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Driving record and life insurance rates

Apr 12, 2021 5 Minute Read

Anyone who’s ever gotten a speeding ticket knows that driving habits can impact your car insurance. But did you know your driving record affects your life insurance, too?

Life insurance companies look at many aspects of your life when you apply, including your health, your occupation and hobbies, whether you smoke, and your driving record. This is all part of determining how risky you are to insure, which decides your eligibility and rates for life insurance coverage.

So can you get life insurance if you have a less-than-perfect driving record? Does good driving behavior mean lower rates? Let’s take a look.

How does your driving record affect your life insurance?

Life insurers care a lot about your driving record, because dangerous driving behavior means a greater chance of death. On average, about 1.35 million people die in car accidents each year in the United States, and an additional 20 to 50 million people suffer non-fatal injuries, which can lead to long-term disabilities. 

When you apply, though, keep in mind that your driving record is just one part of the big picture. A single speeding ticket should not affect your premiums at all, but a pattern of tickets or moving violations could cause issues. 

So how do insurance companies check your driving record? Typically, life insurers may: 

  • Ask you about your driving during the application, including any history of accidents or moving violations.  
  • Check out your motor vehicle report, also known as your MVR, to figure out your rates and eligibility. Your state’s department of motor vehicles maintains your MVR, which includes things like tickets, accidents, vehicular crimes, and any DUIs or DWIs.

Your recent driving history is the most important when it comes qualifying for life insurance and determining your life insurance rates. Most MVRs include driving records from the last five years, but some go to seven to 10 years or even more, depending on the severity of the violation. That means the ticket you got in college shouldn’t affect your premiums if you’re now in your 40s, but a string of recent tickets likely would.

Can you get life insurance if you’ve had a DUI or DWI?

That depends on how long ago you were charged with driving under the influence. Life insurance companies take DUIs very seriously. In general, if you’ve had one in the past five years, life insurers will either decline coverage or offer significantly higher rates. If you’ve had a DUI or DWI in the past 12 months, eFinancial offers Accidental Death benefit life insurance, but if your DUI or DWI was more than a year ago and your license is valid, then eFinancial can offer you a Rapid Decision Life product.

If it’s been a few years and you’ve kept your record clean, you might have some life insurance options. It can help to talk with an insurance broker like eFinancial, whose team can compare multiple life insurance quotes and help you find the right fit.

Can I get life insurance with a less-than-perfect driving record?

If your driving record is substandard, here are a few ways to find the life insurance coverage you need:

  • Request a motor vehicle report from your state DMV. Requesting your motor vehicle report can help you understand which information your state is reporting to the life insurer. Again, your motor vehicle report typically will include information about past traffic tickets, accidents, DUIs, and vehicular crimes that occurred within the last decade. 
  • Be upfront with the life insurance company. If information comes up later that you didn’t disclose, the insurance company can decline your application. Even worse, your family’s claim could be denied if details emerge later, after you’re covered. It’s important to be as honest and open as possible. Simply tell the insurance company upfront about your driving record, and they’ll help find the best options for your situation.
  • Be open to alternatives, like no exam insurance. No exam insurance is a great route for people who want life insurance but may not qualify for traditional policies. While these policies typically come with higher rates and lower coverage amounts, they can help you secure financial protection if term or permanent life isn’t an option. 
  • Be patient and reapply for life insurance if needed. It’s possible that you won’t get approved for life insurance the first time you apply, especially if your driving record is not the best. Be patient, and don’t hesitate to reapply for life insurance once some time has passed. Keeping your driving record clean in the meantime can make it easier to qualify the second time around. 

Still have questions or want more information about life insurance and driving records?

We’re here to help. eFinancial works with top-rated life insurance companies to help you find the right coverage for you and your family. Call us or start your quote online today.


At eFinancial, our goal is to make life insurance simple, affordable, and understandable for everyday families. This content is intended for educational purposes only. Each post is carefully fact-checked, reviewed and updated regularly to ensure the information is as relevant as possible.