man getting a speeding ticket

Speeding Tickets: How They Affect Car Insurance Rates.

Published in Car Insurance

Getting a speeding ticket can be embarrassing and stressful. On top of that is the cost of the fine for speeding, the license demerit points, and the potential impact it has on your auto insurance policy. Our Bauld Insurance advisors are often asked, “Do speeding tickets affect insurance?” This blog will explore how traffic violations, especially speeding tickets, can affect your car insurance.

Do speeding tickets affect car insurance?

Yes, almost always, a speeding ticket will affect your car insurance. The reasons why you’re speeding do not matter – simply put, it’s your responsibility as a driver to abide by the traffic laws. If you don’t, there are consequences. Traffic violations can happen, so it’s best to be informed of the impact a speeding ticket may have on your car insurance. Knowing this can be a great motivator to employ safe driving habits.

When you get a speeding ticket, you receive a fine and a deduction in demerit points. When you pay the ticket, you acknowledge and take responsibility for the offence. When the ticket is paid, your provincial transportation authority will add it to your driving record.  Depending on the severity of the offence, a speeding ticket will cost you 2 – 6 demerit points.  In Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, if you accumulate six (6) demerit points, your driving privileges will be suspended for six months. Here is a summary of the Nova Scotia Registry of Motor Vehicles – Point System.

Will my car insurance provider see my speeding ticket?

Once you pay a speeding ticket, the conviction will appear on your provincial authority driving record as of the date you paid the ticket. The government will not contact your insurance company to inform them of convictions. You can choose to disclose or not disclose the speeding ticket with your insurance advisor or provider at that time.  However, either way, your insurance company may see the ticket and points deduction on your driving record when your insurance policy is up for renewal.

How will traffic tickets affect my car insurance?

Many factors go into calculating your insurance premium. These include how long you’ve been driving, where you live, your age, and vehicle make/model. Not surprisingly, your driving record and existence or lack of traffic tickets can significantly impact your policy premium.

A single minor traffic offence may not affect your rates. However, it is up to each insurance provider to determine how a traffic ticket will impact your policy rate. Parking tickets are treated separately and do not affect your premium. Typically, your premium will likely increase if you’ve had two tickets in the past three years, even for minor offences.

Each insurance company will use its own set of rules and standards to rate speeding tickets and other traffic violations. Your car insurance rate is based on many different variables, so the increase will vary based on the number and severity of traffic violations you may have. Here are some general guidelines:

  • Traffic tickets with lower point deductions and other minor infractions: Low increase. This may include failing to signal, failing to yield, obstruction of a licence plate, or driving too slowly.
  • Distracted driving and other major infractions: Medium increase. For example, distracted driving, false statements of insurance, failing to report an accident or speeding in a construction zone.
  • Serious or criminal driving convictions: High increase. These serious offences include racing, failing to remain at the scene of an accident, criminal negligence, or driving under the influence.

How long do traffic tickets affect my insurance premium?

Any conviction, speeding ticket or minor ticket, that appears on your driving record remains for three years from the conviction date (or the date the ticket is paid). Therefore, traffic tickets listed on your driving record can affect your insurance for up to three years.  This timeline starts from the policy effective date and, for any new traffic violations, at the time of policy renewal.

Getting a speeding ticket is not good. Our advice is to practice safe driving habits to avoid getting a traffic ticket, especially speeding tickets.  Besides the fine and license demerit points, no one wants to see their car insurance premium go up. To learn more, check out our Tips for Lowering Your Car Insurance Rates.

If you have questions about your car insurance, please contact a Bauld Advisor today.