You are considered a high-risk driver for 6 months to 10 years. It depends on how far back an insurance company looks in your official driving record and Comprehensive Loss Underwriting Exchange (CLUE) report for accident claims and moving violations, as well as the reason you were designated as risky in the first place. Not all auto insurance providers have the same rules regarding how long they consider someone a high-risk driver, and the “look back” time that insurance companies use when checking your driving record and claims history varies from company to company.
Often, drivers have to wait for points they’ve accumulated from traffic tickets and moving violations to fall off their driving record, or become too old for an insurer to see, before their insurance provider will stop considering them a high-risk driver. Insurance companies use their own points systems to determine how much of a risk a driver poses and then calculate rates accordingly, but they generally follow the same timeline as the DMV when it comes to having those points fall off your driving record. That could take anywhere from 3 to 10 years.
Most minor traffic violations, such as speeding tickets or single-car accidents, typically stay on a driving record for 3 years. Major violations, like getting a DUI/DWI or fleeing an officer, will usually remain on your record for 5-10 years. You can request a copy of your auto insurance company’s point system, sometimes called a surcharge schedule, to get a better understanding of how accumulating points will affect your rate and how long the company may consider you a high-risk driver.
On the other hand, new drivers who have never had insurance, or drivers who have not maintained continuous insurance coverage, are usually only considered high-risk customers for the first term of their insurance policy (typically 6 months) so they can get established with a company or take steps to immediately improve their driving record, like by completing a defensive driving course. Teen drivers and adults with little or no history as an active driver are also considered high-risk drivers until they gain more driving experience.
Why Insurance Companies Could Consider You a High-Risk Driver:
- You’re a teenage or senior driver.
- You get a major traffic violation, like a DUI/DWI.
- You accumulate enough points on your driving record (the threshold for rate increases is usually two or four).
- You don’t have proof of at least six months of continuous insurance coverage.
- Your credit score is low, or you have no credit history.
- You rent rather than own your home.
The good news is you won’t be considered a high-risk driver forever, as long as you start driving responsibly and let enough time pass for your past violations to stop showing up on your DMV record. However, if you continue to get tickets, have accidents and/or let your insurance coverage lapse, you could be considered high-risk for as long as you’re an active driver.
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