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Car Insurance FAQ: Can My Insurance Be Canceled After a DUI, Speeding Tickets Or An Accident?

Updated on April 16, 2011

Driving is a privilege that is easy to take for granted at times.  Even though it may be great fun to speed around in a new sports car, it can end up being very costly or even result in a cancellation of  a driver’s car insurance.  It is best to be informed about what could cause a cancellation, and to manage your driving habits accordingly.

Points Explained

Points are given to a driver based on the type of traffic offense they have committed and how serious it is.  Each state has its own system of points, and typically, more serious violations carry higher point penalties. 

For example, if a driver to too many points within a certain time period, such as more than four points in one year, he may be required to go to traffic court so a judge can make a decision on whether he should be allowed to keep his license, and there is a chance that the driver will have their license suspended.

Speeding Violations

Typically,  a simple speeding ticket carries a one point penalty.  Any speeding violations involve reckless driving, according to the arresting officer, or speeds in excess of 100 mph, will usually be worth double the points of a regular speeding ticket.  The actual point values vary by state.

Auto Accidents

Auto accidents also carry point penalties.  In the state of California, for example, if the accident is minor, the person at fault will receive one point. The point might be related to something that the officer feels was the cause of the accident, such as speeding, reckless driving, or tailgating. Two points will be assigned to a driver who has been convicted of reckless driving while evading a peace officer, or reckless driving that results in bodily injury or death.  A hit-and-run accident or vehicle or manslaughter are also worth a two-point penalty.

Driving Under the Influence

Getting convicted of a DUI carries several types of fines and penalties. One of them is a license suspension and, in the state of California, two points on a driver's record. Additionally, if a driver who has been convicted of a DUI gets caught driving on a suspended or revoked license, or driving after cheating on their ignition interlock device, they will receive one point.

Insurance Cancellation or Non-Renewal

Insurance companies typically look at a driver’s history every time they renew a policy. However, they do not necessarily cancel drivers mid-policy for an accumulation of driving record points, unless a driver actually has their license suspended. Unfortunately, a suspended license will guarantee cancellation by an insurance company, and this type of driver will be labeled as high-risk as far as insurance companies are concerned.

For drivers who have suffered points on their driving record but still maintain an active license, the best bet would be to shop around for other companies that will provide them affordable insurance, in case their current insurer decides not to renew their policy which is highly likely once the insurance company rechecks their driving history.

DUI? Find out how to beat it!


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