How Do Points Affect my Auto Insurance?

Motor vehicle administrations in each state assign a points system to all traffic accidents and violations. Driving incidents, including traffic tickets and citations for accidents, are each assigned a predetermined number of points. Points on your license play a key role when you are applying for car insurance. If you commit one of these infractions, then you will receive points on your driver’s license. These points become a part of your driving history and insurance companies will review them when they are considering your application. The more points you have on your driving record, the more likely it is that you will have to pay higher rates on your needed car insurance types.

Each state has its own points system as well as rules and regulations regarding how long these points can stay on a driver’s record and how insurance companies can use the points to determine rates. Working within state laws, each insurance company will look at and use these points differently when they are determining the price of your premium. Some auto insurance providers might choose to overlook a small violation, while others might choose to focus on every infraction no matter how small or large it is. Depending on the insurance company, one major violation could raise your rates by as much as 25 percent or more a year.

High Risk Drivers

If you accumulate too many points on your driving record, then you may be classified as a high risk driver. High risk drivers are those who have received numerous tickets, have been involved in several car accidents, or who have been convicted of driving under the influence. Generally, high-risk drivers are much more expensive to insure and, in some cases, are unable to purchase insurance coverage because companies do not want to take the risk of insuring them. Auto insurance companies want to insure drivers who are responsible and thus not likely to be involved in car accidents. High-risk drivers, due to their driving records, are not looked upon as safe, responsible drivers. Instead, insurance companies look at them as great risks. Such drivers can actually cost insurance companies lots of money each year, and this is certainly not profitable for them. To protect themselves against risks like this, insurance companies charge high risk drivers greatly increased rates and sometimes refuse to provide them coverage at all.

Improving Your Record

While each insurance company will use a different method of evaluating your overall risk, points on your license are never good and will work against you. It is safe for you to assume that more points you have on your license, the more likely it is that insurance companies will charge you more for insurance coverage. Points on your license indicate that you are not a responsible driver and that your risk of being involved in an accident is much higher than those with clean driving records. To get the best deal with points affecting auto insurance, you should avoid getting too many points on your driver’s license. If you are involved in an accident or commit a traffic violation, you may be able to complete a driver’s education course that will remove the points from your license. Removing some or all of the points from your license could significantly decrease your car insurance rates. If these programs are unavailable to you, the best thing you can do is work to avoid further incidents in the future. If, after your accident or violation, you keep a clean driving record for long enough, your insurance provider may offer you additional discounts on your policy.