December 5, 2010

Driving Infractions That Can Result In Higher Auto Insurance Premiums

Many factors go into auto insurance quotes. Age, gender and type of vehicle are some of the most common but a person's driving record can have the biggest impact. Driving infractions can cause auto insurance quotes to rise, sometimes dramatically. There are many different types of infractions that carry a wide range of penalties that in turn affect insurance rates in various ways.

Most states use a points system that helps insurance companies determine auto insurance quotes. Driving infractions carry different point penalties depending on the severity. Each year, a driver begins with a certain number of points. If an infraction occurs the driver's point balance is reduced by that amount. Auto insurance rates rise based on how many points were deducted. If a certain point threshold is reached, they could lose their auto license and car insurance coverage could be canceled. Driving infractions do not appear on your criminal record and typically disappear after a certain number of years.

The most common driving infraction is speeding. Speeding can carry various point penalties based on how fast the driver was going. In some cases the driver can plea to a lesser speeding infraction thus reducing the point penalty.

Other common driving infractions are running a red light, making an illegal turn, failing to stop and hitting another vehicle (either in motion or parked). These are all typically minor driving infractions that can effect auto insurance quotes minimally.

Some driving infractions that are not as common are changing lanes without using the proper indicator, carpool lane violations, driving at night without using headlights and driving a car that does not have working brake lights. These are all types that are not heard of very often but still carry minimal point penalties.

There are also non-moving driving infractions. Parking violations, faulty auto equipment and illegal window tint are various examples that still carry a certain point penalty.

Some driving infractions only carry fines and do not affect points. An insurance provider could still raise auto insurance quotes over these types of penalties. Driving without a seat belt is one of the most common offenses that typically only carry a fine. Other examples are registration and inspection infractions. These do not involve court proceedings and court appearances.

Major offenses such as DUI/DWI are typically not considered an infraction, but a violation. These can carry an immediate driver's license suspension, fines and in some severe cases, jail time.

Auto insurance companies take many factors into account when generating auto insurance quotes. There are many items that can cause the rate to increase or decrease. A clean driving record is one of the best ways to insure a low premium.