A bad driving record is a driving record that includes one or more moving violations, driver’s license points, accidents, or serious charges such as DUI or hit-and-run. Having a bad driving record may result in a driver being classified as “high-risk,” likely making insurance coverage more expensive. Not all offenses that can appear on a driver’s record are weighed the same, however, so what exactly is considered a bad driving record and how much it will affect your coverage depend on the insurance company and the specifics of your driving history.
Having a driving record that isn’t clean doesn’t automatically make it bad. For example, insurance companies give less weight to minor violations like parking tickets or low-level speeding. Major accidents and serious charges like DUI and hit-and-run, on the other hand, are massive red flags that will have the greatest impact on your car insurance policy. They’ll also stay on your driving record for much longer than minor violations. Although the exact amount of time varies between states, a serious offense such as DUI will usually stay on your record for 5-10 years (sometimes even longer), while a minor claim or moving violation will stay for about three years.
If you have a bad driving record, you’ll likely end up paying a much higher car insurance premium than the average driver. Depending on how bad your record is, you could potentially have trouble finding an insurer who will cover you at all. In that case, you’ll want to explore the assigned-risk option offered by your state so you can receive the minimum coverage required by law as you work to improve you record.
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