Every insurance company has different standards of what an insurable driving record is. There are, however, several common factors that they carefully review in order to determine if you are insurable.
Insurance companies review how many tickets you have had in a given period of time. Minor tickets like speeding or failure to yield right of way generally stay on your record for three years and major tickets, like driving under the influence, stay on for five years. Insurance companies not only review the number of tickets, but also the type of tickets. Major tickets and suspensions are sometimes grounds to not offer insurance.
Accidents are also a major factor that insurance companies review when considering if you have an insurable driving record. The companies review the number of accidents you have had as well as the severity of the accidents. Accidents with a high payout or with injuries and medical costs raise more red flags and increase the chances of not getting insurance.
Additional factors reviewed are age, credit history and type of vehicle. Young people with several tickets or accidents might not be eligible for insurance. Also, people with major blemishes on their credit history coupled with a poor driving record might not be offered insurance. Finally, someone with a poor driving record who is trying to get insurance for a sports car or high-risk vehicle might not be eligible for insurance.
High-Risk Insurance Pool
If you don't qualify for insurance through the standard marketplace, then you can obtain car insurance through your state's high-risk insurance pool. This is costlier insurance meant as a final resort for people who cannot get auto insurance elsewhere.
- Insure: Car Insurance Basics
- Insure: Car Insurance for Risky Drivers
- Insurance Information Institute. “What Determines the Price of an Auto Insurance Policy?” Accessed Feb. 28, 2020.
- State of California Department of Motor Vehicles. “What is a Point?” Accessed Feb. 28, 2020.
- National Association of Insurance Commissioners. “Auto Insurance,” Accessed Feb. 28, 2020.
- Insurance Information Institute. “Do Auto Insurance Premiums Go Up After a Claim?” Accessed Feb. 28, 2020.
- Washington State Department of Licensing. “Frequently Asked Questions: Driving Records,” Accessed Feb. 28, 2020.
- Washington State Department of Licensing. “Buy a Copy of Your WA Driving Record,” Accessed Feb. 28, 2020.
- Utah Department of Public Safety. “Motor Vehicle Record (MVR),” Accessed Feb. 28, 2020.
Based out of Kansas City, Mo., James McMillian has been writing business- and insurance-related articles since 2004. His articles have appeared in eHow and Answerbag. McMillian holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Missouri-Kansas City.