How Long Does an Accident Stay on my Driving Record?

You may have been enjoying pretty low auto insurance rates until making a car accident claim. Once an at fault collision goes on your record you lose your good driver discount. Now you are probably going to face a vehicle insurance premium increase at renewal. And you would be asking yourself how long does it take for car insurance rates to recover after an accident?

How Long Does an Accident or Ticket Stay on Driving Records?

Usually you see the highest premium increase just after the incident. Then, you should see your vehicle insurance premium come down from next year, providing there is no more accidents or traffic tickets. It will probably continue its downwards movement at each consequent renewals. You will finally see most of the savings you enjoyed before back by the end of the third year.

So, when do accidents fall off insurance? You will get decent good driver discount with 3 years no claim or traffic tickets as accidents and tickets usually fall off insurance radar after this period. Most insurance companies look back three years of driving records when they calculate premium quotes.

Most traffic violation tickets would be removed after three years as well if you received a ticket due to the accident that lead to the claim. Then, you would enjoy near maximum good driver auto insurance discount again. After the third year you may not receive good driver discount any more or you would see your rates go down slightly for another couple of years at which point they may level out. So, both traffic tickets and claims affect your car insurance costs and you should try to avoid them where possible. You may have to fight a ticket in the court if you have to.

How Much Does Insurance Go Up after Accident?

How much an accident affect your auto insurance rates depend on many factors. You could see between 40 – 80% increase your renewal premium if you were at fault in the accident and the damages and injury costs were well over $2,000. If you are a young driver with limited driving or insurance history the increase would be maximum while it may still be manageable for an experienced driver with previously clean records.

If your rates went up a lot it may be worth getting alternative quotes at next renewal. Each insurer offers different level of good driver discount that it is always worth comparing quotes. Some companies offer large discounts for good drivers while a few others may be offering as large a discount for drivers with good credit score. Since you lost your good driver discount you would see premium increase. But, you should try to minimize the effects of recent bad driving records by shopping for the best deals.

There are many other companies that look at many other factors when they calculate premiums. If you have a good credit history, a respected profession, good education, you are a home owner, driving low miles and living in a good neighborhood you may still be considered low risk driver by many automobile insurance providers despite one recent claim. Now, it is your job to find those insurers.

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