How long do car insurance companies keep claims records?

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Jessica Sautter is a Content Writer for CarInsuranceCompanies.com with a Bachelor’s Degree from Eastern Michigan University in Elementary Education with a Major in Reading and a Minor in...

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Chris Harrigan has an economy degree from Limestone College and an MBA from Clemson University. He previously managed auto insurance claims for Enterprise Rent-A-Car. Currently, he is using his business and insurance expertise...

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Reviewed byChris Harrigan
Former Insurance Claims Managerhttps://res.cloudinary.com/quotellc/image/upload/insurance-site-images/cicompaniescom-live/1f43458a-chris-harrigan23.jpg

UPDATED: Dec 18, 2017

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Key takeaways...
  • Companies will keep your claims records stored in a database that other companies have access to for seven years
  • In most cases, your surcharge will only bump your rates up if you have an at-fault loss or multiple non-fault losses
  • An at-fault claim that’s on your record is considered chargeable for up to three years after the claim is closed
  • Some companies will look further back into your history when determining if you’ll get a Good Driver Discount
  • A company transfer claims data from their files to an informational database called C.L.U.E. after a claim is settled

Filing an insurance claim against your policy can have a dramatic effect on the status of your policy.

Not only can having too many claims double or triple your premiums, it can make you ineligible for standard coverage through a good insurer. This is why it’s crucial that you know everything about claims and the toll they can take on your record.

Anytime that you request a quote for auto insurance, the carrier will ask you about the claims that are reported on your record. Agents will take your word for it when you’re getting estimates, but they’ll go a step further after you apply for coverage.

Enter your zip code above to compare car insurance rates from multiple companies at once! Here’s what you need to know about claims and how long they’ll be on your record after a loss:

What types of claims will affect your rates in the future

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Not all claims are bad claims. Bad claims, in the insurance industry, are classified as at-fault losses that occurred because of your actions.

In almost every state, your actions have to be more than 50 percent to blame for the loss for the claim to be labeled as at-fault on the final record.

A majority of the time, claims must be at-fault to affect your rates in the future.

You’ll be able to tell if the claim will be considered when your renewal is run because the agent will refer to it as chargeable. Chargeable claims are claims that lead to a surcharge on your renewal policy or your new policy if you switch carriers.

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How long do chargeable claims impact your car insurance rates?

If you recently had a chargeable loss, you’ll see the surcharge on your policy only after the company runs your renewal.

With most carriers, a single accident won’t make you ineligible for coverage. As long as the carrier extends you an offer for coverage in upcoming terms, you can expect to see an accident surcharge on your policy for three years.

Can non-fault claims be used to determine your rates?

If you didn’t contribute to the loss, you don’t have to worry about a single non-fault claim affecting your records. Even though a not-at-fault accident won’t be used against you at your renewal, it’s possible that multiple events can.

Many companies will only look at your non-fault losses if you have three or more within three years.

While each of the losses won’t be surcharged, the carrier will place applicants who several incidents into a standard or high-risk class instead of a preferred one. This could raise your premiums if you would have been eligible for preferred rates.

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How are auto insurance claims reported to other carriers?

When a claim is reported it must be investigated. The claim details will stay in your file as long as the claim is open. After it’s settled and the claim designation reads closed, the details will be stored differently. At this time, the carrier will transfer the file information to a record that more than just the carrier can access.

Claims records are stored in third-party databases like the Claims Loss Underwriting Exchange that is run by LexisNexis.

This is an electronic database that all insurance companies have access to when underwriting an application.

It’s used as an information center so that insurers can make informed rate decisions. Some of the details included in your C.L.U.E. report will include:

  • Name
  • Date of birth
  • Policy number
  • Claim number
  • Claim details
  • Fault determination
  • Claim payout
  • Date of loss
  • Vehicle information

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How long will these claims records be found on your personal claims report?

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Insurance companies don’t have the storage capabilities to keep 100 percent of the claims information in their own files forever.

Once the information is transported to a C.L.U.E. record, some of the information is removed from the company’s system. If the carrier suspects fraud or future litigation, the records will be kept by legal longer.

Once information is transferred to the driver’s personal insurance report, it’s the LexisNexis’ job to store the data for up to seven years. After seven years is up, the claim can’t be disputed and it also can’t affect your insurance any longer so there’s no need to hold onto the information.

You should always be upfront with insurers if you’re applying for coverage.

If you know you’ve had a loss in the past, disclose the information as you get a quote. You can see how a claim affects your rates easily if you compare rates by getting online auto quotes. Plug in your personal information, enter the claim details and then see how your rates change.

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