We all know that driving violations affect the cost of our car insurance policies. But did you know that they can affect the cost of your life insurance, too?
Here we take a look at why your driving record matters and what you can do to help reduce the cost of your life insurance.
Why your driving record matters
The price you pay for your life insurance is based on your health classification. This is worked out by insurance companies, who take a variety of factors into account.
One of these factors is your driving behavior. A bad driving record shows that you may be irresponsible or take risks that could put you in danger, meaning you are more likely to be involved in an accident or die at a younger age.
Most insurance companies will ask to see your driving record before they approve your application.
What’s in your driving record?
Your driving record is a document called a Motor Vehicle Report. This is held by your state and copies are sent to insurance companies on request. Any driving violations you commit will show up on this record for a certain period of time, depending on the state where you live. For example, an offense that stays on your record for one year in Maine or Nevada will stay for six years in Massachusetts, and two to three years in most states.
Normally, the more serious a violation is, the longer it will stay on your record. Reckless driving or a DUI will stay on your record for ten years or more in some states.
Which violations count?
Specific violations insurance companies look out for include:
- Not wearing a seat belt
- Texting while driving
- Not stopping at a stop sign or red light
- Car accidents you’ve been involved in.
Parking tickets don’t affect the cost of your life insurance.
Insurance companies are likely to check your record as far back as five to seven years.
It’s important to be 100% honest on your application.
When the insurance company pulls your driving record, they will learn the truth anyway.
What do insurance companies want to see?
To keep your rates as low as possible, insurance companies ideally want to see a clean driving record. However, it may still be possible to get a high classification and low rates if you have had:
- No DUIs in the last five to seven years
- No more than two moving violations in the last three years.
Moving violations happen when you break the law while your vehicle is moving. This includes speeding, texting while driving, or not wearing a seat belt.
Does it affect my existing policy?
No, insurance companies will only look at your driving record when you first take out a new policy.
This can work in your favor if your driving record has improved since you took out your policy. If you had driving convictions in the past which are now more than five to seven years old, it’s worth contacting your agent for a policy review.
You may qualify for a less expensive policy!
Will I still get life insurance if I have a bad driving record?
Yes, you’re highly likely to be able to get life insurance even if your driving record isn’t so great. Your policy is likely to be more expensive, but your driving record is only one of many factors that insurance companies take into account.
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