Have you found yourself asking, “How can I check my insurance claim history?” This guide outlines how your insurance claim history impacts your premiums. We also show you how to obtain a complete record of past accident claims. Once you know your claim history, it will be easier to save money and find a great new car insurance policy.
When you’re on the hunt for a new auto policy, it is important that you compare multiple auto insurance quotes to find the lowest rates. Our experts have reviewed the nation’s best car insurance companies, such as Nationwide, Progressive, USAA, GEICO and State Farm. The free comparison tool below can help you get quotes from these providers in minutes.
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How Can I Check My Insurance Claim History?
Anytime you have applied for an auto insurance policy, you have most likely been asked about your past claims history. This is because the insurance providers want to know if you have ever been involved in an accident involving property damage. In addition, insurers need to know if you have received any traffic tickets and what those citations were issued for (i.e., speeding, reckless driving).
You may also need to provide information about your insurance history if you are applying for a job that requires you to drive. This is especially important if you will be operating a company vehicle. Potential employers want to make sure that you are not a high-risk driver before putting you behind the wheel of one of a company vehicle.
Regardless of the reason that you need to provide a claim history, it is essential that the information you give is accurate. The best way to ensure that the information is accurate is to ask your current insurer for a letter of experience.
If this is not an option, you can also order what is known as a Comprehensive Loss Underwriting Exchange (CLUE) report.
What is a Letter of Experience, and Why Might You Need One?
A letter of experience details how long you have been covered by a particular car insurance carrier. This letter will contain essential information, such as the dates of any claims that you have filed, injuries resulting from accidents you caused, settlement amounts and more.
Your insurer will provide a letter of experience for free if you make a formal request. You can request a letter of experience by contacting your insurance agent. You may also be able to email your insurer’s customer service department and request the letter.
How to Get a Claims Loss Underwriting Exchange Report
A CLUE report is a viable alternative to a letter of experience. These reports contain much of the same information as the letter. CLUE reports will outline at-fault crashes, past claims, traffic tickets and other information related to your driving history.
CLUE reports can be obtained from LexisNexis. Like letters of experience, CLUE reports are free to request. Most insurance companies will request your CLUE report when you apply for a policy, so you will not be responsible for providing it to them directly.
Why Do Car Insurance Companies Check Claims History?
Auto insurance companies set rates based on a thorough risk assessment. In order to conduct this assessment, an insurer must first obtain your claims history. If you have multiple at-fault claims or traffic infractions, it is likely that you will be categorized as a high-risk driver.
High-risk drivers typically have more expensive auto insurance premiums. Fortunately, there are a few ways that you can lower your rates, even if you are considered to be high-risk. For instance, you can opt for a higher deductible or reduce coverage amounts. You should also check for any other cost-saving opportunities, such as multi-vehicle or safe-driver discounts.
How Past Claims Affect Future Auto Insurance Rates
The best way to keep your rates down is to maintain a clean driving record. Avoiding at-fault crashes and traffic infractions will work in your favor and help you get a lower insurance rate.
Unfortunately, if you have any traffic tickets or accident claims, you will likely pay more for insurance. This is because these incidents impact your driving history. The more infractions that you have on your claims history, the lower your chances are for obtaining affordable car insurance rates.
Every insurer weighs past claims differently. Some companies even offer things like accident forgiveness, which means that the company will ignore a past infraction on your claim history in determining your rates. Make sure to get quotes from multiple companies to see which one will offer you the best prices.
How Long Do Claims Stay on Your Record?
Generally, accident and traffic infraction claims will only impact your premiums for three years. However, all insurance carriers keep a detailed record of your claim history for up to seven years after the claims are closed. As you can see, being involved in an at-fault crash or receiving a traffic citation can significantly impact your insurance rates for years to come.
Our Recommendations for Auto Insurance
Remember that taking your time and doing thorough research is generally the best way to save money and find the perfect car insurance for your driving habits.
Fortunately, we have done most of the heavy lifting by reviewing every major insurance provider. The comparison tool below will match you with highly rated insurance companies so you can compare coverage and pricing.
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GEICO: 9.5 out of 10.0
GEICO earned the top spot in our review of the nation’s best insurers. It received a score of 9.5 out of 10.0 and the designation of Best Overall insurance provider.
While the company is best known for its ad campaign featuring a friendly gecko, GEICO also offers exceptional policy options. The company has flexible coverage plans that can be customized to meet your needs. In addition, it has both mechanical breakdown and rideshare insurance in case you need some additional protections.
State Farm: 8.9 out of 10.0
While State Farm did not earn the top spot in our expert review, it is still a very reputable company. The insurance giant received the designation of Best for Student Drivers and earned a score of 8.9 out of 10.0.
For the students out there, the good news is that State Farm offers discounts for drivers that have good grades. It also offers multi-car and multi-driver discounts. State Farm has a variety of policy and coverage options to meet the needs of most drivers. Whether you need a full coverage auto insurance policy or just liability coverage, State Farm coverage might be what you are looking for.
The Detroit Bureau collects data from every major car insurance provider to formulate rankings of the best insurers. Our in-depth rating system takes into account market share, coverage, pricing, customer satisfaction and ratings from industry experts. Each insurer is given a weighted score in four categories, as well as an overall score out of 10.0.
We recommend auto insurance companies based on these rankings, but we also encourage you to perform your own research and compare quotes to find the best coverage.