Buying Auto Insurance for High Risk Drivers

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Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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UPDATED: Jul 16, 2021

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Most states mandate that you carry car insurance that satisfies minimum liability coverage requirements. Therefore, even if you have a bad driving record, you will need to insure your vehicle. High risk auto insurance policies can be very expensive, so you will need to take some time to compare the available insurance plans in order to save as much money as possible.

TIP: When you get a high risk policy, you may not need to include all the different types of coverage offered in a standard car insurance policy. You can save money by getting just the state minimum coverage until your driving record improves.

The Cost of a Bad Driving Record

Insurance companies weigh your driving record very heavily when setting your insurance premium payments. Car insurance is profitable when the company receives premium payments and does not have to pay out claims. Since drivers with bad records are more likely to create situations that lead to claims, car insurance companies will require higher premium payments for those drivers. Policies sold in 2010 saw an 18 percent increase in insurance costs after one moving violation when compared with rates for drivers with clean records. Drivers with no violations paid $1,119 a year on average, while drivers with three violations paid $1,713.

Older drivers are hit especially hard by violations. A separate analysis of about 400,000 car insurance quotes for drivers aged 65 and older who had two violations were 57 percent higher than those for drivers of the same age who had no violations. Drivers in the next age tier – 55 to 64 – saw a 47 percent increase in their quoted rate.

What Makes a High Risk Driver

What sort of violations will result in you being classified a high risk driver?

  • Serious Offenses: Driving while under the influence,reckless driving, fleeing from scene of an accident and driving the wrong way down a divided highway will cost you the most. One of these offenses will cause a significant increase in your premium payments.
  • Common Offenses: More mundane, but also costly are speeding tickets, running a red light or stop sign or driving without insurance. Failing to use child restraints is also a problem. While one or two of these types of ticket may not have a significant impact on your car insurance rates, an accumulation of them will seriously raise your car insurance payments.

TIP: If you think you fall into a high risk category, shopping several car insurance quotes will help you find the best deal for you. Cheap high risk auto insurance does not come easy, but there are companies that provide reasonable quotes. Make sure however, you obtain your state minimums for insurance.

Auto Insurance for the High Risk

States have mandated a certain number of carriers to cover drivers that find it hard to get insurance under an assigned risk policy. These policies are usually no different in coverage and they must at least carry the minimum liability limits set by that state, but they are available to any driver regardless of driving record. Assigned risk car insurance policies are a last option to individuals whose driving record is too bad for a typical high risk plan, and, as such, these policies will cost significantly more than a standard car insurance policy. In some cases, you could pay twice as much for an assigned risk car insurance policy!

If you ever find yourself on a high risk policy, don’t fret. Usually after your tickets have fallen off (2-3 years for regular tickets, or, in the case of a DUI, up to 5-7 years), you can begin obtaining quotes from carriers that could put you back on the road to lower insurance and out of the assigned risk category.

TIP: Improving your driving record is the key. With time and patience and of course good driving habits, you can be off high risk auto insurance and back to normal premiums in no time.

Click here to visit the Free Advice Quote center and start shopping for high risk insurance!

For more information about getting the right car insurance policy to fit your needs, check out the following articles:

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