How Far Back Do Car Insurance Companies Look?

Why is my accident from seven years ago still on my record?

This is a question that a recent client asked me when I was doing a new car insurance quote for her.

There’s a misconception that car accidents clear off your record after a certain number of years, as tickets/convictions do. Tickets and convictions clear off of your driver’s abstract three years after the conviction date. It’s not the same with car accidents and claims. many people assume that car accidents clear off your record after six years. That is not so.

Car accidents and claims are registered on another report. The report is called Autoplus, which is basically an insurance history. The Autoplus report shows your car insurance history, namely which insurance companies you’ve been insured with, accidents, claims, and also any cancellations like, for example, cancellations due to non-payment.

How far back do car insurance companies look, then?

So you know that your insurance history report shows your accidents and claims. Now the question is, how far back do car insurance companies look?

The answer is not so simple, either. Insurance companies can order a 10-year, 20-year, or 25-year report. Most order 10-year reports and some order longer reports.

Now, your actual car insurance rate, in most cases, is based on how many years it has been since your most recent at-fault car accident. Every insurance company rates for accidents for at least six years. Some go further to give a better rate after that. No matter how far back any individual insurance company looks, the rate is mostly based on your most recent at-fault car accident. If you’ve had a recent at-fault car accident, expect your car insurance rates to gradually decrease at subsequent renewals as the accident gets older, all other things being equal (eg. new tickets would change the rating too.

So, even though you might have had an at-fault accident more than six years ago, it’s still possible that the accident is having an impact on your current car insurance rates. This is what I advised my client and now she understands.

Just keep driving safe and your rates will continue to decrease as the accident gets older.

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