by Ed Sneneh, Chicago Auto Insurance Agent

Many people face the dilemma of whether to choose a non standard auto policy or standard auto policy. First it should be empathized that there is no good insurance or bad insurance. The critical question is suitability. The best car insurance policy is the one that you need and you can afford.

The following is a chart that distinguish auto insurance coverage. 


Standard Auto Insurance


No Standard Auto Insurance


Other Names/ Title


Standard Auto Coverage

Preferred Auto Insurance


Low Cost Auto Insurance

Cheap Auto Insurance




Acceptable credit (credit check is required), Stringent requirements for clear driving record,



Generally speaking, credit check is not required, insurers are more lenient regarding driving records


Liability Limits Offered


High liability limits offered, although some carriers have the habit of offering basic liability coverage. Insured persons need to verify that as differences between high and low limits may not be big.


Low limits is the normal offering. Most non standard carriers do not offer high limit liability, and may offer only the basic liability limits.




Best for people who:

  1. Need high coverage to protect their wealth
  2. Have good credit
  3. Have clear MVR
  4. Expensive vehicles
  5. Have the resources and motive to pay higher premiums

Non standard auto insurance is most suitable for:

  1. People with negative history
  2. People with excessive driving violation or serious violations like DUIs.
  3. People with limited resources that cannot afford the standard auto coverage premium.

Customer Services


Customer services offered by standard carriers are rated much better than services offered by non standard carriers.


More customers complains are evident among non standard carriers than standard carriers.


Channel Of Distribution


Auto insurance is sold through captive agents, directly online or by internet or phone, or through independent agency system


Auto insurance is offered primarily through the independent agency system. Non standard carriers started to offer insurance through the internet.


 Apparently consumers are recommended to get the standard auto insurance, unless they either cannot obtain standard coverage, or standard coverage is cost prohibitive.

Unacceptable risks for standard coverage may include people who declared bankruptcy in the past few years, unlicensed operators, operators with international or foreign country licenses, operators with serious violations like DUIs, operators of excessive driving violations, and, for many standard insurers, operators who may require some special insurance such as SR22 filing.

Prohibitive auto insurance cost may result when standard carriers agree to insurance someone with less than good credit, or someone who have issues with their MVRs, or someone with prior insurance claims. Normally these people will be able to get coverage from standard carriers, but at a high price. For people with limited financial resources, the price for that coverage may not be affordable. In cases like that non standard auto insurance is the proper choice.

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