When you’re driving down the highway, most people can immediately pick out which cars around them are the riskier drivers and which are ready to follow all of the safety laws in the area. This choice is easy for us to see on the road, but how do insurance companies know this issue?
Like us, drivers, insurance companies also take into account that high-risk drivers are out on the roads, and these same drivers may apply for coverage from their company.
Drivers who have a record of reckless driving may be required to get high-risk auto insurance when they do apply for insurance. What is this insurance coverage like, and how does it differ from other types of standard car insurance?
What Is High-Risk Auto Insurance?
High-risk insurance coverage is not necessarily a specific policy that reckless drivers have to sign up for, but it is a specific premium that must be paid to entice insurance companies to take the risk of covering their vehicle. When a driver with a record of dangerous or risky driving applies for insurance, the auto insurance company can see this record. After reviewing the record, the chances are high that they will give a higher premium than they usually would.
That is known as high-risk insurance or even nonstandard auto insurance. The auto company raises the premium on the insurance because the probability of that driver getting into an accident is higher than the probability of other drivers in similar cars getting into an accident.
Can You Get Insurance as a High-Risk Driver?
While some insurance companies will not insure high-risk drivers, there is always an option out there. Even if some companies will not offer you a policy, just keep looking! You may have to pay higher premiums at first, but there is an insurance policy out there for all drivers.
It is recommended that you look for an insurance company that specializes in high-risk style policies. They will have more affordable and flexible plans available. These plans may offer less coverage or higher deductibles, but that is the price that must be paid to be insured when you don’t have a record of driving safely.
Why Might Someone Get Stuck with High-Risk Insurance?
There are a lot of different reasons an insurance company might choose to raise your insurance premium to reflect the risk that they are taking by insuring you. These are some of the possibilities:
- Record of DUI (driving under the influence) tickets
- Multiple safety violations (speeding, etc.)
- Convicted of driving-related crimes
- Driving a high-risk car
If the insurance company sees that your driving record includes one or more of these things, they are going to charge you for high-risk coverage. It is important to note that more recent violations are going to have a worse effect on your premium than those that happened a long time ago. Time is taken into account when the insurance company calculates your premium insurance rate.
There are also some less serious reasons that you could be considered a high-risk driver:
- You are elderly; over 70 years old
- You are inexperienced; a teenager
- You just got your license
- You have a poor credit history
- You’ve never had auto insurance before
- You live in a high-risk area
Some of these reasons may seem unfair, and to some extent, they are. The simple fact of the matter is that insurance companies use probability to determine your insurance rate. If you fall into one of those categories, the likelihood of you being in an accident goes up, and your premium goes up, too.
How to Lower Your Insurance Premium?
If you have found that you are stuck with high-risk coverage rates, you may be searching for a way to get your premium back into an affordable and manageable range again. While it isn’t easy to immediately convince the insurance company that you are going to be a safer driver, there are some things that you can do.
1. Shop Around
Some insurance companies have more expensive high-risk auto coverage rates than others. If you are unhappy with what you have been offered, remember to check out your options at other insurance companies as well. While they all might charge you more than a standard customer, you will still have various price point options.
2. Take a Driving Class
Some insurance companies will allow you to take a driving course to show that you are serious about driving safer. To find out if a certain insurance company allows this, call your representative or search on the website. Once the class is completed, the insurance company will gradually lower your premium.
3. Get a Safer Car
If for some reason your car has been designated to be a high-risk car, you can lower your premium by selling your car and getting a new one. While that might sound extreme, cars can be hazardous, and you should aspire to be driving a safer car.
4. Avoid Accidents and Tickets
The most effective way to get your premium lower also takes the longest. If you can stay accident- and violation-free for three years or more, you will see significant reductions in your premium.
It can seem impossible to make it this long if you are accustomed to being involved in car incidences frequently, but it’s not normal to be in an accident too often. Be smart while driving, and drive defensively to avoid accidents. In time, your rate will reflect your dedication to safe driving!
High-Risk Coverage for High-Risk Driving
The key point to take away from today’s article about high-risk auto insurance is that you will not end up with a high premium coverage policy unless you have engaged in risky driving behavior that resulted in violations. If you are a safe driver or you are on the path to becoming one, premiums like these high-risk ones will not be a problem for you.
Cars can be incredibly dangerous; take your time to be safe, and the price you pay for insurance will reflect that in no time!