How many of you have ever played a sport? Typically, in sports, scoring points is a good thing. If you’re talking about your driving record, well, that’s a different story. Practicing safe driving techniques is not only a surefire way to keep points off your driving record; it’s a foolproof way to keep your auto insurance rates low.

Motor Vehicle Departments of different states across the country as well as various insurance companies use speeding tickets and other violations to track your driving record. The more points you actually have, the higher your insurance rates will likely be. In addition, the severity of the infraction determines the amount of points you will be penalized with. For example, while a speeding ticket may get you one point, with a DUI, you’ll be racking up a monumental 6 points! Let me say again, you do not want points on your license!

Insurance carriers give higher rates to individuals with poor driving records because they present a greater risk to them financially. Once you reach a certain number of points, your policy may be surcharged, resulting in you having to pay a higher insurance premium.

Moving violations will likely add points to your license. Such violations may include but are not limited to: speeding, reckless driving, illegal turns, failing to come to a complete stop, driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, and accidents in which you are deemed the at-fault party.

An analysis by Wallethub determined that an Erie policyholder’s insurance rate will increase by 5% after being issued a speeding ticket. Now, it’s important to remember that if you’ve committed infractions in addition to speeding, for example, your insurance rate will likely increase more than someone who just has the single speeding violation. In North Carolina, a speeding ticket will cause your premium to increase up to 54%.  According to, if you are a licensed driver in Maryland and are caught speeding between 11 and 16 miles over the speed limit, you could face a rate increase of up to 18% on your insurance premium. Rate increases vary by state.

If you text while driving, not only are you putting yourself and other drivers at serious risk of injury, but you are also potentially risking your insurance rates to sky-rocket. In fact, if you cause an accident in Maryland, you are looking at 3 points being added to your driver’s license. This goes on top of the point you already earned if you were speeding. If you licensed in Virginia, say hello to 3 points on your license if you’re caught texting while driving. States all over the country are really cracking down on chronic texters. If you want to keep your insurance rates low, put the phone down while you’re behind the wheel.

As hard a hit as your insurance premium may take if you commit these violations, there is a silver lining. Depending on the state in which you live, a speeding ticket will only affect your auto policy for 3-5 years. If you don’t want to pay the higher premiums for years, you have the option of taking a defensive driving course that would result in the ticket being expunged from your record altogether. Also, you can call one of our agents at 301-948-2010 to see what discounts you may qualify for under your Erie policy.