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How far back do insurance companies look?

I was just curious how many years of driving history insurance companies check when they are deciding on rates for new clients.

Feb 20, 2018 Middletown, CT

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Ava Lynch

Insurance Analyst

Credentials
  • 7+ years of Experience in the Insurance Industry

Ava joined The Zebra as a writer and licensed insurance agent in 2016. She now works as a senior insurance contributor, providing insights and data a…

Great question! While it can vary by carrier, most car insurance companies will charge (i.e. increase your premium) for any ticket or violation within the past 3 years. You typically won't be charged for anything that happened beyond three years ago, however, insurance companies will still pull five years of driving history from your Motor Vehicle Report (MVR).

In regards to your insurance claims, though, insurance companies can see a CLUE report (Comprehensive Loss Underwriting Exchange) that tracks seven years of claims information, such as the type of claim and the payout that was made. This is something that is shared between companies, so even if you made a claim a few years ago and have switched insurers since then, the details will still be available to your new insurer. If you've had a high number of claims in the past, this can have a significant impact on car insurance rates.

Insurance companies look at more than just your driving history when determining rates, though. Your driver profile gives your insurer details to help them determine your car insurance premium: age, gender, location, credit score, claims history, and of course, your driving record. The good news is that even if you've had an accident or ticket on your record, those aren't the only things that matter. If your main concern is trying to save money, focus on some of the other things within your control: work on improving your credit score, ask about discounts you may be eligible for, and simply focus on being a safe driver from here on out.

I hope this helps! If you are looking to find more affordable options for your car insurance or have questions about how your driving history might impact rates, give our experts a call at 888-255-4364 to get personalized quotes.

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