If you are a driver with a poor driving record, you know how frustrating it can be to get good rates for “high risk car insurance.” Labels are no fun, and we will help you figure out what you can do to get a better rate.
Being a high-risk driver is a challenge, but finding low-rate auto insurance doesn’t have to be. Just because your driving record is less than stellar doesn’t mean you have to suffer from high premiums for auto insurance now and into the future. There are many insurance companies that will provide you high-risk auto insurance and offer it to you at a good rate.
With a majority of states requiring proof of insurance to drive, it is imperative that you find coverage for your vehicle that you can afford and keep for the long-term. High-risk auto insurance offers you the opportunity to have coverage without having a rate that will break the bank.
Take our quiz – are you a high risk driver?
Minnesota did an extensive study on driving and social behaviors, and what they found shows a correlation between certain behaviors and high-risk driving behaviors.
Take our quiz and see if you are predisposed to risky driving behavior!
What Is High-Risk Insurance?
There are a number of reasons that your insurance company may have dropped you from your auto policy.
A severe car accident
A multitude of driving infractions
Very little driving experience
Insuring an exotic vehicle
Some insurance companies are only comfortable insuring drivers with clean driving records as they are less likely to file a claim with the company.
There are insurance companies that offer coverage specifically for high-risk drivers. It may take a little more effort on your part to track one down that will provide you the best rate possible rates for your auto insurance coverage. These insurance companies are specialized in working with drivers that have accident records or even a DUI/DWI charge and most offer good rates that are affordable.
High-risk insurance is simply a policy that has been developed to provide adequate coverage for a driver that has a poor driving record. It acts like any other policy and many auto insurance companies offer a payment plan that works for your monthly budget.
Who Is A High-Risk Driver?
High-risk drivers come in all forms and usually they have a driving record that is considered risky by their insurance company. This means that based on your previous driving history, you are more likely to place a claim versus an average driver on the road. This is a situation that most insurance companies don’t want to be in as it ends up costing them money and is usually the reason they drop you from their policy or raise your rates significantly.
There are a variety of reasons that a driver may be considered a high-risk. It is usually based on your driving record and the violations that you have accumulated over time. These driving violations often include:
Getting a DWI/DUI can be particularly alarming for insurance companies as they consider this risky behavior that is often repeated. They may drop you from their policy instantly or raise your rates to the point you can’t afford them. This is a good opportunity to look for a high-risk insurer that will provide you a discounted rate regardless of having the DWI/DUI charge on your record.
In addition, if you have been involved in an accident that was fatal to the other driver or you have issued multiple claims to your insurance company, they will consider you a high-risk driver that is not worth the financial risk on their part. They will retract their policy extension to you and require you to seek another provider for insurance coverage. This is where looking for high-risk insurance can be beneficial to getting auto coverage at a discount rate.
There are over 1.4 million arrests forDUI every year
What Other Factors Also Affect My Rate?
While traffic violations are a major factor in the rate that an insurance company offers you for your auto policy, it is not the only determining factor in the additional costs that you will have to pay for auto insurance. Insurance companies use a range of factors to determine the best rate that they can offer you. This includes items such as loss ratio, return on investment, risk potential, and overall market share. Some of these factors also look at your age, credit history, vehicle type, a lapse in auto coverage, miles driven, and when you received your driver’s license.
A driver that is over the age of 70 is considered high risk even with a clean driving record. It is thought that an older driver has reduced vision, motor skills, and reaction times that can make it easier for them to wind up in an accident, creating a higher cost for insurance companies to insure them.
With a poor credit history, many insurance companies may recognize you as a high risk when it comes to paying your premium on time. They will be unwilling to extend you coverage if there is a possibility that they will not receive payment for a policy. Like a loan, insurance companies perform a credit check when you request a quote. At this time, they assign you an insurance score that takes into account your credit score, past driving history, and claim history. This insurance score determines if you will receive a discounted rate or pay a higher premium. Keeping your credit record clean can help reduce your auto insurance rate in the future.
Many vehicle types can be considered high-risk models that encourage reckless driving or speeding. Vehicles such as sports cars, collectible cars, and exotic cars may place you in the high-risk category just based on the additional cost to replace them. Many insurance companies will not provide you coverage if you own this type of vehicle and you may need to find an insurance company that specializes in special vehicles for insurance coverage.
Lapse In Coverage
While many states require proof of insurance to legally drive, having insurance at all times is key to making sure you can find a discount rate. If you had your insurance lapse for any reason, a traditional insurance company might consider that you are a high-risk driver to coverage as you may not be reliable in paying your premiums. Some insurance companies don’t want to take a risk that they won’t be paid on time or at all. A high-risk insurance provider will overlook your credit history to provide you auto coverage.
