The common perception of a “high risk” driver is someone with a driving recorded dotted with tickets and citations for accidents or charges like a DUI or DWI. While these factors will certainly vault you into the “high risk” category, they are not the only criteria insurance companies use to determine who is a greater risk behind the wheel. Drivers under the age of 25, those who have just received their license, individuals with a poor credit history or credit rating, students, and customers who have filed multiple claims in the past are all “high risk” drivers.
Elderly drivers should take special care in selecting their insurance company and should, most likely, work through a AARP connection. Some companies see drivers over 70 as more likely to be involved in accidents due to decreased visual and auditory acuity or slower reflexes, while other insurers will regard the same individuals as experienced drivers who will likely be in the car less and are thus safer.
Unquestionably, if you do have a poor driving record, enroll in some form of driver's education. Depending on the level of violations present, defensive driving may not be adequate to lower your premiums, but an extended course at an advanced driving academy could be greatly to your advantage over the long term.
In instances where a driver's license has been revoked, you may have to secure a non-standard form of insurance called an SR-22 insurance policy to have your driving privileges reinstated. Generally you will be compelled by law to carry the SR-22 from three to five years from the revocation regardless of what the coverage costs. In some states, the SR22 must be carried for life (generally for repeat DWI infractions.) The policy remains tied to your record at the Department of Motor Vehicles, which will receive notification from the insurer if the coverage is canceled, lapses, or is terminated for any reason.
For those with bad credit scores or credit histories, immediately order a copy of your credit report and go over it line by line. In many cases old debts that have been met can be erased from your report by simply calling the credit reporting agency and apprising them of an error. This may or may not require providing documentation. In extreme cases, work with a credit counseling agency to improve your scores.
Teenage drivers, who are generally covered under their parents policies, are seen as an especially high risk, but because they are still subject to a degree of parental control, some companies have new programs in place to offset high premium costs. Generally these involve some form of live GPS monitoring on the vehicle that enable remote parental supervision.