Many people receive at least one traffic ticket and cause at least one auto accident during their lifetime. While both can carry serious consequences anywhere, they could have strong effects on your insurance rates in North Carolina. If you receive a conviction for a traffic offense or cause an accident in the state, you will likely accrue points on your insurance. Depending on the nature of your incident, these points could cause your insurance rates to skyrocket.
How SDIP points work
North Carolina’s Safe Driver Incentive Plan (SDIP) ties your insurance rates to your convictions for traffic offenses, as well as whether you caused any auto accidents during your insurance’s experience period. If you have no traffic convictions or qualifying accidents on your record, your insurance rates will likely remain low. Yet, your rates will start climbing once you cause a qualifying accident or receive a traffic conviction, no matter how major or minor.
The increase in your insurance rates will depend on the number of SDIP points corresponding to your traffic conviction or accident. The relationship between SDIP points and insurance rates is:
- One point: 30% increase
- Two points: 45% increase
- Three points: 60% increase
- Four points: 80% increase
- Eight points: 195% increase
- 10 points: 260% increase
- 12 points: 340% increase
Exceptions to the SDIP point system
There are two cases where you can avoid accruing SDIP points after a traffic incident. The first is if you received a ticket for exceeding the posted speed limit by no more than 10 miles per hour. In this case, you will not accrue any points if you have no other violations on your record and your offense did not happen in a school zone. The second is if you were involved in a minor motor vehicle accident. In this case, you will not accrue any points if the accident caused property damage only – so long as the total damage did not exceed $2,300 – and you were not convicted of a moving violation for your role in the accident. You may accrue points, though, if members of your household have received them on your insurance.
Any SDIP points you accrue can have serious effects on your insurance rates. If you received any after an accident or a traffic offense, you will want to work with an attorney to mitigate your potential consequences.