Where you live, and the number of miles you drive can also affect your insurance policy costs. If you drive long distances, you may be considered a high-risk driver by some insurance companies because you have a higher potential of getting in an accident based on spending more time on the road. Conversely, if you don’t drive very often or only to locations near you, your premium may be lower based on the lower probability of you getting into a car accident. Your zip code is also an indicator to an insurance company if you live in a community where more claims are filed, creating a higher rate of auto insurance for your policy.
A new driver that has just received their driver’s license is also considered high-risk as they don’t have the road experience of an average driver yet. Data shows that these inexperienced drivers have a higher potential of getting in a car accident, which an insurance company doesn’t want to take the risk of insuring. These inexperienced drivers are typically teenagers that are able to get coverage through their parent’s auto insurance, but it is at a significant cost increase for the policy.
Does High-Risk Insurance Cover An SR-22?
Your standard insurance company may decline to offer you an SR-22 or prevent you from being covered under their insurance policy programs. An SR-22 shows you have financial responsibility should you be involved in a car accident through an auto insurance policy. These forms are typically required by the state when you have been charged with a DWI/DUI offense or a serious driving violation. An SR-22 may also be necessary if you have had a lapse in auto coverage if you live in a state where it is required for driving by the law.
By selecting an insurance company that offers high-risk coverage, you will be able to receive an SR-22 that you can submit to the proper authorities verifying that you have insurance coverage. In order to obtain an SR-22 verifying your insurance coverage, you will need to take out a policy with an insurance carrier for at least the minimum liabilities required by your state. Your premium will have to be paid and you will need to request that your insurance company provide you with proof of coverage through the SR-22 form.
You will find that selecting an insurance company that provides high-risk insurance is experienced in providing SR-22s and will be able to handle the requirement without issue. You will want to make sure you select an insurance company that provides the best rate for high-risk insurance as you will be required to hold the SR-22 for the minimum amount of time required by your state.
How To Reduce Your High-Risk Standing
Being a high-risk driver is not the end of the world. You have the ability to improve your driving record with a series of available options.
Look back period of three years – allows you to clean your driving record up over time
Safer driving – by eliminating the potential of getting in an accident or being cited for a traffic violation, it can allow you to move out of the high-risk category as a driver.
Driver’s safety classes – You typically have the option of taking a driver’s safety or defensive driving class. These classes are typically offered at a local school through the Department of Motor Vehicles, allowing you to reduce the number of points you have on your driving record and receive a better insurance rate as a result.
Lower senior rates – If you are over 70 you can also take these classes to help reduce their high-risk rating and receive lower rates on their auto insurance policies.
These classes are designed to improve your driving skills and help you to become a safer driver on the road with their educational lessons.
How To Find A High-Risk Insurance Provider
Searching for an insurance company that will provide you the lowest rate for your auto insurance may seem like a daunting task. You want to find a company that provides a traditional insurance policy that aligns with the minimum liability requirements of your state. You can easily search for these insurance providers on the internet but be sure to compare costs as you want to find an insurance policy that is a good rate that you can afford to pay on a monthly basis.
Your current insurance company may offer you a premium at an increased rate that you may be tempted to accept. Get a few quotes before you decide as there are several insurance companies that will offer high-risk insurance at a discount rate. This can save you significantly on your insurance payments month-to-month.
When searching for new auto coverage at a good rate, be sure not to let your current coverage lapse. This could put you in jeopardy as you drive and is illegal depending on where you live. Most insurance companies offer quick turnaround times for price quotes to allow you to compare multiple providers in a minimal amount of time.
What To Expect From Your New Insurance Company
As you narrow down your search for an insurance company that specializes in high-risk drivers, it is important that you keep in mind that you are looking for a quality provider that will be there should you have to submit a claim. Look for an insurance company that offers you good customer service and is easy to get in contact with should you have questions or concerns that need to be addressed. They should have hours that work for your schedule and be available by phone, email or online as you need them. Read reviews and investigate them online before signing up.
You also want a company that tailors an auto policy to your needs. It should suit your budget and be a policy that provides you the coverage you are looking for at a price you can afford to pay without stretching yourself every month. Often, high-risk drivers find their premiums so high; they end up forgoing insurance altogether. As you can imagine, this only exacerbates the problem for the high-risk group.
Look for bundling, because insurers should be able to bundle your coverage and offer you liability as well as comprehensive insurance should you need it and depending on your driving requirements.
By keeping these tips in mind, you will easily be able to find an insurance provider that offers high-risk coverage at a discount rate that works for you.