Auto Insurance Purchasing Tips for High-Risk Drivers
When determining insurance premiums, insurance companies will review your driving record. A company that can receive monthly premium payments without having to shell out claims costs is a lot more successful than one that has to continually pay for insurance claims. Ultimately, insurance companies are in business to make money and not lose it, and your driving record helps them determine the risks. Unfortunately, for high-risk drivers, this means that you’re going to be quoted more for insurance costs as you’re more likely to be involved in an accident.
What Constitutes a High Risk Driver?
Here are some of the most common violations or factors that would determine if you’re a high-risk driver:
· Serious Traffic Offenses – Traffic violations such as driving under the influence, reckless driving, high-speed chases, or fleeing the scene of an accident are all serious offenses that could get you labeled as a high-risk driver. In these instances a judge may require you to acquire an SR22 document. This document would come from your insurance provider documenting that you have adequate insurance in your state. You can buy an SR22 policy online if this was mandated by a judge.
· Common Traffic Offenses – Though not as severe as the serious offenses, common traffic offenses can also land you in the high-risk category. This might include violations like speeding, running red lights, skipping stop signs, or driving without registration or insurance. Though insurance companies may not flag you on your first offense, if you have several of these on your driving record you will be quoted a higher premium.
· Teens & Elderly – Though not to discriminate, teens and elderly drivers are often referred to as high risk. Teenagers lack the experience of being on the road and thus have a higher chance of getting into an accident. On the other hand, elderly drivers tend to lose the skills necessary to operate a motor vehicle correctly and are more likely to end up in an accident as a result.
Getting Affordable Insurance
If you’ve found yourself in one of these categories, it is important that you don’t skip out on car insurance altogether as it is against the law. Instead, you will need to find creative ways to save on insurance costs despite your bad driving record. Below are some tips you might use:
Improve Your Creditworthiness
Car insurance providers do look at your credit score to determine your premium as well. If you have a poor credit history, you might want to consider improving it to lower your costs. Paying down debts, clearing up any old collection accounts, and making timely payments are just a few simple ways you can improve your credit score. Once your score has gone up, you can reapply for insurance as you may see a change in the monthly rate.
Invest in a Safe Car
The type of vehicle you have can also determine how much you will pay for insurance. A vehicle that does not have many safety features would obviously not protect the occupants as well as a vehicle that does. If you have an older model car, it may not be as safe as newer cars that have technologies to make vehicles safer. A vehicle that is designed to keep the occupants safe means there is a decreased chance of anyone being injured in the event of an accident. Features like reverse cameras lessen the potential of a driver hitting someone. While technologies like burglar alarms and tracking systems mean that the car has a small chance of being stolen (and a higher chance of being located if it is). These things all mean less out-of-pocket expenses for the insurance company which makes it cheaper to insure.
Last but not least is shopping around. Just because you have a poor driving record doesn’t mean that insurance companies don’t want your business. They will also want to beat out the competition by offering you attractive rates. Instead of going for the first offer you receive, compare the rates of at least three separate companies to see what your best option is.
Even high-risk drivers need insurance. If you’re currently uninsured, it is important that you evaluate your options and get the coverage you need. There are plenty of ways to save money on car insurance despite your poor record. Once you’ve obtained coverage, try and maintain a good driving record for a few years. With time, you may be able to save a considerable amount on your insurance costs for putting your best foot forward.