As a New York traffic ticket lawyer, I am often asked “Will a conviction to a New York speeding ticket affect my insurance rates?” This question is often asked because insurance rates are one of the primary reasons why someone would want to fight a speeding ticket. The short answer is “maybe”.
Under Insurance Law Section 2335, New York insurance companies may raise a motorist’s insurance rates for a number of reasons. The ones involving the issuance of traffic tickets are set forth below:
- Motorist is convicted of driving sixteen (16) miles per hour (or more) over the limit
- Motorist is convicted of speeding and/or reckless driving on 3 or more occasions
- Motorist is convicted of speeding or reckless driving where injury or death results
- Motorist is convicted of driving while intoxicated or impaired (alcohol or drugs)
- Motorist is convicted of leaving the scene of an accident without reporting it
- Motorist is convicted or 2 or more moving violations
So what does this mean?
For a motorist with a clean record (i.e., no points, no accidents), a conviction to most “small” moving violations will NOT result in your insurance rates being raised. Examples of such violations are speeding 15 mph (or less), disobey a red light, running a stop sign, failure to signal, and improper turns.
A second conviction, however, to a “small” offense can be used to raise your rates. Further, a conviction to speeding 16+ mph alone is enough for your insurance company to raise your rates.
The next question commonly asked is “How long will a traffic conviction be held against me for insurance rate purposes?” The answer is 36 months from the date of conviction.
The lesson behind Section 2335 is that it does not take much for an insurance company to have a basis to raise your rates. One “big” speeding ticket (16+ mph) or two “small” traffic tickets is enough. Therefore, it is generally worthwhile fighting any New York speeding ticket or traffic, and try and reduce or eliminate points.