Not everyone has a perfect driving history; however, everyone does need car insurance. If you are one of the unfortunate motorists who falls into the former category, then you may have a harder time than most getting an affordable price for your car insurance premiums. So, how do you know if you’re a high risk driver? And how do you know whether or not you are getting the best deal on high risk auto insurance? On this page, we’ll explain the answers to these questions and more. And we’ll also be happy to help you get the deal you deserve on your auto insurance premiums.
Almost everyone under the age of 25 automatically falls into the high-risk driver pool. This is because their lack of experience behind the wheel, coupled with young peoples’ notorious impulsivity and potentially underdeveloped judgment, makes them much more likely to get into an accident. When a driver gets into an accident, they’re highly likely to file a claim. And when you file a claim, unless your claim is completely rejected, you’ll be costing your auto insurance company money. So your insurance company is going to compensate for this and protect their profits by charging you a higher monthly rate.
Driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol is one of the highest indicators of impulsivity and a lack of good judgment. As with younger drivers, these attributes raise red flags and ring the alarm bells for any insurance company. Many insurance providers won’t even provide coverage for people with a DUI. On top of that, your state laws may require you to file for an SR-22 insurance policy if you have any intention of getting back on the road.
Although an imperfect driving record may not scare your insurance company as much as a dui or being a young driver, it is still disconcerting for most providers. Drivers with a clean driving history are more than likely to continue driving safely for the foreseeable future, which means they won’t file claims or cost their insurer money to fix or replace a damaged vehicle. But a history of driving violations – such as minor accidents, major accidents, speeding tickets, or other moving violations – indicates the potential for damage to your car, injuries, or damage to other people’s property in the future. And because car insurance is a profit-driven business, your insurance company is going to hedge their bets by charging you a higher monthly premium.
If you have bad credit, it indicates a potential for financial irresponsibility in the eyes of your insurance provider. For many insurance companies, this makes them worry that you may be late paying your monthly premiums, or skip them all together. To a lesser extent, a lack of responsibility with your finances could be a hint of a general lack of responsibility – even behind the wheel. Luckily, your insurer is only limited to a snapshot of your credit history, such as your previous experience (or lack thereof) keeping up on payments with other insurance companies. Furthermore, in Massachusetts, California, and Hawaii, car insurance companies are legally prohibited from using your credit score in order to determine your premium.
There are many reasons why a motorist may have a lapse in insurance coverage, and none of them bode well in the eyes of your insurance company. You may have had a previous insurance policy cancelled due to lack of payment. You may have had your insurance cancelled due to a suspended license associated with unsafe driving. In rare instances, you may be returning to a suburban area after living for months or years in a city where public transportation made owning a vehicle (and carrying an auto insurance policy) completely unnecessary. Regardless of your reasons for temporarily not having insurance coverage, you’ll likely be charged a higher premium for the first year or two that you carry your new policy. Also, it is not uncommon for insurance companies to refuse to cover you in the first place do to your lapse in coverage.
If you fall into the high-risk driver pool, there isn’t much you can do to immediately guarantee yourself a lower rate on your monthly auto insurance premiums. However, there are some proactive steps you can take in order to guarantee that you can get a better price on your coverage in the relatively near future.
For starters, you should start monitoring your credit score very closely. There are a plethora of trustworthy websites where you can check your score for free anytime you want. They also offer free advice on ways to improve your credit score so that you can help yourself Get a better rate in as little as six months. For lower credit scores, however, it may take longer than that to build your credit back up to an acceptable level.
If you are a young driver, you can take a Driver’s Ed course and keep your grades up in order to earn a Good Student discount. College students may also be able to apply for discounts if they leave their vehicle at home while taking classes and finding other ways around town if they happen to live on campus. Unfortunately, beyond those measures, it’s going to take time and experience for your insurance company to trust you enough to give you a cheaper rate on your premiums.
Lastly, if you have a blemished driving record, find out if your state allows drivers to take a defensive driving course. This can make you look responsible and proactive in the eyes of your insurance company, making it more likely for them to reduce your rates. If your driving history includes a DUI, you’re going to want to make sure you follow any court-ordered actions (such as paying fines, performing community service, attending substance abuse meetings, etc) to the letter and in a timely manner. Furthermore, being more conscientious of your habits behind the wheel and making sure you avoid crimes like speeding, changing lanes without signaling, tailgating, or aggressive driving. Depending on your state laws, your driving violations will vanish from your record after 3 to 5 years and no longer count against you. As long as you maintain good behavior behind the wheel, you can eventually earn a lower rate on your auto insurance premiums. But it will take time.
If you absolutely need to reduce your car insurance bill right now, one of the only things you can do is to shop around and compare rates. As you can see in the chart above, the difference between premiums for a high-risk versus a low-risk driver are substantial from one company to another. And if you don’t compare rates, you may be getting overcharged without even knowing it. But if you comparison shop on this website right now, you’ll get fast and easy quotes from several different providers near you for free. Get started today, and start saving now.