Do Auto Insurance Companies Check Driving History?

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Your driving history plays a central role in determining the amount you will pay as a premium on your auto insurance policy. Generally, a driving history that’s littered with accidents and traffic violations (like speeding and DUIs) tells the insurance company you are a high-risk customer who should pay a higher premium.

If you have a clean driving record, your chances of getting a low premium are good. The fact you don’t get into too many collisions and mostly stay on the right side of the law means you are less likely to make claims against your policy. That makes you a lower-risk client that the insurer will be motivated to offer a low quote.

For the above reasons, the insurance company will check your driving record before offering you an auto insurance quote. If you have been driving a while, you will be anxious to know:

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How Far Back Do Car Insurance Companies Look in Ontario?

When you first apply for your car’s insurance, most insurers want to establish how risky you are as a client. Therefore, they will check your driving record as far back as they can.

In Canada, traffic tickets will stay on your record for three years. So, the insurance company will not have a hard time pulling your driving record. For accidents you have been at fault for they will dig deeper and typically look as far back as 20 years.

If your driving record shows recent at-fault accidents and traffic violations within the last year or two, your application for insurance may even be rejected. You will have to shop around for a high-risk policy, which can be many times more expensive.

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How Often Do Insurance Companies Check Driving Records in Ontario?

After you are approved for an auto insurance policy, your insurer will periodically check your driving record to make sure you still carry the same level of risk. If they find a recent blemish on your driving record, your risk profile will be adjusted accordingly. That often means an increase in your premium.

There is no rule on how frequently auto insurers will check policyholders’ driving records. They can check any time they want, but more frequently for young, inexperienced drivers than older ones.

A more commonly accepted standard, however, is to check policyholders’ driving records a month or so before each renewal. Still, to save costs, some insurers will not check for all their clients. The ones they will certainly check will be those with recent collision claims.

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How To Deal With A Blemished Driving Record

However carefully you drive, there is always the risk you will be cited for a traffic offense or even be involved in a collision. The stain on your driving record is often unavoidable. So is an increase in your premium. Your premium will increase even higher with subsequent tickets and accidents.

The good thing is, with more careful driving, you should be able to reduce your premiums back down. Your tickets and accidents will not stay on your driving record forever. Each has a three-year life, after which it is expunged.

What’s important is to know when each of your tickets is due to expire so you can ask your insurance broker to seek a rate review. Do that with all the violations on your record without adding new ones, and you should be able to lower your premium.

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