Each state has a Department of Insurance website that will provide you with a list of high-risk insurance carriers in your area. These are companies that specialize in offering car insurance covers to drivers who have been classified as high-risk due to past incidents and behaviors.
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What is high-risk car insurance?
High-risk car insurance is car insurance for people who are considered to be high-risk drivers. There are a variety of people who qualify as a high-risk driver.
A simple definition of a high-risk driver is a driver who, when on the road, is a danger to themselves or to other drivers because of the actions they take while they are driving.
You could be a high-risk driver if:
- You are a teen
- You have bad credit
- You have a DUI or DWI
- You have a bad driving record
- You have made several insurance claims
- You have multiple points on your license
- You have caused more than two accidents in a single year
- You have driven for less than 3 years; even if you are an adult
- You purchase and drop insurance policies multiple times a year
An insurance company that you have made a claim against may determine that you are a high-risk driver simply because they are the ones that paid your claim.
You may find that you could get lower insurance simply by switching to a car insurance company that has never had to pay you anything.
Is high risk auto insurance more expensive than standard insurance?
In general, auto insurance for those considered to be high risk is more expensive than for those who have good driving records. The insurance companies look at someone who is high risk and assumes that their own costs will rise because of it, so they pass on the rising costs to the consumer.
The good news for high risk drivers is that because there are more companies that specialize in non-standard policies, there is more competition between the different insurance companies.
Competition usually means that the rates offered are more affordable than they were years ago. There are quite a few companies that are able to offer affordable high risk auto insurance, so it is worth taking the time to search for them.
How long do I have to have high risk insurance?
If you are a young driver, usually once you reach the age of 25 you are no longer considered to be high-risk. Both young and old drivers can benefit from taking a defensive driving course, which may help decrease your risk rating.
If you have had a DUI/DWI or had your license suspended for another reason, and you have an SR-22 policy, the high-risk insurance categorization is usually required for three years.
This SR-22 requirement can vary from state to state as well, depending upon how severe the offense was. You can find out what the requirements are for your state by going to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners website.
The good news with being a high risk driver is that it usually only lasts for a certain period of time until you are considered to be a lower risk.
Where can I purchase insurance for a high-risk driver?
Where you purchase your high-risk insurance will depend on the reason why you are considered a high-risk driver. For example, a teen driver will find that they can purchase car insurance through just about any insurance company while a driver with multiple DUIs may not be able to buy insurance through any traditional companies.
You will find that every state offers what is called an assigned risk insurance plan.
No one can be turned down for an assigned risk insurance plan; however, get ready to pay for the privilege of purchasing this liability-only insurance. In most cases, you will pay three or four times as much for your assigned risk insurance than you would for a traditional plan.
There are some insurance companies that specifically specialize in high-risk drivers. These companies usually work with people with DUI convictions, multiple accidents and so on.
While the insurance costs through a specialized company will be higher than a traditional insurance company, the policy should be lower than it is with an assigned risk plan.
Should I shop around for high-risk car insurance?
You should always shop around for your car insurance before you make a purchase. Just as with traditional auto insurance companies, high-risk specialists will have differing premiums between companies.
Shopping around is the only way to ensure you can get the lowest rate possible.
You should take advantage of any edge that you can find to ensure that you don’t have to pay more than absolutely necessary for your coverage.
Once a year you should take the time to do a comparison search to ensure that you continue to get the lowest rates. This type of search is easy to do when you use a quote tool and you aren’t under any obligation to make a purchase.
You can get FREE car insurance quotes right now by entering your ZIP code!