Approximately 41 million Americans are issued with speeding tickets every year. Most of these drivers are likely to grapple with higher insurance premiums in the coming days. Driving infractions, moving contraventions, and accidents often form part of the considerations when insurers set premiums.
Your auto insurer may not be able to access your full motor vehicle report, but summaries of your recent tickets are not a hidden secret. You may end up paying more for a premium because of an over speeding offense you committed five years ago.
If you’re keen on paying less for your premiums, then you need to focus on developing and sustaining a clean driving record. You may wonder, do folks in the preferred risk category get better car insurance coverage?
Well, here’s what to know about your driving record and how it affects your auto insurance
Your Driving History Is Everything
You probably do not know this, but your driving history is the single-most-important factor when calculating your premium. As you accelerate past other motorists, you should realize that any mistake on the road may be more costly than you would probably imagine.
Your history is a priority to the insurer. You will not get away with any traffic offense on the road as long as you’re booked for it. The insurer will use this history as the basis on which to assign you to a risk category.
You need to have sufficient information on the link between your driving history and premiums. Falling into a particular risk category will often determine how much premium you need to pay. You are likely to fall within one of the following risk categories.
1. Preferred Risk
As a driver falling within this category may guarantee you lower premiums. Most of the preferred risk drivers fall into the bracket of the safest drivers. If you’re within this category, you are less likely to get into accidents regularly.
Most auto insurance companies only assign this category to drivers with several years of safe driving. If you have not used your liability insurance for an at-fault accident in years, you fall within this group.
The preferred risk is the lowest-priced premium. Your good driving record on the roads will, therefore, save you money. If the insurer conducts a quick insurance check and finds a clean driving record, you’re likely to have a lower insurance premium burden.
2. Standard Risk Driver
If you’ve had moving violations or at-fault accidents in the last two years, then you fall within this category. Your insurer looks at this record as acceptable considering the hazards common on the roads. Most of the experienced drivers fall within this category.
You’re likely to have average risks if you are within this category. Your driving history is also likely to indicate 1 or 2 flaws. However, the demerits on the MVR may be too many, which makes you a standard risk driver.
The insurer, in such cases, may charge average premiums when dealing with standard-risk drivers.
3. High-Risk Drivers
This is where the rubber meets the road. If your insurer categorizes you as a high-risk driver, it means your behavior behind the wheel is likely to cause an accident. Your bad driving record on the road can be a significant contributor to this categorization.
Most of the high-risk drivers may have caused multiple at-fault accidents over the two years period. You are also likely to fall within this category if you’ve committed numerous minor violations. If you’ve a terrible driving history, you are also likely to fall within the high-risk drivers.
Your auto insurer may even choose not to underwrite your application if you fall within the high-risk drivers’ category.
What Does an Auto Insurer Use When Categorizing Drivers?
If you wish to sustain a clear driving history, there are things you need to consider. Your auto insurer will likely use specific assessment protocols and procedures beforehand. This then guides their decision making on the level of risk each driver bears.
The following are some aspects you need to look out for as a driver.
Auto insurance companies often use tickets to judge your caliber of driving. You’re likely to end up in the category of high-risk drivers if you have multiple tickets. You are in trouble if the last three years reflect a dangerous trend of bad driving history.
Exceeding speed limits is one of the main culprits in most of these instances. Your auto insurer is keen on your most recent history to identify specific trends that may lead to high risks.
At-Fault Accidents Can Affect Your Driving Record
Have you caused an accident at fault in recent years? The severity of that accident may be the reason you may pay a higher premium in the years to come. The presumption is that if you have been at fault in the past, there is a high risk of repeat offenses in the future.
At fault accidents are a measure of the caliber of driver you are. Your records for the last six years often apply in the determination of your level of risk. Six years is indeed a long period when used as a measure of your driving history.
However, your auto insurer is keen on conducting due diligence to avoid engaging high-risk drivers. Six years is, therefore, adequate time to assess a driver’s underlying risks.
Auto insurance companies use varying metrics to determine star ratings. You’re likely to end up within a specific class of drivers, depending on your star rating. The star rating takes into consideration several factors.
These determinants include the number of tickets you’ve had over the last three years, the number of at-fault accidents, and your total demerits.
Your Good Driving Record Guarantees Your Safety and Saves You Money
You no longer have to pay exorbitant rates for your insurance premium. With a good driving record, you can save on your current insurance expenditure. You only need to work with a genuine or reliable insurer, and you are good to go.
At Amistad all these expectations are considered.
Please contact us for all your auto insurance concerns and questions.