There are many different factors that come into play when an auto insurance company is trying to decide how much it is going to cost to insure your vehicle. Some people believe a few of these factors are less reliable than others, but the reality is that there is a standard assessment that usually takes place when it comes to your car and your ability to drive that car. High-risk drivers may not be able to find the cheap auto insurance that they desire, but they should still be able to find adequate coverage as long as they take the time to find the best coverage possible. Let’s take a look at the details surrounding auto insurance and how it relates to drivers who are considered to be risky.
Why Would an Auto Insurance Company Refuse Your Money?
Although you may think that an auto insurance company will always be able to offer you coverage, the reality is that the riskiest drivers can find a hard time getting coverage. Finding cheap auto insurance is a problem in its own right, but the riskiest drivers sometimes just need to concentrate on finding an auto insurance company that will provide them with coverage at any price. When it comes to people who are deemed too risky by the car insurance industry, one of the following three factors usually come into play:
- The driver lives in a high-crime area where it is more likely that the vehicle will be stolen, vandalized, or destroyed.
- People who drive unique vehicles that are custom-built or are high-performance cars will have a hard time finding coverage.
- If you have made a lot of mistakes in the past when it comes to causing accidents or getting traffic tickets, then an insurance company is not going to trust your ability to avoid another accident in the future.
Finding Auto Insurance Coverage as a Young Driver
Although they are not considered as risky as some of the people mentioned above, young drivers are definitely targeted with higher monthly costs for their insurance. The facts definitely back up the auto insurance companies here because teen drivers are notorious for driving fast and getting into trouble with the law when they get behind the wheel for the first time.
Anyone between the ages of 15 and 21 is definitely going to have to pay a premium for auto coverage, but it is important to note that there are a few ways to lower the costs of that insurance in certain situations. For example, teens who have a GPA of 3.0 (B average) or better in high school or college are usually able to receive a discount on their auto insurance coverage. Students with B or better grades are often eligible for a discount on their insurance rates. A school-sponsored driver education course could also be beneficial in reducing the cost of insurance for high-risk drivers in this category. Regardless of the discounts, insurance for young drivers is likely to double or even triple the cost of their parents’ policy. Teen girls are a lower risk than boys, but insurance surveys have shown that people don’t settle into safer habits until after the age of 25, so all teens are an increased risk.
Becoming High-Risk After a DUI/DWI
If you’ve had a DUI, you have automatically become a high-risk, even if you have never had a speeding ticket. And even though you can regain your safe driver status over time, most states now require the conviction of a DUI to remain on your driving record for 10 years or more, and some states now require it to remain on your record for life. People convicted of a DUI fall into a higher than average risk group because they pose not only a danger to themselves and the vehicle but to other people and property as well. Many insurance companies will not insure a vehicle operated by someone who has had a DUI conviction within the last 5 years.
High-Risk Due to Old Age
Drivers over the age of 60 are sometimes given rates equal to insurance for high-risk drivers. Studies have shown that the incidence of collisions increases after age 60 and that such accidents are likely to have more serious injury consequences. Even in this age group, though, men are more likely than women to be involved in accidents, by a factor of nearly 50%. So while insurance for high-risk drivers extends to the elderly, it affects older men more than women. Again, maintaining a safe driver status and taking driver education courses can provide discounts to offset the increase in policy cost.
Finding a High-Risk Car Insurance Policy
The good news for anyone who is deemed to be a risky driver by the auto insurance industry is that there are some companies that actually focus on providing coverage to these risky drivers. Using an online insurance quote tool can help you find the right coverage in your area, even if you are someone who has a target on their back because of your past driving habits. When you are taking a look at the right companies, you should be able to find some help when it comes to getting coverage, even with a long list of traffic accidents or violations in your past.
What to Do If You Are a High-Risk Driver
If you have been labeled as a high-risk driver, then it may be time for you to take a close look at your normal driving habits. When you have all of these different insurance companies telling you that you are making a lot of mistakes on the road, you may want to go ahead and listen to what they have to say. The good news is that you do not get a life sentence once you have been deemed risky.
For all drivers, taking a professional driver safety course can offer additional discounts. Even though we usually only hear about the courses in reference to having too many tickets or some other offense, taking the initiative and signing up for a course without having to is a good way to reduce the risk perceived by your insurance company, and could offer substantial discounts.
Tips for High-Risk Drivers
Here are a few additional things that you can do to improve your reputation after making a bad name for yourself over the past few years:
- Take a break from driving. You won’t be able to get tickets or get in accidents if you stay off the road. Try to make sure that you drive the least amount possible because you are increasing your odds of making another mistake every time you get out on the road.
- Pay attention to the common mistakes that you were always told you should avoid. Most bad drivers know all of the fundamentals of driving that they should follow while they are on the road, but the fact of the matter is that they don’t like to follow the rules. You would be amazed at how much you can improve your driving by doing simple things. The main thing to remember here is that you need to avoid distractions such as eating, using your cell phone, or playing extremely loud music while you are on the road. When you don’t follow these rules, you are putting yourself in the same categories as those risky young drivers under the age of 21.
- Avoid drinking and driving at all costs. There is no good reason to ever drink and drive. Most people usually think about the legal implications of getting caught in this situation, and the fact that a DUI can destroy your ability to find cheap auto insurance is often overlooked. If your reputation as a driver is already questionable, then you cannot afford to take a chance with alcohol on the road.
Take the Time to Compare Different Plans
When you are a high-risk driver, you are going to need to do extra homework when it comes to finding the cheapest plan available. Make sure that you compare many different offers online because you can still find a discount when you realize that these insurance companies are fighting over each other to get your business. By sticking with insurance companies that focus on high-risk coverage, you should be able to find a plan that does not break the bank. To start comparing rates, check out Insurance Panda’s car insurance calculator page to learn more.