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Many, but not all, states have a points-based system that keeps tabs of each driver’s citations and accidents.
Everything from a speeding ticket to a DUI can add points to your record, and some events will result in the accumulation of more points than other events. Many states impose fines, license suspensions, or other penalties depending on how many points you have.
Many states impose the following depending on how many points you have:
- license suspensions
- other penalties
If you have recently learned that points were added to your driver’s license, you may be wondering how this will affect your auto insurance policy and rates.
Most states do report points to insurance companies, and this means that your insurance company likely will quickly learn about your most recent tickets or other driving issues.
While this can cause your insurance rates to go up, it does not always result in a premium increase. In addition, there are many other factors that can cause your insurance rates to increase as well.
By learning more about how insurance rates are impacted by your driving history and record, you can take steps to keep your rates as low as possible.
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How Insurers Analyze Your Driving History
Auto insurers typically determine your rates by taking an analytical approach. They will review statistical details on everything from your age and gender to your driving history and more to determine their risk associated with insuring you.
Drivers that have a higher risk will be charged a higher premium.
Points being added to your record is a sign that your driving history has changed, and insurers are very interested in your driving record.
Some drivers think that they need to file a claim after a car accident or obtain new coverage for their driving history to be reviewed again by their insurance company, but this is not the case.
Each time your policy renews regardless of if you filed an insurance claim recently or not, your updated driving history will be reviewed.
You should also be aware that buying a new policy or renewing an existing policy also results in the review of other related factors that can affect your insurance rates.
For example, new theft statistics for your zip code and new accident statistics for your make and model of vehicle are only a few of the updated details that insurers will review.
Remember that most policies renew every six to 12 months, so your rates can change dramatically within a short period of time in some cases.
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How Insurance Companies Obtain Your Updated Driving History
Insurance companies can obtain your driving history in several ways.
When you contact a provider for a new quote, they will ask you for details about citations you have received and accidents you have been in within the last few years.
However, they will also confirm that the information you provide to them is accurate by pulling data from your state’s motor vehicle’s department.
While your points history tallied by the state will be reviewed, your insurance company usually will have its own method for analyzing your driving history.
Therefore, if your state has a maximum of 10 points permitted on your record before you lose your license, this does not also mean that you will automatically lose your insurance after you reach 10 points.
Nonetheless, with several infractions on your driving record, you can reasonably expect to pay a higher rate or to have trouble finding an insurance provider that will insure you.
Exploring Ways to Save Money If You Have a Bad Driving Record
If your insurance rates have increased because of a bad driving record or for other reasons, rest assured that there are some steps that you can take to save money on your insurance premium. These are some of the steps you can take to save money on your premium:
- Ask for a higher insurance deductible
- Lower your coverage limits
- Eliminate optional coverage
- Bundle your policies
- Shop for lower rates
Maximizing the Benefit of Insurance Discounts
While these steps will help you to identify immediate opportunities to save money on your auto insurance premium, there may be other methods available to help you save money as well.
For example, auto insurance providers usually offer their customers multiple discounts. When you shop for new insurance rates, ask different providers about the qualifications for these common discounts:
- A discount for taking a driver’s education course
- A discount for safety or security features in your vehicle
- A low mileage discount
- A student discount
- A senior citizen discount
What if you can’t get insurance because of your driving record?
While some drivers will see their insurance rates increase because of a poor driving history, others may have their coverage canceled. If this happens, you may discover that other providers are not willing to extend coverage to you as well.
There are a few options available to get coverage if you find yourself in this situation.
– Your State’s High-Risk Insurance Pool
Your state may have a high-risk insurance pool that you can obtain coverage from. The rates can be very expensive for this type of coverage, but if you have no other options available, it will at least help you to comply with state laws regarding minimum coverage.
– Safe Driving Habits
Accidents and citations can remain on your driving record for several years, but eventually, they will fall off of your record. Over the course of the next few years, you should make a strong effort to improve your driving habits.
For example, you can follow all posted signs, drive the speed limit, and avoid aggressive driving behavior. Taking a driver’s safety course may also be beneficial.
Some accidents on your driving history may not be your fault, but all accidents and citations may be taken into consideration by auto insurance companies.
Your state’s tally of points may affect your legal right to drive, but your insurer’s review of your driving history affects your insurance rates and insurability. With this in mind, it makes sense to focus on driving as safely as possible going forward.
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