How Far Back Do Insurance Companies Check Driving Records?

Most motorists are well aware of what is coming next when they have recent claims and traffic violation tickets, which influence auto insurance premiums for some time because they are recorded by DMV and CLUE and seen by everyone interested. Car insurance companies check accident and driving records going back three to five years before they place anyone on cover. Motorists usually see large premium increases in the first year and less and less subsequently.

Most companies look at the last three years for accidents and driving history. And most minor traffic violation tickets get removed from DMV records after three years in most states. Some insurers may look at the last five years but the nearer dates are usually more important. Serious traffic violation incidents can continue to affect car insurance rates a bit longer. For example, DUI remains on record around five to seven years. 

This may answer the main question about the periods covered and duration of records. However, it doesn’t follow a linear pattern. When you have a vehicle insurance claim, rates will be affected the most at next renewal. If you don’t have any other incident or ticket, you may see that the premium is gradually coming down in the following periods.

Any traffic violation influences vehicle insurance rates as long as they are on record and therefore state rules as to how long they stay on record determines how long insurers can see them. Secondly, every company looks at accidents and violations differently. For example, some companies may be lenient towards small claims and only consider the last three years while several others may go as far back as five years.

When motorists apply for automobile insurance quotes they give permission to the companies to check their records. Once they want coverage, car insurers can run a check on their Motor Vehicle Reports through DMV. Also, they can look at accident history by requesting a Comprehensive Loss Underwriting Exchange (CLUE) report provided by LexisNexis.

Therefore, there is no point in trying to hide accidents and traffic tickets when it is easy to find out. Auto insurance companies can raise the quotes or even cancel the policy once they discover the facts if applicants aren’t forthcoming with the information when they are getting quotes. So, it is better to be honest and upfront but shop around hard to find the best price with blemishes in driving records.

If you have an unfortunate claim you should look forward and try to stay out of accidents from then onward. There is not much point in dwelling on the past any more so see what you can do from now.

There are a few other discounts, which can counteract to help you find affordable car insurance. For example, you can pay the premium in full to get around five percent rate reduction and avoid installment charges. You can see if you can save with higher deductibles and so many other ways. So, don’t be so down about losing accident free or good driver discounts and find these valuable savings you weren’t bothered to check before.

The main reason auto insurance companies want more money from drivers with accidents and driving records is that they lose confidence and worry about this one incident turning into a pattern. Taking an advanced-driving course after an accident can help in increasing carriers’ confidence in you and get you lower prices too.

Another good alternative may be to allow vehicle insurers to fit a telematic device onto the vehicle and see if you really are a good driver or a dangerous one and determine premiums accordingly. If you are confident they won’t see erratic movements and late night travels this may be a very good option. Some providers afford you immediate discounts just for agreeing to monitoring. Of course, it may not be everyone’s cup of tea but there are so many variations of them in the market now and some of them address privacy concerns pretty well by not recording things like speed and navigation history.

Each car insurance company looks at risk differently. Some can be forgiving and still offer low quotes to experienced drivers with one accident or traffic violation ticket. You shouldn’t generalize it and see how much each carrier would charge. The price gap could really be high even between two similar looking companies. This point should encourage you to shop around a bit harder this time.

You can always check automobile insurance quotes online and compare coverage options and prices. There are a few good comparison sites to help you out and you should spare a few minutes to test the waters.