High-risk drivers pose a unique problem because insurers are not eager to insure them because of their perceived risk. But states that regulate insurance companies compel these carriers to offer policies for high-risk drivers. Otherwise, the victims of accidents involving high-risk drivers will not receive compensation for injury, loss, and damages. If you are a high-risk driver, some insurers offer policies to help cover you during an accident. You can also look into a vehicle protection plan to protect your vehicle in the event of an accident.
Characteristics of At-risk Drivers
Calculating risk comes down to statistics. High-risk drivers pay high premiums for their auto policy because they are more likely to file an insurance claim, statistically speaking. Here are the risk factors insurance companies consider in determining insurance rates.
- The Driver. Many driver-specific factors translate to high premiums. You might be high-risk if you are a young driver below 25 years old or a driver with low credit scores. Those who have a history of speeding tickets, have gotten involved in one or more car accidents, or have a DUI conviction are also perceived as high-risk.
- The Vehicle. Insurance premiums may also jump depending on the car you drive. Vehicles with spoilers or big engines generally raise red flags because of their high-risk level. It’s not just sports cars that have to deal with high premiums. Vehicles with low safety ratings also have higher auto policy rates. Cars with an increased risk of rollovers or are deemed dangerous will cost more to insure. The same goes for vehicles that are often targeted by thieves.
- The Area. If your area’s crime rate is high, you can bet that your insurance carrier will charge you more than if your zip code has a low crime rate. Areas with heavier traffic situations also tend to be more prone to accidents. This can also be a factor for your premium to go up.
- The Commute. Drivers who spend more time on the road tend to pay higher insurance premiums than those who have very short commutes. The more often you’re on the road, the greater risk that you might be involved in a car accident.
It’s relatively common for many insurance companies to refuse to offer an auto policy to high-risk drivers. Even if you have been with the same carrier for several years, if your choices led to you being considered a high-risk driver, then this may result in your existing policy to not be renewed.
How to Become a Better Risk
Each policyholder presents some level of risk to an insurer. While not many drivers qualify for the best rates available, high-risk drivers can still have room for improvement. This means that you don’t necessarily have to have a high-risk driver label forever.
Determining why you’re deemed high-risk is the initial step in improving your record. Your risk level may drop if you complete defensive driving classes if your risk is related to traffic violations and road accidents. Learning how to limit your risky behavior and demonstrate that you are a safe driver can significantly reduce your premiums. You can do this by sticking with one insurance company for a period of three or five years and avoiding any accidents, tickets, or violations. As you try to prove that you’re not a risk, you can bet that your insurance company will start to lower your premium over time.
You can also try to increase your credit score if that’s the reason why you have a high-risk status. Since your choice of car matters, too, consider trading yours in for a car with additional safety features