How long does a car accident stay on your record?

How long does a wreck stay on your insurance record? I’m about to switch insurance providers, but I'm afraid my policy will be really expensive if they can see that I was in an accident a while back.

You’re right, insurance providers will certainly hike up your rate if you were involved in an at-fault accident.
The amount of time a car accident will stay on your record varies by state, but it is typically three to five years.
For example, in California, an accident will stay on a driver’s record three years from the date it occurred. New York also follows the three-year rule, but the mark will remain on record until the end of the third year, regardless of the month and day it occurred.
New Hampshire follows a five-year rule from the date of the accident, and Oregon leaves accidents on drivers’ records for at least five years.
In terms of how accidents can affect car insurance rates, it depends on several factors like:
  • The seriousness of the accident
  • Who was at fault
  • What type of driving violation you were charged with
  • Prior driving history
  • Where you live
Either way, it’s still worth shopping around for new insurance. Insurance companies price policies differently and change rates often, so it’s entirely possible you can find a better-priced policy by getting quotes from other providers.
If you’d rather leave the hard work of gathering quotes to someone else, use Jerry. The Jerry app can collect quotes from up to 50 top insurance companies, like Travelers, Nationwide, and Progressive, in seconds! They even help cancel your old policy once you’ve made your pick.
Hana Sabah
Answered on Oct 20, 2021

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