When it comes driving, you should always follow the law and maintain a clean driving record. Safe driving isn’t just a benefit to your overall wellbeing, though. There are also financial incentives to driving with caution, especially from insurance companies.
Your insurance company uses the state of your driving record to help generate your premium for insurance. The cleaner your record is, the lower your cost will be. Moving violations taint your driving record and can negatively affect your insurance policy. Here are three ways offenses on the road could affect your insurance coverage:
A Moving Violation Could Have No Effect (Warning)
Every now and then, you may get caught in the act of a seemingly harmless moving violation where the offense is minimal and negative outcomes are small. In these cases, the officer at the scene could choose to issue a warning instead of a citation. It’s up to the officer to analyze the situation and decide if a warning is appropriate.
Whether the warning is provided verbally or by paper, the driver will likely not see any changes to their insurance policy following the incident. By and large, insurance companies do not care if you have a warning on your record.
Keep in mind, however, that it is possible to see your premium increase if you obtain too many warnings in a short period of time. Multiple violations indicate to your insurance company that you’re a problematic driver, and they could increase your premium to help protect themselves.
A Moving Violation Could Cause a Rise in Insurance Costs
In cases where the officer issues an official citation, the offending driver will receive points on their record. The amount of points received depends on the severity of the violation. In Georgia, these points will stay on your record for two years and will likely lead to an increase in your insurance premium.
Violations can range from minor to major offenses. The following are common violations and their point totals:
- Speeding 15-18 mph over the limit—2 points
- Speeding 19-23 mph over the limit—3 points
- Speeding 24-33 mph over the limit –4 points
- Speeding 34+ mph over the limit—6 points
- Improper passing—4 points
- Stop/yield sign violations—3 points
- Traffic signal/light violations—3 points
- Turn signal violations—3 points
- Reckless driving—4 points
- Aggressive driving—6 points
A Moving Violation Can Lead to a Loss of Coverage
There are certain violations or violation-related incidents that may result in a loss of coverage. These severe offences include reckless driving, aggressive driving, DUIs, and hit-and-runs. Insurance companies often see these types of violations as major liabilities and will drop the offending policyholder.
In other cases, a driver who obeys the more severe laws but racks up too many points on their record with minor violations could also experience loss of coverage. It suggests bad driving on the policyholder’s part and can convince the insurance company to drop them entirely.