Winslow Arizona, Car Insurance Writer
One point is unlikely to affect a driver’s insurance costs, if it is the only point on the driver’s record. One point is assigned for a minor violation, like driving with broken taillights or an expired license, which the insurance company might not even hear about it. And if the insurer does not tally the point, it will not result in a higher premium.
Forty-one of the 50 states use a license-points system. Drivers get points for different traffic violations, such as speeding and driving under the influence. The other nine states (Hawaii, Kansas, Louisiana, Minnesota, Mississippi, Oregon, Rhode Island, Washington, and Wyoming) keep track of the number of traffic violations you have, instead. Then your license will be suspended if you end up with too many violations. The only difference is that those nine states don’t use a publicly defined points system, where specific traffic violations equal a certain number of points toward a suspended license.
The long-term effects of 1 point on your license
Insurance companies don’t track state license points, but they definitely care about the traffic violations that earn you those points. So your license points and your insurance costs are related. In fact, insurance companies have their own points systems for policy pricing, which consider serious traffic violations, claims history, and more.
That’s important because an additional violation or claim could potentially raise your insurance rates by 50% or more, if you already have a point on your record. Having a point on your record means that you’re one point closer to exceeding your state’s point limit and losing your driving privileges.
In some states, a defensive driving course can get points wiped off your record. Once you complete the course, your state removes a set number of points from your license. However, not all states have a point reduction program, including some states that use points to track violations. That’s why it’s still important to pay your ticket(s) on time and do your best to abide by all traffic laws if you want to increase your chances of avoiding any further state or insurance penalties.
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