High Risk Auto Insurance: How to Find Affordable Coverage for Bad Drivers
April 01 2023
If you've had a few bumps in the road when it comes to your driving history, you may be categorized as a high-risk driver. This designation can lead to higher auto insurance premiums, but it doesn't mean you're out of options when it comes to buying affordable coverage. There are several steps you can take to find good coverage you can afford.
What Is High-Risk Auto Insurance?
High-risk auto insurance, also known as non-standard car insurance, is specifically designed for drivers deemed more likely to file a claim due to their driving history or other risk factors.
Who Is a High-Risk Driver?
Insurance companies assess each driver's risk level based on many factors, some of which are out of people’s control. Here are the most common high-risk groups.
People With a History of Accidents
A history of at-fault accidents or multiple traffic violations, such as speeding tickets or DUI convictions, can signal to insurers that you're more likely to be involved in future incidents.
Those With Low Credit Scores
Unfortunately, insurers often use credit scores to determine premiums since studies have shown a correlation between low credit scores and a higher likelihood of filing claims.
People With a Gap in Insurance
Having a significant gap in your car insurance coverage may also cause insurers to view you as a higher risk due to a lack of continuous protection, even though your history has no actual bearing on your current coverage.
Inexperience, particularly in young and newly licensed drivers, can lead to a high-risk designation because they have little driving experience and statistically higher accident rates.
Luxury Vehicle Owners
Lastly, owning a high-performance or luxury vehicle can contribute to being labeled as high-risk, as these vehicles are often more expensive to repair or replace and may be more likely to be involved in accidents or theft.
How Can You Lower High-Risk Auto Insurance Premiums?
There are steps you can take to lower your insurance premium rates. One of the most important is shopping around because not all insurance companies assess risk in the same way. Obtaining quotes from multiple providers can help you find the best coverage and rates for your specific situation. Here are additional ways to reduce your premiums.
Ask for Discounts
Take advantage of discounts offered by insurers. These discounts can be based on various factors, such as bundling multiple policies, maintaining a clean driving record, or installing anti-theft devices.
Improve Your Credit Score
Improving your credit score can also help you lower your insurance premiums. Focus on paying bills on time, reducing outstanding debt, and correcting errors on your credit report. Over time, these efforts can help boost your credit score significantly and potentially lower your insurance rates.
Take a Driving Course
Some insurance companies offer discounts to drivers who have completed an approved defensive driving course. These courses can help you improve your driving skills and reduce the likelihood of future accidents or violations.
Pay a High Deductible
Choosing a higher deductible can result in lower monthly premiums. However, make sure you can afford to pay the deductible in the event of a claim. Opting for a higher deductible means you'll be responsible for a larger portion of the repair or replacement costs in case of an accident, so it's crucial to consider your financial situation before making this decision.
Which Companies Specialize in High-Risk Auto Insurance?
When searching for high-risk auto insurance, always research and compare quotes from multiple providers to get the best coverage and rates for your specific situation. Remember that not all companies assess risk in the same way, so shopping around can help you find a provider that best understands and accommodates your unique needs.
The General caters to drivers with poor credit, lapses in coverage, or a history of accidents and traffic violations. They offer a range of coverage options and discounts tailored to high-risk drivers.
Known for providing competitive rates and flexible coverage options to drivers with less-than-perfect driving records, Progressive also offers their Snapshot program, which uses telematics to track driving habits, potentially earning discounts for high-risk drivers who demonstrate safe driving.
As a smaller, specialized company focusing on serving high-risk drivers, Safe Auto may be able to offer more personalized service and competitive rates to drivers who have difficulty finding coverage through traditional insurance providers.
Like Safe Auto, Bristol West is another specialized company that caters to high-risk drivers, potentially offering personalized service and competitive rates for those with challenging driving histories.
What State-Specific High-Risk Auto Insurance Programs Are Available?
Some states offer specific programs to help high-risk drivers find affordable coverage. For example, joint underwriting associations aim to ensure that all drivers have access to the minimum required auto insurance coverage, regardless of their risk profile.
In these programs, participating insurance companies share the responsibility of providing coverage to high-risk drivers, which can lead to more competitive rates. To see if your state has such a program, check with your state's department of insurance or consult with a knowledgeable insurance agent.
What Are the Insurance Options for High-Risk Drivers With SR-22 or FR-44 Requirements?
Drivers who are required to file an SR-22 or FR-44 due to a DUI or other serious traffic violation may find it challenging to secure affordable insurance coverage. But don't worry; there are still options available to get you back on the road.
For example, there are non-standard insurance companies, such as The General, that offer policies tailored to those with SR-22 or FR-44 requirements, often at a higher premium than standard insurance companies. These programs, known as assigned risk plans, may provide coverage to drivers with SR-22 or FR-44 requirements.
How Can High-Risk Drivers Transition to Standard Insurance Coverage?
Transitioning from high-risk to standard insurance coverage typically requires maintaining a clean driving record and demonstrating responsible driving habits for a certain period, often between one to three years. During this time, avoid traffic violations, accidents, and lapses in coverage, as these can prolong your high-risk status.
As you build a positive driving history, you can reach out to insurance companies to inquire about the possibility of transitioning to standard coverage so you can take advantage of lower premiums.
Don’t Let High-Risk Auto Insurance Hold You Back
Don't let high-risk car insurance put the brakes on your dreams! Just because you're labeled a high-risk driver doesn't mean you can't own the car you've always wanted.
Let Allcreditautos.com help you find car dealers and rates that match your needs, so you can drive away in your new car as you work toward improving your driving history.