How to Move from High-Risk to Standard Car Insurance

Last Updated on August 4, 2020

Insurance companies categorize drivers based on risk. Certain drivers are seen as “high risk”. These drivers need to pay higher premiums than other drivers. Fortunately, these high prices don’t last forever: eventually, a high-risk driver will be able to purchase standard car insurance once again.

Are you curious about moving from high-risk car insurance to standard car insurance? Are you waiting for your SR-22 to expire? Today, we’re explaining everything you need to know about moving from high-risk to standard car insurance.

How Long Does High-Risk Car Insurance Status Last?

How to Move from High-Risk to Standard Car InsuranceHigh-risk car insurance status can last anywhere from a few months to a few years, depending on your driving history. Drivers are determined to be high risk if they:

  • Have had several traffic violations
  • Been involved in one or more serious accidents
  • Been convicted of DUI or DWI

Some high-risk drivers will take a defensive driving course. This can remove points from your record, although you’ll still be considered high-risk. Nevertheless, taking a defensive driving course proves to car insurance companies that you are trying to improve your driving abilities.

Of course, the best way to go from high-risk car insurance to standard car insurance is to continue driving incident-free. If you maintain a clean record and avoid making any insurance claims, then your high-risk status will disappear as quickly as possible.

In most states, car insurance companies can use driving history data from the past 5 to 7 years to calculate rates. If you were convicted of a DUI, then that charge may affect car insurance prices for as long as seven years.

Driving record information affects insurance prices for 5 to 7 years. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean you’re going to be seen as a high-risk driver for 5 to 7 years.

Generally, if you keep your driving record clear for at least three consecutive years, then you’re going to move from a high-risk driver to a standard risk driver.

Other Factors Behind Being a High-Risk Driver

Some drivers are considered high risk for reasons that have nothing to do with their driving record.

You may be considered high risk if you drive a high-end luxury car, for example, even if your driving record is mostly clean. High-end luxury cars, sports cars, and supercars are some of the riskiest cars for insurance companies to insure. Even if you’re a safe driver, driving a high-end vehicle can put you in a higher risk class.

Your credit score can also raise or lower your risk factor. If you have a low credit score, then your insurance company might see you as a higher risk than someone with a high credit score, and you may pay higher rates for car insurance.

Many young drivers or new drivers are also considered high risk. That’s why teenagers and other first time drivers tend to pay higher rates for car insurance than drivers who have been driving for a long period of time.

One final thing that can make you a high-risk driver is a lapse in insurance coverage. If your insurance coverage has lapsed, for example, then you’ll find insurance premiums are higher when you re-apply. You might temporarily be a high-risk driver for a few months until your insurance drops down to normal rates.

For all of the reasons listed above, you might be considered a high-risk driver even with a clean driving record.

Things to Remember When Moving from High-Risk to Standard Car Insurance

Shop Around

This tip is easy: shop around for car insurance to find the best rates possible. You might be considered a high-risk driver to some car insurance companies but a standard risk driver to other car insurance companies.

Remember to be honest on your car insurance application: if you lie or omit crucial data – like an at-fault accident – then it may not appear on your premiums immediately, but your insurance company will discover the incident eventually. This can invalidate your car insurance and force you to pay out of pocket for any claims.

Be Proactive About Lowering your Risk

Buy a lower risk vehicle. Improve your credit score. Qualify for the good student discount by improving your grades. Sign up for a defensive driving course. Buy a car with a strong safety rating or extra safety features.

Be Patient

High-risk car insurance never lasts forever. No matter what mistakes or incidents you had in your past, car insurance rates will go down as long as you maintain a clean driving record.

Final Word on Moving from High Risk to Standard Car Insurance

Certain drivers are required to buy high-risk car insurance. If you’re deemed to be a high-risk driver, then you’re going to pay more for car insurance.

Fortunately for you, high-risk car insurance doesn’t last forever. If you maintain a clean driving record for three years, then you should be able to move from high risk to standard car insurance. Even the worst driving violations will disappear from your record within 5 to 7 years.

There are certain ways to speed up the process. You can improve your credit-based insurance score, for example, or buy a lower risk vehicle. By implementing these tips, you can move from high-risk car insurance to standard car insurance as quickly as possible.

James Shaffer
James Shaffer James Shaffer is a writer for and a well-seasoned auto insurance industry veteran. He has a deep knowledge of insurance rules and regulations and is passionate about helping drivers save money on auto insurance. He is responsible for researching and writing about anything auto insurance-related. He holds a bachelor's degree from Bentley University and his work has been quoted by NBC News, CNN, and The Washington Post.
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