How will points affect auto insurance rates?

If a violation is reported on your driving record, your auto insurance company can take action. The points affect auto insurance rates, causing an increase if your insurance company finds out. Wondering will 2 penalty points affect my insurance? It varies. Attending a traffic school can help with matters.

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Leslie Kasperowicz holds a BA in Social Sciences from the University of Winnipeg. She spent several years as a Farmers Insurance CSR, gaining a solid understanding of insurance products including home, life, auto, and commercial and working directly with insurance customers to understand their needs. She has since used that knowledge in her more than ten years as a writer, largely in the insuranc...

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Dan Walker graduated with a BS in Administrative Management in 2005 and has been working in his family’s insurance agency, FCI Agency, for 15 years (BBB A+). He is licensed as an agent to write property and casualty insurance, including home, auto, umbrella, and dwelling fire insurance. He’s also been featured on sites like and Safeco. He reviews content, ensuring that ex...

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Reviewed by Daniel Walker
Licensed Auto Insurance Agent

UPDATED: Jul 14, 2021

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Things to Remember...

  • Points on your driving record will negatively affect your auto insurance rates
  • Point systems vary state to state
  • Different traffic violations warrant different point percentages
  • Taking a defensive driving course is a great way to lower your car insurance premiums
  • Depending on the rules and regulations in your state, online classes are a fast, efficient, and economical way to avoid costly insurance increases following a minor traffic offense
  • Many cases, once completed, classes will be acknowledged directly by the state motor vehicle department and the results will be shared with your insurance company

Points affect auto insurance rates negatively. What this means is that the more points you have, the higher your auto insurance rates are going to be. How much impact will 2 penalty points affect my insurance will undoubtedly vary, but if you want to avoid payment increases to your auto insurance rates, attending driving school can help.

How much does insurance go up after 4 points? What about 2 points? 3 points? The short answer is, it varies. 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.

Auto insurance companies check your driving record for points you have accumulated on your driver’s license and insurance company points in order to determine how much your rates will be.

You can still find cheap car insurance for drivers with penalty points. Getting affordable auto insurance is easy; just enter your ZIP code right now!

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. Do you have to declare speeding ticket points to your car insurance? (You should always be honest, but you do not have to necessarily report that information right away).

The car insurance 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.

In addition to points being added or taken away based on a number of factors, points are assigned based on your driving record.

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.

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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.

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. However, most states have guidelines under which an insurance company can operate, including how much they can charge.

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 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 premium increases after getting points on my license?

The best way to avoid payment increases on your auto insurance premium after getting a traffic ticket is to attend driving school.

Another option is to take a safe driving class through your local automobile club, AAA, school district, adult continuing education center, community college or other participating organization.

Safe driving classes may be as brief as a single evening or could extend for several sessions. Full day classes are also offered, often on Saturdays, as an alternative for drivers who may be too busy to attend during the workweek.

Regardless of your driving history, you’ll find the best rates by entering your ZIP code in the FREE box above!

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Online Classes

Depending on the rules and regulations in your state, online classes are a fast, efficient, and economical way to avoid costly insurance increases following a minor traffic offense. Most states require that classes are registered and that content be approved.

In many cases, once completed, classes will be acknowledged directly by the state motor vehicle department and the results will be shared with your insurance company.

In most cases, state laws set the number of points that may be eliminated with each class and determine the amount of the discount your auto insurance provider may allow.

In New York State, the National Safety Council offers its online defensive driving class. This class is approved by the state and can expunge up to four points from your driving record. Once completed, the class also provides for a mandatory 10 percent reduction in auto insurance premiums for a full three years.

The NSC reports class results electronically directly to the New York DMV. No final exam is required.

The National Safety Council offers classes in both English and Spanish and has earned an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau. You can obtain more information by visiting the NSC website.

Florida has a similar arrangement with the state safety organization specifically designed for speeding violators. Enrollees in this four-hour course will be able to keep speeding-related points off their Florida driver’s license.

Successful completion of the course also allows drivers to maintain safe driver status. The course covers a number of important safe driving topics including, general knowledge, risk control, vehicle control procedures, and driver exposure and perceptions.


