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How a speeding ticket impacts your insurance in California

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Auto insurance companies in California, like property and casualty insurers in most states, view speeding tickets as risky driving behavior. Because of this, if you get a speeding ticket in the Golden State, you will likely see an increase in your auto insurance premium.

Knowing how much your insurance may increase and understanding what you can do to potentially lower your premium with an infraction on your motor vehicle record may help you be prepared for the consequences of getting a speeding ticket. Bankrate obtained current premium information from Quadrant Information Services and analyzed it by age and insurance company to help you know what to expect from your car insurance company after being cited for speeding.

How much is a speeding ticket in California?

Speeding tickets in California can be expensive. 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 table below shows you the average increases based on age.

You may notice that older drivers see a larger increase in car insurance rates after a ticket. That is likely because younger drivers are already considered high-risk and already pay more for car insurance.

Age Average annual full coverage premium before speeding ticket Average annual full coverage premium after speeding ticket % increase
18-year-old male $6,089 $7,295 20%
18-year-old female $6,035 $7,234 20%
40-year-old male $2,110 $2,876 36%
40-year-old female $2,118 $2,887 36%

Auto insurance premiums can increase significantly after a speeding ticket. However, driving history is not the only factor that affects auto insurance premiums. According to the Insurance Information Institute (Triple-I), your age, the type of car you drive, the company you are insured with, how many miles you drive annually, and the coverages and deductibles you choose are common rating factors California insurers use to determine how much your auto insurance costs. 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 in California

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
Geico $1,421 $1,680 18%
State Farm $1,453 $1,688 16%
Travelers $1,570 $2,013 28%
Wawanesa $1,622 $2,308 42%
Farmers $1,931 $2,416 25%

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.

Sign up for a telematics program

Some auto insurers offer usage-based (telematics) programs that track your driving and reward you with discounts. Enrolling in a telematics program is typically a very simple process. After you talk to your company representative or insurance agent and request that you be enrolled in the program, you may need to download a mobile app or ask the insurer to mail you a plug-in device. If you drive safely, you could reduce your auto insurance rates based on your company’s telematics rating criteria. You may even earn a discount just for signing up.

Consider ticket forgiveness programs

Some auto insurance companies offer ticket forgiveness programs which waive the premium increase you would normally see if you get a moving violation. However, you would likely need to have this option on your auto insurance policy before getting a speeding ticket to reap the benefits. If you have recent tickets on your motor vehicle record, you may not be eligible to sign up for a forgiveness program. Talking to your auto insurer or insurance agent may help you determine if this program is offered and available to you.

Other speeding ticket considerations

In addition to fees and an insurance premium increase, you may be facing additional penalties after a ticket. You could see points added to your 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

What is the best car insurance company for drivers with speeding tickets?

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.

How much will my car insurance go up after a speeding ticket?

After a speeding ticket, your auto insurance premium will likely increase between 18% to 42%, 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.

Why does my insurance increase after a ticket?

Auto insurance rates are based on risk. If an insurance company thinks you are likely to cause an auto accident in the future, they often charge you more to offset this risk. Insurance companies generally view speeding tickets as indications of risky driving behaviors. Because of this, your premium will typically increase after you receive a speeding ticket and will stay elevated for three to five years, although each company has its own underwriting criteria.

Methodology

Bankrate utilizes Quadrant Information Services to analyze 2021 rates for all ZIP codes and carriers in all 50 states and Washington, D.C. Quoted rates are based on 18-year-old and 40-year-old male and female drivers 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 coverages that meet each state’s requirements. Our base profile drivers own a 2019 Toyota Camry, commute five days a week and drive 12,000 miles annually.

Incident: Rates were calculated by evaluating our base profile with the following incidents applied: clean record (base), at-fault accident, single speeding ticket, single DUI conviction and lapse in coverage.

These are sample rates and should only be used for comparative purposes.

Written by
Cynthia Paez Bowman
Personal Finance Contributor
Cynthia Paez Bowman is a former personal finance contributor at Bankrate. She is a finance and business journalist who has been featured in Business Jet Traveler, MSN, CheatSheet.com, Freshome.com and TheSimpleDollar.com.
Edited by
Insurance Writer & Editor
Reviewed by
Director of corporate communications, Insurance Information Institute