High Risk Auto Insurance
High risk auto insurance is meant for drivers who are deemed by their insurance provider to be more of a financial risk than the average driver. It does not mean they are necessarily bad drivers; it instead means they are more expensive to insure due to their driving record, which typically contains violations ranging from speeding tickets, DUI convictions, at-fault accidents, and many others. Getting insurance coverage as a high risk driver can be annoying, but it certainly isn’t possible.
What is High-Risk Auto Insurance?
High-risk auto insurance, also known as non-standard insurance, is a special type of insurance coverage meant for drivers who have a sub-par driving history. This type of auto insurance is typically reserved for those who have severe violations like DUIs and at-fault accidents, among many other inflictions. These drivers are considered high risk due to their probability of getting into an accident being higher than other drivers. Not every insurance provider offers high risk car insurance, but it is still obtainable.
Do You Need High Risk Car Insurance Coverage?
There are a couple of reasons you need to obtain a high-risk car insurance policy. Sometimes it is not just your driving record that will lead you to purchase such an insurance policy. Insurance companies typically look at three things to consider your high-risk insurance status:
- The number of infractions on drivers’ records - If you are continuously racking up driving violations, you will be considered high risk when it comes to auto insurance companies. Sometimes, one violation, if serious, will be enough for you to need high risk car insurance.
- Experience level - The younger of a driver you are, the more high-risk insurance companies will perceive you to be. This is due to the fact that you do not have much driving experience under your belt. There is also nothing to show for how good or bad of a driver you will be. Due to this, insurance providers can consider you a high risk driver.
- Poor credit score - Drives with a less than favorable credit score tend to get put in the high risk category. This is due to the fact that drivers with unfavorable credit may make more insurance claims than other drivers. Insurance companies can sometimes judge you immediately upon looking at your credit score. How financially responsible you can be is very telling to your insurer.
What Factors Determine a Driver’s Risk Level?
A couple of different factors go into determining your auto insurance risk. The main thing insurance companies tend to look at is your driving record. This will tell them if you are a smart and safe driver or not. But some other aspects of your driving and personal circumstances will go into your insurance risk level. Outlined below are a few of the various factors your insurance company will consider when looking at your auto insurance risk.
Your driving record is the number one thing that will come under fire when you are looking for insurance. It is exactly what tells your insurance provider if you are at high risk of getting into an accident or not. Multiple inflictions on your record will result in you needing high risk auto insurance. Some things your insurance provider will take into consideration include:
- Reckless driving
- At-fault accidents
Depending on the violation you are convicted of, having one of the aforementioned infractions on your record will usually not immediately make you a high-risk driver. You may not feel the effects of a speeding ticket right away, but something like a DUI conviction can hit your record pretty quickly. However, if you collect multiple smaller violations, especially in a short period of time, you will be considered a high risk driver.
Where you live can easily make insurance providers leery of providing you with standard car insurance coverage. Something as specific as your zip code may deem you high risk. This is due to some places having higher crime rates than others. Population density may also play a role as more people in the area means more vehicles and thus more car accidents. Your zip code will impact your insurance premiums, sometimes regardless of your driving record. Do not look over this when shopping for coverage.
How you use your vehicle will influence rates. Using your vehicle for things like ridesharing or commercial ventures may exempt you from coverage. High-risk car insurance usually does not extend to vehicles for commercial purposes. The more you drive can also put you at a higher risk for accidents, making your insurance provider consider you an at-risk driver.
Gaps in your insurance history may be a red flag for your provider. It is important to keep your insurance coverage consistent. Failure to do so may result in your insurance company considering you to be financially irresponsible. Those who maintain high coverage for a good amount of time are less likely to be considered high risk.
Type of Vehicle
What kind of vehicle you drive can certainly deem you more high risk than others. If you drive high-performance vehicles, for example. Along with this, using an automobile that can be used for off-roading or reaching higher speeds can make finding insurance tricky.
Age will be a major factor in how much of a risk an insurance company perceives you to be. Drivers under the age of 25 are generally considered to be high risk. This is due to their lack of experience behind the wheel. They also do not have much of a driving record, meaning insurers have a hard time judging how smart of a driver they will be. On the flip side, the older you get, the more of an insurance risk you will be. Once you hit 65 years old, premiums will go up.
How Much Does High Risk Auto Insurance Cost?
Naturally, high-risk insurance comes with increased premiums. On average, drivers who need a high-risk auto insurance policy, according to Motor1, pay up to 84% more than drivers who are not considered to be high-risk. The increase in insurance premiums depends on the type of infraction and the number of them on a driver’s record. For example, if you have a DUI conviction, your insurance rates will most likely double. However, for something like multiple speeding tickets, your rates could increase by 35%.
How to Lower Your Insurance Premiums
Since high-risk insurance can get pricey, it may be helpful to take some steps to lower your premiums. Some of these suggestions are instant, while others naturally help reduce rates over time. You can lower your high-risk insurance premiums by doing the following:
- Take a driving safety course - A number of insurance providers will offer discounts to high risk drivers if they take an approved driver safety course. These courses help keep you sharp and remind you of the steps you need to take to be a smart, safe driver. A safety course can also help you remove “points” from your driving record. All of these help with your insurability risk.
- Be a mindful driver - The best way to reduce your risk level is by being a mindful driver and not racking up any more traffic violations. Let time run its course. Generally, after three years, if you stay accident or claim-free, you may see your insurance rates begin to decrease. It all really depends on the infractions you have acquired and how your provider judges them.
- Improve your credit score - This way takes some time but can be very worth it. Your credit score will most likely be taken into consideration, and a poor score will result in you being considered high-risk. For this reason, it would be worth it to try to raise your credit score by paying bills on time and being mindful of your finances.
Shopping For High Risk Insurance Policies
It can be tricky trying to get non-standard car insurance. Many providers may not offer it, while the ones that do can be hard to deal with. It is important to consider the following factors when you are shopping for high-risk insurance:
- Consider the coverage - It is important that you understand the quality of the coverage you are getting. You should know exactly what is and isn’t covered with your policy. High-risk auto insurance typically has high coverage, but you still need to know the full scale of it. If you don’t, you could end up being underinsured in the event of a claim.
- Know your driving history - Do not go into insurance shopping blind. Understand your driving history and be upfront about any blemishes on it. You cannot hide your infractions; your insurer will learn about them soon enough.
- Stick to your budget - Keep your budget in mind. It is arguably one of the most important factors to consider when starting to shop for auto insurance of any kind. If you cannot afford coverage, you will struggle to pay for it, thus leading to lapses. This can only spiral further.
- Don’t settle for just any insurance company - Make sure you are signing with a company that you feel respects you and will put your insurance needs first. Not every insurance provider has good customer service. You need to make sure you are looking into their history and reputation before purchasing a policy.
Get a High Risk Auto Insurance Quote Today
Looking for a high-risk insurance policy? Call us today to get a free car insurance quote. Make sure you let us know your zip code, your driving history, and information on your vehicle(s). By providing us with all this, we can get a better idea of the coverage you need. You can get a quote either at one of our many locations or online via our website and mobile app. You can also start your quote over the phone. Get coverage today and drive worry-free tomorrow.