Searching for a new car insurance company can sometimes be a hassle in itself. With all of the policies and protections offered, not to mention the potentially high price points, you might be dreading a headache before it has even begun. Not to mention if you have a driving history that is less than stellar. But, just how far back do insurance companies look into your driving history? The experts at DriversServices.org weigh in below.
According to the group at DriversServices.org, car insurance companies use a variety of factors to consider in determining the best and most practical policy premium for your vehicle and for your driving habits. One of those key factors is looking back on your driving history. Driving history includes traffic citations, any vehicular crimes you were involved in, accident reports that your vehicle was cited for and more. This means all speeding tickets, reckless-driving citations and other moving violations you received will find a comfortable home on your driving history report. Car insurance companies use these previous driving behaviors as a potential predictor as to any future behaviors, in order to lower the risk for having to pay out for any reason.
Having a tarnished driving record isn’t the end of the world, as the group from DriversServices.org details. You won’t be able to change what has already happened, but you can plan for a better future. Most insurance companies tend to look back on driving history for a standard period of five years. However, this all depends on the insurance company, as well as where it is located in the United States. For example, Massachusetts allows companies to look back into driving records for up to 10 years! Yet, on the converse, certain states, such as Virginia, require car insurance companies to only use driving history data that is within a three-year period.
The experts at DriversServices.org explain that driving infractions or any sort of vehicle activity has the potential to stay on your driving record for a period of five to 10 years, while any insurance claims history will stay on your records for up to seven years. This means that any accidents, regardless of whether or not you were at fault, can greatly affect your chances of purchasing decent, low-cost insurance with a reputable and reliable company.
According to DriversServices.org, the good news is there is plenty of time to change your driving habits for the better in order to keep your premium low and your policy strong. Sure, traffic citations happen, and sometimes they are completely out of your control. However, it is important to keep in mind the next time you leave for work late and decide to cruise at higher speeds than posted, that a speeding citation may haunt you for much longer than anticipated.
Certain insurance agents may tell you outright how far back into your driving history they look in order to determine your insurance rates and premiums. Also, certain insurance companies may disregard driving history blemishes as long as your credit is in good to excellent standing. While important, a driving record is not the only piece of information car insurance companies use to determine your premiums. Yet, for your sake, as well as for your own peace of mind, it is important to keep your record as clean as can be starting now, so that within three to five years, you’ll get the best rates at the lowest prices.