Speeding Ticket? 15 States Where Your Insurance Rate Will Spike the Most

Jim Carrey in Liar Liar

Jim Carrey in Liar Liar gets caught for speeding | Universal Pictures

When was the last time you were cruising along on an empty road, only to look down at the speedometer to see you were going 15 miles per hour over the speed limit? It happens every now and then to all of us, but those lapses in cruise control can cost you big-time, depending on where you live.

Not only will the speeding ticket itself cost you a pretty penny, but you can also expect your auto insurance rate to jump, too. As the Department of Motor Vehicles explains, a number of variables are a play here. Most importantly, auto insurance companies will see you got a speeding ticket, thus making you more of a risk for getting in a car accident later. Each company evaluates those risks differently, but generally the number of tickets and how much over the limit you were driving are significant factors.

The state in which you live can also impact how much you pay for insurance. Base rates vary depending on where you live, and so does the average rate hike after a speeding ticket.

According to a recent analysis by NerdWallet, the average American pays $1,394.33 per year for auto insurance without any infractions. If you get a speeding ticket (Nerd Wallet looked at incidents from 11 to 15 mph over the speed limit), the nationwide average jumps to $1,586.62 — a 14% increase in your rate. In other words, unless you have a forgiveness option in your policy, you should likely expect at least some type of increase the next time your insurance is renewed.

In particular states, the consequences can be much higher than that 14%. In all of the 15 states listed below, the percentage increase was more than the national average. (In the event of percentage increase ties, states were organized in order of the average insurance cost after the ticket.) If you live in these areas, you might want to think twice before flooring it on your next road trip, or pushing the speed limit when you’re late to work.

15. Maine (tie)

Maine scenery

Maine | Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP/Getty Images

  • Average insurance rate without an incident: $961.07
  • Average insurance rate with a speeding ticket: $1,127.28
  • Percentage increase: 17%

All things considered, car insurance in Maine averages out to be less than the national benchmark. The average premium even with a speeding ticket is less than the national rate without infractions. However, drivers who get a speeding ticket will see their insurance rates jump by an average 17% — enough to land them in the top 15 states with the highest insurance spikes. The costs may be lower compared to some other states, but no one wants to see that much of a spike in their budget.

14. Mississippi (tie)

Welcome to Mississippi sign by a road

Welcome to Mississippi | iStock.com/Meinzahn

  • Average insurance rate without an incident: $1,487.05
  • Average insurance rate with a speeding ticket: $1,742.75
  • Percentage increase: 17%

We travel south to the Magnolia State for the next rate increase, also at 17% after a speeding ticket. However, premiums here start higher than in Maine, meaning that drivers are already paying more out of pocket for their regular insurance, let alone the increase that comes after pretending to be Dale Earnhardt Jr. driving through the Delta region.

13. Delaware (tie)

Capitol building in Dover in Delaware

Capitol building in Dover in Delaware | iStock.com/prosiaczeq

  • Average insurance rate without an incident: $1,534.20
  • Average insurance rate with a speeding ticket: $1,801.03
  • Percentage increase: 17%

Drivers in Delaware already have one of the highest starting premiums on our list, which should deter most people from risking an even higher cost. But if drivers get caught speeding, they’ll see a spike of 17% on average.

12. Nevada (tie)

Las Vegas street view

Las Vegas, Nevada | Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images

  • Average insurance rate without an incident: $1,591.00
  • Average insurance rate with a speeding ticket: $1,865.33
  • Percentage increase: 17%

As with Delaware, drivers in Nevada are among the five most expensive baseline premiums on our list. Zooming down the Vegas strip is not advised. But if they decide to take a gamble and get caught, their premiums will also jump an average of 17%.

11. Iowa

Farm buildings near Route 6 in Iowa

Road scene in Iowa | Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

  • Average insurance rate without an incident: $958.97
  • Average insurance rate with a speeding ticket: $1,138.47
  • Percentage increase: 19%

Similar to Maine, drivers in Iowa enjoy lower-than-average auto insurance premiums compared with the rest of the country. Both the baseline and the premium after a speeding ticket remain well below the national averages for both categories. Still, drivers used to those low costs will be in for quite a shock when their bill jumps an average of 19% after a speeding ticket.

10. California

LA traffic

Los Angeles traffic | David McNew/Getty Images

  • Average insurance rate without an incident: $1,248.70
  • Average insurance rate with a speeding ticket: $1,503.12
  • Percentage increase: 20%

It’s hard to imagine getting 15 miles above the speed limit in the traffic jams of Los Angeles, but drivers across the state of California risk an insurance hike of 20% on average if they get caught. Also, the spread of states so far in our list shows that geography doesn’t play much of a role in which states have the highest increases: They tend to be scattered all over the country.

