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Clean Driving Record: How Your Driving Record Affects Car Insurance?

Team AckoJan 29, 2021

The number of cars on the road are increasing day by day. And with it, driving has become a challenging task with increased traffic congestion. With unpredictable movement of traffic and development works on the road, maintaining a clean driving record has become a challenge. But having a clean driving history has its perks. For instance, a good driving record can reduce the car insurance premium. So how does your driving record affect Car Insurance? Read on to know the answer.

Clean Driving Record and How it Affects Car Insurance

What Is A Driving Record?

A driving record is nothing but the record of your driving history. A driving report has all the details such as identity information, driving licence number, challans received/fines, details of traffic violations and accident history. A driving record also reflects your driving behaviour. A clean driving history means you drive safely on the road and follow the traffic rules and regulations.

Having a clean driving history is beneficial as it is an overall record of your driving behaviour. There will be no black marks on your driving licence if you have a good driving record. Also, having a clean driving history helps when buying car insurance and while making insurance claims.

How Driving Record Affects Car Insurance?

Driving record is one of the crucial factors when it comes to the car insurance policy. Driving history can determine how much premium you pay for car insurance. Yes, an insurance company can get a summary of your driving history to determine the amount of risk involved in insuring your car.

If your driving record is not that great, you might end up paying a higher car insurance premium. So, having a clean driving record not only results in reduced insurance costs but also comes in handy while applying for a claim. And if you are buying car insurance online, it is even easier to get a better price for your car insurance policy.

IRDAI (Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India), the insurance regulator of the country is also trying to promote good driving behaviour. The insurance regulator has proposed various steps to be taken and this article will also throw light on those proposed pointers.

Factors That Affect Driving Record:

Several factors affect your driving record. Below are the important factors that affect your driving history:

  • Traffic Violation Challans: Getting a challan for traffic violation gets recorded in your driving history. Traffic violations such as signal jumping, overspeeding, etc. make for a bad driving record. So, you need to respect the safety and traffic rules and regulations.

  • Accidents: An accident caused due to your fault can result in a black mark in the driving licence. An accident is proof of irresponsible or rash driving, and it badly affects your driving history.

  • Late Payment of Fines/Challans: If you do not pay the fines/challans in due time, then it will also affect your driving history. Usually, traffic violation fines should be paid within the due date provided by the traffic police. Failing to do so might attract even higher penalties, and it can spoil your driving record.

  • Dangerous Driving: Driving dangerously on the road can affect your driving record. If you drive irresponsibly/recklessly on the road, chances are you will be reported to the traffic police by fellow road users. And if you are found guilty, it will be a bad record in your driving history, and you will also be penalised for dangerous driving.

  • Car Insurance Claims: Making too many car insurance claims will also hamper your driving history. Too many claims mean too many damages to your car, and it translates to unsafe driving behaviour. Also, making claims will result in loss of No Claim Bonus during the renewal of the insurance policy.

  • Driving Under the Influence: If you are involved in an accident when driving under the influence of alcohol or intoxicating substances, then it will be a black spot on your driving licence. Driving under the influence is a serious offence, and it can attract hefty penalties and will also spoil your driving record.

Benefits of Clean Driving Record:

A good driving record comes with its own set of perks. Below are the benefits of having a clean driving record:

  • Reduced Insurance Premium: A clean driving record translates to safe driving behaviour, and it means reduced risk. With a low-risk factor, the car insurance premium reduces while you buy/renew an insurance policy for your car.

  • Discounts: If you are a good driver and have made zero claims, the insurance company will offer you a discount, which is called a No Claim Bonus. The NCB will reduce the insurance premium when you renew the car insurance policy.

How to Check Your Driving Record?

Now, you know the importance of a clean driving record, the next question on your mind will be where can I get my driving record? Well, getting your driving history is pretty simple. You have to approach your RTO (Regional Transport Office) and apply for a Driving Licence (DL) history. You will get all the information such as date of issue of DL and if any black marks on the DL due to an accident or traffic violations.

You can also check your driving record online by visiting the official website of your respective RTO. By entering your DL number, you can check for any challans issued or any traffic violations committed by you. You can also pay the challans online if there are any fines due. At the same time, you can also enter the registration number of your vehicle to check if there are any challans issued against your vehicle. Fines related to overspeeding, signal jumping, etc. can be checked through this method.

Checking your driving history is important as it will enable you to improve your driving behaviour. A bad driving record is also a reminder that you should respect the traffic rules and regulations and drive safely on the road.

Steps being taken by the IRDAI:

The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) has been working on promoting good driving practices by taking various measures. Below are the proposed steps by IRDAI to promote good driving record:

  • Increase in Premium: IRDAI has proposed an increase in motor insurance premium for those who have bad driving records. Similarly, those who have a good driving record will pay a reduced premium while buying/renewing motor insurance.

  • Checking Insurance Policy Renewal: IRDAI will also keep an eye on the insurance policy renewal and will determine if a policyholder is renewing the policy on time or not.

