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Is there a difference between insurance points and license points?


A

Insurance points are different than license points that your state's Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) puts on your driving record for various traffic offenses. An insurance company's point system and the DMV points system may match up but in general they do not.

Insurance points are used to assess the eligibility for auto insurance coverage and for calculation of rates. If you have insurance points with your insurer then these points are assigned by your insurance company. Each individual insurance provider has their own type of "point" system. The system will vary but many insurance carriers use the system based on the guidelines set up by the Insurance Services Office (ISO).

Either using the ISO system or their own created system; insurance companies assign a value (point) to various vehicle incidents, such as an accident, DUI or moving violation. The point value will go up depending on the severity of the infraction. As you accumulate more "insurance points" as a driver the likelihood that your insurance premium rates will increase goes up.

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Insurance points, and other variables that are used by insurance companies to decide on your premium rates, vary by each different insurance company. They each have their own rules and guidelines concerning how insurance points play into the whole equation.

In many cases the impact of older insurance points lessens over time. If your company adds insurance points for various traffic violations and accident claims, as time goes by and you receive no new violations and file no more claims it will appear that you are a safer driver and these insurance points could be reduced.

If you would like to find out the specifics of your insurance carrier's rating system, since all companies differ in the exact variables they use, you can contact your insurance agent or your state's insurance regulatory body. All insurance companies must file their rates with this entity.

As for license or DMV points, each state has the right to set up a points system in which they assign points to a person's driver's license and record when they are convicted of a moving violation. Not all states have a points system for violations and the states that do vary on how many points are assigned to various violations. Similar to insurance points the greater the offense the more DMV points that are assigned to your driver's license.

Some moving violations that usually have points assigned to them (if your state has a points system) include:

  • Speeding
  • Reckless diving
  • Leaving the scene of an accident
  • Passing a stopped school bus
  • DUI
  • Improper passing
  • Failure to stop or yield

This is by no means a full list of moving violations that can be assigned points. Most state's driver's manuals have the types of violations that are assigned points along with the points list printed in them. The points are normally placed on your driving record after you have been convicted of the violation and the court sends the DMV the information on the offense and conviction.

To find out about your specific state's points system as well as what violations have points assigned to them, check with your local Department of Motor Vehicles.


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