How Your Driving Record Can Affect Your Auto Insurance Costs

23 Feb

Your driving record plays an important role in the determination of your auto insurance premium costs. The logic around this connection comes from the fact that insurers assume a substantial degree of risk in working with you. If you find yourself in an automobile accident, the insurer, resulting in losses for the company, must often pay the resulting damage and injuries.

Insurers will therefore take as few risks as possible, and insuring a dangerous driver encompasses one of the biggest risks they can take.

Yes, Insurers Will Examine Your Driving Record

Most insurers will scrutinize the same motor vehicle safety reports for potential customers. These reports come from data aggregators such as LexisNexis and other data collection firms. These dossiers contain accident histories, previous insurance claims, tickets and fines levied by law enforcement agencies, and other details about your safety history behind the wheel.

Insurers will often check one data source in particular: the Comprehensive Loss Underwriting Exchange from LexisNexis. This dataset contains all previous insurance claims and estimates the likelihood of future claims to give insurers a complete picture of new potential clients.

Insurers will typically examine your driving record when completing the following actions:

  • Applications for new insurance policies.
  • Renewing an extant policy.
  • Retrieving a new insurance quote.

Insurance companies will often look up to 5 years back on your motor vehicle safety record.

How Traffic Violations Can Increase Insurance Costs

In addition to checking various databases and claims histories, insurers will also want to inspect driver safety records from a law enforcement perspective. Traffic violations, including speeding tickets, accidents, and other safety problems can all potentially lead to increased insurance costs.

The more traffic violations you accumulate, the higher your insurance costs will rise.

In fact, accumulating several speeding tickets can even lead to many insurance companies simply forgoing dangerous drivers as customers altogether. To ensure that you remain insurable, you should always follow all safety rules and traffic laws when operating a motor vehicle.

How Long Violations Remain On Your Driving Record

Typically, a safety violation will no longer appear on your driving record after a period of roughly 3 to 5 years, though this time frame can vary depending on several factors, including the specific data source and other relevant regulations. More severe safety violations such as DUIs may remain for a significant length of time.

Some states may also differentiate between a recent driving record and a permanent safety record. However, not all states maintain such a permanent record. To find out more, you can reach out to your local motor vehicle administration office to retrieve a copy of your driving record.

Preventing Safety Violations from Impacting Insurability 

If you have received speeding tickets or other safety violation notices from law enforcement, the following steps may help to prevent these incidents from further impacting your insurance costs:

  • Become a safer driver. Focus on following all local traffic laws and avoiding further speeding
    tickets and other moving violations.
  • Determine if you need new or different coverage. It may help to take a closer look at your
    existing insurance policy to see if you need additional or different coverage.
  • Receive additional driver education. Many driving schools offer continuing driver
    education for adult drivers who have incurred safety violations.

Ultimately, the key to enjoying potentially lower insurance rates revolve around your ability to drive safely and follow the law.

Enjoy Peace of Mind with an Auto Insurance Policy

A licensed insurance agent can help to make a definitive call on how your previous driving record could affect your insurance rates. Get in touch with us today to learn more about our auto insurance offerings.