Changes to NY Cell Phone Law Could Affect Auto Insurance Prices for Some

Share Article advises consumers that one of the best way to keep prices low is to steer clear of accidents and traffic violations.

Auto insurers examine dozens of variables when assessing risk.

Drivers who get caught talking on hand-held cell phones while behind the wheel in New York State now may end up being subject to financial repercussions beyond the up to $100 fine associated with the practice. Beginning today, the Department of Motor Vehicles puts into effect a change to the 2001 state ban on phoning while driving, making it so that violators of the ban get two points tacked on to their driving records for doing so.

While a two-point infraction will by no means automatically bump a motorist into the high-risk insurance category, it could still have an impact on his or her ability to get the cheapest car insurance prices. Every insurer looks at driving record when evaluating how much of a risk a prospective policyholder poses, which will in turn affect the prices that he or she will have to pay for coverage.

If it is the first infraction, or the only infraction, that a motorist has on record, most insurers would likely leave rates where they are. After all, two points is the lowest increment on the state’s driver violation point system. But getting two points added to a record that already has a significant amount of points racked up could push it over the edge, and rates could rise as a result. Consumers also need to take into account the fact that all providers weigh a number of factors, and each of those factors is weighted differently.

“It is difficult to quantify whether the state’s new rules—adding two points to the license of a driver convicted of driving while talking on a cell phone—will raise anyone’s rates,” Michael Barry, vice president of media relations for the Insurance Information Institute, told Online Auto Insurance News. “Auto insurers examine dozens of variables when assessing risk.”

Major insurers in the state are still determining whether or how to adjust rating formulas in light of the new law. The general rule for motorists to follow is that the better a driving record is, the more likely it is that the driver will be able to find the cheapest premiums.

Two points are already added to the records of motorists in the state who text while driving.


To learn more about ways to keep coverage prices low, readers can go to where visitors will find informative resource pages and a free and easy-to-use quote-comparison generator.


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Benjamin Zitney
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