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How Your Driving Record Affects Premiums

Lady with a clean driving record

Compare car insurance quotes and if you don’t have a clean record ask how to reduce insurance costs.

Insurance premiums vary greatly by company or even by location, but there are a few things that will consistently affect what you will wind up paying for your car insurance. Understanding what insurance agents look for when setting your premiums will help you avoid additional charges.

Your driving record will have the biggest impact on what you will be asked to pay for your insurance. In general, the safer your driving record, the less you will have to pay to get an adequate amount of car insurance. Some insurance companies require drivers to have safe record to become eligible for more comprehensive programs at all.

Why Poor Diving Increases Insurance Costs

People know that items on their driving record will increase the cost for their insurance, but they may not necessarily understand why this is the case.

  • Your driving record shows how likely you are to drive carelessly or break the law. The more events you have on your driving record, the less your insurance company is likely to trust you.

  • Your driving record can also result in getting points on your license. If you are at risk for losing your right to drive, your insurance company is taking a great risk in insuring you, which will damage your ability to get coverage.

  • Older items on your driving record are less likely to affect your insurance costs. Companies are more interested to see how you drive today. If you work to improve your driving record, your insurance costs will improve.

Your insurance costs boil down to the risk the company is taking in working with you. Drivers that are careless or take risks are more likely to get into an accident. If you do cause an accident, your insurance company will get stuck paying the costs associated.

The more comprehensive your insurance policy, the more it will cost you because your insurance company will be expected to take on more of these costs, including medical or liability coverage.

Specific Violation Costs

The quotes given to thousands of insurance customers have shed light on how different driving violations will increase the cost of a policy.

  • Different tickets and violations will a variety of percentage points to your insurance account. The more points on your record, the more you will be charged for insurance.

  • Surprisingly, common violations like seatbelt violations, driving with noGetting your license insurance or failure to yield add the fewest points to an insurance record, 3, 6 and 9 percent respectively.

  • Speeding will add different levels of points based on the severity of the violation. Violations under 14 mph add 11 percent to your record and violations between 15-29 mph add 12 percent. Speeding over 30 mph will earn a high 15 percent! However, speeding at a high level can also get you a ticket for reckless driving, which can increase your costs by 22 percent, the highest violation penalty in the market.

  • Tailgating earns customers an additional 13 percent on their insurance policies. Making an improper turn or passing improperly both add 14 percent. Failure to make an adequate stop is slightly higher at 15 percent.

  • If a driver is determined to have been driving carelessly, this can earn 16 percent to their insurance. Driving without a license or the appropriate permits will earn 18 percent and driving while under the influence without a record of these actions earns 19 percent.

Much of how your insurance is affected will depend on how the ticket is filed when you are pulled over. In some cases it is possible to plead down a charge which can help you avoid some of the costs that will affect the price of your insurance.

Other Factors that affect Insurance Price

Your insurance company will want to get a feel for your overall driving personality to get an idea of whether or not you are likely to drive safely.

  • People who are married or have young children are more likely to get discounts as statistically these people are shown to have better driving records.

  • Teenagers are often expensive to insure because they lack experience on the road. However, insurance companies will often drop their insurance costs if your teenager gets good grades in school.

  • People who can prove that they regularly take their car for maintenance show that they have pride in their vehicle. This also shows that your car is less likely to break down, improving your chances of getting a discount.

Any factors that indicate that you will be more careful on the road will increase your car insurance company’s trust. This includes living in an area that has safe roads or avoiding driving in areas where crime levels are high.

Most insurance companies have a list of factors they consider available for new customers to get a feel for what it will cost them to get insurance.

Repairing the Damage

Driving down the roadIf you have a poor driving record, there are a few things you can do to help return your insurance costs to a more affordable rate.

  • Consider joining a car monitoring program to show your insurance company your driving habits have changed.

  • Make improvements to your vehicle or the way you store it to show you are responsible.

  • Do whatever it takes to avoid getting any additional infractions on your record.

Do not wait for your renewal period to show your insurance company you are working on your driving habits. Get a list of everything your company considers when setting your insurance levels and make note of how you can use these to your advantage. Every time you hit a checkpoint your insurance company will be interested in, note this in your records.

This could include saving report cards, using a monitoring device, Apps, or settling a case in court. Provide all this paperwork to your insurance company so they can have a paper trail of your efforts to improve your driving. Insurance premiums are directly related to the effort you put into keeping your driving record clean. The more aware you are about how to lessen your insurance premium, the lesser you’ll have to pay towards your cover. 

Greg Fowler

Greg Fowler

Managing Member of AutoInsureSavings LLC, Greg has been in the insurance industry for 12 years and enjoys rebuilding vehicles. His goal is to help drivers save on anything related to automobiles. Travel and enjoying the outdoors are some of his hobbies. The best way to reach him is at his Twitter or Facebook Profile.

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