National Safe Driving Programs

Older drivers are often considered higher insurance risks by most auto insurance providers. The AARP provides an economical online class alternative for drivers 50 and older.

AARP members pay only $15.95 while non-members are assessed just $19.95. Online class rates will be higher in New York State, $23.95 and $27.95 respectively.

Classes cover the rules of the road and defensive driving techniques.

The class may be completed at your own pace and is backed up by 24-hour customer support. Check in your area to see if the AARP Driver Safety Online Course qualifies for insurance premium discounts.

Tickets Can Affect Your Insurance Premiums

According to the Autoflix website, whether your insurance rates go up or not is dependent on your driving record and the relationship you have with your car insurance company.

Other factors include the area in which you live and by how much you were exceeding the speed limit.

A single speeding ticket is often enough for your insurance company to raise your rates since speed is a huge risk factor for all drivers. In the case of extreme speeding, your insurance rates could as much as double!

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Speeding Doesn’t Pay

U.S. drivers rarely think about the effect of a speeding ticket on their auto insurance premiums until it is too late. Most motorists, especially newer teenage drivers, drive faster than posted speed limits would allow.

Obviously, there are not enough traffic enforcement officers on the road to contain the speeding problem, so the odds that you’ll get caught on any particular day are slim. However, in spite of this, millions of drivers are ticketed for speeding violation every year.

Speeding is the most common traffic violation by far with more than 35 million tickets being issued in the United States each year.

This staggering number works out to almost 93,000 tickets each day, or 65 speeding violations every minute of the day. Younger drivers, between the ages of 17 and 24 receive the most tickets.

The average fine in the United States for a speeding ticket is about $150. However, the financial burden of a speeding violation doesn’t end in court.

Following the conviction for a speeding violation, the average driver’s insurance premiums will increase $300 per year! Considering the sheer number of tickets written every year, it is estimated that insurance companies profit to the tune of $9 billion annually!

The worst state to drive in is Ohio, which writes more speeding tickets than any other in the nation, followed by Pennsylvania, New York, and then California.

States that write the fewest traffic citations include Montana, Wyoming, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Alaska.

The Point System

Points assigned for a conviction on a traffic infraction vary from state to state. If you have been charged with a speeding violation, the faster you were driving, the more points will be assigned if you are convicted.

For example:

  • In most locales, traveling at 10 to 15 mph above the posted speed limit is a single point. Driving at speeds of 30 to 40 mph faster than the legal limit is another matter.
  • Traveling at significantly higher speeds will result in charges that are more serious.
  • Charges such as reckless driving or reckless endangerment will usually amount to double or triple the points assigned by the state if you are convicted.

Other minor moving violations include running a red light or stop sign, failure to yield the right of way or making an improper turn.

More serious violations, which result in accidents or cause injuries are dealt with more harshly and can be difficult to expunge from your driving record.

The highest number of points will be awarded to the drivers who commit the most serious offenses. These are DUI and DWI offenses, hit and run violations, leaving the scene of an accident, citations, and any traffic violation resulting from the commission of a crime.

Depending on the state, if you accumulate more than 11 or 12 points in any given 18-month period, your license to drive could be suspended or even revoked for a period of time.

For those drivers convicted of multiple DWI or DUI offenses, it is possible that they will lose their driving privileges for life!

How to Avoid a Traffic Ticket

While we’ve been talking about eliminating points on your driver’s license, it would be helpful to spend a bit of time discussing how you might avoid a ticket to begin with.

The best way to avoid a ticket is not to break the law! Don’t speed! Obey all traffic regulations. Be courteous and considerate to other motorists and drive defensively.

At the very least, if you do receive a traffic ticket, just by answering the citation or consulting with an attorney who specializes in traffic offenses, you might be able to plea to a lesser charge and reduce or even eliminate costly points.

It is always important to know and keep track of what is on your driving record. Know when any traffic offenses were recorded and when, after a three-year period, they are likely to drop off your record.

Offenses that fall within the most recent 18-month period are weighed most heavily in calculating your insurance premiums.

Bear in mind that DMV offices may make mistakes and you should make sure that the information they are providing to your auto insurance company is accurate and up to date.

A single violation that should have been removed from your record could cost you hundreds of extra dollars when it comes time to renew your auto policy.

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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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