September 7, 2011

Clean Driving Records And Their Impact On Auto Insurance Applications

Auto insurance applications can be affected by a number of things, from the age and sex of the driver to the type of car that is being covered and even its color. The more risks that a company sees - for example a young male just having passed his driving test driving a red sports car - and the higher the auto insurance premium that will be handed out. One of the most important factors in the cost of auto insurance for an applicant is their driving record. The cleaner the record, the cheaper that any auto insurance will be, no matter the age or sex of the driver.

Clean driving records are those with no "points" on them for traffic violations. A driving record is tied to a driver's license, state by state, which means that if a driver gets a ticket for speeding, driving erratically or causing an accident, this ticket will be listed on their driving record. In addition, it is possible that the traffic offense could carry points. The more points that a driver has, the worse their record is, and once a certain number of points has been reached, the DMV will suspend a license. Depending on the offense, it may be possible to have points removed from a record, and often the points will expire over time - typically one to two years. The higher the number of tickets and points that are on a record, and the more insurance will cost.

The reason for this is because when auto insurance applications are received, the first priority for an insurer will be to look at the risk that a driver represents. To gauge this, a company will ask for a driver's record or driving abstract, in order to get an idea of what kind of risk they will present when on the road. Clean driving records mean a lower chance of accidents, and thus fewer payouts by the company. A driver with many points on their record has a history of putting both themselves and their car at risk, which is exactly what an insurance company does not want to see. Recently, some states have enacted laws which prohibit insurance companies from refusing coverage based on driving records, but while this means drivers with high numbers of points will have an easier time finding insurance, its cost will still be extremely high.

The best course of action for a driver is to drive safely and keep a clean driving record. If infractions do exist, they should see what they can do to have them removed and continue to drive cautiously in order to help keep insurance costs low.