McAfee Secure sites help keep you safe from identity theft, credit card fraud, spyware, spam, viruses and online scams

Explaining High Risk Car Insurance

Auto insurance providers classify drivers according to many different factors when they calculate their auto policy premiums. One of the primary factors taken into account by providers is risk. Any insurance policy is essentially a safeguard against risk; by taking you on as a customer, a provider is agreeing to carry that risk on your behalf. If there is something in your insurance profile that causes a provider to think of you as a high risk to insure, your rates will be affected and even the type of policy you end up having to take on could be labeled a high risk policy. High risk car insurance in general terms is simply a coverage option for those drivers who for one reason or another do not fit the profile necessary for more standard coverage.

High Risk a Broad Category

A high risk auto insurance policy might be the most appropriate type of coverage for drivers fitting into several different broad categories. This type of coverage is typically more expensive than standard coverage, since perceived risk is such an important factor taken into consideration when insurers determine policy premiums. But in spite of that fact, a high risk policy may be your best bet if you fall into this broad category, because in many cases it may be the only way to get coverage until your insurance profile improves.

There are many different groups of drivers who are commonly labeled high risk by insurers; and actually, over the past decade or so as the online insurance market has evolved and grown, the high risk portion of the overall market has grown as providers have expanded their notions of what makes a driver a high risk to insure. This is not necessarily bad news in and of itself if you have recently found yourself labeled a high risk driver and pointed in this direction for your insurance needs. The fact is that with more drivers being called high risk, the average price difference in policy premiums compared to standard policies may actually be lower in a lot of cases. With more companies seeking to specialize in insuring so-called high risk drivers and finding ways to make their insurance bills more palatable, your odds are better than in previous years of ending up with coverage you can actually afford.

Many Drivers Classified High Risk

The extent to which you will pay more for your coverage as a high risk driver will largely depend on your background, or the reason why you have been labeled this way. For example, teen drivers and older drivers over a certain age (often 70) are sometimes classified as high risk drivers, but although the rates they pay may be somewhat elevated due to their respective ages, these two groups usually have more luck finding discounts and other methods to hold down their rates than do drivers who are called high risk because of repeat drunk driving accidents or license suspensions on their record.

Though very young and very old drivers are sometimes considered high risk, they are by no means the only groups included in this insurance classification. In addition to drivers with DUI/DWI convictions or multiple serious moving violations in their recent past, those who simply demonstrate a consistent pattern of accidents or tickets through the years are often dropped into this category. In addition, one sure-fire way to end up having to purchase coverage from a high risk auto insurance provider is to have your license suspended or revoked and have to file an SR-22 and fulfill all its requirements to get your license reinstated. If you have to file an SR-22, you will have to maintain auto liability coverage throughout the filing period regardless of auto ownership, and in all likelihood this coverage will have to be either through a high risk specialist or with a company that provides high risk coverage.

In certain cases, factors you might not normally think of as associated with a high risk classification may lead to a driver's need for this type of coverage for some period of time. Things like your coverage or claim history, or your credit score or credit history are all taken into consideration when providers calculate your rates. If any one (or more) of these factors sends up a red flag to your auto insurance carrier, you could end up being forced into a high risk policy even with an otherwise clean record. In these cases, you can often work to quickly improve your insurance profile by doing things like getting credit cards out of collections, or avoiding additional coverage lapses on your policy.

Save on High Risk Coverage

Ideally, as a driver you want to remain a preferred driver in the eyes of your auto insurance company. However, sometimes things happen that are either regrettable or even completely out of your control, and for one reason or another you might have no choice but to take on high risk coverage just to stay insured and keep your car out on the road. Whenever you have to face this type of situation, find out the cause of your classification immediately, and do whatever you have to do to limit the amount of time you spend having to pay for high risk coverage.

But in the meantime, do not just assume that because you have had this label pinned on you as a driver that you will have to pay astronomical premiums for the rest of your life. If you take a proactive stand and seek out all the options that might be out there for you, you may find more affordable coverage than you thought possible. In recent years, as more companies have decided to focus in on the high risk group of drivers, they have come to develop a number of methods to help save their customers as much money as possible on their premiums, taking at least some of the pain out of this unfortunate situation.

For example, many so-called high risk providers concentrate on finding as many discounts as they can to apply to your annual premium. For example, you may not be able to qualify for a preferred or safe driver discount, but maybe your credit rating is excellent. Or maybe you can grab an alumni discount for having a college degree, or any number of other discounts not directly related to your driving record. High risk specialists make a living from trying to do the best they can to save drivers in this classification from the potentially crippling costs of carrying coverage. But don't write off a mainstream provider out of hand, either. These days, with the market as competitive as it has ever been, you never know where you may find your best value as a high risk driver.

Regardless of the reason or the explanation for why you have found yourself in this predicament, your focus as a high risk driver has to be two-fold: first, to work as hard as you can to demonstrate your safe driving skills; and second, to work in the meantime to minimize the economic impact that comes with having to purchase high risk auto insurance coverage.



FREE Quotes, Multiple Insurers

Zip Code