Car insurance companies use a number of tools to determine how much to charge you for insurance coverage. One of the most commonly used reports is the “MVR,” or “motor vehicle record.”
An MVR is a report that contains information regarding your personal driving record, including the tickets and accidents you have been charged with during your driving history.
MVRs Follow You From State to State
The MVR is a national report that every insurance company has access to, and it follows you from state to state.
For example, a speeding ticket you received in Georgia will be on an MVR if you move to Florida.
So don’t think you can avoid the scrutiny simply by packing up and moving elsewhere.
MVR Kind of Like a Credit Report
Essentially, the number of tickets and accidents you have correlates with the number of insurance claims you are expected to file in the future.
Ultimately, more accidents and tickets means your insurance company will most likely have to pay more money for claims you file (and vice versa).
As such, they will need to charge you more for insurance coverage in order to turn a profit and remain in business.
This is similar to how a credit report works. If someone has a proven history of not paying back loans, creditors will charge more interest on the money they lend, as it carries greater risk.
Length of MVR Report Varies By Type of Insurer
The type of car insurer you choose will determine how much of an effect your driving record will have on your car insurance rate.
Preferred insurers typically review your driving record for five years. This means any ticket or accident you had within that time frame will likely bump up your rate.
In some cases, an insurance company may deny coverage if you’ve had too many tickets or accidents.
If you do not qualify for a preferred insurer, you may look to a non-standard insurer, who typically looks at a three year driving history.
Overall, they rate similarly to the preferred companies, but you can expect to pay more overall, as you represent a higher risk of filing a claim.
There are also companies that do not look at MVR’s when determining your car insurance rate.
They assume a certain amount of risk per person who fits their program, and charge accordingly.
It is recommended that you obtain additional quotes to determine if you are currently being overcharged for your car insurance.
(photo: Marco Verch)