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Q

How long does an accident stay on your record affecting your insurance in Florida? I was cited for driving too closely (rear end fender bender) March 2005. How long do I have to keep reporting that when I am looking for insurance? Also in Florida what is the difference between stacked/nonstacked uninsured motorist coverage? If we have good health insurance how much of this do I need? We have 3 cars to cover.


A

Section 257.26 of the Florida Statutes, authorizes the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FL HSMV) to establish and maintain the management of records. A representative of the FL HSMV stated to us that convictions reflecting point assessments remain on a customer's complete driver history record for a period of 10 years from the date of conviction. However, serious convictions (DUI, DUI/Manslaughter, Vehicular Homicide, etc.) will remain on the record for 75 years.

For individuals who have a CDL, if they are issued a traffic citation while operating their personal vehicle, the 10 or 75 year retention period is the same. However, if the CDL holder is operating a CMV and receives a traffic citation for a violation resulting in personal injury or speeding 15 mph over posted speed, these violations remain on the record for 55 years.

So if you are a non-CDL holder than an accident, driving too closely or other traffic offense would remain on your FL driving record for 10 years.

According to the FL Department of Financial Services (FLDFS), insurance companies are permitted to consider drivers who have had an accident or received convictions for driving violations as higher risks.

Insurance carriers in Florida may charge drivers with accidents and violation convictions on their driving record higher rates for automobile insurance than those with driving records free of accidents and violations. Each insurance company has underwriting guidelines to determine what kind and how many accidents or violations during a specified period constitute a high-risk driver.

While some states may limit the "look back period" Florida does not appear to do so and allows insurance companies to determine their own period of time to rates on accidents and violations. In general most insurance providers have their own internal guidelines for a look back period of 3, 5 or 7 years.

Thus while applying for insurance you will need to report the following too closely violation and accident if it falls within the look back period that the insurance company is asking about. So if it happened 5 years ago and an insurance company only asks for accidents, tickets, etc from the last 3 years you would not need to mention this. If however they ask you about incidents in the last 5 years you would need to list this accident and ticket.

In Florida, you have the option to choose Uninsured / Underinsured Motorist Bodily Injury stacking option. By selecting stacking for your Uninsured/Underinsured motorist Bodily Injury (UMBI) coverage, you increase your limits for each of these coverages by the number of cars you are insuring.

For example, if you were to insure 2 cars and select stacking, your Uninsured and/or Underinsured Motorist BI coverage limits of $50,000/$100,000 would double to $100,000/$200,000. If you were to insure 3 cars and choose stacking, $50,000/$100,000 limits would increase to $150,000/$300,000.

You may have good health insurance coverage but we would advise that you still first contact your medical insurer to make sure they cover injuries resulting from car accidents. Some health insurance companies exclude injuries from motor vehicle accidents from being covered so it important to know if your specific policy would cover you and your family for injuries an uninsured or underinsured driver caused you to sustain.

Once you find out this information you can than make an informed decision on if you have a need for Uninsured / Underinsured Motorist BI. If you decide you do than again it is a personal decision whether you want to stack the coverages or not. Stacking can be beneficial if you sustain serious injuries with high medical bills that may exceed the limits of non-stacked UM/UIM coverages since stacking allows you higher limits which may help you pay more of your medical bills if not pay them completely.

You may want to use our Insurance Coverage Calculator to determine what coverages are right for you. When you are ready you can get free auto insurance quotes for Florida here with us.


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2 Responses to "How long does an accident stay on your record affecting your insurance in Florida? I was cited for driving too closely (rear end fender bender) March 2005. How long do I have to keep reporting that when I am looking for insurance? Also in Florida what is the difference between stacked/nonstacked uninsured motorist coverage? If we have good health insurance how much of this do I need? We have 3 cars to cover."
  1. Anonymous

    It was very thorough

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  2. Anonymous

    Pertaining to insurance history, any record of violations whether sent to court or not, remain on your insurance record and affects your premium for anywhere from 35 months to over 60. check with your standard company to find out the specifics although this is a general guideline for almost all FL companies writing business.

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