December 9, 2009

Motor Vehicle Report: What Is It And How Does It Affect Your Auto Insurance Rate

When looking for auto insurance quotes, it’s helpful to know the methods that insurance companies use to determine the rates they offer you for coverage. Most drivers know that car insurance companies look at demographics and statistics to determine the likelihood of a claim being made on a policy. They’re also aware that the amount of coverage that a driver buys directly affects the cost of his or her policy. However, many drivers are unaware of motor vehicle reports (MRVs). These reports detail the entire history of a certain driver’s record, including any citations that have been issued, accidents and other incidents. Every car insurance company uses these reports when determining auto insurance rates. They’re also commonly used by companies that hire commercial drivers, or companies that issue company cars’ to certain employees.

For the insurance companies, motor vehicle reports represent an obvious advantage. They give a clear picture as to how safe a driver is, and how likely that driver is to make a claim – and how often. Insurance companies want to make a profit, after all, so they compensate this risk by charging higher risk drivers higher auto insurance rates. Therefore, every mark against a driver’s record as displayed in a motor vehicle report is reflected in the auto insurance quote that the motorist receives when applying for a policy. The more offenses a driver has, the worse his rate, and conversely, the less offenses, the better the rate.

Some drivers may find motor vehicle reports unfair, especially if they were issued multiple citations in a single traffic accident. In this scenario, auto insurance rates can suddenly experience a massive jump. State law often requires that insurance companies decide their rates by going back no more than two years on a motor vehicle report. This limits the possible negative consequences of a motor vehicle report. Your auto insurance quote will still be affected by those last two years, though, and unfortunately there’s no way to get a blemish off of your MRV other than to wait and keep your driving record clean.

In the meantime, drivers who have received several citations and offenses can lower their auto insurance quotes by doing comparison shopping. Using comparison shopping websites can be particularly helpful, especially after a driver obtains a copy of his motor vehicle report to use when looking for an auto insurance quote. It’s also often possible to take defensive driving courses and pay for court supervision to lessen the effects of an offense on a MRV. Safe drivers can benefit from their motor vehicle reports by pointing out a clean record when negotiating with their insurance company for better rates.