Do Auto Insurance Companies Check Police Reports?
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There are many factors that could contribute to the amount your car insurance company charges for your policy. It’s common knowledge that factors like your age, driving history, and credit score can impact your premiums, so it makes sense that many people wonder whether or not insurance providers check police reports. Here’s what you can expect companies to look for when determining the cost of your insurance premiums – and whether or not they can check police reports in the process.
How Insurance Companies Check Police Reports
Yes, car insurance companies do check police reports. There are a variety of ways this can happen, but it usually occurs either when someone files a claim or through the DMV. DMV can access all police reports, and they often share them with car insurance companies upon request. There is typically a police report filed when any car accident happens. The officers on the scene will determine what happened based on talking to the drivers involved and any witness, as well as looking at the physical evidence. This information is then filed into an official police report for future reference.
The insurance companies will then take the information in the report into account when determining your premiums. This can be both good and bad, depending on the circumstances. For example, a police report might determine you weren’t at fault in an accident you were involved in, which can prevent your premiums from increasing. However, if you were considered at fault in a criminal investigation such as insurance fraud or theft, your premiums could go up.
Insurance companies also look at police reports when conducting their own investigations into the claims they get. Again, this can help or hurt you depending on the circumstances. Generally, it’s always better for the insurance company to have as much information as possible so that they can make a fair decision when paying out claims. Even if you don’t file a report with your car insurance company, they can still find out if you were in an accident if another party involved reports it to their insurance provider and gets the police report.
What You Need To Know About CLUE Reports
Unfortunately, there’s virtually no way to hide your accident information from car insurance companies. This is because they use a database called CLUE to track driver information, including anything that would be filed in a police report. CLUE is run by a company called LexisNexis, and there is a similar report called A-PLUS that’s run by a company called Verisk, although it isn’t used as often. The database tracks claims that have been paid or denied by your own insurance company, as well as any inquiries someone else has filed about you. This information can get into the database any number of ways – some auto repair shops even have access to it.
Insurers will normally only check your CLUE report after you have become a customer, but they can adjust your rates if there is information in the report you have failed to disclose to them. You can request a copy of the report from the company for free, so you can stay informed about what information is in it.
Every company processes insurance claims differently, so even though they all have the same information, you have options when it comes to coverage. Your driving history will be used to determine how much of a ‘risk’ you are to insure. Some providers are more strict than others, so don’t be afraid to shop around for insurance.
Generally, it’s always best to be up front with your insurance company, even if your driving record isn’t the best. Through police reports, CLUE reports, and other means, they will find out about any incidents you have been involved in. Even if you switch carriers, your premiums will likely go up after an accident. The best way to keep your premiums low is just to drive safely and try to avoid getting in accidents. If you’ve had accidents in the past, don’t worry – the longer it’s been since the accident, the less it will factor into the price of your premiums.