Your driving habits often impact how much you pay for auto insurance. The best way for car insurance agencies to know how safe of a driver you are is to use your driving record. Your state's department of motor vehicles collects this information. It includes any instance in which you break the law while behind the wheel.
If you make these mistakes, the DMV often gives you points on your license. The more points you have, the more of a high-risk driver you are. This impacts your car insurance costs.
Why Previous Mistakes Matter
Car insurance agencies use previous information to determine how likely you are to make them again. Those with several points on their license are likely to have more incidents in the future. For this reason, your driving history will almost always play a role in how much you pay for auto insurance. The more risk you present to the agency, the more you likely pay.
That is not to say you cannot improve your driving habits. You can, and as you do, those points usually drop off. Over time, your car insurance rates might go down, too.
What’s on Your License? What Are Points?
You can determine how many points are on your license by contacting the DMV. Some state agencies provide online access. Most will give you access to your points if you visit the local office. Here are some types of incidents that usually create points on your license:
Moving violations of any type
Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
Driving with a suspended license
The most common reason for points is speeding. If you get a moving violation like this, the DMV will add the points to your license. Points generally come off over time. The rate of removal depends on state laws. The number of points you get and their impact on your license also varies by state laws. In general, you will see a few points fall off your record every year you go without adding them.
The impact on your auto insurance ranges as well. The more points you get, the higher your car insurance premium will likely be. Some insurers are more lenient with raising rates for only one incident. However, those labeled high risk will spend significantly more to maintain insurance for their vehicle.