Here in Wisconsin, the Department of Transportation uses a demerit point system when citing drivers for moving traffic violations. If you have ever been given a ticket for speeding, running a stop sign, or failing to yield right-of-way, you have probably had points added to your driving record.
In Wisconsin, it takes 12 points to have your driver’s license suspended. However, you may face other consequences for even one or two tickets – particularly when the time comes to request and online car insurance quote.
Continue reading to find out what you can expect when shopping for insurance with a bad driving record.
Why Points Increase Your Car Insurance Quotes
Having points on your record could result in an increase of your current premiums or higher car insurance quotes than you are accustomed to receiving. This is because insurance companies consider drivers with moving violations as a greater risk to insure than those who have no traffic violations. In terms of insurance companies, ‘high-risk’ means you are more likely to file a future claim than someone with a spotless driving history. The more points you have, the higher risk you are to insure.
Reducing Your Points
According to the Wisconsin Department of Transportation, you may be able to reduce the total number of points on your record by taking an approved traffic safety course. Though you can only do so once every three years, you could have three points taken from your driving record upon completion of the course. That is enough to eliminate record of a small speeding ticket, since traveling 1-10 miles over the posted speed limit incurs three demerit points. With the points removed from your record, it is possible you could qualify for a lower online car insurance quote.
What to Do if You Get a Citation
If you get a traffic citation, you are generally not required to report it to your insurance carrier. Often, insurers do not see violations for several months after they happen unless they request an updated version of your driving record. Furthermore, some types of violations do not result in points on your record at all and thus may not affect your insurance in the future.
Finding an Insurance Company
It’s not the end of the world if you have points on your record, even after taking a safe driving course. Eventually, the points will drop off your driving record, though this usually takes a few years. In the meantime, you can be wise in the way you shop for car insurance.
Keep in mind that each insurance company evaluates a driver’s risk in a different way. Though virtually all of them take note of your driving record, some may place less emphasis on traffic violations and small speeding ticket than others. Working directly with a local independent car insurance agent can help you determine which insurance provider may be more forgiving of points on your record. Some, for example, may ignore a first-time violation, whereas others may be more forgiving of points that have been on your record for many years as opposed to those that are more recent.
For more information about how your driving record affects your car insurance, contact Lillie-Couch Insurance today.