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How Can One’s Driving Record Affect Car Insurance Premium

Obtaining a car insurance is not enough to ensure you are protected in case of accidents. Every driver should also make it a point to drive safely while on the road. Being in the right state of mind is very important because any traffic violation you commit has a consequence.
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Traffic violations can cost you money and in worse cases, can cause accidents. In addition, it can even increase your auto insurance premium moving forward.

Insurance companies differ in the way they view these violations and the fees they charge. They have various criteria as to which can cause your premium to go up. A speeding ticket, for instance, may cause only a slight increase but if you get two successive tickets, a higher rate will be charged. Some insurance providers even drop policy holders who commit speeding violations in a successive manner.

A survey by insurance.com revealed more than 10 violations that are sure to pump up your insurance rates. On top of the list is reckless driving (22 percent) followed by driving under the influence (19 percent), driving without a permit or license (18 percent), careless driving (16 percent), speeding (15 percent), failure to yield or stop (15 percent), improper passing and illegal u-turn (14 percent) and following too close (13 percent) among others. The findings were based on an analysis of more than 490,000 insurance quotes provided to drivers for the period January 2009 to January 2011.

The cost for every violation is not the same for all states and insurers. As such, it is recommended that car owners get to know about the fees in their state.

If you ever commit a traffic violation and find your insurance premium going up, you can still take steps to lower it. Shopping around and comparing rates is one option if you plan to switch to a new insurer. But make sure you are clear on the coverage you need before you ask for quotes and compare insurance rates.

Completing a driving safety course is another option. Some states allow this to erase the violations in your driving record but only for a specific period which is normally 18 months. Upon completion, your insurance provider may reduce your rate.

An important step you can also take is to maintain or improve your good credit rating. This will save you money moving forward. Do remember that insurance companies often raise their rates to clients with low or bad credit rating for the reason that these people pose a greater risk to car insurance.

So always take precautions when driving to avoid traffic violations and the high cost of auto insurance.

Photo via carinsurancebag.com

About the guest author:

Max is a freelance writer and part-time auto insurance agent who takes pride in his clean driving record.

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