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How Long do Car Insurance Claims Stay on Your Record?

How Long do Car Insurance Claims Stay on Your Record

To briefly summarize, car insurance claims can stay on your record anywhere from three to seven years. Claims for more serious damages can result in much longer. For the sake of simplicity, we’ll use the most common reason for an auto insurance claim –a car accident. At-fault accidents, in particular, will affect both your record and your insurance rates for years to come. This post looks at how much they will be affected and the importance your driving record plays in car insurance.

What is a Driving Record?

Your driving record is usually maintained by your state’s Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) beginning when you register for your driver’s license. It makes note of any traffic violations, at-fault accidents, and any legal violations like driving without insurance. These violations can stay on your record for up to seven years, depending on the state. DUIs, especially, stay on record for at least ten years –sometimes permanently. Your driving record follows you wherever you go as car insurance companies look at it as part of their underwriting process.

Do Insurance Claims go on a Driving Record?

Your record will also reflect any insurance claims since your provider and DMV are in contact and must update your record periodically. When you go shopping for new insurance, prospective providers will be able to see your claims history in addition to any driving mark-ups. This is how they gauge how much of a risk a driver will be to take on as a policyholder so they can set premiums accordingly.

How Much do Auto Insurance Rates Increase After a Claim?

If a claim is filed because of damage you caused in an accident, it will increase your auto insurance rates. How much exactly your rates will increase depends on your provider, but the average shows an increase of at least 41%. Two claims in one year can result in a premium increase of at least 92%. At the same time, bodily injury claims can result in a higher increase than a property damage claim would.

Other factors that can influence how much your rates will increase after a claim are:

  • Your state of residence - Premium increases vary across the board when it comes to where you live. The same goes for how long a claim stays on your record.
  • Your age - As a general rule of thumb, younger drivers always pay higher car insurance rates than any other driver due to their lack of experience.
  • Your driving record - As this whole post stresses, your driving record plays a role in determining how much you will pay for car insurance.
  • Injuries you caused in an accident - Any injuries you cause will be noted, and each one increases your rates more.

How is Fault Determined by Insurers?

The deciding factor of whether or not your insurance rates will increase after a claim will be if it was your fault. Insurance adjusters will search for driver fault when investigating an accident. While some determine a clear verdict of who was at fault, some use share fault if it is otherwise unclear. They base it on percentage, so one driver can be 45% at fault for an accident while the other can be 55% at fault. A rule of thumb is that if you are at least 51% at fault for the accident, it will be reflected in a premium increase, nor will your car insurance company be charged for the claim.

Do Claims Stay on Your Record if You Aren’t at Fault?

When a claim is filed for an accident that you weren’t at fault for, then it will not go on your record, nor will it cause your rates to increase. For the same reason, that’s why comprehensive claims for vandalized or stolen vehicles while parked also don’t cause a change in insurance rates. It’s also essential that you gather all of the information the claims adjuster requests since this is what will determine who pays greater insurance rates. Your rates will not be raised if you are not at fault for the accident. If you’re extremely negligent, your premiums will most certainly skyrocket.

Can You Still Find Insurance With a Claim on Your Record?

During the years when a claim is on your record, be it three, seven, or ten, you may go shopping for a new insurance provider. A couple of claims over the course of a couple of years won’t cause an insurance provider to deny you coverage, but you will be paying higher than average. Of course, you can always avoid having to file at-fault claims and markups on your record by practicing safe driving habits.

Don’t skimp on coverage to save money. Insurance Navy offers high-quality car insurance coverage at affordable rates. Get a free car insurance quote today to see how much you could be saving. Quotes are available online at our website or mobile app. You can also speak to one of our expert agents at 888-949-6289.

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