How Long Does an Accident Stay on Your Record?
You’re driving down the road and the car in front of you seems to be getting closer and next thing you know you’re slamming on your brakes. You can’t seem to stop in time and your car hits the one in front of you. Eventually your insurance claim is settled and now want to put the accident behind you, but the accident may stay on your driving record for a while. Since this can affect your insurance rates, people want to know what that means.
How Long Does an Accident Stay on Record?
Depending on your situation, the specifics of your accident, and your state, the exact length of time an accident stays on your record will vary. Most companies will only focus on the previous 36 months, while many insurance companies won’t raise rates for an at-fault accident, others do. This is why it’s important to clarify the specifics of your rate post-accident with your provider.
Will an Accident Affect Your Insurance Premium?
Your driving record and claims history are some of the factors considered when an insurance company gives you a rate and your accident may have an impact. Depending on the nature of the accident, some car accidents stay on your account history and, in turn, cause your premium to increase. However, the severity of the accident with a possible rate increase differs companies and states. If an accident does cause your premium to rise, it’s typically considered an accident surcharge, so check the notices you receive.
Where Can You Find Your Driving Records?
Most states will allow you to request your records through the state’s DMV (Department of Motor Vehicle) website or through the Department of Revenue. This varies by state, but you can research it online.
Let’s use Missouri as an example. To request driving records, go to the Missouri Department of Revenue’s website. Here you can request records with or without personal information. Driving records with personal information, including name, address, driver license number, SSN, phone number and more, can be obtained by submitting your driver’s license or by completing a form with the requested driver’s signature. Both requests have an associated fee, so check that before requesting ALL of your driving records.
Some online research can help answer this question in your state. Feel free to discuss this with your Shelter agent too and remember to drive defensively and safely.
Protect Your CarInsure It
If you own a car and drive it, you need insurance. Protect yourself and your assets; a car accident can end up costing a large amount of money. Shelter agents can help you choose the right coverage for you.