How Far Back Do Auto Insurance Companies Look?

How far back auto insurance companies look at your driving record ranges from 3-5 years. Car insurance companies look back at claims, accidents, and tickets to determine your risk level and calculate rates. GEICO looks back 3 years, and rates average $179.mo. for a clean record and $406/mo. for one DUI. A driving record goes back much further with the DMV, and the look-back period for a DUI may be as long as ten years when it comes to a second offense. Most auto insurance companies look back 3 years, and you will qualify for better rates after that time period if you keep a clean record.

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Sara Routhier, Managing Editor of Features and Outreach, has professional experience as an educator, SEO specialist, and content marketer. She has over five years of experience in the insurance industry. As a researcher, data nerd, writer, and editor she strives to curate educational, enlightening articles that provide you with the must-know facts and best-kept secrets within the overwhelming worl...

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Cynthia Lanctot is an insurance professional with ten years of industry experience. Cynthia is licensed in several states, and holds an associate in claims law, as well as a bachelor’s degree in English. Cynthia’s experience includes the New England and Northeast states. She currently works as a liability claims professional and an occasional online contributor.

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Reviewed by Cynthia Lanctot
Licensed Agent

UPDATED: Feb 5, 2021

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Food for thought

  • Auto insurance companies will look back at your driving record for up to five years.
  • Accidents, speeding tickets, and other traffic violations can stay on your driving record for up to three years.
  • High-risk drivers tend to have the highest auto insurance rates.

You can pay as low as $86 per month for full coverage. However, high-risk drivers could pay hundreds more. Why, and how far back do auto insurance companies look at driving records?

Auto insurance companies look back up to five years on your driving record. High-risk auto insurance carries some of the most expensive auto insurance rates.

Finding the best insurance when you have a problem on your record can be tricky. How far back do insurance companies look for DUI, tickets, or claims? We’ll help you understand how your record affects your rates right here.

Enter your ZIP code up above to see how far auto insurance companies look back on your driving record through our free comparison tool.

How far back do auto insurance companies look at your driving record?

Auto insurance companies will look back at your driving record for up to five years. Why do they look back? Auto insurance companies want to know your level of risk.

A five-year driving record is enough time to create a definite measurement of risk. Sometimes, auto insurance companies will look back up to three years.

State law is much different. States carry something called a washout law or look-back period. This law describes the number of years a DUI conviction remains on your record. How far back do insurance companies check for DUI depends on the state you live in.

According to the law in South Dakota, your license could be revoked for up to 30 days. The court can issue an order to let the convicted driver operate the vehicle only for work and other essential commutes.

Arizona state law is more strict. According to Arizona law, DUI drivers can be placed in jail for up to 10 days. They have to pay a $250 fine. Your driver’s license will be suspended for up to one year.

What is the best auto insurance company for high-risk drivers?

Did you know high-risk drivers pay the most for auto insurance rates? Your driving record could be median between you and expensive auto insurance.

How often do auto insurance companies check your driving record? They may check your driving record at every policy renewal. Some auto insurance companies check it every year.

How far back do insurance companies look for accidents? Either three or five years depending on the company.

What do auto insurance companies check for? Here’s an example of what auto insurance looks for. Also, we’ve included the auto insurance rates from the top 10 companies in the United States.

Average Annual Auto Insurance Rates by Driving Records
CompaniesAverage Rates With a Clean RecordAverage Rates With 1 speeding violationAverage Rates With 1 accidentAverage Rates With 1 DUI
USAA$1,934$2,193$2,516$3,506
GEICO$2,146$2,645$3,193$4,876
American Family$2,694$3,026$3,723$4,330
Nationwide$2,746$3,114$3,397$4,543
State Farm$2,821$3,186$3,396$3,637
Progressive$3,393$4,002$4,777$3,970
Travelers$3,448$4,261$4,290$5,741
Farmers$3,461$4,079$4,519$4,719
Allstate$3,820$4,484$4,988$6,261
Liberty Mutual$4,774$5,701$6,205$7,613
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Moving violations, like traffic tickets, could be up to three years. They don’t affect your auto insurance rates like accidents and DUI convictions. The cost of a DUI, especially, can be massive when it comes to your insurance rates. Auto insurance policy discounts can help you tremendously.

