Purchasing High Risk Auto Insurance
In the perfect world, we'd all have enough money, perfect health, and plenty of good times. We'd move through life knowing that everything we love is safe and eternal. But in the real world, even a trip to the beach is fraught with danger. It might be a dangerous driver. Or it might be encountering such a driver without adequate car insurance. Once you've been classified as a high risk driver, finding a good policy can be difficult. This shouldn't deter you from looking for high risk auto insurance. Rather, consider it the starting point to understanding how to get the coverage you need.
Who Needs High Risk Auto Insurance?
Car insurance providers place different values on the backgrounds of their clientele, so you'll never know for sure if you require high risk auto insurance until a particular insurer reviews your information. However, there are certain characteristics that generally lead to a high risk classification:
- DUI/DWI: Of all the high risk factors to avoid, these charges top the list. It's difficult-to put it mildly-for someone to find a low premium after receiving a DUI or DWI.
- Traffic Violations: Driving history will always be weighed by potential insurers, and citations such as speeding or running a red light show that these drivers are more likely to have an accident.
- Age: Drivers under the age of 25 or over the age of 65 are usually considered high risk.
- First-time Drivers: Regardless of age, lack of driving experience will weigh against drivers.
- SR-22: A person may receive this classification after a DUI, though more commonly this refers to drivers caught without insurance or responsible for an accident with coverage that's inadequate for the damages. Essentially, the SR-22 is a necessary form to get your license restored, and it allows the DMV to monitor the driver in the interim.
- Lapse in Coverage: Driving without car insurance is against the law in most states, and gives insurers a reason to question the driver's level of responsibility.
- Credit History: If someone has a history of failing to make payments, this will give insurers pause.
- Claims History: Insurers worry about clients who seem likely to file costly claims based on doing so previously.
Can You Lower Your Risk Rating?
Oftentimes, you can proactively lower your risk rating. After a traffic violation, inquire about driving classes offered at the DMV. Older drivers may also qualify for discounts with a defensive driving course. For young drivers, some insurers offer a good student discount. You can also investigate ways to improve your credit rating. Basically, you need to show you're willing to be more responsible. After that, ask potential insurers about these ways to lower the costs of high risk auto insurance.
Your Options for High Risk Carriers
It's true that some car insurance companies won't take on high risk drivers. Simply stated, they see their potential risk as too high. That's okay. Companies that specialize or narrow their clientele exist in every sector; you may not find great Thai food at a Japanese restaurant, but you can find it by looking somewhere else. There are many insurers who welcome a large client base and thus are willing to extend benefits to higher risk drivers. The key to finding the carrier who will not only insure you (or your dependent) but also offer you a reasonable premium is to figure out which of these companies provides high risk auto insurance and then compare their rates. To save time, you can turn to a free service like NetQuote.com, which allows you to enter your pertinent information one time and then handles the comparisons for you. And in the end, getting behind the wheel with good car insurance is the ideal way toward becoming a lower risk driver.