How Can your Driving History Lower Insurance Costs?

It’s important to practice safe driving, not only for safety purposes but also for cheaper insurance rates, as well.  In the following information, we’ll explain how having a good driving record can lower the cost of auto insurance. 

Several insurance companies offer a discount to safe drivers based on their past driving performances.  Individuals who have only a small amount of traffic violations and/or accidents on their record will receive a discounted auto insurance rate. 

Most states use a point system for individuals who have been ticketed for a moving violation.  Examples of common moving violations include speeding, running a red light, illegal U-turns and more.  When these points add up, they can result in higher insurance premiums and even cause a driver to lose their license.  Therefore, it’s important to understand this system and to discover how to get the best deal for auto insurance. 

The specifics are different for each state, but most point systems operate in one of the following ways:

*Point system 1: A single point is assigned to each moving violation, however, two points are given for reckless driving such as, speed violations that are in excess of the speed limit.  With this system, a person’s license is suspended when they receive four points in one year, six points in a two-year period or eight points in a three-year period. 

*Point system 2: Minor moving violations are assigned two points, for instance, driving slightly over the speed limit or making an illegal turn.  More serious violations are assigned three, four or five points.  Serious violations may include excessive speed or running a red light.  With this system, a person will have their license revoked if they receive at least 12 points in a three-year period. 

A few states also assign points for accidents, as well, if an individual is determined at fault.  Some state laws will not allow insurance companies to increase premiums for individuals who have added one point to their record.  Additionally, some states assign two different types of points to drivers with moving violations: driver’s license points and insurance points. 

Individuals, who have received a ticket for a moving violation, should check the code violation number, which should be written on the front of the ticket.  After locating the code, they should call the local DMV to ask if the violation will add points to their record, how many points are currently on their record (a visit to the DMV may be required in order to get a copy of this information) and also ask how many points they are allowed before their license is suspended. 

The vast majority of insurance companies will review the customer’s driving record and are known to raise the premium after an individual receives a certain number of points.  Therefore, it’s important for an individual to contact their insurance company to find out what their policies are rather than being surprised.  Most insurance companies allow just one moving violation every three to five years.  If an individual gets more than one citation (or is involved in an accident that is deemed their fault) during this period, their premiums will increase.  If this is the case, the premium increase is substantial and can go up as much as 20 to 30 percent, which is a great reason why it is important to practice safe driving. 

There are ways to remove the points or avoid them, altogether, to avoid an increase in insurance premiums.  These methods include contesting the ticket, attending traffic school and attending defensive driving classes. 

A safe driving record can substantially lower the rates on the premium, meaning that there’s one more reason to drive safe — to save money!

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