What You Can Expect If You Get Labeled a High Risk Driver
When it comes to car insurance you don’t want your insurance company to consider you a high-risk driver – making you a liability. Get pinned with that label and you can expect to be rewarded with rates that are much higher than the average motorist. Or, if you get canceled, auto insurance could be more difficult to find.
First, as a policyholder, you probably fall into one of three different categories that your company uses to weigh your risk to them as well as determining how much they’ll charge you for your annual premiums.
There’s a reason why they call it “preferred”. This is the tier where you want to be. If you’re labeled a preferred-risk, you’re considered by insurers to have the lowest probability of being involved in a crash and, therefore, pay the lowest rates. The bad news is – most drivers don’t qualify for this category. But, by keeping a squeaky clean driving record for a long period of time, you could just make it.
If you fall short of preferred-driver status, you’ll more than likely be in the standard-risk category along with the rest of us. To be in this tier you may have been involved in a couple of accidents, had a few traffic tickets or filed several claims under the comprehensive insurance portion of your policy over your lifetime. While your rates won’t be as low as preferred-risk, keeping moving violations to a minimum and avoiding preventable collisions will keep your rates somewhat affordable.
Of the three tiers, this is the one you want to avoid completely. Not only will you be paying more than any other driver for your auto insurance but, get canceled and you may have a tough time finding any of the major insurers to take you on. After all, you’re now classified as a high-risk driver.
No, this isn’t a loaded question. You probably already know what you did wrong, but insurance companies don’t just use your lousy driving record, which may include a series of collisions and numerous moving violations, to place you in the high-risk tier. Get canceled by your carrier and things get even uglier.
While it’s unlawful for auto insurance companies to discriminate by increasing rates due to race or religion, combine your driving record with statistical information, such as geographical location, age (especially if a teenager), gender, marital status, past history of paying premiums on time and you may find yourself in the bottom rung.
To be more specific, below are various ways you can make the dreaded high-risk category:
• Drivers with one or more costly collisions
• Drivers with numerous traffic violations for speeding, running red lights or other citations
• Drivers with DUI convictions
• Drivers who have previously had their insurance policy canceled
• Drivers between 16 and 25 years of age
• Drivers with bad credit
As bad as it may seem, there is some good news if you find yourself wearing the high-risk label. Although your search for new auto coverage may be more challenging, it’s not entirely impossible to get insured. In fact, some auto insurance companies offer affordable policies to drivers with less than desirable driving records.
Furthermore, you can take charge of your driving record by improving your driving habits, staying out of trouble by not drinking and driving, obeying speed limits, and making sure to stay within other traffic laws. Any major infraction that costs you negative points on your driving record will only be on there for seven years.
Behave yourself for those seven years and you get to start all over with a clean driving record. It’s up to you.
USAgencies specializes in providing affordable high-risk car insurance so we can help you if you are a high-risk driver. Call (800) 420-3712 to speak with a live agent to get a free, high-risk driver quote. You can even begin coverage today. Don’t have time to call? Get your free car insurance quote online.