Shuman Roy is an entrepreneur, business owner, and musician. He started RoysNoys, LLC in 2013 as a music production and education service company. He also offers small business consulting and advisory services to help businesses get from start-up mode to turn-key operations. Shuman earned his M.B.A from the Stern School of Business in 2001 and has an undergraduate degree from Manhattan College in ...

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Joel Ohman is the CEO of a private equity-backed digital media company. He is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™, author, angel investor, and serial entrepreneur who loves creating new things, whether books or businesses. He has also previously served as the founder and resident CFP® of a national insurance agency, Real Time Health Quotes. He has an MBA from the University of South Florida. Joel...

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Reviewed by Joel Ohman
Founder, CFP®

UPDATED: Sep 9, 2021

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Insurance Q&A: “How do insurance companies find out about speeding tickets?”

First thing first: drivers who like to live in the fast lane, slow down! Statistics show that ‘speeders’ typically have more accidents and that speed is a significant factor in how severe a particular accident can be. Drivers who cruise at high speeds are more likely to cause an accident, or get a ticket.

Additionally, car insurance companies charge higher insurance premiums for those of us who have one or more speeding tickets, but hopefully you were aware of that fact. Yes, you could absolutely pay more for your insurance rates, and yes that ticket is going to show up on your driving record.

And now you’re here, with questions about that ticket. Well, we’re here also, with some answers that will hopefully clear up any confusion you have about what shows up on a driving record, and what you can do in order to prevent a rate increase.

Will a ticket show up on your permanent record?

Information is golden to insurance companies. Without knowing what sort of drivers they’re insuring, an insurer can end up in the negatives instead of turning a profit. There are several reports available to insurers that detail certain aspects of our past.

When it comes to finding out about speeding tickets, the motor vehicle record (MVR) is the report dejour for insurers. That would be your driving record, on display for all to see, at least in the legal sense.

Your entire driving violation history (not just speeding tickets) is kept on record and available at the click of a button to every insurance company who subscribes to the service.

Once you’re convicted in court of a particular offense that occurred while driving, the ticket shows up on the report. There’s no way around it, and no way for you to prevent it from popping up anytime your license is run through the system.

Your MVR is “run” when you apply for new coverage and when your auto insurance policy renews.

Your premium will not increase mid-term if you get a ticket after your policy is issued. However, you can expect to see a premium increase at your six or 12-month renewal.

Insurers may also deny coverage or non-renew your policy if this isn’t your first or second speeding ticket.

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What else do insurers keep track of?

You can expect to have your insurance claims history reviewed via a C.L.U.E. report, your payment history reviewed via your insurance score, and in some cases, your vehicle’s history reviewed via a CARFAX report.

Additionally, some auto insurers review a ‘household member’ report as part of your application in order to ensure they are charging premium for everyone who lives in your home (or excluding them)…even those family members you forgot to mention.

They also keep track of other instances of a traffic ticket; speeding isn’t the only type of ticket to exist. If you fail to obey traffic signs, or you’ve gotten into some reckless driving in the past that endangered traffic around you, those situations can land you with a traffic ticket as well.

[Do insurance companies report accidents to the DMV?]

How has time impacted what we pay and what insurers look for?

Back in the day, everyone paid about the same for an auto insurance policy. In the ever increasing quest to lower premiums to attract customers, insurers are segmenting us into smaller and smaller groups.

The more accurately we’re segmented, the more appropriate the premium we’re charged.

Instead of everyone paying $100 per month, the ‘best of us’ pay $50 and the ‘worst of us’ pay $150. The best of us being those who practice safe driving habits, and the worst of us being what is considered a high-risk driver – those who may have some sort of infraction on their license. If you’re in the ‘best of us’ group, you’re probably all for this trend.

It’s really about attracting the right clients and everyone paying their ‘fair’ share. Those of us with higher odds of filing a claim will pay more for our insurance.

[Top auto insurance companies]

This may sound a lot like other financial products out there. For example, banks and credit card companies charge higher interest rates to those who present the highest statistical odds of not paying balances off on time or at all.

What are my options?

A speeding ticket or two are not the end of the world. Simply compare auto insurance quotes online to see how much you should be paying with your new speeding ticket factored in.

Depending on the type of insurer you seek coverage from, you may be able to get a better deal than what you had without the ticket by switching. However, don’t think that you can escape your driving record by switching companies. They’ll all have access to your history, and if it’s a less than clean record, you may still end up paying a little more than someone with a clean driving history.

Don’t let this discourage you – paying more for coverage is still better than not having any at all. And if you don’t feel like switching, ask your current insurer if there’s anything that you can do to lower your rates. Shop around, and let them know what you’ve found elsewhere. Sometimes they’ll offer you a better deal to be competitive with their rates.

Read more: What do insurance companies consider a lot of tickets?