Points affect your auto insurance rates negatively. What this means is that the more points you have, the higher your auto insurance rates are going to be. What is surprising is that most people don’t realize that there are two types of points considered when determining what your rates will be.
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When an insurance company determines how much your rates will be, they look at the points you have accumulated on your driver’s license and insurance company points. These aren’t the only two things that the company will look at, but they have a major impact on what you will pay for your auto insurance.
What is the difference between driver’s license points and insurance company points?
When you are ticketed in a car accident , pulled over for speeding, arrested for drunk driving or pulled over for other traffic violations, points are assigned to your driver’s license. The point system varies from state to state, as do the penalties associated with each of the different violations.
Insurance points work a little differently. Every time you file a claim, are late making an insurance premium payment, or your credit score drops , points are applied to your insurance company score. Much like driving points, insurance points vary between companies.
In addition to points being added or taken away based on a number of factors, points are assigned based on your driving record, essentially on the points accumulated on your driver’s license. For example, if you have 10 points on your license, the insurance company may apply an eight point penalty to your insurance points.
The higher your points are, the more you will pay for your premiums. It takes about 3 years for something to cycle off of your insurance points; however, the points will reduce over time, as long as your record stays clean.
Am I allowed to see how many points the insurance company has assigned?
That will depend on the insurance company you choose. Many auto insurance companies will share in detail the reason that they have made a certain decision about your insurance premiums. However, there are some companies that will only tell you that you have points, but not how many.
An insurance company is not legally obligated to explain to you why your premiums are what they are. Usually they will, at least to some degree, but they don’t have to. Knowing what your driving record is, as well as your claims record, will help prevent any surprises when you get your car insurance quote.
If you think that the insurance company is charging you more than they should, then you need to consider auto insurance quotes from other companies. At the very least, this will let you see how their rates compare to others; at the most, you may find that you can save a lot of money by making a switch.
You can also file a complaint with your state’s Department of Insurance. You need to be aware, however, that most states have guidelines under which an insurance company can operate, including how much they can charge. As long as they fall within those guidelines, the complaint will be considered invalid.
Is there a way to get rid of points on my driving record and my insurance report?
Most states have programs that allow you to get points removed from your driver’s license. Usually this comes in the form of a class, such as defensive driving, and takes several hours to complete.
However, if the points have already been assigned to your driving record and the insurance company has already sold you insurance based on those points, then you will have to wait until its time for a renewal before you will see a drop in your rates.
This is the benefit of a 6 month policy versus a 1 year policy. Of course, the downside is if you have an accident or get more points then your rates will increase at renewal time as well.
How can I avoid getting points on my driving and insurance report?
Of course, driving safely is an important aspect of ensuring that you don’t accumulate points for either of these things. In addition to that, you need to check your vehicle each day for things that would cause you to get a ticket.
Many people don’t realize that their safe driving discount can be eliminated because they get a simple fix it ticket for a broken tail light or obscured license plate. By ensuring that everything on your car is in order, you can ensure that your points are kept to a minimum.
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