Some motorists may really be dangerous on the roads as they cannot help but get into accidents and pick up traffic tickets. However, there are other reasons why someone may be labeled as high risk. Being young or beginner, having no recent coverage history or poor credit score are some of the things that can make underwriters place you in the perilous category and charge higher rates. It would be a challenge but this post is about finding affordable auto insurance for riskier drivers.
Some fairly good motorists can run into troubles as well. What makes you a bad driver is the frequency of picking up accidents and traffic tickets. You may have been doing fine with no problems for ten years and suddenly you have couple of unlucky crashes and traffic violation citations. Then, you are labeled and will have a hard time of finding cheap automobile insurance with bad driving record or credit for a while. It takes some time for records to clear and claims stop affecting prices. Nevertheless, you have a better chance of getting lower quotations if you follow the tips below.
If the reason is collisions and tickets, you might want to look into taking advance or defensive courses before you get into a serious accident. Some local authorities may offer an option to take a course instead of taking action against motorists caught doing dangerous things. This would be a great opportunity to take if you are ever offered.
How Are Drivers Categorized?
Underwriting is all about risks and they can classify it in many ways depending on various factors like age, gender, experience and recent claims. Here are the categories based on DMV records, according to Insurance Information Institute III.
- PREFERRED: Any carrier would be happy to offer the best rates for the people on the top class as they would have spotless records, no claims for years and even have great credit score.
- STANDARD: They would still love to insure them but may not offer the best prices because their records aren’t exceptional. They have clean records and no claims but don’t have them long enough or there is something in their history if you go long enough.
- NON-STANDARD (High-Risk): These are the drivers that have had several crashes and scrapes with traffic laws. They may have several claims and traffic tickets or one big issue like causing a reckless accident or DUI. Nevertheless, most of these people will be able to find coverage even though they are likely to pay a hefty prices.
- ASSIGNED RISK: These are so bad that they cannot find any policy in the open market. They will need to talk to their State Ins. Department to be allowed into “assigned risk” programs. It is a system that requires each licensed company to accept certain number of uninsurable applicants within the state they operate. However, people need to prove that they tried hard but have been refused several times or quotes were far too expensive.
What Else Can Push You into Non-Standard Category
You may be considered as a less than desirable applicant even if you don’t have serious motoring problems like above and need to find affordable high risk auto insurance companies. These factors may not put you in the “assigned risk pool” but they will be influential enough to make it harder to find acceptable quotes.
- EXPENSIVE TO INSURE CARS: Certain ones with big engines like sports cars, SUVs and 4x4s are more expensive. With powerful engine they can speed fast and can cause larger damages. Having one of those automobiles alone can double premiums.
- EXPENSIVE TO INSURE ZIP CODES: Certain areas like city centers with high crime and congestion can easily double the costs in comparison to sleepy towns with easy to drive roads. If you moved recently you probably have seen the effects.
- YOUNG AGE + NO RECORD: Having no experience or record is enough to raise prices. That is why it may not be a good idea to allow a policy lapse more than 30 days. The premium would go up even further if you are a teenager as well as a novice. It is probably the only reason why you wouldn’t want to be a teenager as costs can double or triple. You will have to wait a few years before vehicle insurance goes down.
- BAD CREDIT HISTORY: They cannot deny coverage because of bad score but they can come up with prohibitive rates by applying surcharges. For example, having a really low credit score (as a result of bankruptcy, debt judgement or collections) would be enough for many companies to apply a 30% surcharge.
What to Do to Get Cheap Car Insurance for High Risk Drivers
You probably know why you are getting expensive quotations. If you don’t, you can ask them why. They have to tell you why rates have gone up. Here is what you can do when you realize you are grouped in with perilous road users.
- SHOP AROUND: Carriers are largely free what they want to charge each applicant as long as they base their rates on danger rather than discrimination. You won’t be able to complain about quotes in most cases because you are free to choose out of many. If most of them appear to be not interested it is probably because of something you have done. You should look long and hard and find who has the cheapest auto insurance for someone like you. Shopping and comparing attentively can allow you to save as much as 50%, which is as good as you would get with desirable credentials.
- TRY TO QUALIFY FOR OTHER DISCOUNTS: Having bad rates because of one the above reasons does not prevent you from qualifying for other discounts. For example, you may have a terrible recent history but have an excellent credit score. So, you should look for companies that offer the highest discounts for it. Also, you can get discounts that are not related to any of the above. You can get them for paying the premium at once, being a member of AAA (or other recovery services) or having a private overnight parking. While the other factors have premium increasing effects these other discounts will help you get cheap vehicle insurance for high risk drivers.
- BUY A PAY AS YOU DRIVE POLICY: These policies would be great for people who are normally good behind the steering wheel but have been unlucky recently. Also, it will work like a magic to get the most economical coverage for young drivers. Carriers will be able to confirm that you are indeed better than the recent history suggests looking at the data collected by the device they install. Actually, many people confirm in the surveys that they have improved because they knew they were monitored. Therefore, pay as you go is a good way of finding affordable automobile insurance for motorists who are assumed dangerous.
- THINK ABOUT YOUR CAR: If you are already struggling to find an acceptably priced policy you don’t want to add salt to injury by having a performance car as well. So, think about it and see if you can find a modest automobile at least until things improve.
What to Do If You Are Denied Coverage?
When so many of them refuse to provide cover it may mean that you are out of luck in the open market conditions. Then, you need to contact the State Department of Ins. to be considered for Assigned-Risk pool. They will explain to you how you should go about contacting the companies that participate in this scheme.
There is good news for people who want to improve. History will get cleared over time if you keep minding and stay out of trouble. If you can keep claim and traffic violation free within the next year the premium will go down a lot. You can actually take advance courses to improve operational skills. If you want to go this route you should first check which courses may qualify you for discounts as well. In conclusion, you can find affordable policies if you put your mind to it and follow above tips.