What is a high risk driver and how does it affect my insurance?
Unfortunately, not all of us have ideal driving records. Whether due to a number of accidents, numerous speeding tickets or lapses in insurance coverage, there are those of us who fall into the category known as a “high-risk” driver. What does this mean in terms of car insurance coverage? Basically, it can lead to higher than normal premiums and policies that overall cost more than what you’d expected. Let’s examine for a moment how exactly someone comes to be considered a high-risk driver.
Am I a High Risk Driver?
Generally, if you do fall into this category, the reasons for your being labelled a driver who is “high-risk” can be fairly easy to identify.
Multiple Speeding Tickets:Yes, we are all at one time or another in a hurry to get where we are going. But slowing down, taking your time and obeying all of the traffic rules and regulations is absolutely crucial; primarily of course for safety—yours and that of other drivers—but also because when you do get stopped and subsequently ticketed, you move toward that high-risk driver category. With multiple tickets of this nature, you can be almost assured of being labelled as such. And of course, you will now be considered a greater risk; it has been proven that drivers with more tickets are more likely to be involved in an accident"
Accidents and Claims:Obviously, those who are in multiple accidents and consequently file more insurance claims are going to be considered a higher-risk when it comes to procuring a car insurance policy. Generally, these are confined to at-fault accidents, but depending on the number of occurrences, no-fault accidents and any attached claims could also eventually lead to your higher-risk status as well. You can check out this article for more information on how an accident will affect your car insurance rates.
Lapses in Insurance Coverage:As a responsible driver, you need to have an insurance policy in place that meets all rules and requirements. If you were not covered for a particular period of time, and consequently let your coverage lapse, you will undoubtedly be classified as a high-risk driver. With a lapse in and/or lack of coverage, how can you prove that you were not involved in any accidents, or how can you show that you had a clean driving record during this time? This is why maintaining continuous coverage is so crucial. You can find out more about the penalties of cancellation here.
What Can High Risk Drivers Do to Lower Insurance Premiums?
Most often a less than ideal driving record and/or history of lapsed coverage will affect the amount and cost of your car insurance. But there are steps you can take and avenues you might explore as you try and find reasonable coverage despite being a high-risk driver.
Get QuotesEven though you fall into this category, this doesn’t mean your broker shouldn’t shop around for you. Comparing insurance quotes and asking questions regarding your status and subsequent coverage possibilities is always a smart idea.
Work to Improve Your Driving RecordThis may seem like a no-brainer, but becoming a better, safer and more responsible driver is certain to help you when it comes to finding car insurance coverage that is affordable. Perhaps take a defensive driving course. This alone could help you find more favorable rates. For example, the government even offers a defensive driving course online and AMA offers a large selection of courses online, in the classroom, and in a vehicle as well.
Look into the High Risk MarketWhat exactly is this? Basically it’s a non-standard auto policy designed to keep you legal and get you coverage while you work your way out of the high-risk driver category. Granted, you have fewer options when it comes to high-risk insurance, but sometimes you may not have any other choice.
Try TelematicsMaking your car safer, telematics encompasses those integrated systems which facilitate navigation, communication, safety notifications, among other such features. Allowing for easier roadside assistance, vehicle diagnostics and even automatic collision notification, equipping your car with this type of system helps allay some of the fears that potential insurers may have given your driving record and history.
Your insurance broker can certainly help you explore your options when it comes to finding coverage even if you are a high-risk driver. And of course, they’d be more than happy to help you identify those ways that you might improve your record and save on your insurance premiums. They're definitely the best resource you have as a high-risk driver.