Car insurance policies are designed to protect drivers in case of unexpected accidents or damages. However, for those who are categorized as high risk drivers, getting auto insurance can be quite a challenge. If you’re one of these drivers, don’t worry – this guide will walk you through everything you need to know about auto insurance for high risk drivers.
Who Are Considered High Risk Drivers?
High risk drivers are individuals who pose a greater risk of getting into an accident or making claims on their car insurance policy due to various reasons. Here are some common factors that put someone in the high-risk category:
A person’s driving history is one of the most significant factors in determining whether they’re considered a high risk driver. If you have a history of accidents, traffic violations, and DUI convictions, your chances of being categorized as a high-risk driver increase significantly.
Age and Experience
Younger and inexperienced drivers are typically seen as high risk by insurance companies since they haven’t had enough time behind the wheel to develop safe driving skills. This makes them more prone to accidents and reckless driving behavior.
However, older drivers with poor eyesight or reduced reaction times may also be considered high risk.
Luxury cars, sports cars, and modified vehicles with higher horsepower engines are generally viewed as risky vehicles since they have a higher probability of being involved in accidents.
Drivers living in urban areas are considered more at risk than those living in rural areas due to higher levels of congestion and crime rates.
Other factors that affect your status as a high-risk driver include credit rating and occupation.
Why Do I Need Insurance As A High-Risk Driver?
According to the law, all motorists must carry car insurance when operating a vehicle on public roads; regardless of their driving history or status. Failing to do so could lead to hefty fines or even the suspension of your driving license.
Additionally, high-risk drivers are at greater risk of causing accidents, which can result in costly damage claims and medical bills. Auto insurance for high risk drivers provides financial protection against such unforeseen events.
What Are My Insurance Options as a High-Risk Driver?
If you’re classified as a high-risk driver, you may have limited options when it comes to auto insurance coverage. However, there are still some available choices:
Standard Car Insurance Policies
Most car insurance companies offer standard policies, but they may not be willing to provide them for high-risk drivers. However, if you manage to find one that does, expect to pay higher premiums than other drivers.
Non-Standard Car Insurance Policies
Non-Standard car insurance policies (also referred to as "high-risk auto insurance") are specifically designed for drivers who aren’t eligible under standard policies due to their driving record or other factors. These types of policies come with higher premiums and lower coverage limits.
State Assigned Risk Plan
If you’re unable to find an insurance company that will cover you as a high-risk driver, each state has an assigned risk plan that ensures all eligible drivers have access to car insurance coverage.
Under this plan, each insurer is required by the state government to accept a certain number of high-risk customers in proportion to the amount of business it does within the state. The policy rates under these plans are determined by the state government rather than the company itself.
How Can I Reduce My High-Risk Status and Lower my Premiums?
Although it may take time and effort on your part, there are steps you can take that might help you reduce your premium costs over time:
Improve Your Driving Record:
The best way to lower your premiums is by improving your driving habits and maintaining a clean driving record. By avoiding accidents and following traffic rules, you can show the insurance companies that you’re a responsible driver and not a high-risk one.
Take Defensive Driving Courses
Taking a defensive driving course may also help you lower your risk status and may even earn you discounts on your policy.
Install Safety Features on Your Car
Having additional safety features installed in your vehicle, like anti-lock brakes, airbags, or anti-theft devices, could entitle you to discounts on your policy.
Increase Your Deductible
Raising the deductible (the amount of money paid out-of-pocket before insurance coverage kicks in) is another way to lower premiums. However, remember that this approach means you’ll pay more for any damages when making a claim.
While it may seem challenging to get auto insurance as a high-risk driver, being categorized as such does not mean that you cannot get coverage. Understandably, your premiums will be higher than drivers with lesser risks. However, there are still choices available to ensure that you have adequate protection while on the road. Remember to compare rates from different insurers before settling for an option – and always prioritize coverage over cost!
What qualifies a driver as a high risk for auto insurance?
High-risk drivers are those who have a history of accidents, DUIs, speeding tickets, or reckless driving. They may also be young drivers with little experience behind the wheel. Anything that suggests an increased likelihood of an accident makes a driver high risk.
How does being a high-risk driver affect my auto insurance premiums?
Unfortunately, being a high-risk driver typically means you’ll pay higher rates for auto insurance. Insurers see you as more likely to file claims and therefore charge more to offset that risk.
Can I still get auto insurance if I’m considered high risk?
Yes, there are options available for high-risk drivers who need auto insurance. You may need to shop around and look for policies specifically tailored to those with a less-than-perfect driving record.
Will my rates go down if I take defensive driving classes?
It’s possible! Many insurers offer discounts to drivers who complete defensive driving courses. This can demonstrate your commitment to safe driving practices and reduce your perceived risk level in the eyes of insurers.
Should I opt for minimum coverage if I’m a high-risk driver to save money on premiums?
This decision ultimately depends on your individual circumstances and tolerance for risk. While it may be tempting to save money on premiums by selecting minimum coverage, you could find yourself underinsured in the event of an accident or other incident.
Can my status as a high-risk driver impact my ability to rent cars or get hired as a delivery driver?
Potentially! Some companies that rely on employees or contractors who operate vehicles have strict requirements when it comes to driving records and liability coverage levels. Being classified as a high-risk driver could make it harder for you to secure these types of jobs.
Should I consider using a high-risk insurer, or can I stick with a traditional provider?
Again, this depends on your individual situation. High-risk insurers tend to specialize in serving those with less-than-perfect driving records and may offer more tailored coverage options. However, it’s possible that traditional providers could offer competitive rates or discounts for high-risk drivers as well.
Will my high-risk status impact my ability to switch auto insurance providers?
No, you should still be able to shop around for coverage even if you’re classified as high risk. However, you’ll want to do your research and make sure you’re getting the best possible deal given your driving record and other factors.
Do all states use the same criteria for determining who is considered a high-risk driver?
No, each state has its own system for assessing driver risk levels and determining how insurance rates will be calculated. Some states may place more emphasis on certain factors than others when deciding who is considered high risk.
Is there anything else I can do to improve my chances of getting affordable auto insurance as a high-risk driver?
In addition to shopping around for coverage and completing defensive driving courses, you may want to consider ways to reduce your perceived risk level. This could include installing safety features on your vehicle, improving your credit score (as some insurers use credit history when setting rates), or taking steps to improve your driving record over time.