You’ve probably heard about Pokémon Go. If you haven’t yet, you will. The game is taking over cell phones everywhere. While this game app is getting people to at least go outside and get some exercise by walking around collecting digital fictional beings, it’s also causing car accidents. Many companies have even begun banning the playing of the game within their businesses because of how distracted people are becoming.
You don’t need me to tell you that distracted driving is dangerous and can cause accidents which can harm or even kill people. What I can educate you on is how your driving record affects not only your car insurance premiums, but may also affect your ability to get life insurance.
A Poor Driving Record Equals High Premiums
Life insurance pricing is all based upon risk. The risk the insurance company takes by insuring you. The higher the risk you are, the higher your premium prices will be. If your driving record shows that you ran through a red light and hit another vehicle because you were distracted by trying to catch Pikachu on your cell phone, the life insurance carrier isn’t going to be impressed.
When you apply for life insurance, the underwriter pulls your Motor Vehicle Report (MVR). Your MVR includes and is not limited to:
- Traffic citations
- Vehicular crimes
- Accident reports
- Driving record points
- DUI convictions.
Typically, if you have no major violations within the past five years you can still be considered for the best rate class: Preferred Plus. Provided everything else in your application is stellar, like your health, the life insurance company may not even care if you have a speeding ticket or two within the last few years.
However, more than two violations within the past three years may cause your premiums to be higher and having more than four could cause you to be declined for coverage. If you have a pattern of being reckless behind the wheel, the life insurance companies see this as a red flag and deem you too risky to insure.
What You Can Do to Improve Your Driving Record
When it comes to improving the marks on your driving record, time is your friend. Just like improving your credit score, fixing your driving record doesn’t happen overnight.
First thing to know is that each state governs driver record points differently. Traffic violations carry points with them. The fewer points you have on your record, the better. To learn about your state’s point removal policy, contact your local DMV.
Second thing is to start driving better. This sounds easier said than done, but, in reality, it is easy. Don’t text and drive. Don’t drink and drive. Don’t play Pokemon Go and drive. Don’t drive 20 miles over the speed limit. Everyone makes mistakes, but irresponsible drivers make multiple mistakes within the same year. Some accidents are just that. Accidents. But if an applicant has three speeding tickets within two years, a reckless driving violation, and a DUI on their record, they can’t blame those on the deer that came out of nowhere. Somewhere along the line better decisions just need to be made.
Long story short: your driving record can have negative affects when applying for life insurance. I don’t want to further lecture car drivers, but I do have a reminder for all citizens out there. If you’re riding your bicycle, playing Pokemon Go, and lose control and get hit by a car, you’re affecting not only your life, but the life of that driver who not only may get into legal trouble, but will feel guilt the rest of their life if the collision ends badly. Let’s pay more attention, everyone.
When to Apply for Life Insurance
We typically recommend never waiting to apply for life insurance. Life is full of so many what-ifs and it’s better to plan for them ahead of time. If you have a poor driving record, buying life insurance coverage now to protect your loved ones may be the best decision even if the premiums are higher than usual. You can work with us in the future to reapply once you have improved your driving record and see if you can get lower premiums.
If you have any questions or would like advice on whether you should apply now or wait, contact us. Our friendly agents are always willing to help.