Your driving record can lower or increase your premiums, although some insurance companies can even drop you or refuse to insure you if they consider you to be too high of a risk. Keeping your driving record clean can help you benefit from lower premiums or even discounts for staying accident or violation free. Keep in mind that the average insurance company will look back 3 years through your driving record when they renew your policy, meaning that your insurance rates will be higher than they need to be for up to 3 years.
Average increase in insurance premiums for:
A Speeding Ticket: 26%
An At-Fault Accident: 49%
Reckless Driving: 91%
A DUI: 105%
Keep in mind however that insurance companies will not look at a driving record the same way, so it’s important to always compare rates to find the best company for your needs.
Disclaimer: Average rate increases calculated using quadrant premium data for a 45-year old male driver.
No. There are no auto insurance companies that don’t check your driving record. Most auto insurance companies check your driving record for the past 3 years when you submit your application for coverage, and some check your driving record as far back as 7-10 years.
However, auto insurance companies generally do not check your driving record just to give you a simple quote, with no obligation to buy. It costs money to check someone’s official driving record, so the agent (or online tool) will initially generate a quote for your car insurance coverage based on the driving history you submit. Once you accept the quote and commit to move forward, an underwriter from the insurance company will check your actual driving record to make sure the quote is valid.… read full answer
It’s also common practice for auto insurance companies to check your driving record when it’s time to renew your policy, generally every 6 or 12 months. They will typically run a check on your driving record about 45 days before a policy is going to expire. If you’ve received any new tickets or gotten into an accident since the policy began, you may be required to pay a higher rate. However, if you’ve been with a company for a long time and maintained a clean driving record, the insurer may choose to forgo continuously checking your driving record due to the cost.
Know What’s In Your Driving Record
Since there are no auto insurance companies that do not check your driving record, knowing what an insurer might find out beforehand could be key to helping you get the cheapest insurance rate. For example, it’s helpful to know if an old traffic violation is going to fall off your record soon, as that may be a good time to shop around for a better auto insurance rate. On the other hand, if you’ve accumulated several points on your license recently, you may want to take a defensive driving class to help prevent your insurance rate from going up or having your coverage canceled. Also, if your motor vehicle record is so bad that your driver’s license is suspended or revoked, your policy could be canceled or you could be prevented from getting auto insurance altogether until your license is reinstated.
To get ahead of what an insurance provider might find in your driving history, you can request a copy of your official driving record from the department of motor vehicles for each state in which you’ve held a valid driver’s license. Keep in mind that each state has its own rules about how long it keeps personal driving history records and how you should request those records.
Another source of useful information regarding your driving record is a Comprehensive Loss Underwriting Exchange (CLUE) report, which offers a detailed history of claims you’ve made through insurance providers. With your CLUE report, you can dispute errors and have a clear idea of what insurance companies will be reviewing.
The cost of car insurance will go up at least 20% or around $200 after most types of tickets. Exactly how much your rate will increase depends on the seriousness of the violation, your insurance company, your prior claims and driving history, your age and location, and other factors. For example, insurance goes up roughly 30% after a ticket for spending 30+ MPH over the speed limit, while a ticket for lower levels of speeding will cause rates to go up by about 20%.… read full answer
Most tickets will affect your rate for three to five years, but it depends on the seriousness of the infraction and state laws. Driving drunk can impact your rates for more than 10 years, for example. In Florida, DUIs stay on your record for 75 years. And states like Indiana, Kentucky, and Minnesota treat seatbelt violations like parking tickets, which affect rates for less time than a moving violation. The amount of time a ticket will affect your insurance rate is very dependent on the laws where you live.
How Traffic Tickets Affect Insurance
Average Premium Increase
DUI/DWI (first offense)
Speeding (30+ MPH over)
Speeding (16-29 MPH over)
Speeding (1-15 MPH over)
Failure to yield
Failure to stop
It’s also worth noting that traffic tickets might cause some drivers to lose valuable safe-driver discounts, which would affect rates even longer and more dramatically. Let’s say your annual premium is $1,500 and your save driver discount is 25%, bringing the price down to $1,125. But you got a speeding ticket, increasing your premium by 20% and eliminating your safe driver discount. Now you’re paying $1,800 per year—full price plus 20%, costing you $675 more than you were paying before the ticket.
After three years, the speeding ticket might fall off your record, allowing your rates to go back down to full price. But you’ll probably have to wait another two years to earn back your safe driver status since most insurance companies look back five years for eligibility.
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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