Yes, insurance companies share claims history with each other using databases such as C.L.U.E., which is run by Lexis Nexis and contains claims data from more than 99% of car insurance companies. Insurers can check a driver’s claims history using C.L.U.E. if the driver wants a quote. Claims history information is important to insurance companies because drivers with a history of claims, especially at-fault claims, present more risk to insurers.
Insurance claims databases are the industry’s equivalent of credit reports. Like credit reports, these databases are designed to provide a centralized record of a consumer’s past behavior. This information helps insurance companies decide what premium to charge based on the individual driver. But rest assured that your claims history is only one factor that goes into your premium. Insurers will also consider characteristics such as age, driving record, location, and vehicle information.
For more information on insurance claims history databases and to learn how to check your claims history report for free, check out WalletHub’s guide to C.L.U.E. reports.
Most insurance companies check your driving record for the past three to five years, meaning if you had a violation outside this time period, it will not affect your insurance premiums. Some states regulate this “look-back” period, however, making it longer or shorter. For example, Massachusetts allows insurance companies to look back at 10 years of driving records. Virginia limits insurers to checking only three years of history.… read full answer
When you apply for, or renew, your auto insurance, the insurance company will evaluate your risk level — how likely you are to cost them money through claims. The best way to do this is by reviewing your driving record. Insurers look for accident reports and both major and minor driving violations.
Minor violations include speeding, failure to stop, improper turns, following too closely, etc. These raise your risk in the eyes of an insurance company because they show you don’t obey traffic laws designed to prevent crashes. In most states, minor traffic violations can be seen on your record for only three years.
Speeding (at least 20 mph over the limit), reckless driving, impaired driving, leaving the scene of an accident, and vehicular manslaughter are examples of major driving violations. They stay on your record longer. In Florida, for example, causing an accident while under the influence stays on your record for 75 years, basically your lifetime. Insurance companies count serious violations and at-fault accidents heavily in setting premiums.
Once the blemishes on your record are older than the look-back period, however, they are no longer a factor in setting your rates. For example, if your insurance company has a look-back period of five years, an accident you had in 2014 would stop affecting your rates in 2019. Your insurance rates should decrease at your next renewal as a result.
A car accident stays on your record for insurance for three to five years, depending on the state and insurance company. After that period, an accident no longer appears on a driver’s record for insurance purposes and will not affect car insurance premiums directly.
Just remember that even if the record of the accident goes away after three years, it could take as long as five years before a driver is able to once again qualify for good driver discounts. For example, Geico requires drivers to go five consecutive years without an at-fault accident in order to qualify, while drivers with State Farm can requalify for an accident-free discount after three years.… read full answer
Overall, first-time car accidents increase premiums by an average of 50%, depending on the state and resulting damage. But it’s possible that an accident won’t affect your rates at all.
For example, hit-and-runs committed against you don’t usually affect your insurance costs. And if an accident is a first offense on an otherwise spotless record, your insurance company might offer accident forgiveness, which would prevent your rates from going up. However, not every company offers this perk, and some only offer it as an add-on coverage option.
On the other hand, if you commit a hit and run or cause an accident due to DUI, the accident could stay on your insurance record for up to 10 years or longer. It will also lead to a significant increase in the cost of insurance.
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