If you’re in the market for auto insurance, there are a number of factors that can lead to you paying more to keep your car on the road. Today, we’ll spend some time discussing high risk insurance, the factors that are in play with higher premiums, and how checking with a high risk agency, safe driving and a little patience can help get your rates back down again.
What is High Risk Insurance?
High risk insurance is a description used for drivers who meet any one of a number of conditions that the insurance companies deem as making them riskier to keep covered on the road. We’ll discuss the factors in play that make a high risk driver below.
What Determines a High Risk Driver?
DUI or OWI Offense If you have been ticketed for Driving Under the Influence(DUI) or Operating While Under the Influence(OWI), you most likely will need to carry an SR-22 form on your insurance in order to continue to drive. Most will be required to keep the SR-22 on file with the DMV from 6 months to 5 years.
Young/First Time Driver Young drivers, typically aged 16-27, are statistically at a higher risk for auto accidents, which translates to a higher bill. The same is true of late-in-life drivers who are getting their license for the first time. While there’s nothing to do but put time under your belt as a driver, it’s worth talking to your insurance company to see whether this would still be the case if you were eligible to be added to someone’s existing policy.
Lapse in Insurance Coverage Whether you dropped your insurance because you were not driving or because you had to retool your finances, any lapse in coverage will find you paying higher premiums when you begin looking to get insured again. If you find yourself in this situation, don’t worry. After a period of driving without incident, typically between 6-12 months, you should be able to re-quote your policy for a possible lower price.
Poor Credit This risk factor is one that can be a nasty surprise for drivers who are looking for auto coverage, regardless of driving record. While the logic might be hard to follow, for some providers, an insurance score based on credit acts as shorthand for the insurance company being able to estimate the responsibility of its drivers.
Driving & Claims History Insurance companies look at driving history for your past three to five years. Any tickets, including minor traffic violations, and any claims, even those where you are not-at-fault, can affect your rate. As they fall outside the three and five year windows, your policy premiums will decrease accordingly.
How Can I Work to Lower My Rate?
There are insurance companies and agencies such as Compliance Insurance that specialize in high risk drivers that can have much lower rates versus the more preferred carriers. Talk to an agent about what your period of high risk coverage will look like, and see if there are ways you can save.
For most of the risk factors, their effect lowers over time. As tickets or accidents become older, as credit improves and as young drivers gain more experience, rates come down.
While the prospect of paying higher premiums can be daunting, it’s important to remember the risk of getting into an accident uninsured. Having high risk insurance can mean the difference between paying a little extra from month to month or paying for damages out of pocket for years if you hurt someone and have no insurance. Still have questions? Talk to your insurance agent or call Compliance Insurance today.