9. Ohio

The Scioto river reflects Downtown Columbus Ohio

Columbus, Ohio | iStock.com/David Rigg

  • Average insurance rate without an incident: $976.12
  • Average insurance rate with a speeding ticket: $1,192.95
  • Percentage increase: 22%

Getting a speeding ticket driving in Ohio will take your premiums from below $1,000 to well over it, with an average 22% hike.

8. Massachusetts

street signs

The intersection of Brattle and John F. Kennedy streets is seen in Cambridge, Massachusetts | Darren McCollester/Getty Images

  • Average insurance rate without an incident: $1,136.40
  • Average insurance rate with a speeding ticket: $1,397.97
  • Percentage increase: 23%

Plan to speed your way through Boston? Not only is that nearly impossible thanks to colonial-era winding roads and a large population of drivers, but it also means you’d risk an insurance hike of 23% on average.

7. Wisconsin (tie)

State Capitol building in Madison Wisconsin

State Capitol building in Madison, Wisconsin | iStock.com/csfotoimages

  • Average insurance rate without an incident: $987.93
  • Average insurance rate with a speeding ticket: $1,239.78
  • Percentage increase: 25%

Drivers in Wisconsin face a penalty of insurance rates increasing by a full quarter on average if they get caught with the pedal to the floor. A low baseline premium keeps the rate from being too astronomical, however.

6. Florida (tie)

People and cars move down the street near bycicle parking

Road in Miami Beach | iStock.com/lavendertime

  • Average insurance rate without an incident: $1,803.40
  • Average insurance rate with a speeding ticket: $2,261.67
  • Percentage increase: 25%

Florida drivers face the same percentage increase as drivers in Wisconsin do, but higher-than-average baselines mean that drivers in the Sunshine State will face much higher out-of-pocket costs. Of the states on our list, only three (including Florida) have penalty premiums of more than $2,000.

5. Arizona

Phoenix Arizona with its downtown lit

Phoenix, Arizona | iStock.com/Dreamframer

  • Average insurance rate without an incident: $1,130.10
  • Average insurance rate with a speeding ticket: $1,423.82
  • Percentage increase: 26%

Arizona breaks the top five states with the highest insurance spikes. When drivers are caught speeding on their way to the Grand Canyon, they can expect an average increase in their premiums of 26%.

4. Connecticut

highway traffic

Highway traffic | Spencer Platt/Getty Images

  • Average insurance rate without an incident: $1,737.27
  • Average insurance rate with a speeding ticket: $2,208.05
  • Percentage increase: 27%

Northeastern states have a high number of commuters, high populations in general, and high insurance rates as a result. Drivers in Connecticut have an above-average insurance baseline, which spikes by an average of 27% when they’re caught speeding. With those two factors, Connecticut is the second of three states with a penalty premium above $2,000.

3. New York

New York traffic

Traffic in New York City | Michael Nagle/Getty Images

  • Average insurance rate without an incident: $1,921.28
  • Average insurance rate with a speeding ticket: $2,564.00
  • Percentage increase: 33%

You’re better off taking a taxi or an Uber through the Big Apple — especially if you have a lead foot. Drivers across the Empire state start with a baseline insurance rate that’s higher than many state’s penalty rate. If they’re caught speeding, those drivers can expect premiums to swell by an average of 33%. With an average penalty rate of $2,564.00, New York has the highest post-ticket rate on our list.

2. Wyoming

Buffalo on the road in Wyoming

Buffalo join the morning commute on Highway 89 at Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming | MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images

  • Average insurance rate without an incident: $1,195.92
  • Average insurance rate with a speeding ticket: $1,879.78
  • Percentage increase: 57%

Drivers in Wyoming might have a lot of wide open spaces, but they’re penalized heavily if they take too much advantage of those open roads. Insurance rates grow by an average of 57% if a driver is caught speeding — definitely not an invoice we’d like to see show up in our mailbox.

1. North Carolina

Raleigh Skyline in North Carolina

Raleigh, North Carolina | iStock.com

  • Average insurance rate without an incident: $871.50
  • Average insurance rate with a speeding ticket: $1,407.63
  • Percentage increase: 62%

With a base rate of $871, drivers in North Carolina have the lowest average base insurance rate on our list. However, drivers get their just desserts if they decide to turn their highways into a hometown Daytona racetrack. Rates increase by a whopping 62% on average. You’ll see that penalty rate is still lower than some other states by comparison, but that would be of little comfort to drivers used to paying a much lower insurance bill.

Interestingly enough, NerdWallet’s report also shows that North Carolina also penalizes its drivers the most if they’re cited with a DUI. The base rate jumps to an average of $4,076.87 — skyrocketing 368% from the initial premium.

And one more thing: Just because these states have the highest percentage increases doesn’t mean they’re automatically paying the most for insurance. States like New Jersey, Rhode Island, Louisiana, and Michigan start with baseline premiums of more than $2,300, but the percentage increases are smaller than the 17% that starts our list. Drivers in Michigan pay the most, with baseline premiums averaging $3,592.50.

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