Tap the Brakes! Life Insurance and Your Driving Record
Oh boy. It happened again: You hit the snooze button one too many times.
After a frenzied dash around your house – one sock on, a toothbrush hanging out of your mouth, and your kid asking why there’s a can of tuna in his lunchbox – you kiss the family goodbye and finally dive behind the wheel of your car.
The GPS says 20 minutes to your office. Problem is you need to be there in 15. It may seem like a good idea to go over the speed limit to get to work on time. (But just a little.) Say, maybe only 10 miles per hour over. But in reality, speeding doesn’t actually get you where you want to go all that much faster.
Take this scenario for example: Say there are 60 miles between you and your destination.
At the 60 mph speed limit, it would take 60 minutes (1 hour).
At 75 mph (speeding), it would take 48 minutes.
That’s only 12 minutes saved. And factoring in how quickly heavy traffic can negate any time you might gain or how going faster burns more fuel, speeding isn’t really helping is it? In fact, it’s costing you. Firstly, you are putting yourself and others at risk by not abiding by posted speed limits. Secondly, if any of the consequences of speeding earn you a citation, those will cost you when applying for life insurance.
You might not be aware of this, but during the life insurance underwriting process, the underwriter takes everything on your Motor Vehicle Report (MVR) into account.
Driving record points
Just like looking at your health history, occupation, and personal hobbies, an underwriter will examine your driving record as a factor in determining how risky you will be to insure. Even some violations that you might consider to be minor can have drastic consequences for your life insurance application. Any indication of reckless or risky behavior can be a red flag to an underwriter. The more negative activity on your driving record, the worse your insurance classification will be. (And the higher your life insurance rate will likely be.)
Another thing to keep in mind: time plays an important role for your driving history. Depending on your state, an MVR can feature violations that are 5-7 years old. Some violations will seat you in a lower classification for anywhere from 3-5 years after the fact. So if you’ve changed your ways (and made a personal pledge never to hit that snooze button and speed into the office parking lot again), some insurance companies may take that into account. But finding which one will give the most grace as time passes is key to a potentially lower life insurance rate.
So where do you start looking for that lower life insurance rate? Working with a financial professional can give you access to numerous providers, life insurance policies, and rates – no matter what your driving record looks like. It’s not a guarantee for success, but working with a financial professional is one way to slow down and potentially shift into better life insurance policy options that may help protect you and your loved ones.
Source: Count+Calculate: “Calculate how much time you save by increasing the speed.” 2017