How Does My Driving History Affect My Insurance Rates?

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Your driving history tells insurance companies a lot about you.

driving history and insurance ratesInsurers are in the job of assessing risk, and if your driving history is riddled with lots of examples of bad judgment and unsound driving habits, most insurance companies will look at you as a bad customer and might refuse you coverage. Or, if they do provide coverage, they’ll make you pay high premiums.

That’s just one more reason to obey all traffic laws and steer clear (pun intended) of accidents.

Your past driving behavior is a sign of your future behave, and your driving history is a big factor in how your risk is looked at and, in turn, how your premiums get calculated. Let’s take a look at how your driving record affects your car insurance rates.

Amount Your Premiums Will Go Up

How much your rates go up depends on your insurance provider, age, policy type, where you live, and your driving history. Sometimes, even a single wreck or speeding ticket can double or triple your rate. And, younger drivers who usually present the highest risk to an insurer have a better chance of seeing a big premium increase.

How Long Will The Increase Last?

Most insurance providers will increase your premiums for three years after a major moving violation conviction, and they might do so for an at-fault wreck, as well.

Your rates should go down when this time period is over if you don’t get into any more accidents or rack up any more serious offenses. However, your insurance company will keep track of all your accidents and traffic violations and will use this information when deciding whether or not they want to continue offering you coverage.

DMV Points And Your Driving History

A lot of states use a points system for tickets and serious moving violations. The points will go on your driving record and stay for designated periods of time (determined by your state and by the type of violation). The more points you get, the more likely you are to have your license suspended or revoked, and the higher the risk you are to an auto insurance company.

If your insurance company considers you a “high-risk driver”, you will have to pay much higher car insurance rates. The reason your premiums will go up is that you’re more likely to file a claim. The insurance companies just have to cover themselves.

There are plenty of reasons to keep a good driving record. One of the best reasons is that you’ll pay less each month in car insurance premiums.

DWI or DUI? Your Premiums Will Go Way Up!

A DUI or DWI conviction will cause your premiums to go through the roof! Your carrier might even refuse to renew your policy at all. If that happens to you, your insurance choices will be limited, forcing you to maybe settle for another carrier with higher premiums. You might even have to get a very expensive policy from your state’s car insurance plan.

Keep in mind that insurance is all about risk, and having a DWI or DUI conviction on your driving record can make you a very unappealing customer for most insurance providers.

Just don’t drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Your auto insurance rates will skyrocket!

Insurance companies go on red alert when they see a DWI because this is a sign of an extremely high-risk driver. If you have a DUI on your record, you can expect a huge increase in your insurance premiums.

Don’t Speed!

Speeding is a very common – but potentially fatal – moving violation.

The NHTSA reports that nearly 33% of traffic fatalities are related to speeding, and speeding kills almost 10,000 people each year.

Just one speeding ticket might not affect your auto insurance rates much if you have a pretty clean driving record, but your rates might go up a lot if you have a history of wrecks and moving violations.


Getting into a single accident can have a major effect on your insurance premiums, even if you weren’t the at-fault driver.  This is the reason why many people opt to not file an insurance claim for smaller accidents.

Keeping Track Of Your Driving Record

Since points on your driving record can take such a toll, it’s crucial to monitor your driving record. Make sure you know what’s on your record, and check it regularly for accuracy.

It’s crucial to check your record if you are looking around for auto insurance quotes, or if it’s almost time to renew your existing policy.

DMV offices can make mistakes from time to time and sometimes post incorrect driving history information that can make your car insurance rates go up. A traffic violation that should have been removed from your driving record a long time ago could add hundreds of dollars to your premiums every year.

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