Where Do Car Insurance Companies Find Accident/Driving Violations?

Unless you've been extremely careful or lucky, you've probably been involved in a few minor traffic accidents over the years. You may also have received the occasional moving violation. It's perfectly acceptable for drivers to sustain a few driving-record dings. Over time, these become less important to auto insurance providers and law enforcement agencies. Eventually, they become invisible to all but the most comprehensive background checks. After a decade, any traces of such transgressions are liable to be stricken from the public record.

In the meantime, it's reasonable to wonder whether accidents and violations will affect the cost of your auto insurance. Unfortunately, even the smallest speeding tickets and gentlest fender-benders are liable to boost your annual premiums. If you're living on a tight budget, this might not be welcome news. In fact, you might be thinking about taking drastic steps to hide such incriminating information from your insurance provider.

It's unlikely that you'll be able to do so. Your insurance company can obtain information about your driving history from multiple sources. To learn about the traffic violations that you've racked up over the past several years, your carrier can simply call your state's motor vehicle bureau and ask for a copy of your "driver's license report." This document will describe your past moving violations in clear detail and outline the severity of each charge. Your insurance carrier will be able to see that a certain number of "points" have accrued to your license and assess your risk accordingly.

It may be possible to "hide" certain moving violations from your insurance company. If your state offers a "driver rehabilitation" or "ticket forgiveness" program, you might be able to expunge any record of the violation from your driving record. However, these programs typically come with onerous restrictions and may require significant upfront payments. For instance, you may be asked to pay a higher initial fine for your ticket and attend driver-retraining classes. In addition, you'll probably need to remain violation-free for at least a year. If you receive a second ticket while enrolled in the program, it's likely that you'll be disqualified.

It might be even more difficult to conceal accident records from your insurance company. If you're involved in an accident that attracted the attention of local or state law enforcement personnel, your insurance company will be able to receive a copy of the resultant police report from the appropriate authorities.

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