You’re cruising along on a sunny day enjoying a drive and then you see the dreaded lights. You didn’t even realize that you were speeding. After the interaction with the officer, and the ticket being issued, it suddenly occurs to you, this could affect my insurance rates. For most of us, an increase in rates gets our heart pumping higher too. And for most people, a ticket can increase rates because an insurance company sees you as a higher risk. In fact, according to Forbes Advisor, drivers in the United States who receive a speeding ticket have their rates go up by 24%, or almost $380 a year, which can put a serious dent in any wallet. But there are steps that you can take to recover from this, and even companies that you can go with that will understand when there is an unfortunate aberration from your typical safe driving. So, you got a ticket. Now what?

What your insurance company is thinking about:

An insurance company makes all its decisions based on the levels of risk of the people it represents. While it would be noble to cover anyone, despite their previous records, anyone who is at a high risk of making a claim against their insurance or getting into an accident, is going to cost more money to the company. Therefore higher risk customers are going to be charged higher premiums, and the highest risk customers may not be provided insurance from most companies at all. Another reason why it’s important to drive safely. 

Here are the basic questions that an insurance company is going to ask itself if you get a speeding ticket.

  • Was this your first ticket? – A first time offense will not be taken nearly as seriously as a pattern of behavior.
  • How many miles per hour were you going over the speed limit? – The higher the recklessness, the higher the risk to the insurance company.
  • What is your prior driving record?  – Keep in mind that parking tickets won’t count against you, unless you don’t pay them. They’re going to be looking for at-fault accidents, and moving violations in your past.
  • How long has it been since your last moving violation? – Again, insurance companies are mostly concerned about a pattern of behavior, and a short time gap between tickets is seen as a potential problem.

What can you do after you’ve already gotten a ticket?

Most of us assume that once the ticket has been issued, your fate is sealed when it comes to a higher rate. While you can’t change your insurance company’s reactions concerning a ticket, you can do two big things to prevent this from becoming a pattern. 

  • Take a few classes: Most states offer accident prevention or defensive driving courses that can reduce points or even lead to lower premiums. Especially if you have just received a ticket, these efforts will look really good on your record and insurance companies love to see the effort. In addition, quite a few of these classes are entirely online. Just make sure that they are certified or approved to get those points shaved off, and even ask your insurance company if they would consider not increasing your rates if you agreed to take one that they recommend.
  • Drive safely: It cannot be stated enough that a clean and clear driving record after a ticket is the best way to keep your rates low. Most insurance companies offer incentives to good drivers and ways to track your safe driving. Ask your insurance company about their programs and any other ways that you can prove on an ongoing basis that you are not a high risk customer. 

We all make the occasional driving error and as frustrating as the fallout can be, picking the right insurance company can make all the difference. Winstead Insurance in Elkton, MD believes strongly that the occasional mistake shouldn’t have a terrifying impact on your ability to stay affordably insured, and that you shouldn’t have to cut coverage to cut costs. Winstead Insurance has a Minor Violation Forgiveness Policy which states that one minor moving violation won’t increase your rates. This counts for each individual policy, and will renew every three years, providing there are no more hiccups. If only other mistakes in life could be forgiven so easily. Contact Winstead Insurance today at 410.398.6700 (or text at 410.205.9355) for rate quotes and more information.