  • Interlinking Vehicle Database and IRDAI Database: The transport department has started the process of linking the vehicle database with the IRDAI database via Vahan software. This move will enable IRDAI to identify vehicle owners who do not have a valid motor insurance policy.

  • Hefty Fines: With the implementation of Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Act 2019, the government has authorised the traffic police departments to levy hefty fines on vehicle owners driving without valid motor insurance.

  • Stringent Rules and Regulations: The government is planning to bring in changes to the rules and regulations to reduce traffic violations and the passage of Motor Vehicles (Amendment) 2019 is the first step.

How and Why do Insurers Use My Driving Record?

Insurance companies can look into your driving history whenever you buy a new car insurance policy or renew the policy. The insurer can get the driving licence history which includes all the information such as traffic violations, accident history, driving under influence and challans received by you. Repeated traffic violations, driving under the influence or at-fault accidents can affect the car insurance premium rates depending on the insurance company and geographical location.

Now, the next question is, why do insurers check your driving history in the first place. Well, the answer is simple, to gauge the risk factor. By looking at your driving record, the insurer will determine the risk you bring in as a customer. By analysing your driving record, the insurance company will get an idea about how often they will end up paying claims.

For instance, someone who has a clean driving history is considered as a safe driver by the insurance company. Good driving record means low risk, and the insurance premium also reduces with the reduction in the risk factor. On the other hand, if someone has multiple traffic challan for overspeeding and accidents, then it is a high risk for the insurer, and the premium also increases accordingly.

How to Keep a Clean Driving Record?

Now, you know the importance of a clean driving record. But how to maintain a good driving history? Follow the below points to keep a good driving record:

  • Safe Driving: The first and most important point to follow is safe driving. Always drive safely and responsibly on the road. Respect the fellow road users and do not drive recklessly, which may put you and the road users at risk. Never drive aggressively, just because you are in a hurry.

  • Follow the Rules: Always follow the traffic rules and regulations. Traffic violations such as signal jumping, driving under the influence and overspeeding can hamper your driving record and also attracts hefty penalties, which is again not good for your driving record. Abide by the rules for a clean driving history.

  • Pay the Fines: In case you end up violating a traffic rule then you will get challan/fine. Make sure that you pay out the penalties within the due date to avoid additional penalties. Paying fines on time will help you in maintaining a clean driving record.

  • Check Your Driving Record: Check your driving history at least once or twice in a year. It helps you improve your driving behaviour. For example, if you have received multiple overspeeding challans, you will realise that you have to keep your speed in check while driving.

Bottomline:

The traffic rules and regulations are there to make roads safer. Driving safely is beneficial to you as well as other road users. A safe driving behaviour translates to a clean driving history, which is very important, as far as car insurance is concerned. Having a good driving record will reduce the insurance premium, and it also helps during the claims. By following the rules and regulations and driving sanely on the road, you can maintain a clean driving history, which comes in handy while you buy/renew car insurance.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Below are the most frequently asked questions related to clean driving record and its impact on car insurance:

Will an accident affect my driving record?

Yes. If the accident is caused due to your fault and if an FIR (First Information Report) is registered with the Police, then such accident cases will affect your driving record.

How will an accident affect my car insurance?

Naturally, your vehicle will be damaged after an accident. And to repair such damages, you will have to file a claim with your insurer. By making a claim, you might lose out on discounts such as No Claim Bonus. Multiple claims can also hamper your driving record, and you might be considered as a high-risk profile.

Why is it important to maintain a clean driving record?

It is important to maintain a good driving record because it impacts the cost of insurance. Having a clean driving history means you are a low-risk profile to the insurer, and hence you will end up paying a reduced premium.

Can an insurance company check my driving history?

Yes, an insurance company can get your driving history to check the risk-factor involved in insuring your car.

Can I switch the insurance company after an accident?

Yes, you can switch the insurance company after an accident. But it is not recommended to do so as you might look suspicious to a new insurance company. Wait until the claim settlement process is complete and then you can take a call on switching the insurer.

I have not received any traffic challans. Does it mean I have a clean driving record?

Yes, a clean driving record means you are not involved in any accidents, and you have not violated any traffic rules. So, if you haven’t received any challans, then your driving history is clean.

Can an insurance company know from how long I have been driving?

Yes. An insurance company can know how long you have been driving through the details provided on the driving licence. The date of issue of driving licence will determine how long you have been driving.

What is a bad driving record?

A bad driving record is a driving history which includes multiple traffic violations and accidents or any other serious traffic offence such as driving under the influence, overspeeding, etc.

Does a bad driving history affect car insurance claims?

Yes, bad driving history can affect insurance claims due to unsafe driving behaviour.

Can I check my driving record online?

Yes. You can check your driving history online by logging in to the official website of your respective RTO. By entering the driving licence/vehicle registration number, you can check if there are any challans/accident cases against your vehicle.

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