Your day just went from “Oh what a beautiful day” to “How fast was I going, officer?”
You sit and wait. It seems like forever, and you hope for a warning ticket. But it isn’t a warning. It’s the real thing. A speeding ticket.
How much will this ticket cost you?
The cost of a speeding ticket in California can be deceptive. The “base fine” is low- just $35 if you were going 1-15 miles per hour over the limit. If you were really speeding, say between 16-25 miles per hour over the limit, it’s still relatively cheap. The base fine is only $70.
If it were just the base fine, the speeding ticket would be nothing more than a minor inconvenience. But there’s more. California adds a 20% surcharge on all speeding tickets, and there are 9 additional fees tacked on to your ticket after that. With these added “assessments,” your California speeding ticket will cost you at least $234. If you were going 16-25 mph over the limit, get ready to pay closer to $400.
Will your insurance rates go up?
Here’s where the cost starts to add up. California uses a point system. A normal speeding ticket is one point, and stays on your public record for three years. Insurance companies use this public record to calculate your premium.
When your insurance company sees a point on your record, you can expect your car insurance rates to go up 15% or more for at least three years.
According to NerdWallet.com, the total cost of a speeding ticket in California for going just 15 mph over the limit was $709.59 in 2014, and most of that is due to the increased cost of insurance!
Can you do anything about it?
Yes, you can! The key to beating the insurance rate increase is to hide the ticket from the insurance companies. That sounds sneaky or wrong. But it’s not.
California law allows for “masking” the ticket from public record… and your insurance company’s eyes. The state will still know that you got that ticket, and your “point” will stay on your record for three years. But it won’t be public. And your rates won’t go up. It’s really that simple.
What’s the catch?
You have to attend traffic school.
What you need to know about traffic school.
- You can’t go to traffic school for major offenses.
- You can only go to traffic school once every 18 months.
- You have to follow all the rules, pay the proper fines and meet certain deadlines.
Go to traffic school. It’s a pain- 8 hours and a test. But it will save you hundreds of dollars over the next few years. Call your local agent for more advice.
Bruce Sackrison is an insurance property and casualty broker affiliated with Professional Insurance Associates helping clients with insurance needs for personal, commercial and business insurance. Bruce can be reached at 707-931-0186, firstname.lastname@example.org