Insurance Matters: Speeding tickets hurt cost of insurance premiums

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By Gary Shelton
Wesco Insurance

The fastest speeding ticket on record was issued in May of 2003. The operator was driving a Koenigsegg CCX (fancy Swedish sports car) and was clocked going 242 MPH in a 75 MPH zone. I guess everything may be bigger in Texas, as that’s where the arrest occurred.

This morning started off just like most work days. I was going north on Ranchwood with my cruise control set at 35 MPH headed to the office. Except today, a flatbed truck blew past me as if I were sitting still. It was a girl, my Lord, in a flat-bed Ford, but she wasn’t slowing down to take a look at me. I just knew that the flashing lights would illuminate the sky at any moment. They never did.

What? Everyone knows you don’t fly down Ranchwood! I have never gone down that street without seeing an officer coming from, going to, or parked near the Police Station. The funny part is that I pulled up behind the truck at the red light on Main. We turned onto Main together. Her speeding hadn’t gained her anything, but it could have cost her significantly.

I’m not declaring innocence, because although I don’t speed in town, I am known to be a little heavy footed on the interstate. I haven’t received a speeding ticket since December 11, 1999. It was my birthday, I had the flu, and my wife had family pictures scheduled for that evening and attendance was mandatory. I was in a BIG hurry to get home. Last year I did contribute $118 to the Piedmont Police Department on behalf of my lovely spouse.

Apparently, that’s what going 60 miles per hour in a 45 mph zone costs. But is that all it really costs?

The average fine for receiving a speeding ticket is $150. There are 41 million speeding tickets issued each year in America with fines totaling $6 billion. The DMV has a point system for each traffic violation. The point system ranges from 1 up to the automatic revoking of your license. Oklahoma will add 2 points to your driving record for each speeding ticket. Three points will be added if you receive a ticket for exceeding the speed limit by more than 25 miles per hour. If you receive 10 points in a five-year period, your license will be suspended. If you go 12 consecutive months with no violations, the DMV will remove two points from your record. If you go three years without a violation, all points are removed from your record.

So, the fines are costly and if you’re a repeat offender, you could have issues with the DMV. But there’s more.

One speeding ticket can make your auto insurance go up an average of 13 percent. You may get lucky when your policy renews if the insurance company doesn’t check your MVR and discover the violation, but don’t count on it.

Most likely they will find out and your premiums will increase. I had one client that had two teenage boys in the house. The dad and one son had received a ticket (or two), and the mom and the other son each had an accident. This family of four was paying over $8,000 per year for car insurance. They remained violation and accident free for a couple of years and their insurance cost went down to $3,500 per year.

That’s a 55 percent decrease. This goes to show, a clean driving record can make a huge difference in your cost for auto insurance. Slow down and smell the savings.

If you have any questions or concerns, contact Wesco at 354-5201.