Do you have difficulty finding affordable car insurance due to your driving record? This is the place for you! This article will answer two major questions:
1. What are the criteria that makes drivers “high-risk”? How can high-risk drivers save money on their auto insurance?
Most people are familiar with the concept of “high risk” in relation to car insurance. A person can do many things to be considered a high-risk driver. Some of these things are obvious, such as a DUI, license suspension, or committing moving violations. Some things are obvious, but others aren’t. You might be surprised at the criteria used by car insurance companies to assess the risk associated with drivers.
To illustrate the many factors that affect car insurance premiums and risk, I’ve compiled a list. Each company weighs each factor differently, and many companies ignore certain factors entirely. This is why car insurance premiums may vary widely from one company.
Let’s answer the first question. What factors cause drivers to be considered high-risk? These are the vast majority of factors.
1. Age. Young drivers who are newly licensed are considered high-risk until they reach 20-25 years of age, depending on the company. Their inexperience driving is the reason. Older drivers are also at risk due to their declining motor skills and slower reflexes.
2. Gender. Men pay more than women for all other reasons. Because crash statistics data clearly shows that men are more likely than women to be involved in an accident, this is why it is so high.
3. Marital status. Single drivers pay more than married drivers, despite all other factors being equal.
4. Driving record. This is a simple one. You will be charged more for any moving violations that you commit on your driver abstract. Your risk level will be affected for three years by most violations. For more serious violations like DUI’s and at-fault accidents, many companies will extend their reach back up to 5 years.
5. Prior Insurance It is essential to have continuous car insurance. Companies will put you in the high-risk category if you don’t have car insurance or have experienced lapses in coverage. If a driver is driving without insurance, the company will conclude that they have been driving recklessly without insurance or that there must be good reasons why another company has cancelled them. Either way, it will raise the premium (exceptions can be made if someone can prove a valid reason for not having insurance, such as being hospitalized/disabled for a long period of time or being deployed overseas in the military).
6. Vehicle being covered. A sports car (high-performance) will be more expensive than a sedan. A 2-door vehicle will be more expensive than a 4-door vehicle.
7. Credit rating. Credit rating. What does a person’s credit rating have to do about their ability to safely drive? Many people would argue that credit scores are irrelevant to driving ability. However, statistically speaking, those with lower credit scores are more likely to file claims than those with better credit.
Part 2: How high-risk drivers can save money on car insurance
After we’ve covered the most common reasons why one might be high-risk, let’s now focus on how high-risk drivers can save money on car insurance
1. Independent agents offer “free” online quotes. I use the term “free” to make fun of it. I have never seen an agent charge a potential client for a quote. This is the best way to save money on your car insurance. Why? You can fill out one form online and receive quotes from multiple companies within minutes. This saves you time and is more efficient than trying to contact each company individually. You can get quotes online from multiple independent agencies in about 30 minutes. You could get quotes from between 10-20 companies in half an hour. These tips are important and helpful, but there’s no better way than these to get the best car insurance.
2. Discounts. Discounts. Every company offers different discounts. You should understand that not all companies will inform you of all discounts available. It is often mentioned when a customer complains about premium rates. Discounts are often a selling tool and new clients don’t mind missing out on discounts. Some discounts may have been overlooked by existing customers. Take action!
3. Check your driving record. Although it may seem trivial, I am always amazed at the ignorance of people about their driving records. Most violations are erased within 3-5 years, depending on their severity. You may be able to re-enter standard insurance markets if your driving record is clean since you were issued a high-risk policy. This could save you a lot of money. However, don’t expect your agent or company to call you and tell you that you no longer belong in the high-risk category and can purchase insurance at a lower price. This will never happen. It’s against their best interests. A company won’t do it. Agents won’t do this because they don’t have the resources or time to check client driving records. It is important to take action.
Check out my blogs in the future, which will break down each category more fully. My blog already contains an article on being more mindful of your driving record. In the next week, I’ll be adding two more sections about online quoting as well as discounts.