if you are required to attend traffic school because of your infraction, you will generally need to pay a state-mandated administrative fee of $52 and the traffic school fee, which costs between $20 and $45.
How much does a speeding ticket increase your car insurance in California?
California drivers are likely to see an auto insurance premium increase after a speeding ticket. The actual amount could vary based on factors like how fast you were driving over the speed limit and the number of tickets on your record. Below is the average premium for a driver with a clean record in California, and how much their policy could increase after a ticket:
|Average annual full coverage premium before speeding ticket||Average annual full coverage premium after speeding ticket||% increase|
The average increase in annual full coverage premium after a speeding ticket in California is 35 percent. This is higher than the national average of 21 percent. However, driving history is not the only factor that affects auto insurance premiums. Common car insurance rating factors may include:
- Type of vehicle
- Annual mileage
- Chosen coverage and deductibles
In California, insurance companies are prohibited from using your ZIP code, gender or credit-based insurance score to calculate your car insurance premium. Your premium may be higher or lower than the premium rates quoted above depending on your individual rating factors.
How to lower your car insurance after a speeding ticket
Although auto insurance premiums typically increase after a speeding ticket, there are ways you can reduce the impact of the rate hike. Following these tips could help you lower your auto insurance premium if you have a speeding ticket on your record:
Get quotes from other car insurance companies
Each car insurance company uses its own method to determine premiums. Some carriers may charge more heavily for speeding tickets than others. If your premiums increase significantly after a speeding ticket, comparing quotes from different auto insurers could help you find a lower rate, according to the Triple-I.
|Car insurance company||Average annual full coverage premium before speeding ticket||Average annual full coverage premium after speeding ticket||% increase|
Premiums are average annual full coverage premiums for 40-year-olds
When considering changing your auto insurance company, you may want to research more than average premiums. Reviewing customer service scores, coverage offerings, available discounts and financial strength ratings may help you to choose the right company for you.
Increase your deductible
If it is within your financial ability, you could consider adjusting your deductible. In some cases, this could result in slight savings, but you would need to ensure that your new, higher deductible is one that you could pay out at any time.
Reassess your annual mileage
The amount you drive every year is crucial to determining your car insurance rates. If you’ve recently switched jobs and have a closer commute, or now work from home, consider reaching out to your insurance agent to see if your annual mileage has decreased from previous years.
Other speeding ticket considerations
In addition to fees and an insurance premium increase, you may be facing additional penalties after a ticket. You have the option of appearing in court to contest your case, or you could plead guilty and pay a fine. In California, eligible drivers may also go to traffic school to remove the speeding ticket from their record, and also ask the court to reduce the cost if experiencing financial hardship.
Drivers who aren’t eligible for traffic school may see points added to their driver’s license record. You may even have your license suspended or revoked, depending on the severity of your infraction and your past driving history. You could also be required to make a court appearance or hire an attorney. Your ticket may even result in jail time.
Frequently asked questions
Although there are often several top car insurance carriers, based on average premiums, customer service scores, coverages, discounts and financial strength ratings, the best auto insurer for you will depend on a number of individual rating factors and what’s best for you will vary from another driver. One way to determine what company might best fit your needs is to obtain quotes from multiple carriers and compare them, according to the Triple-I.
After a ticket, you might be wondering: how much does a speeding ticket affect your insurance? After a speeding ticket, your auto insurance premium will likely increase between 18 percent to 42 percent, on average, depending on your age and insurance carrier. Your premium adjustment after a ticket could be higher or lower, depending on your personal rating factors. You may want to consider checking other insurance carriers or talking to your company representative or insurance agent about potential discounts to help offset the increase in your premium.
A speeding ticket in California can stay on your driving record for three to seven years. How long a ticket stays on your record depends on the severity of the speeding ticket and your driving history.
Bankrate utilizes Quadrant Information Services to analyze 2022 rates for all ZIP codes and carriers in all 50 states and Washington, D.C. Rates are weighted based on the population density in each geographic region. Quoted rates are based on a 40-year-old male and female driver with a clean driving record, good credit and the following full coverage limits:
- $100,000 bodily injury liability per person
- $300,000 bodily injury liability per accident
- $50,000 property damage liability per accident
- $100,000 uninsured motorist bodily injury per person
- $300,000 uninsured motorist bodily injury per accident
- $500 collision deductible
- $500 comprehensive deductible
To determine minimum coverage limits, Bankrate used minimum coverage that meets each state’s requirements. Our base profile drivers own a 2020 Toyota Camry, commute five days a week and drive 12,000 miles annually.
These are sample rates and should only be used for comparative purposes.