How Far Back Do Auto Insurance Companies Look?

Auto insurance companies look back at your records between three to five years ago.

Your car insurance costs depend on various elements such as your past insurance claims and driving performance.

Insurance companies use unique mathematical models to calculate the premiums you’re charged.

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Can Your Auto Insurance Rates be Affected by Your Driving History?

Your driving record affects how insurance companies assess your risk of causing an accident.

If you have been in accidents that were your fault or have traffic tickets on your record, insurers may consider you a higher risk.

Minor violations may remain on your record and impact your car insurance rates for three years.

In Iowa for instance, these violations may include the following:

  • Running a stop light
  • Not stopping
  • Driving over the speed limit
  • Not yielding
  • Not keeping control of the vehicle
  • Driving without proof of insurance
  • Using your phone while driving

On the other hand, major violations may stay on your record for five years, and some may never go away.

For instance, in Iowa, these violations may include the following:

  • Driving while intoxicated (DWI)
  • Driving more than 25mph above the limit
  • Driving with an invalid license
  • Fleeing the scene of an accident or causing a hit-and-run
  • Driving recklessly

It’s important to note that, auto insurance companies usually look at your driving record and claims history for the last three to five years.

Some insurers may have accident forgiveness programs, excluding a small, first-time accident against your premium calculations.

However, multiple traffic offenses in a three-year period may lead to higher premiums, depending on your insurer’s algorithm.

Does your credit score affect your auto insurance rates?

In states where permissible, auto insurance companies will look at your complete credit report.

This includes your available credit, current usage, any overdue or in-collection accounts, payment track record, and your overall credit score.

Typically, adverse entries on your credit report, like accounts in collections or late payments, persist for approximately seven years.

Conversely, positive data, such as successfully paying off a vehicle, remains visible for ten years.

Regarding the incorporation of your credit history into your auto insurance rate, insurers typically consider a look-back window spanning seven to ten years.

Information predating this timeframe is typically disregarded.


In conclusion, the lookback period of auto insurance companies varies depending on the type and severity of your driving violations.

While most companies only look at the last three to five years of your record, some may go back as far as ten years if you have a DUI or multiple infractions.

Knowing how long your driving record affects your rates can help you find the best coverage for your situation.

Additionally, you can also take steps to improve your driving habits and avoid future accidents or tickets.

By doing so, you can lower your risk level and enjoy lower premiums in the long run.

Remember, auto insurance companies are not out to get you. They are simply trying to assess your likelihood of filing a claim and charge you accordingly.

The more you prove yourself as a safe and responsible driver, the more you can save on your auto insurance.

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