The ways that points affect insurance rates don’t always correlate with the points on your state driving record. Car insurance companies have their own methods for inflating your rates after you’ve had accidents and violations. This means that not every company will penalize you the same. If you’ve recently seen your rate increase after an accident or violation, you should shop around for a cheaper rate.

Each traffic infraction you are convicted of such as moving violations, at-fault accidents or driving under the influence can be assigned a certain point value if your state has a point system in place. Some tickets, such as non-moving violations like parking tickets, typically do not have points associated with them.

The more points you have on your driving record, the worse your record looks to a car insurance company. Each auto insurer has its own method of evaluating applicants, so the points on your driving record may or may not have a direct impact on the rates you pay for car insurance.

A point system is simply the assignment of “points” or values to each infraction. Then, the rating system of the car insurance company evaluates the “points” instead of each infraction. The insurance company, thus, has its own insurance points system that may or maybe the same as your state’s DMV points system.

For example, a company may use this type of system:

Description Points 1st Occurrence Points 2nd Occurrence Points Each Additional Occurrence
At-fault Accident232
Driving Under the Influence123
No Charge Violation000
Major Violation444
Minor Violation211
Not-at-fault Accident000

Each insurance company has a different (complex) rating algorithm, there is no set dollar amount or rating point comparison that can be given. If you want to find the specifics for your insurance company, their rates are filed with the state’s department of insurance. You can request a copy of those rating factors and how they affect the companies’ specific rates or check out state car insurance information on our state car insurance rates page.

Typically, you can expect the company rating algorithm to try to put an insurance point value on each infraction (regardless of the state driving record point system). Based upon that point value a different rating factor is used to either raise or lower the rate. Again, it is different for every company. Some companies’ rating algorithms are much more complex and some are simple.

For example, one major violation can increase your rate by 25% with one insurer and 40% with another car insurance carrier. Most rating systems gradually lower the impact each year. Meaning it may be 40% the first year, 30% the second and 20 the third and if the violation then falls off your driving record the surcharge would be over by year four.

 — Michelle Megna contributed to this story.

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Contributing Writer

Shivani Gite is a personal finance and insurance writer with a degree in journalism and mass communication. She is passionate about making insurance topics easy to understand for people and helping them make better financial decisions. When not writing, you can find her reading a book or watching anime.