How Much Does Speeding Affect Car Insurance Rates?
Getting a ticket can often be a frustrating experience. Sure, you may have exceeded the posted limit by a few miles per hour, but you probably weren’t the fastest driver out there; you were just the one who got caught. A speeding ticket can set your day back and tarnish a clean driving record if you’re not careful. And if you think about it, this can cost you in two ways, financially speaking. First, you need to deal with the cost of the violation itself. Second, you must cope with increased insurance rates. Let’s explore just how much insurance premiums can fluctuate with driving behavior.
Knowing How Insurance Agents Think
Insurance companies offer a wide range of policies but at their core, they all function the same way. They base their prices on past behavior. If your driving behavior has caused your insurance company to pay out previous claims, the chances are higher that they’ll need to pay out future claims. Thus, you will pay more for your car insurance.
Auto insurance agents tend to look at your driving behavior in the past few years when calculating what you should pay for coverage. Speeding is a common offense that, while it may not have led to an accident in your case, is one of the top causes of accidents nationwide. Speeding drivers are more likely to be involved in a crash where they’re considered at fault, which means their insurance companies foot the bill for damages. So, insurance companies charge more to compensate for the elevated risk of paying claims.
Too many points against your license, whether for speeding or other violations, can lead your insurance company to label you a “high-risk driver” who will pay substantially more for insurance. Some insurance companies might even suspend your policy if you have too many violations on your record. If you’re worried about your own policy, be sure to contact your agent.
Whether you were found guilty of speeding at just a few miles per hour over the posted limit or charged with excessive speeding, both situations affect the amount you pay for insurance. People who are convicted of excessive speeding receive several points on their license, which their insurance companies will find out about. The more severe the speeding, the riskier the behavior. The riskier the behavior, the greater a liability the driver is to their insurer. Drivers who persistently speed — and those who speed excessively — face more challenges finding affordable coverage than those who don’t.
Not All Companies Will Penalize You
Every company takes a different approach when responding to speeding violations. Depending on your policy, you might not receive a penalty for your first speeding offense or any violation for speeding at less than 15 miles per hour over the limit. Yet, the number of points the state may issue against your license can also affect your rate. The percentage at which your payment might increase depends on the details of the traffic offense you were found guilty of, the state in which you received the ticket, and your age.
Maryland Speed Laws
The state of Maryland recognizes the dangers of speeding and as such has two specific laws intended to curb this risky behavior. The state’s Basic Speed Law requires motorists to drive at a speed that is “reasonable and prudent” for the conditions. This law requires drivers to move at safe speeds at all times. So, while the speed limit on a particular road might be 55 mph, if the road is slick and icy at the time, going 55 miles per hour might be a violation of the state’s Basic Speed Law.
Maryland is also one of several states that abides by the Absolute Speed Law. That means if you were driving faster than the posted speed limit, you violated the law regardless of how many miles per hour over you traveled.
Avoiding Points Prevents Insurance Hikes
Insurance companies typically check your driving record when it’s time to renew your policy. How can you avoid paying so much in fines and insurance hikes for a simple mistake? Working with a speeding defense lawyer who serves Baltimore and surrounding areas can help you avoid points on your license, which will prevent theMaryland MVA from reporting your speeding ticket to your insurance company.
Attorney Hillel Traub, founder of The Law Office of Hillel Traub, has more than 20 years of experience defending those accused of severe traffic violations, including excessive speeding. As a former Assistant Attorney General for the MVA, he has unique knowledge about the inner workings of that agency, which can benefit your case. Find out how he can help you avoid points by calling (410) 580-1100 for a free consultation or complete our contact form.
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