Do Any Insurers Not Check Your Driving Record?
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Your driving record plays a big role in insurance premiums. That’s why some drivers look for insurers that do not check driving records.
All insurance companies check your driving record before assigning a policy. Insurance companies have a central database that lists any offenses over the past three to 10 years.
However, insurance companies check driving records in different ways. Some states store driver information for three years, while other states store it for seven years. A DUI from ten years ago will appear on your driving record in California, for example, but it may not appear in other states.
Do any insurers not check your driving record? Are there certain incidents your insurer cannot see? Let’s take a closer look at how insurers check your driving record.
All Insurers Check your Driving Record
Every car insurance company in the United States checks your driving record.
Your driving record is one of the key factors that affect how much you pay for car insurance. Your insurance company wants to know how good of a driver you are. To do that, your insurer will check your driving history.
Are you a safe driver with no speeding tickets or at-fault accidents? You’ll pay cheaper insurance premiums.
Are you a bad driver with multiple speeding tickets, a DUI, and an at-fault accident? You’ll pay more expensive rates for car insurance.
What Appears on Your Driving Record?
Most states track your motor vehicle report (MVR), which is a summary of any incidents, speeding tickets, accidents, and traffic violations. This information is attached to your driver’s license name and number and is tracked for life.
Your insurance company cannot pull your full motor vehicle report (MVR). Instead, it pulls a summary listing your most recent tickets, accidents, and convictions.
Rules vary widely between states. Typically, insurance companies can view information dating back three to five years.
In some states, insurance companies can view information dating back seven years. In some states, more serious violations are tracked for 10 or even 13 years. In California, for example, a DUI remains on your record and counts as an offense for 13 years, which means you could be paying higher insurance premiums for over a decade.
What does all of this mean for you? Assume your insurance company can view any incidents over the last three to seven years. Incidents older than five years may disappear, and minor violations may not impact your record at all – especially if they occurred several years ago. More serious violations – like a DUI or major at-fault accident – could impact insurance premiums for many years.
Driving History Outside of the Lookback Period Will Not Impact Premiums
Insurance companies use something called the lookback period to assess insurance premiums. Driving history outside of this lookback period will not impact insurance premiums.
The lookback period varies by state and insurance company. As mentioned above, most insurers and states check your driving history over the past three to five years.
Insurance companies check your lookback period during the underwriting process. The insurer will check the applicant’s driving history to determine premiums.
Any incidents outside of the lookback period will not impact your insurance premiums. If you have a DUI from 20 years ago, for example, then this DUI will not impact insurance premiums in any state or with any insurance company. A speeding ticket from last year, however, would impact insurance premiums in most states and with most insurers.
What’s Included in the MVR?
Your motor vehicle report includes various information about your driving record. When your insurance company requests your MVR from the state, your insurance company sees all of the following information:
- Moving violations (like speeding tickets and other citations)
- Criminal convictions associated with your driving record (like DUIs or failures to appear in court)
- License restrictions (like eyeglass requirements or not driving at night)
- Prior license suspensions or revocations within the lookback period
What If My Record Isn’t Clean? What’s the Best Insurance Company for a High-Risk Driver?
If you have at-fault accidents or other violations on your record, then you can still buy car insurance. In fact, by shopping around, you can find cheap car insurance even as a high-risk driver.
Yes, high-risk drivers pay more for car insurance than low-risk drivers. However, by comparing multiple car insurance quotes today, you can ensure you pay the lowest possible rates for insurance.
Some companies specialize in insuring high-risk drivers. They have a balanced insurance pool of high and low-risk drivers, for example. The high-risk drivers pay higher premiums to balance out the lower premiums paid by the lower risk drivers. In fact, many insurance companies aim to create this balance in their insurance pool.
It’s also important to note that incidents don’t remain on your driving record forever. You may have been involved in an at-fault accident two years ago, for example, but that incident will disappear from your record eventually – possibly in as little as one year, depending on your state and insurer.
Be patient and drive safely. If you have no new accidents, violations, or other incidents, then you will eventually be considered a low-risk driver.
All insurance companies in the United States check your driving record. Your driving record is the primary way in which insurers calculate premiums.
However, insurers and states check driving records in different ways. Some states and insurers look back seven years, for example, while other insurers only check three or five years of driving history. Generally, any incidents disappear from your driving record within five to seven years.
Compare insurance quotes today. Even if you’re a high-risk driver with multiple incidents on your driving record, you can compare quotes to find the right insurance policy for you.