10 Must-Knows About Insurance Points

Pay attention to your insurance points because they can increase or decrease the amount of premium you pay on car insurance. In brief, these points are violation points assessed against your driving record by your state. Insurance companies check these points before finalizing your quote and have an impact on insurance pricing. Here are 10 things you need to know to keep your costs down.

1. Driving violations are not created equal.

 Some tickets or accidents do not end up on your driving record, like a first-offense, non-moving violation. This includes failure to produce proof of insurance or not wearing a seat belt.

2. Some states do not use a point system.

Many states use it to track violations, but not all of them do. Nine states are currently not using a point system, including Hawaii, Kansas, Louisiana, Minnesota, Mississippi, Oregon, Rhode Island, Washington, and Wyoming. But this does not mean your violations are not being monitored – if you continue to accumulate offenses, your license will be eventually suspended.

3. There is a difference between driver’s license and insurance points.

 To be sure, ask your agent what points are being charged on your auto insurance quote. Some firms charge you for insurance points they assess rather than the points charged against your driver’s license.

4. A driving course may remove insurance points from your driving record.

A good tip to know to keep your auto insurance rates from increasing and keep a driving offense off your driving record: attend an approved driving course, which is often offered in traffic court.

5. Check your driving record before buying an auto policy.

Find out what offenses are listed on your driving record to get an accurate auto insurance quote. If you are not forthcoming about any tickets or accidents, your quote will only go up after the insurer accesses your driving record.

6. Several factors raise your premium.

An increase in premium may be attributed to factors other than points, including poor credit, change in location, or change in vehicle.

7. Some violations definitely raise your auto insurance premium.

These major violations include racing, DUI, impaired or reckless driving, refusing a breath test, hit and run, and so on. You may lose your coverage if you accumulate too many violations and may be considered a high-risk driver.

8. Some violations do not affect your auto insurance.

Minor non-moving violations, especially first-offenses, may not show up on your driving record, such as safety belt, failure to yield, speeding, passing a school bus, expired driver’s license, parking violations, texting, or not displaying license plate.

9. It is difficult to determine how much your insurance premium will increase.

After a ticket or accident, there is no telling how much your premium will increase. Check if your insurer offers accident forgiveness, where rates stay the same after the first accident.

10. A major driving offense can set you back for up to a decade.

The amount of time a driving offense stays on your driving record varies by state. Some insurers check your record as far back as a decade. Ask your agent how their firm uses insurance points and how these affect your auto insurance rates. 

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MJ Usner