Driving is something that most of us do every day. Whether it is driving to and fro from work, going out to pick up some groceries, or driving as an occupation, it is a privilege that we often take for granted.
However, what many people don’t realize is that our driving record is something that life insurance companies may take into account when underwriting a life insurance application.
Here is how it works: all life insurance applications ask about driving related offenses. If the applicant indicates that there have been no offenses then the underwriters will not bother looking at the applicant’s driving history. However, if upon applying you indicate that you have had several offenses then the life insurance company may look at your MVR (Motor Vehicle Record), depending on the nature and frequency of the driving offenses.
Are you surprised? Consider this: would you offer a life insurance policy to someone who’s had several at-fault accidents, one DUI, and has been ticketed for driving at very high speeds in the last couple of years?
Now you might be asking yourself: alright, but what type of driving record will affect a life insurance application?
Well, relax, sit back and let us answer these questions for you!
Personal versus Job-Related Driving
If the applicant drives for a living and there have been driving related offenses then underwriters will examine that applicant’s driving record in more detail compared to people who do not drive for a living.
In other words, a poor driving record for professional drivers will have an even greater impact on their life insurance rating compared to other people. This is due to the fact that people who drive professionally simply drive more hours compared to others.
(Note: "underwriting" refers to the investigation of an applicant’s health records and life style by the insurance company).
Factors That Affect Underwriting
The following are the main driving related factors that will be accounted for when underwriters of a life insurance company process an application:
- Current age of the applicant (teenage applicants and applicants over the age of 65 may be looked at in greater detail)
- Types of infractions (e.g. non-moving violations such as parking tickets don’t count)
- Frequency of infractions
- DUI (with special emphasis on whether or not multiple infractions have been committed)
- Any driving license suspensions, along with the reasons for the license suspensions
- Occurrence of any at-fault accidents
- Any risk taking avocations
When it comes to driving related requirements the only thing that an applicant may need to provide is their MVR (motor vehicle record).
Some provinces will require the applicant to provide this MVR, while other provinces allow the insurance company access to their Motor Vehicle Record (permission for the insurance company to access your MVR is granted by the applicant at the time of application).
How to Speed Up an Application
To fast track an application and avoid any delays make sure you have the following ready to go if you have indicated on your application that you have had driving violations:
- The number and types of driving violations
- The date of the last violation
- When the last license suspension (if any) occurred
Likely Underwriting Decisions
The most likely underwriting decisions regarding a driving record with infractions are as follows:
- One DUI infraction: if you have been convicted of a DUI offense then coverage will not be considered until 6 months month AFTER the suspension is lifted. If there were other infractions along with the DUI (e.g. dangerous driving) then coverage will be deferred until 12 months after the suspension is over.
- Multiple DUI offenses: coverage will probably be declined.
- If there were several minor infractions then standard rates are possible.
- If there were several convictions considered to be dangerous (e.g. multiple speeding tickets traveling at high speeds) then the premiums may be an extra $2.50 - $5 per $1000 of coverage.
We hope this article shed some helpful light on how a driving record can impact a life insurance application.
As licensed life insurance brokers it is our responsibility to know how insurance companies take into account a driving record with infractions.
Please call us toll-free at 1-866-676-4581 if you have any questions regarding your driving record and life insurance. We are here to help!