Even as a high-risk driver, you may be eligible for a discount.

The cheapest auto insurance companies for high-risk drivers are GEICO, State Farm, and USAA. Progressive is a company that has cheaper high-risk rates, also. The most expensive companies for high-risk drivers are Allstate, Liberty Mutual, and Travelers.

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How do I obtain my auto insurance history?

A vehicle’s history is important to the driver and the auto insurance company. Your auto insurance rates are determined by the vehicle and vehicle history. For example, salvage title vehicles aren’t eligible for full coverage. It saves money on auto insurance, but a salvage vehicle isn’t worth the same as a regular title.

According to Carfax, an extensive vehicle history report details such as insurance claims, inspection history, mileage records, registration information, status changes, service history, and title information.

How long does an auto accident stay on your insurance record?

We all know that your car insurance company keeps up with how many accidents you are in, but how long does an accident stay on your insurance?

An accident can stay on your driving record for up to three years. Speeding tickets and other traffic violations also stay on your driving record for up to three years.

Some auto insurance companies follow this rule and decide to look back three years at your driving record.

But how long do auto insurance companies keep records? Generally, auto insurance companies keep records for seven years. These records include auto insurance claims. According to the Office of the Insurance Commissioner in Washington State, fraud claims or open claims are saved for longer periods.

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Do auto insurance companies report to DMV?

No. Auto insurance companies don’t report accidents to your local DMV. However, the DMV can get a record of accidents you’ve had through policy reports. Certain accidents aren’t subject to a police report.

According to Harris and Graves Personal Injury Attorneys, minor accidents, like fender benders, don’t require police reports in South Carolina.

How long are you considered a high-risk driver?

The law in each state is different. As long as traffic violations or DUI convictions remain on your driving record, you are a high-risk driver. Drivers who operate a motor vehicle are also high-risk drivers. Without proof of at least six months of auto insurance, you are considered a high-risk driver.

Teen drivers are high-risk drivers, also. Younger, single drivers tend to take more risk than experienced drivers. Parents of teen drivers could pay hundreds more for auto insurance. Take advantage of policy discounts to save money.

Why do moving violations affect your auto insurance rates?

Even though technically a traffic ticket doesn’t cost the car insurance company money, it does show them that you are a risky driver. And that means that you will probably cost them money at some point.

Auto insurance companies will pull your driving record from the DMV and look for not only accidents and DUIs, but moving violations as well.

If you don’t know what’s on your driving record, you can request a copy from your DMV. It’s a good idea to check your record periodically to make sure nothing has been reported incorrectly and that you know what’s listed.

If you’re eager to see how far auto insurance companies look back in your local area, enter your ZIP code in our free comparison tool below.

Frequently Asked Questions: How Far Do Auto Insurance Companies Look Back?

Let’s recap what we’ve learned in the guide in a few commonly asked questions you see on search engines across the internet. For more information, visit our main page to see our other articles, guides, and reviews.

#1 – How far back does Progressive look at your driving record?

Progressive auto insurance will look back up to three years for speeding tickets and other traffic violations. One ticket won’t affect your Progressive auto insurance rates, but more than two violations will. Parking tickets won’t increase your rates with Progressive.

What about GEICO? How far back does GEICO look? Again, three years. In fact, there are many car insurance companies that only look back 3 years for convictions and other issues on your driving record.

#2 – Do auto insurance companies look back three years for DUI convictions?

Usually, auto insurance companies will look back up to five years for DUI convictions.

#3 – How far back does a driving record go?

Driving records can back up to seven years.

#4 – Can my auto insurance company see my medical records?

No. Auto insurance companies can’t see your medical records until you sign a medical records release form. Auto insurance companies may ask for medical records when they’re processing your claims.

How far back do insurance companies look for pre-existing conditions? Car insurance companies do not look at pre-existing conditions. How far back do health insurance companies look? That depends on the company and the condition.

#5 – How far back do auto insurance companies look at credit score?

Auto insurance companies will go back 20 years when determining auto insurance rates based on credit score.

References: 

  1. https://dps.sd.gov/safety-enforcement/highway-safety/safety-priorities/impaired-driving
  2. https://www.azdps.gov/safety/impaired-driving

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