If you drive, you may obtain a violation at some point in your driving history, such as a speeding ticket or another traffic ticket. The good news is that accidents and violations don’t usually remain indefinitely on your driving history. How long a violation stays on your record will depend on the violation’s severity and where you live. A serious violation could remain on your record indefinitely.
If you have an accident or infraction, your car insurance rates may go up, either immediately after or when your policy’s term is up for renewal. Sometimes, your renewal rate will be higher than the rate you’ve been paying. This higher premium can be true if you’ve had an at-fault accident and filed a claim with your insurer or if you had a claim filed against you.
What’s Included in My Driving Record?
Each state’s Department of Motor Vehicles has its own policies about the length of time different types of accidents and violations remain on your record. Your motor vehicle record (MVR) is your driving history, including accidents and violations such as speeding or other traffic tickets. If you’re a Texan, your complete certified driving record includes the past 15 years.
Numerous states use a “points” system to track violations. If you acquire too many points on your license, you can end up with a suspended license. Many states allow you to take a defensive driving class, reducing the number of points on your record. You may be able to eliminate the points on your record from a moving violation if you take a state-approved defensive driving class in Texas.
How Do Driving Records Affect Car Insurance?
Different states have different regulations about the type of accident an insurer can use when determining your car insurance payments, as well as how far back an insurer can go in your history to calculate your premium.
Many car insurance companies only use the past five years of your driving record to determine your car insurance, so if you had an accident or a violation six years ago, it may not affect your insurance rate. Some car insurers use an even shorter amount of time, like the past three years. Generally, your car insurance rates are high because of an accident on your record.
Can Rates Be Lowered After an Accident?
Typically, car insurance rates will go down a few years after an accident, as long as you drive safely and maintain a clean record. However, if you’re looking to reduce your rates immediately, you can see if your insurer offers any discounts and see if you qualify for anything. A few ways to potentially save include:
Paying your insurance premium in full
Military or certain groups and associations often offer discounts
Go paperless or switch to automatic payments
People who have accidents or violations on their records will often pay more for insurance, whereas those with clean driving records will pay less. Drivers who have multiple violations and accidents, or serious violations, are often classified as high-risk drivers, and they may require non-standard insurance.
The Ed Weeren Insurance Agency team can review your particular driving record to determine what auto insurance you may need and how much your policy may cost.