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Car insurance companies will check your driving record periodically. What they see could help or hinder the cost of your insurance premiums.
Knowing the frequency in which they check and what you can do about it will help dramatically. Even if you have less-than-flattering content on your driving record, you can still control the cost of your premiums to some degree.
One great way to pay less for insurance is to compare car insurance quotes and switch to a company that offers lower premiums. Enter your zip code above to compare today.
How Your Driving Record Is Used
When you get quotes from insurance companies, and once you obtain policies, they have access to your driving record.
Insurance companies use reports from LexisNexis, a software tool that has advanced algorithms. It allows a score to be generated for drivers based on the data within the report.
A lot of statistics are used to determine not only what the cost of insurance will be, but also what you are like as a driver on the road. The statistics show a person’s risk of dying.
Some of the statistics that have the most relevance towards car insurance include:
- A DUI or DWI,
- Reckless driving and
- Speeding 30 mph or more above the limit
Studies showed that a single serious violation for a woman doubled the death rate while it increased the rate by 61 percent for a man. Additionally, six or more violations on a driving record could boost the death rate to 79 percent.
These statistics are important because insurance companies calculate the cost of insurance based on risk.
If they see information on your driving record that indicates you could die behind the wheel, it is pertinent to what they charge to keep you insured.
Without the driving record, insurance companies would have to take your word for everything that you tell them. A large number of factors go into the calculation of insurance premiums.
- Your age
- Your gender
- The car you drive
- Your driving history
Some information is pulled from your driver’s license number and other information that you provide.
Many insurance companies will request your Social Security number as part of the insurance quotes process. The Social Security number will allow insurance companies to pull more accurate reports and do so faster.
It is in your best interest to provide them with the information that they request to ensure that your premiums are as accurate as possible.
Otherwise, you run the risk of paying more because they have to make assumptions based on the data that they do have access to within their systems.
What Your Driving Record Might Show
Your driving record has the potential to show a lot of different details. It will include a lot of your basic information, such as your name and address.
It will also provide your driver’s license number, the state it was issued, and when the license expires. Endorsements will also be identified, such as if you can drive a motorcycle or if you have a CDL.
Other information shown will have an impact on the cost of your insurance premiums:
- Driver’s license status – Insurance companies will look to see what the status of your license is, and has been. They will be able to see if you have a permit or a standard license, are in good standing and if there are points on your license.
- Suspensions and revocations – If your license has been suspended or revoked at any time, insurance will be able to see when and why. If there has been a DUI or DWI, they will stay on a license for longer than other suspensions and revocations because of the severity.
- Collisions – If you have been involved in any collisions with other vehicles, insurance will be able to see when it happened. It is often linked to the police report, too, which allows insurance companies to read all that happened during the accident.
- Violations and Convictions – Speeding tickets, failure to signal when changing lanes and other violations will be reported. If the violation was severe enough and you had to go to court, such as with vehicular homicide, convictions will also be reported.
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The records will go back at least three years, depending on the state you live in. New York residents have suspensions and revocations on their driving record for four years.
If you are nearing the end of the period, knowing the dates of all infractions will make it easier. It will allow you to contact insurance so that they check your driving records again and make updates once the infractions are no longer displayed.
Knowing what your driving record shows is important so you know the severity of various violations and suspensions. If you end up with an accident, a speeding ticket or anything else, you can be sure that it will show up on your driving record.
The only question is when the insurance company will choose to review your record and use it to recalculate the cost of your insurance premium
Your driving record has a significant amount of impact on your life as a whole.
What is found on your record has the potential to affect your life insurance premiums, your job if it involves driving, and it can even affect sentencing on future criminal charges.
It’s one of the major reasons why you need to be sure that all information is accurate on your record.
It is possible to order a copy of your driving record to ensure that all information is accurate. In some instances, there will be accidents listed that belong to a spouse (or an ex-spouse) because of sharing the same insurance policy at the time of the accident.
There might also be other information that is incorrect because of identity theft or other issues.
