Your driving history is one of the biggest factors in determining what you pay for car insurance. If you drive for several years without causing an accident or committing a violation, you will earn lower auto insurance rates. Companies recognize that safer drivers are less likely to crash (and file a claim) compared to a driver with a history of risky behavior.
Not all violations are created equal. Some minor infractions, like a parking ticket or a similar fix-it ticket, might not increase your rate at all. Others, like excessive speeding or a DUI conviction, can lead to a significant rate increase or policy cancellation.
The DMV assigns a point value to each violation. Depending on the severity and count, it goes toward your eligibility to maintain a valid driver’s license. These points stay on your record for a 2 year period starting at the conviction date. However, these are separate from insurance eligibility points. Insurance companies also assess a point value for each violation and these can differ from the points the DMV assigns. Most auto insurance carriers go back 3-5 years for all violations. Most carriers consider you an ineligible driver if you have accumulated 7 points in a 3 year period.
A great example of the point/eligibility differences can be found in the answer to a question we are asked quite frequently. “I got a 5 over speeding ticket and the police said it was zero points. Why has my insurance rate gone up?” The DMV may have charged zero points on your driving record for this minor violation, but because it does show up on your driving record most insurance carriers will charge for the ticket during a 3 year period. As a general rule of thumb, if the violation shows up on your record, it will impact your insurance rates.
If you have any more questions on how you can improve your auto rates, call our office today!