In California, accidents appear on your driving record for 3 years (on aveage). However, its important to note that a car accident can affect your insurance even after its disappeared off your motor vehicle report.
When you request a quote for your auto insurance, one of the things that underwriters look at is your driving record. Your driving record is a combination of tickets and accidents. We run the MVR (motor vehicle report) and CLUE report (CLUE tells us any paid claims) because these items are a normal part of the underwriting process.
Here is where it can get a bit confusing. Each insurance carrier has a different “lookback” time period. Some will only go back three 3 years, others may look as far back as 5 years. The insurance carrier uses this information to determine whether you qualify for insurance with them, and at what rating tier.
Each carrier can be different with their ratings tiers, but the cleanest driving record get the best rates. The driving records with more claims and tickets will receive a higher rate. This is because the driver of the vehicle with a not-so-great driving report is more likely to file a claim.
Sometimes when drivers have many marks on their record, they are classified as a “high risk” driver. If you are classified as a “high risk” driver, you can count on higher premiums. The carrier also reserves the right to refuse coverage entirely.
If you are denied coverage or feel as though the premium is too high, its time to start looking at another carrier. Its entirely possible that another carrier will not classify you as a “high risk” driver. Because carriers operate on such different criteria, its very beneficial to be working with an independent insurance broker who can easily access many different products at once.
Go ahead and call us to hear what your options are. 916-750-2489.