How long do insurance claims stay on your record?

Just like several things in life, experience matters when it comes to both car and home insurance. When it comes to making a claim, many homeowners and drivers are reluctant when it comes to actually formally submitting that claim. Much of why there is such reluctanceor perhaps even fearwhen it comes to the topic of claims, is because it’s not understood what impact this claim could potentially have, and (more importantly) for how long.

How long do car insurance claims stay on your record?

Often, the database used in Ontario to verify car insurance claims history is compared to a credit bureau report. A main difference between the two types of reports is that credit bureau information gets purged after certain lengths of time.

Your car insurance history report does not work this way. For example, a car insurance claim that you had 15 years ago may still appear on your report today.

The more important question to know when it comes to claims history is how far back your insurance provider will go to determine your rates and approve your application. This duration of time can range anywhere from 6 to 10 years depending on the company.

Rest assured that in Ontario, all insurance companies providing car insurance must file their rules and rates with the Financial Services Commission of Ontario (FSCO). This provides consumers with the confidence to know that your insurance company cannot  just change their rules on the fly. These rules must be filed and approved in advance FSCO.

How long do home insurance claims stay on your record?

In Ontario, the industry report that displays home insurance claims history is different from the car insurance history report, but the principle is the same in that the claims aren’t removed from your file. Home insurance companies typically review your last 5 years, but this can be longer depending on the company.

Another fact to make note of is that as claims age, they may have an increasingly smaller impact on your overall insurance premium. For example, even though your car insurance company may consider the past 6 years of your history, a claim that occurred two years ago will likely have a more significant impact on your record compared to a claim that occurred 5 years ago.

Whether we’re talking about car insurance, or home insurance, your history will impact the premiums you pay. Your history is used as a factor to help predict the future, one could say. Although it may not be a perfect science by any means, it’s certainly an invaluable indicator that can work in your favour and potentially save you from having your insurance premiums raise by speaking with your insurance broker prior to filing your next claim.

So, how long do insurance claims stay on your record? It depends, every time. Always do your research and shop around for the best rate out there.

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