What is high-risk auto insurance?
High-risk car insurance – also known as nonstandard auto insurance or SR22 insurance – is designed for individuals who have a poor driving record and are considered more likely to have an accident. While high-risk auto insurance does have higher premiums, high-risk drivers can improve their driving record over time and reduce their premiums and even move back to standard insurance.
If you have been pulled over a few too many times for anything from a few speeding tickets to a DUI, high-risk auto insurance may be in your future. If you collect tickets like they are Pokémon, you will end up needing high-risk car insurance.
What is a high-risk driver?
Insurance companies classify someone as a high-risk driver when they are deemed more likely to have an accident and therefore filing an insurance claim. There are no set rules for what it takes to be considered high-risk but drivers can be deemed high-risk if they have had too many traffic violations or a major violation such as a DUI or Careless Driving.
How long will you be considered a high-risk driver?
Basically, you will be considered high-risk until your driving record clears up when the tickets fall off your record, assuming you don’t get any new ones. For insurance purposes, tickets are no longer held against you after three years. So, If you refrain from getting new tickets the old ones will fall off your record and you no longer will require high-risk car insurance.
When is high-risk auto insurance required?
There are many reasons you could require high-risk auto insurance, including:
- DUI / DWI: Driving Under the Influence or Driving While Intoxicated. Nuff said.
- Reckless Driving or Negligent Driving: What did you have to do to get this ticket?
- Driving While Suspended: Just having your license suspended is probably enough to be high risk. Getting caught driving while your license is suspended is even worse.
- Hit-and-Run: Not a good move but stuff happens.
- At-fault accidents: Just one won’t push you to the dark side but if you show a tendency to hit people….
- Multiple tickets: Every ticket counts against you and increases the likelihood of you being considered a high-risk driver.
Insurance coverage history: Having a lapse in your auto insurance can mark you as an irresponsible driver.
How much does high-risk auto insurance cost?
Rates for high-risk car insurance will vary based on your unique circumstances including your age, your driving record, and where you live. The best way to find out exactly how much is to request a free online quote or call us at (509)783-5600.
Where can you find high-risk auto insurance?
Not all insurance agencies offer high-risk or non-standard auto insurance, Mid-Columbia Insurance partners with companies like Dairyland Insurance so we can offer coverage to high-risk drivers, including DUI insurance and SR22 insurance.
How can you lower your high-risk auto insurance costs?
Fortunately, there are ways to reduce coverage costs and eventually lose your high-risk designation completely:
- Clean up your driving habits: Since your high-risk status is primarily based on your driving record, the most important step to lower your insurance cost is to drive safely and avoid accidents.
- Keep continuous coverage: If you drive, you should have car insurance. Even if you don’t own a vehicle, you should consider a broadform insurance policy. Many insurance companies consider drivers without continuous coverage to be high-risk drivers. Also, a broadform policy will help protect you if you’re found to be at fault in a car accident while driving a non-owned vehicle.
- Use public transportation: Driving less can mean fewer tickets. If you have access to public transportation such as a bus or train, use them for your daily commute. This will help you avoid the most common times of day for accidents and traffic violations.
- Shop around and compare prices: Just like you would for any major purchase, make sure you do your research and evaluate both the service you will receive and the cost of your policy. We are confident you will find Mid-Columbia Insurance your best value – and we will quote you with multiple companies to make sure you are getting the best coverage for your dollar.
What if I can’t find high-risk auto insurance?
Then you have not called Mid-Columbia Insurance yet. Some insurance companies may not offer high-risk policies or they may have strict guidelines as to how high of a risk they’re willing to cover. Remember, not all insurance companies have the same guidelines, so make sure to contact us at Mid-Columbia Insurance. You can get a free online quote or call us at (509)783-5600 now to see what we can offer you.
How long am I considered a high-risk driver?
Being considered a high-risk driver is entirely dependent on your driving record. If you continue to get tickets and cause accidents, then you will continue being considered high-risk. However, if you do your best to work towards a clean driving record, you will be able to drop that label. In the meantime, Mid-Columbia Insurance can help you get cheap car insurance and lower the high costs that can come with high-risk insurance.