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How Long Do Car Insurance Companies Keep Claims Records

Anyone who has experienced a car accident and tell you that they are no fun. Car accidents sometimes cause injury, damage, and sometimes death. These tend to be the things that are on people’s minds when they first get into an accident, but many things happen after an accident that can have long-term financial effects. Having automobile insurance can help in many cases, but keep in mind that if a claim is made the accident might stay on your record and affect your auto insurance rates for a long period of time. There are some cases when car accident claims stay on your record, and the length of time for this is generally between six and ten years. This is regardless of whether you switch auto insurance companies or not.

What Types Of Claims Will Affect Your Rates In The Future?

Most people believe that their premiums will go up after they are in an accident, though there is more to it than that. In many ways, this is dependent on the state that you are in, how authorities assess who is at fault for an accident, and the car insurance company a person has. Each of these things has a number of variables that determine whether or not your current insurance rate will go up.

For rates to go up, you will need to be determined to be at fault, at least in some way, for the accident. Often when people are less than 50% at fault for an accident, the rates will not increase. Each situation is different, of course, but you can check with your car insurance provider to find out how their company operates in this regard. Rates are generally affected during renewal; this is not an immediate increase.

If you get into a car accident, you will want to keep your communication with the other driver and passengers to a minimum. Exchange insurance information, and do not admit fault for a car accident, or even consider that you are at fault, to other people involved. If you are not found at fault in an accident, your insurance rates will not go up. Additionally, the accident will not go into your insurance record.

In more recent years, some of the top car insurance companies have started accident forgiveness programs, which is another reason that your accident might not be entered into your record. If you have any chargeable claims, however, they can have an impact on your vehicle insurance rates.

How Long Do Chargeable Claims Impact Your Car Insurance Rates?

Using a database to record chargeable claim information, car insurance services can look into your driving record in terms of the claims that have been made by you. This is a different database than what is used for your credit report or other elements of your driving record. Each car insurance company can choose whether or not the duration of time is from 6 to 10 years or more.

Having this information means that your car insurance premiums can be affected for the total amount of time the information is in your claim’s history. Some companies weigh the information in this database differently than others, so it is still important to shop around for the cheapest prices on car insurance. Also consider that many auto insurance providers only look back a certain number of years through the database, so even though the information is there, it might still not be used to determine your rates.

Can Non-Fault Claims Be Used To Determine Your Rates?

As a driver that did not contribute to a loss for your insurance company, you do not have to be concerned about a single non-fault claim affecting your rates. It is possible for multiple accidents where you are not at fault to be used against you during your renewal, but this does not happen often. If you have more than three non-fault accidents within three years, you may want to ask your car insurance company what their policy is on this. It is possible they will want to move you into a high-risk category, which will cost more money overall, or they may decide to not renew your plan.

How Are Auto Insurance Claims Reported To Other Carriers?

Upon making a claim, the claim will be investigated. The details of this investigation will stay in your file so long as the claim is still open. Once settled and closed, the details are transferred to a shared, third-party claims records database, and this is where other companies will be able to access the information. One such database is the Claims Loss Underwriting Exchange, which is run by LexisNexis. Information that can be included in reports includes your name, your date of birth, your policy number, the claim number, the claim details, fault determination, the payout on the claim, the date of the loss, and other information may also be located on the record.

How Long Will These Claims Records Be Found On Your Personal Claims Report?

Claims information gets removed from an insurance company’s system relatively quickly. They simply do not have the space to keep all of the information in their own files for a significant amount of time. Instead, the information is transferred to a third-party database.

Generally speaking, the information here will be stored for up to seven years, or until the claim can no longer be disputed. After it is removed, the claim does not affect your insurance rates anymore. If a company suspects auto insurance fraud or that future litigation will happen, the records will likely be kept for a longer period of time.

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