Demerit points are a crucial aspect of road safety in Australia, designed to promote responsible driving and penalise traffic offences. However, can demerit points influence car insurance premiums and how do they vary across different Australian states? We answer these questions in this handy guide.
Demerit points are penalty points given to drivers who violate traffic laws. Various offences can lead to demerit points, including:
Every driver begins with a clean slate of zero demerit points, and these points accumulate for each committed offence. However, the accumulation of demerit points varies between states and territories and depends on the specific offence committed. You will also have a lower limit if you hold a learner’s permit or provisional licence than someone on a full driver’s licence.
This depends on the insurer. Some car insurance companies in Australia primarily determine premiums based on an individual’s claims history and driving behaviour, rather than the number of demerit points they have – though things like licence suspensions resulting from excessive demerit points may still affect premiums.
Other insurers do take demerit points into account when calculating premiums, viewing them as an additional risk factor that indicates a driver’s safety and responsibility behind the wheel. As a result, drivers with a higher number of demerit points may face higher insurance rates.
Regardless, when your insurer asks about your demerit points or licence history, it’s essential to be honest and accurate. Failure to do so may lead to your insurer rejecting your claim in the event of an accident or loss.
Each state and territory in Australia has different methods for checking how many demerit points you have:
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