Being a bad driver can be even more costly than you think. Aside from paying for that rear light that you crashed last week or that parking ticket you got yesterday, there is the question of getting cheap insurance.
You see, insurers don’t want high-risk drivers.
And while most people believe that a record dotted with ticket and accident citations is enough to land you into the high risk category, the truth is, there are multiple criteria that insurers will look into before they can classify you into that oft-feared bracket.
For example, most insurance companies view new drivers as high-risk since they are more prone to committing driving errors and are therefore more likely to get involved in accidents.
Individuals with bad credit are also considered high risk due to the high probability of defaulting on their insurance and/or auto loan payments.
Those who have filed multiple claims in the past are also of course automatically deemed highly risky since patterns are predictive of future behavior.Get today’s auto insurance rates!
The insurer’s interest
If you are an insurer, your primary interest is to find low risk clients. That is, those who are less likely to get involved in accidents that will result in you paying for the damage. Of course, you would have to protect your investments as well.
That is why those individuals who are determined to be highly risky are also charged with higher premiums and insurance rates to compensate for said risk. Others will simply refuse such drivers.
If you are unable to get a policy due to your high risk status as a driver, you may opt for a high risk policy offered by some specialty insurers whose goal is to help high risk drivers improve their driver records, get accepted for a standard policy, and eventually get back on the road.
Saving on high-risk insurance
Now the question among many is: “is it possible to still save on insurance even if I’m a high risk driver?”
The answer is yes. There are indeed steps that you can take to shave off a part of that insurance premium even with your risk status.
If you have a poor driving record, you can enroll in some form of driver’s education classes. If defensive driving classes aren’t enough to lower your premiums because of some serious tarnish in your record, you may opt for an extended course at an advanced level academy.
If your license has been revoked, you will have to secure a SR-22, a non-standard form of insurance policy, to have your driving privileges reinstated.
You may have to carry your SR-22 from three to five years starting from the revocation of your license regardless of what the coverage costs.
In some states, however, the SR-22 must be carried for life. The policy remains tied to your record at the DMV. The department will then receive notification/s from the insurer once or if the coverage is cancelled or terminated for any reason.
If your high risk status is due to bad credit, check your record for any errors. If you find any inaccuracies or inconsistencies in your credit report, send a dispute. If there are none, you may have to wait for some time, observe proper credit practices, and build good credit.
Work with your insurance broker to enroll in a driver rehabilitation program which can help you reduce your driver insurance premium and improve your insurance rating over time.
During this period, you must:
- eliminate any distractions when driving
- ensure that your car is properly documented
- follow road rules and avoid getting tickets
- restrict any other high risk driver from using your vehicle
Following these simple, practical steps will help you go a long way in reducing your risk and hopefully getting a standard policy that will have reduced premium payments sooner than later.Learn about insurance essentials here.