One of the best ways to dispute information is to contact LexisNexis. It might also be possible to file a dispute directly with the DMV for your state. Contact the DMV to see if they have a form for you to submit that allows you to argue an error listed on your driving record.
The Frequency of Checks
Insurance companies have the ability to check your driving record at any time. As far as when they choose to do so, it will vary by company.
You should know the various times they could check so you can be prepared. Otherwise, you could end up being surprised by a sudden increase on your insurance premiums.
A random check is not very common, but it does happen. Once you sign on with an insurance company, they could choose to pull the driving records of everyone they insure at any time.
Insurance companies might even choose a specific time every year. If you have been insured by a company for a long time, you might have figured out the month in which they pull. However, this can always change.
Many insurance companies will choose to pull the records of teen drivers more frequently. The reason for this frequency is because teens are higher risk. They are more likely to receive traffic citations, which can drive up the cost of premiums.
According to the CDC, there were over 2,000 teens between the ages of 16 and 19 killed in the United States in 2015, and another 221,000 were treated in emergency rooms because of injuries from car crashes. Some experts believe you are much more likely to be injured in a motorcycle crash.
By using the statistics that are provided by the LexisNexis reports, insurance companies have the ability to see how the various details on a driving record will play a role in a person’s behavior on the road.
High-risk drivers will be flagged, and insurance premiums will be adjusted accordingly.
– When You Make Changes
Any time that you make changes to your policy, it prompts the insurance company to pull a new version of your driving record.
Whether you update your address, change your coverage or add another driver, insurance will review your driving record to see how it is going to impact your premiums.
Without pulling the information, they run the risk of providing an inaccurate quote. They need to see the information on your driving record again because it is part of the overall formula that goes into how insurance companies determine what you pay.
If you have recently been involved in an accident or you have received a traffic violation, it’s important to determine if you really need to make a change.
Minor changes, such as dropping some coverage, could end up costing you more because the insurance company would be able to see the traffic violation sooner than they would otherwise see it.
To the same effect, if you know that your driving record has improved over the past year, you might want to make a small update as a way of triggering insurance to pull your driving record.
– At the Renewal Period
Your insurance policy is likely to renew every six months to a year. The actual renewal period will depend on your policy as well as the insurance company you have your policy with.
Since insurance companies almost always check a person’s driving history when they renew their policy, many people see a rate increase with each renewal.
When you renew your policy, you have the choice to get rate comparisons from other companies. Although all of the other insurance companies can view your driving record as well, they might calculate the details differently.
You have the potential to save money by changing insurance companies. The next time your driving record is pulled, you can always choose to go through the process again.
What You Can Do Once Your Driving Record Has Been Checked
A lot of things can happen once your driving record has been checked. It could cause your insurance to go up or down based upon what the insurance company sees on your record.
If your insurance goes up, you can decide to continue paying the premiums with the increase. You can also choose to do some comparison shopping with other car insurance companies. Find out what the other insurance companies will charge for the same level of coverage.
If your insurance goes down, you can save money on your premiums. You might also want to consider adding coverage so that you have more financial protection.
For example, if you don’t have comprehensive or collision coverage, now might be the time to add it because you are paying less on your insurance. With more coverage, you are better protected if something happens on the road or off.
There’s a greater chance of insurance accepting the claim because you have the coverage in place on your policy.
What You Can Do to Improve Your Driving Record
You can also do a few things between now and the next time your driving record is viewed by the insurance company.
Focus on making improvements to all of the information they see:
- Watch your speed
- Avoid traffic violations
- Take a defensive driving course
You should also look to improve your credit score by paying bills on time and avoiding going over your credit lines.
There is no predetermined frequency for when insurance companies will pull your driving record.
Some companies might pull more frequently than others based on their own preferences as well as the driver demographic that you fall into. It’s important to know what they will see once they do pull the record and the various times in which they might pull your record.
Once the record is pulled, there is no way to hide the information that is visible to them. Be sure the information on your record is accurate so that your insurance is quoted properly.
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