While the sticker price of your car is certainly the largest expense you will initially face, it is auto insurance that most people spend their time complaining about. Once you buy the car it’s done. They can’t pull more money from your bank account or increase your lease terms. It’s all locked in. But insurance can fluctuate. It is a legal requirement for driving in the United States, which means going without it will lead to expensive fines and an impounded car. You can keep your rates low with good driving or see them skyrocket if you drive like a daredevil. There are many other factors that impact your car insurance rates, but speeding tickets are certainly one of the more damaging. Here is a quick look at the insurance situation you will face if you can’t stop speeding.
First off you must understand how car insurance companies set their rates. While you might think it is otherwise, every company determines their own prices based on a number of factors. Your age, sex and education level will come into play, and there isn’t much you can do about that. But the car you choose to drive will also impact your insurance rates, and that you can control. If you buy a car that is known for high-speed performance, chances are the insurance company will hedge their bet automatically, protecting themselves from the risk of paying out for an accident by charging you more from the outset. Basically they are accusing you of speeding before you even get behind the wheel. And they are fully within their rights to do so. Now imagine what would happen when you actually do speed.
The next element to think about is the various types of speeding ticket. Any ticket you receive will make the insurance company think you are a risk, and could lead to an increase in your premiums. But there is a big difference between a speeding ticket received for going five or ten miles per hour over the limit and what you get for thirty miles over. In the case of the former the police officer that pulls you over might let you off with a warning. In the worst case you’ll receive a small ticket and perhaps a couple of points on your driving record. But if you are over the speed limit by an extreme amount the problems will be amplified. You could receive a ticket for reckless driving depending on the road conditions. You could face eight points on your record, massive fines and even having your license suspended. Obviously that will greatly increase your insurance. So if you are going to speed, consider the circumstances carefully if you want to avoid a huge rate spike.
The other big issue is your long-term driving record. Look, everyone gets caught speeding from time to time. But an insurance company will consider your entire driving history when determining rates, not just if you have points on your license right at that moment. If you have a long history of violations, you’ll be offered a much higher rate. Even if you’ve stuck with the same company for quite some time, if you have several tickets over the last year or two your rates will go up. The specific amount is going to depend on the particular insurer, so check out www.cheapinsurance.com to see if you can find a more affordable rate. But once your record is tarnished you’ll have to drive without receiving any tickets or citations for a number of years before you see your offered rates begin to come down.