Speeding tickets can be a real pain in the neck. Whether you’re late for work, you’re tired and you want to get home, or you just weren’t paying attention, we’ve all been there.
The last thing you want to be doing when you get pulled over is worry about your insurance, but unfortunately, most insurance companies will take speeding tickets into account when deciding whether to raise or lower the cost of your premiums.
So the question drivers often have is, “How long until I have to start paying up?” The exact timing depends on a number of factors.
Why is my insurance agency raising my rates?
Insurance premiums in Louisiana are some of the highest in the country. According to the Insurance Research Council, in 2018 it ranked as the least affordable state in the country for auto insurance.
And speeding tickets can only make that worse. Most companies regularly review your driving record, so if you’ve racked up some violations when the time comes to renew your policy, they might make a calculation that you’re more expensive to insure and raise your rates.
It can help to do some research into your insurance company’s specific policy, but it’s safe to say that the insurance hikes are expensive. In addition to the ticket itself and associated court fees, one traffic ticket could raise your premiums by as much as 22%.
So how long do I have until that happens?
Most insurance companies renew their policies every six months to a year. If you’re in an accident and you make a claim with your insurance agency, they’ll know about any citations or violations associated with it immediately.
Otherwise, they’ll find out by checking your driving record. Some companies check your record less often, but they’re likely to find out one way or another.
So, it’s safe to say you probably have a couple months before your policy renews and your insurance company hikes your rates. You can check your insurance policy for details on when your policy renews and how they calculate your premium rates.
What can I do to prevent my insurance from going up?
Luckily, there are some actions you can take to try to prevent this from happening.
- The most important thing you can do is hire an attorney to fight your traffic ticket in court. If you get your ticket dismissed or reduced to a non-moving violation, it likely won’t have any effect on your insurance premiums at all.
- If your ticket is more serious, like going 25 mph over the speed limit, there’s a chance you could enter a plea bargain under Article 894 of the Louisiana Code of Criminal Procedure. This would mean that, if you don’t get any more traffic tickets for the next 30 days after paying the ticket, it will be expunged from your record. So your insurance company doesn’t have to know it ever happened!
- Aside from these options, the best thing you can do is drive carefully and avoid getting any more tickets in the future.
For speeding tickets or other minor infractions, your insurance will probably go back to normal within 6 months to 7 years.
In the meantime, you can take defensive driving classes or drive a car with more advanced safety features to demonstrate to your insurance company that safe driving is important to you..
We can help you fight your traffic tickets today
So the next time you get caught driving a little more swiftly than you probably should have, try not to stress about your premiums.
Crescent City Law is here to help. Contact us today to schedule your free consultation, and we can help you keep your insurance premiums from breaking the bank the next time your renewal comes around.