High Risk Auto Insurance: Five Things You Should Know
There are two types of drivers on the road: “low risk” and “high risk.” As the name suggests, insurance companies typically define “high risk” drivers as those who are risky to insure due to their poor driving record, their inexperience, or even their credit history. For example, you may be considered a high risk driver if you have:
- Had one or more auto accidents
- Received multiple speeding tickets or other traffic citations
- Been convicted of Driving Under the Influence (DUI)/Driving While Intoxicated (DWI)
- Just received your driver’s license; or
- A poor credit history
If you’re a high risk driver, you might think it’s too expensive to get insurance. But, consider this, driving without car insurance is illegal in most states – it’s also a gamble. One accident (especially with another uninsured motorist) could result in hundreds, sometimes thousands, of dollars in damages. And if you’re caught driving without insurance you could lose your license.
The good news is, insurance for high risk motorists is available and affordable. Check out the five things you should know about auto insurance for high risk drivers:
1. High risk drivers can get insurance too.
Sure, some auto insurance companies only insure individuals with flawless – or nearly flawless – driving records, but there are other companies that offer high risk insurance (sometimes called “non-standard auto insurance”). There are reputable high risk auto insurance companies out there – you just have to be diligent in your search.
2. You should still compare and contrast insurance companies.
As with everything else in life, shop around. Look at several high risk insurance policies before reaching a decision. While one insurance company may offer a cheap auto insurance premium, the coverage may be minimal. Thorough research leads to peace of mind knowing you’ve made the right decision.
3. High risk insurance can still be affordable and flexible.
You might be a high risk driver, but that doesn’t mean you can’t find affordable insurance coverage from a company that understands your financial situation. There are insurance providers who specialize in “high risk” insurance, like Direct, and allow you to customize your payment plan to fit your payday schedule and your monthly budget. Affordable and flexible options do exist when it comes to high risk insurance, so don’t give up or get discouraged.
4. SR-22 is not a type of insurance.
Some people mistakenly refer to SR-22 as a type of insurance, but it isn’t. An SR-22 insurance is simply a form that an insurance company files with the state to verify that an individual has met the minimum financial responsibility requirements. Typically, a court or state will require an SR-22 for individuals who have had serious driving related violations. Not all insurance companies offer SR-22s, so if you need an SR-22 you will have to find an insurance company that offers that service.
5. You don’t have to be “high risk” forever!
So, you've made a few poor choices out on the road, but that was then and this is now. Every state mandates a length of time that a driving penalty will stay on your record, but your insurance company may be able to suggest ways for you to reduce the points on your driving record. Many high risk insurance companies reward drivers for attending traffic safety or defensive driving courses. Taking positive steps to clean up your driving record can help you get affordable auto insurance.