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How Does Your Driving History Affect Insurance Rates & How to Deal With It?

Driving safely is the most important thing one should be concerned about. Not only because it lets you reach home safely, also because of the safety of others – be it pedestrians, passengers in your vehicle or people in other vehicles. You may not realize, but your driving skills and driving history also affect your Car Insurance or insurance rates.

Believe it or not, your driving record is examined when you are buying a car insurance as your driving history tells insurers a lot about you. Every speeding ticket or blown stop sign adds up. If you have ever left the scene of an accident or if you’re truly a dangerous driver, your insurance company might drop you altogether if it finds out.

It is because your past driving behavior is considered as a sign of your future behave. However, every car insurance company will have different policies and protocols relating to how they evaluate drivers.

How does your insurance company know if you’ve ever slipped up?

Interesting question here! In order to get the exact answer to it, you may want to know that every motor vehicle infraction you’ve been involved in is tacked onto your driving record by the state. In order to codify the severity of various violations and keep the record of driving history of license holders, most U.S. states use a point system.

You get points for moving violations. For example, incidents where you drive rashly or do something illegal, since they’re seen as more severe than other violations. Other violations like failure to keep your insurance papers, busted tail lights or parking tickets just come with fines.

Now, let’s get back to the question we asked. The first thing insurance companies do to know your driving record is they run a check on your driving record when you apply for a new policy. Remember, it is rarely checked when you renew your policy. So, you don’t have to worry about the driving records if you already have insurance. Of course, you can be worried when getting car insurance quotes for a new policy or switching companies.

How does your driving record affect your car insurance rates?

Your car insurance rates depend upon your age, policy type, insurance provider, your location, and your driving history. Sometimes, even a single speeding ticket can double or triple insurance rate for you. The unmarried drivers who present a higher risk have a better chance of seeing a big premium increase.

Driving Under the Influence

A DUI or DWI is considered a serious violation and the conviction will cause your premiums to go through the roof. The insurance provider may also refuse to renew your policy at all. In such scenarios, you have limited options to choose from, forcing you to settle with the one with higher premiums. You may end up paying double or triple to the normal insurance plans.

When they see a DUI, the insurance companies go on alert as this is indicator of extremely unsafe driving. If you have DUI conviction on your driving records, you may expect to see a rise in your next insurance costs. Keep that in mind that you don’t drive under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs. It’s safe to take a taxi in such conditions.


Nearly 33% of traffic deaths are related to speeding, states the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. If talk about the number of deaths, it is nearly 10,000 lives per year.

There are chances that a single speeding ticket will not have much effect when you look for auto insurance quotes online if you have otherwise clean record of driving. Insurance rates are likely to increase substantially after a speeding ticket if you have a history of accidents and moving violations.

Accidents or Collisions

No matter whether you were at fault or not, getting into a single accident can have a major effect on your insurance policy price. The at-fault claims will result in higher rates and comprehensive claims will lead to lower increased rates. However, it does matter how many times you take the claim. This is the reason not many people opt claim for smaller accidents.

If you have made a number of claims in a short period, such as three claims in three years, your car insurance provider will naturally increase the car insurance quotes.

Traffic Tickets

Traffic tickets play a great role when it comes to show your caliber of driving to the insurance companies. The companies will use the most recent three years of ticket history to evaluate your driving skills. Some of the reasons for this include:

  • They want to know how good (or bad) is your driving at present is.
  • If there is a pattern of driving, they want to know it.
  • If there are only one or two tickets in that time, companies will be lenient and you may get discount.

Note: Photo radar and parking tickets do not count as tickets.

If you have traffic tickets for criminal offenses like failing to stop at the accident scene (hit and run) or DUI, insurance providers will evaluate most recent four years driving history.


Demerits are a clear result of poor driving. Your demerits increase according to the number of traffic tickets that you receive, or an accumulation of tickets.

Although the different states will have different valuations for demerits and the penalties, but you are sure to pay higher premium for your car insurance with demerits. For example, if you are living in Alberta and have 15 or more demerit points within two years, you may face license suspension for one month. The period of suspension can be significantly longer depending on the fraction(s).

Of course, you can go for a defensive driving course to reduce the demerits, but you can’t expect the similar leniency from insurers. After all, those tickets are still there on your driving record.

Note: License suspension due to demerits will affect your star rating.

How to clear your driving record

No one wants to face the tickets or the flashing police light in the rearview. But keep in mind that nothing is unrepairable. So, here are some steps you can take to clean up your record and get the cheap insurance car policy.

Contest questionable tickets

According to the NMA (National Motorists Association), only one out of 20 drivers contests a ticket. Of course, it can take some time but it is worth the efforts, especially if you have a shaky driving record. There may be incidents when you got a ticket for speeding while you were rushing to get to a hospital or maybe you had a non-functional or poorly calibrated speedometer.

Take a driver safety course

A state-approved defensive driving course can help the license holders to wipe away the penalty points or to get tickets dismissed. But, remember that it is only a remedy for the minor mistakes such as moderate speeding or failure to yield. Criminal moving violations like hit-and-run or DUI won’t be erased with it.

Resolve fix-it tickets

Fix-it tickets can be issues for a range of violations. Some most common examples of the “fix-it tickets” include broken taillights, missing license plates, non-functional signal light, etc. If you get a ticket for any such issue, address the matter right away. Depending upon your location, non-mechanical violations can also be treated as correctable violations. Resolving these tickets will keep them off your record— and your insurer’s radar.

Request expangement

Don’t wait for the penalty points to expire. Instead, request that the violation be expunged from your record. In many states it is possible, for example you are eligible to expunge certain violations after three years if you are living in Maryland. You can request only if you haven’t committed any moving violations or your license is not suspended. This can be especially helpful when looking for the cheap insurance car policies and save a lot of your funds.

Tips for Young Drivers

As a young driver, you may want to try your hands on the highest speed level you can achieve or you may want to escape from a car accident scene in order to protect yourself. Keep in mind that driving safely not only helps you stay away from criminal proceedings, but also to get low insurance rates. Tips on getting the best rates for you include:

  • Make sure to take a driver-training course from a recognized company.
  • Avoid gaining experience as a principal driver of your own vehicle. Gain experience as a named occasional driver under the insurance policy of a guardian as this can be more beneficial.

As a young driver, creating a positive impression and clean driving record free of driving conviction is the best way to ensure low future premiums from the best car/auto insurance companies.

Stretching your hard-earned dollars to get the best policy with lower cost should be a priority. And the best way for it is to stay attentive on road and follow traffic rules. The safer you are on the road, the less you’re likely to pay.


Also, Read More

After a Car Accident Protect Your Legal Rights – Car Accident Lawyer

Free Car Insurance Quotes – Looking For Buying First Car

Coverage of Automobile Insurance – Auto Insurance

Personal Injury Lawyer and Attorney – Get Accident Claim

♦ Basics of Automobile Insurance

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