What Is High-risk Auto Insurance?
Insurance companies determine risk when calculating rates and offering coverage. If the company determines that your accident risk is higher than average, you’ll have to purchase high-risk auto insurance. Since companies base rates on risk, you can expect to pay more for coverage if you need high-risk insurance.
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Find out why you might need high-risk insurance, how you can lower your premiums, and more. Then you’ll be ready to shop for high-risk auto insurance if necessary.
Reasons for High-risk Auto Insurance
Insurance companies look at various factors when determining risk. You might need high-risk insurance if you:
- Have lots of at-fault accidents on your record
- Have a large number of speeding tickets
- Have reckless driving or racing violations
- Have been convicted of driving under the influence
- Are a young, inexperienced driver, or are over 65 years old
- Have bad credit
- Use the vehicle for a ridesharing service or another high-risk activity
- Drive a high value or specialized car
- Had your license suspended or revoked
- Let your insurance lapse
Lowering Your Risk
If you’ve been flagged as a high-risk driver, there are some things you can do to reduce your risk in the eyes of the insurance company. Reducing your risk can lead to lower premiums.
First, if you are high risk due to moving violations, take a defensive driving course. Speak with your insurance agent before taking a class to ensure it’s approved, though.
Also, practice safer driving behaviors while on the road. Follow the speed limit and obey all laws. After you hit the three-year mark without any tickets, your premium should decrease.
If you’re high-risk because of a DUI conviction, speak to your insurance company about installing an interlock ignition device. While most companies will not reduce the rates, some will, so it’s worth exploring.
Improving your credit score can also lower your premiums. Some insurance companies charge more for bad credit scores, so make your payments on time and reduce your credit-to-debt ratio.
SR-22 Certificate and High-risk Insurance
If you require high-risk auto insurance because your policy lapsed, or your license was suspended or revoked, you might need an SR-22 certificate. This certificate is not insurance. Instead, it is proof that you have the required liability insurance. Your insurance company will issue the certificate and send it to the necessary state office on your behalf.
High-risk Insurance Restrictions
Some high-risk policies include restrictions. For example, you might be the only person protected when driving your vehicle. If someone else drives your car, he or she won’t be covered. Also, if you are in an accident and the court assesses punitive damages, your policy might not cover it. Finally, the company might review your driving history annually and increase your rates if you have any infractions.
Because of these restrictions and the high cost of coverage, work hard to reduce your risk, so you can get a standard policy soon.
Getting High-risk Insurance
Finding high-risk auto insurance is a bit harder than purchasing a standard policy. Some major insurance providers offer high-risk coverage, so you can begin shopping there. However, you might have to use a company that specializes in these policies. When you choose such a company, you’re less likely to get turned down for insurance.
As with any insurance policy, you should compare quotes before purchasing high-risk coverage. Companies use different formulas for assessing risk. One company might see you as extremely high risk, while another might view your risk at a moderate level, meaning you’ll pay less. After you compare quotes, you can purchase your policy and hit the road once again.