How Far Back Do Car Insurance Companies Look Back?

Insurance and Your History

Car insurance companies take a client’s history seriously. This can be great for those with sterling driving records. But, it can be an issue if you’ve had an accident or ticket. 

Legal Implications of Insurance and Their Access

Insurance is mandatory in nearly every state. There isn’t any getting around that. However, not every state allows insurance companies to legally search through a client’s credit or driving record. The ones that do follow some general guidelines on the time frame.

Time Frames for Credit History and Driver Record

Most events with your credit history are going to show for about ten years before they cycle off. This counts for positive events as well as negative, so this isn’t all bad news. For your driving record, some infractions can be visible for roughly 5-10 years.

Do Insurance Companies Look That Far Back?

The short answer is that it depends. Most of the time, they only check for recent changes in the last 2-3 years for the purpose of setting a premium. But if they find something that raises a red flag, they may look through a more detailed history.

What Sort of Things Show Up on My History?

For your credit history, positive events like paying your loan will show up. Negative actions like defaulting or over-drafting may adversely affect you. Tickets, infractions or criminal mischief will come back on any driver history record requesting by insurance.

Do They Only Look at the Negatives?

Insurers review the overall credit history and driving record to factor in premium. They don’t solely focus on the negative. Good drivers and people with great credit are assets for their business. They often provide discounts or better premiums to such clients.

Is There Anything I Can Do?

Insurers are within their rights as a business to review prior history for prospective clients to protect both themselves and existing customers. Fortunately, these events do cycle off of your records eventually. This decreases their impact on your premium.

How to Handle Your History

It’s not possible to undo past events but you can work to improve them. Build your credit, and consider driver’s courses to show your insurer that you are working to stay safe on the road. Don’t get stuck on history. Show your insurer you’re moving forward.

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