Do Driving Points Increase Car Insurance Rates?

Do Driving Points Increase Car Insurance Rates?

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Getting points on your license — which is the result of a traffic violation — will typically lead to an increase in car insurance costs. We analyzed quotes from several insurers and found that having two points on your driver's license could lead to a 92% increase in auto insurance rates. However, depending on the insurance company, state and violation, driver's license points impact insurance rates differently.

Below, we go over how driver's license points affect car insurance rates for different violations and which insurance companies may offer you the cheapest auto insurance rates if you have points on your license.


How much do driver's license points affect auto insurance costs?

Although getting points on your license will typically result in an increase in your auto insurance rates, the extent to which your rates will go up depends on how significantly insurers weigh your violation. For example, in California — despite the fact that both violations are worth one point on your license — disobeying a traffic control signal caused rates to increase 21.3% while speeding only resulted in an 18.4% auto insurance rate increase.


Insurance cost
# of points
% rate increase
FloridaNo violation$2,411NANA
Speeding (10 mph over limit)$2,7483 points14.0%
Disobeying traffic control signal$2,7584 points14.4%
Reckless driving$2,8484 points18.1%
CaliforniaNo violation$1,570NANA
Speeding (10 mph over limit)$1,8591 point18.4%
Disobeying traffic control signal$1,9041 point21.3%
Reckless driving$3,0162 points92.1%
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The amount that your car insurance costs will increase after a violation also varies based on the state. For example, our profile driver with two points on their license for reckless driving in California saw insurance costs nearly double, while the same violation in Florida — despite being worth four points — only caused rates to increase by 18.1%.

Comparing rate increases by violation in California and Florida

Why car insurance is more expensive if you have points on your license

Although there is often a correlation between high insurance rates and drivers with several points on their licenses, insurers do not specifically set rates based on how many points a driver may have on their license. Instead, they look at the types of violations the driver committed to assessing how likely they might be to cause them to pay out for a claim. For this reason, earning points for violations that indicate a high risk of a future car accident — such as reckless driving — will cause insurance rates to increase more than other violations.

How license point systems work

In all but nine states, drivers who are convicted of a moving violation are assigned points on their licenses. The following states have not implemented a license point system:

The number of points assessed for getting a traffic ticket is proportional to the severity of the violation. So minor incidents, such as failing to signal, are worth relatively few points, while more serious infractions — such as drag racing — are worth significantly more points. If after a period of time, usually three years, you accumulate a certain number of points on your license, your license will be suspended.

Drivers who have had their licenses suspended will often need their insurer to file an SR-22 form on their behalf to get their driving privileges reinstated. This form verifies they have the state-mandated insurance coverage.

North Carolina has a rather unique system, called the Safe Driver Incentive Plan (SDIP), where getting points on your license causes your insurance rates to increase by a set amount, determined by the North Carolina Department of Insurance. This differs from other states' point systems, where the insurers themselves get to independently determine how much to increase rates after a driver is convicted of a traffic violation. Additionally, the SDIP also dictates rate increases for drivers who are proven to be at fault in an accident.

Violation / At-fault accident
North Carolina SDIP points
% insurance increase
Speeding (10 mph over limit under 55 mph)130%
Following too closely245%
At-fault accident causing $3,085 in property damage360%
Reckless driving480%
Aggressive driving8195%
Highway racing10260%
Drunken driving (BAC of 0.08% or more)12340%

This is not a complete list of violations and accidents that earn SDIP points in North Carolina.

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Cheapest auto insurance for drivers with points on their licenses

We surveyed a variety of quotes and found that Geico typically offered the cheapest car insurance for drivers with points on their licenses. Geico's insurance quotes for drivers with six points on their licenses were 26% less than what we found to be the average, at $2,188 per year compared to $2,976.

Graph comparing auto insurance costs for drivers with points on their license

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However, since insurance costs can vary widely based on where you live, the best way to get the cheapest auto insurance rates, if you have points on your license, is to compare quotes from multiple insurance companies in your area. To begin comparing quotes from auto insurance companies near you, enter your ZIP code into our tool above.

Bailey is a Research Analyst at ValuePenguin, covering insurance. He graduated from Occidental College with a B.A. in Mathematics and a minor in Computer Science. Bailey's analysis of the insurance industry and driver behaviors has been featured by CNBC, the Houston Chronicle and the National Transportation Bureau Safety Board.

Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It has not been previewed, commissioned or otherwise endorsed by any of our network partners.