Getting a traffic ticket or receiving a license suspension is probably a big inconvenience, not only to your time but also to your wallet. Plus, just paying the fine and moving on with your life doesn’t mean it’s over and done with. Traffic violations might remain on your driving record for several years, and while they do, they could cause an increase in your auto insurance premiums. Plus, the more penalties you accumulate, the heftier any premium increases are likely to be.
Your driving record is a living document, and it constantly reflects the most recent and most pressing infractions that you have committed behind the wheel. Therefore, the best way to keep your auto insurance premiums from rising as a result is to commit to being a safer driver. The better you take care of yourself on the road, the lower your safety risks might be. This will help you maintain more effective car insurance rates.
What Your Driving Record Represents
Every state keeps a comprehensive driving record on each registered driver. It is linked to the driver’s license number, and their vehicle registration information is also usually reflected on the record. It essentially acts as a report card that tracks your driving habits. Therefore, if you commit a driving offense (speeding, reckless driving, DUIs, at-fault accidents) then a notation of this charge will be added to your driving record.
Therefore, your record will appear as a measurement of your risk behind the wheel. Often, the authorities will assign a certain number of points to your record depending on the type of charge you receive. The more points you accumulate, the higher of a driving risk you will represent. To your auto insurer, the record might prove both an important qualifier for coverage and a determining factor in what your eventual premiums might be.
Your Record Affects Your Ability To Get Auto Insurance
Your driving record shows exactly what type of driver you are. Therefore, when you apply for auto insurance, it will be one of the first things your insurer will look at to determine how likely you are to file a claim with them at some point in the future. This can both determine your premium and even make you eligible or ineligible for certain coverage.
If you make mistakes behind the wheel, then these are indicators of costs risks that you pose to your insurer. After all, if you have a lot of infractions on your record, then you have proven that you might not be the safest driver on the road, and you therefore have a higher likelihood of filing a claim against your policy at some point. As a result, the more likely they are to have to pay you a settlement.
When your insurer has a higher likelihood of having to pay you, then you are likely to have to pay more to make up this cost risk. By charging your more, your insurer is better able to absorb the potential for inflated costs caused by someone who poses more of a driving risk. It might seem unfair, but you have to accept the additional cost burdens that come from your mistakes.
A Real-World High-Risk Driver Scenario
Let’s say that one day, while speeding, you misjudge yourself; You run a stoplight and hit another car. You were speeding when the accident occurred, and as a result you are clearly at fault for the accident. That means that you are likely responsible for paying for not only your own injuries and property damage, but also for the harm that you caused the other driver.
While your auto insurance policy can help you cover these costs, by filing a claim you pose a cost to the insurer. Therefore, the presence of this accident on your driving record is going to represent a risk indicator to any future insurer. Plus, even if you don’t have any at-fault accidents on your record, the presence of multiple speeding tickets could indicate that such a scenario could happen. As a result, your insurer might have to raise your rates just to cover this potential cost should it arise. As a result, you should consider every infraction on your record to add to your insurance risk.
The Record Changes
The good thing about your driving record is that it constantly changes. Most driving records roll over year after year. With time, most infractions will drop off the record. Thus, your insurance risks and premiums might drop as well. Think of it as a conveyor belt; the further you get from an infraction, the less impactful they will be on your insurance risk ratings.
Most states only require simple charges — such as tickets — to remain on your record for about three years. More serious infractions, like DUIs, however, might remain on file for anywhere from 10 – 15 years. Some might even remain on your record permanently.
Don’t run the risk of paying more for your coverage. Rather, simply commit to being a safe driver. While you can’t avoid every mistake, you can follow the rules of the road as best you can. It’s always a better idea to never make risky decisions behind the wheel.
Also Read: Should You Carry Full Coverage Car Insurance on an Older Car?
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