How & Why Speeding Tickets Increase Your Car Insurance Premiums

A man driving a car

November 30, 2020

Albertans are no strangers to speeding tickets. In 2018 alone, 378 619 speeding tickets were issued by photo and laser radar in Alberta, on top of 138 298 tickets for speeding caught by intersection cameras. That’s not to mention all of the in-person tickets written by police, RCMP, and peace officers. 

Although the immediate consequences of a ticket can sting, it’s actually the long-term consequences that might make Albertans want to ease up on the gas pedal. Speeding tickets (and other types of traffic violations) will also have a negative effect on your insurance premiums. And although most people know that it will have an impact, it’s hard to put a finger on exactly how and why that happens. Let’s look at how speeding tickets are viewed in the insurance world. 

How Will a Speeding Ticket Affect Your Auto Insurance?

In Alberta, there are two types of speeding tickets you could receive: a regular traffic violation (for going 1-49 km/h over the speed limit) and a serious traffic violation (for going 50 km/h or more over the limit or for speeding in a playground/school zone). 

The amount of each offence varies, and so do the effects on your auto insurance at renewal time.  your auto insurance will likely go up the next time you renew your policy. Serious traffic violations will have a far more significant effect on your insurance than regular traffic violations. Similarly, the frequency of infractions can also affect premium increases. The more tickets you get, the more you’ll have to pay in insurance premiums.

How Long Will a Traffic Violation Affect My Insurance?

In Alberta, a regular traffic violation will generally remain on your record for three years from the date you paid the fine. Serious traffic violations will affect your insurance premiums for significantly longer. Either way, a single speeding ticket will force you to pay additional money for at least three years. 

Do Photo Radar Tickets Affect My Insurance? 

While police-issued tickets will increase your insurance premiums, photo radar is an exception in Alberta. Photo radar tickets will not affect your insurance, in the same way they also won’t count towards demerits or go on your permanent driving record.

Could I Receive A Ticket for Going 5 Km/Hr Over the Speed Limit?

It’s a common misconception that you’ll only receive a speeding ticket for going 10 km/hr or more over the speed limit. Technically, you can be fined for going even 1 km/hr over the limit. As with any speeding ticket, a ticket of such little severity can still increase your insurance, showcasing the importance of really sticking to that posted limit whenever possible. 

What If I Get a Ticket in Another Province?

Even if you’re in another province when you receive a speeding ticket, it will still have an impact on your insurance premiums. Once you pay the fine, an out-of-province traffic violation will remain on your record for three years and will most likely increase your premium.

How Much Will a Speeding Ticket Increase My Premium?

Every insurance company has different rules and regulations that are subject to regulatory standards. Depending on your insurance company, your premium could increase more than it would with a different company, so there’s no exact number available for how much your premiums will increase. This is why it often pays to shop with an experienced insurance broker in Edmonton; this is someone who can shop around for renewal rates on your behalf. 

On top of that, increases due to speeding tickets will also change depending on the severity of the ticket, the number of tickets you’ve received in the past, and any other violations that were recorded in addition to the original speeding ticket (such as running a red light). 

However, the amount of demerits you have has no effect on your insurance premiums. Demerits are used for licensing purposes in Alberta but will not affect your insurance. 

What If I Don’t Pay My Fine on Time?

Unfortunately, avoiding payment won’t pay off in the long run. While your auto insurance premiums will not increase until your speeding ticket fine has been paid, a late payment will result in an additional late fee. On top of that, until your ticket is paid, you will be unable to renew your vehicle registration and access any services from a registry agent. 

Will My Insurer Know About My Speeding Ticket?

Your insurance company will not be immediately contacted about your speeding ticket but will find out about it and any other violations upon your policy renewal, as insurers usually check your driver abstract during the renewal process. Always be upfront and honest with your insurance broker so that you can find the best options for you. 

Why Do Speeding Tickets Increase My Insurance Premiums?

You may be wondering why your auto insurance will increase with a speeding ticket when you’re already paying a fine for it. The truth is that speeding accounts for thousands of car accidents every year. In 2017, 25% of drivers in fatal collisions were driving at unsafe speeds. 

Overall, the risk associated with your driving increases when you’re fined for speeding. In turn, your insurance rates increase as well. Since you’re being seen as a riskier driver than someone without these traffic violations, your premiums will increase.

Many drivers are unaware of all the consequences and risks that come with a seemingly simple violation like speeding. The prospect of a raised insurance premium acts as an additional incentive for all Albertans to maintain the proper speed limit, and therefore protect themselves and others from avoidable car accidents.

Get Cost-Effective Auto Insurance

At Cornerstone Insurance Brokers, we want to make your experience with auto insurance as easy and smooth as possible. We’re here to help you explore every option for auto insurance, so you can find the one that works perfectly for you. Whether you need first car insurance or commercial auto insurance, we can provide you with a reliable insurance policy.

Have questions about our auto insurance? Want to talk about your options? Get in touch or receive your auto insurance quote today!

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