Insurance Points and Impact on High Risk Cost

Understanding Insurance Points and Their Impact on High-Risk Drivers


In the world of auto insurance, insurance points play a pivotal role in determining the cost of coverage for drivers, particularly those classified as high-risk. Insurance points represent a system through which insurers assess the level of risk associated with a driver based on their driving history. For high-risk drivers, insurance points can have a substantial impact on their insurance premiums, potentially making coverage more expensive and challenging to obtain. In this article, we will delve into the concept of insurance points, how they are assigned, and their effects on high-risk drivers.

What Are Insurance Points?

Insurance points, also known as surcharge points or merit points, are a method used by insurance companies to evaluate a driver’s risk level based on their driving record. When a driver is involved in certain driving violations or accidents, insurance points are added to their record. The number of points assigned to a driver depends on the severity of the offense or accident.

Each insurance company has its own point system, but the general principle remains consistent across most insurers. Insurance points can typically be assigned for the following reasons:

1. Driving Violations: Common driving violations such as speeding, running red lights, reckless driving, and failure to yield can result in insurance points being added to a driver’s record.

2. At-Fault Accidents: If a driver is deemed at fault in an accident, insurance points are usually assessed. Multiple at-fault accidents can lead to even higher point accumulations.

3. DUI/DWI Convictions: Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is a severe offense and often results in a significant increase in insurance points.

Impact of Insurance Points on High-Risk Drivers

For drivers classified as high-risk due to a history of traffic violations, at-fault accidents, DUI/DWI convictions, or other factors, the impact of insurance points can be quite substantial. High-risk drivers already face higher insurance premiums due to their increased likelihood of being involved in accidents or filing claims. When insurance points are added to their record, it further elevates their risk profile, resulting in higher insurance costs.

High-risk drivers may experience the following effects of insurance points:

1. Increased Premiums: As insurance points accumulate, insurance companies view the driver as a higher risk. Consequently, insurance premiums are raised to offset the potential cost of future claims.

2. Limited Insurance Options: High-risk drivers may find it challenging to secure coverage from standard insurance providers. They may need to seek specialized insurers that cater to drivers with less favorable driving records, but these policies often come at higher prices.

3. Difficulty in Obtaining Coverage: Some insurance companies may outright refuse to provide coverage to high-risk drivers with an excessive number of insurance points, leaving them with limited options in the market.

4. Longer Duration of Higher Rates: Insurance points typically stay on a driver’s record for a certain period, commonly ranging from three to five years, depending on the state and the severity of the violation. During this time, the driver may experience higher insurance premiums.

Mitigating the Impact of Insurance Points

While insurance points can present challenges for high-risk drivers, there are steps they can take to mitigate their impact and eventually improve their insurance situation:

1. Defensive Driving Courses: In some states, completing defensive driving courses can lead to the removal or reduction of insurance points from a driver’s record.

2. Safe Driving Practices: High-risk drivers can gradually decrease their insurance points by maintaining a clean driving record over time and avoiding further violations or accidents.

3. Comparison Shopping: High-risk drivers should shop around for insurance coverage to find providers that may offer more lenient policies or competitive rates despite their driving history.


Insurance points serve as an essential tool for insurance companies to evaluate the risk posed by drivers and adjust insurance premiums accordingly. For high-risk drivers, these points can have a significant impact on their insurance costs and coverage options. Understanding the implications of insurance points and the factors contributing to them is crucial for high-risk drivers seeking to improve their insurance situation.

By focusing on safe driving practices, seeking opportunities to reduce points through defensive driving courses, and comparing insurance options, high-risk drivers can gradually work towards a cleaner driving record and potentially obtain more affordable insurance coverage in the future. While insurance points may present challenges, they also serve as a reminder for drivers to prioritize safety and responsibility on the road.