Car insurance points represent your driving history and habits, which indicates to insurance companies how much of a risk you are while driving. If you’ve had recent traffic violations, speeding tickets, DUIs or at-fault accidents, you may have a higher-than-average number of points on your record.
So how do you get rid of car insurance points? The short answer is — you can’t. They will leave your record after a few years on their own. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t other ways you can save on car insurance. In this article, we’ll explore the ways you can offset higher premiums by taking advantage of discounts and specialized programs. We’ll also talk about how insurance companies look at driving records to determine points.
If you’re looking for a new auto insurance policy or switching providers, we’ve also carefully analyzed the best auto insurance companies. To match up car insurance quotes, you can use our free comparison tool below. Just enter your zip code into the quote box to get free quotes from providers near you.
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You Can’t Remove Car Insurance Points, But You Can Still Save
The truth is, there isn’t anything you can personally do about your car insurance points. The points will eventually drop off your record, but it will take time. Car insurance points typically require about three or more years before they leave your records. Until those points disappear, they will continue to affect your premiums.
Remember that if you get more points, those will also stay for about three years. So, if your goal is to have zero insurance points, you need to not get any more points while you wait for the original ones to drop off. In other words, you have to drive carefully and follow all traffic laws and speed limits.
What About License Points?
Depending on the cause of the points on your driver’s license, you will have to wait for those to disappear as well. However, some states let you remove points early by paying a fine or taking a defensive driving course. This depends entirely on your state and situation. Even if you get the points off your license, the incident can still affect your insurance premiums as long as it stays on your record.
Every Insurer Has its Own Points System
Keep in mind that every provider will have a slightly different insurance points system. Most assign points for various violations on your driving record, but insurance agents won’t share provider formulas. This means you may have more points with one auto insurer than with another.
In practical terms, this means that while there is no way you can get rid of car insurance points, you can find an insurer that uses them differently. Comparison shopping may help you find an insurer that is more lenient with your driving record and will give you better rates.
Insurers Don’t Just Include Driving-Related Information in Their Point Systems
The systems for insurance points and driver’s license points are different. You will only receive license points for violations related to driving, from speeding to parking. But your insurance points can also include points for claims you’ve made.
The following are some of the factors that may earn you insurance points:
- Moving violations
- Speeding tickets
- Other traffic violations
- A high number of claims
- A bad credit score
- Lapses in insurance
- An unsafe vehicle
- Driving long distances
- Using your car for work
Overcome Premium Increases from Points with Discounts
The good news is that even if you have many insurance points, there are likely to be at least some discounts you may be eligible for. These will vary based on the insurance provider.
You likely won’t be eligible for a “good driver” discount if you have insurance points, but you may want to look into discounts for:
- Good students
- Low mileage
- Bundling policies (with home insurance, etc.)
- Multiple vehicles on the policy
- New cars
- Cars with safety and security features
- Certain jobs, such as military, federal or state employees
The best way to ensure you get all the discounts you are eligible for is to do your research. Be as detailed as possible when getting a quote, as this will ensure that any eligible discounts are brought to your attention.
Safe-Driving App Programs
One way you can better prove you’re a safe driver to insurance companies is to take part in a safe-driving program. Also known as usage-based or telematics insurance, many providers offer safe-driving programs through apps, and drivers can save a lot on premiums if they successfully complete them.
How these programs monitor your driving habits will depend on which usage-based program your insurer offers, but generally, apps monitor:
- Your speed
- How hard you break
- How abruptly you turn
- How often you’re on the phone while driving
With many apps, you are scored based on your driving habits, and when you get above a certain score or complete your program, you may be eligible for insurance discounts. You could take up to 30% off your premium with either State Farm’s Drive Safe & SaveTM program or Travelers IntelliDrive® program, for example. The catch with usage-based programs is that if you don’t use good driving habits while doing them, you could end up with an insurance rate increase.
Our Recommendations for Auto Insurance
No matter your driving record, we suggest considering auto insurance from USAA, GEICO or Progressive. These are relatively cheap car insurance companies that offer great opportunities to save.
We have based our overall ratings for each provider by our in-depth review of each company’s coverage options, premium rates, savings opportunities, industry reputations and customer reviews. The best way to compare auto insurance quote from these and other providers will always be a free comparison tool. You just need your zip code to get started with our quote box.
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USAA: Best Military Provider
While only military members and their immediate families can qualify for USAA auto insurance, for those that do qualify, we highly recommend this provider. In our expert analysis, USAA earned the highest rating for its affordable rates and excellent customer service. The company also offers many ways for policyholders to save, such as the app-based driving program SafePilot®, which can knock up to 10% off a customer’s premium.
USAA also offers these savings methods, and more:
- Driver’s course discount
- Driver training discount
- Vehicle storage discount
- Defensive driving discount
- Multi-policy discount
GEICO: Best Overall
GEICO earned an overall rating of 9.1 for its various coverage options and competitive rates. Policyholders can save up to 30% off their premiums with GEICO’s usage-based app DriveEasy. In addition to multi-vehicle and multi-policy discounts, GEICO offers these savings opportunities and more:
- Defensive driving discount
- Anti-theft features discount
- Federal employee discount
- Military discount
- Seat belt use discount
Progressive: Best for High-Risk Drivers
Progressive is the best insurer for those who don’t have clean driving records. These would include drivers who have had DUIs, speeding tickets or at-fault accidents in the last three years. Progressive’s usage-based program Snapshot® allows riskier drivers to practice safe driving methods and gain savings this way. The program is available in most states and according to the website – can help drivers save up to $156 per year.
Progressive also offers these savings opportunities and more:
- Multi-policy discount
- Multi-car discount
- Teen driver discount
- Distant student discount
- Good student discount
Read more: Progressive insurance review.
FAQ: How Do You Get Rid of Car Insurance Points?
How to check insurance points?
To check insurance points, you will have to contact your insurer. Not all will tell you how many points you have. In most states, you can check your license points through the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) website, without any charge at all.
How long do points affect your insurance?
Points usually affect your insurance for at least three years. Depending on the type of points and where you live, they may affect insurance costs for up to 11 years. This also depends on your specific provider. In most cases, speeding tickets and similar points will only be a concern for three years.
How do license points affect car insurance?
Your auto insurance company may not directly use your points when determining your car insurance rates. However, the same things that lead to points will appear on your driving record and cause your provider to increase your rates. Your license points don’t change your car insurance, but you can expect to pay higher premiums if you have more points.
How much do four points affect insurance?
The degree to which four points affect your insurance will depend on numerous factors. These include your insurance company, how you got the points, what else is on your driving record and what discounts you are eligible for. That is why there is such variation in how much four points will affect your insurance. Some estimates say it can be an increase of up to 44%, while others say up to 80%.
The Detroit Bureau collects data from every major car insurance provider to formulate rankings of the best insurers. Our in-depth rating system takes into account market share, coverage, auto insurance rate estimates generated by Quadrant Information Services, customer satisfaction and ratings from industry experts. Each insurer is given a weighted score in four categories, as well as an overall score out of 10.0.
We recommend auto insurance companies based on these rankings, but we also encourage you to perform your own research and compare quotes to find the best coverage.