According to findings from the AAA’s Your Driving Costs study, the average annual cost to own and run a vehicle in 2019 was $9,282.
The cost to own a car depends on a few factors. One of these is your vehicle insurance premiums. Data from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners reveals that the average annual car insurance cost for Americans is $1,099.
However, if you fit certain high-risk car insurance criteria, then you will likely pay a lot more than this average. Before you take out vehicle insurance, it is important that you get informed on what constitutes a high-risk driver.
Read on to find out more about high-risk driver’s insurance, as well as how to find the most affordable coverage even if you are deemed to be a high-risk driver.
1. Having a DUI Conviction
To protect themselves, insurance carriers ascertain from your driving records whether you are a safe driver or not.
Therefore, having a DUI conviction on your record is one of the top things that can put you into the high-risk driver category. According to many insurance companies, vehicle insurance typically rises as much as 75% after a DUI.
To give yourself the optimum chance of finding the best car insurance rates in the future, ensure that you never drink and drive. Instead, call an Uber and protect yourself, others, and your future insurance premiums.
If you already have a DUI conviction, the key to finding the most affordable auto insurance under the circumstance is to comparison shop. The more quotes you can compare, the better your chance of finding a budget-friendly insurance solution.
2. A Record of Multiple Speeding Tickets or Traffic Offenses
Speeding tickets can also influence your rate of auto insurance. Multiple speeding tickets indicate to insurers that you regularly break speed limit laws and are therefore a high-risk driver.
If you have been involved in an auto accident where the blame fell at your door, this is another factor that can put you in the high-risk camp.
The same applies to other traffic offenses or infractions, such as seat belt violations, reckless driving, etc. Traffic violations are estimated to up your insurance premiums by around 20%.
As many of us have committed a traffic infraction from time to time, the question is, how long do these incidents stay on one’s record?
Most insurers have access to your entire driving history. However, the majority offer “forgiveness” for violations that are older than 5 years, and for DUIs’ that are older than 10.
3. Youth or Lack of Driving Experience
Another factor that determines whether or not you are a high-risk driver is age or experience. Young drivers and drivers that have only just started driving typically pay a lot more in premiums than older and more experienced ones.
For example, the average monthly vehicle insurance premium for teenagers is estimated to be $344.78—a big jump from those for twenty-five-year-olds which are reported to be on average $111.89 per month. Sixty-year-olds, on the other hand, are reported to only pay an average of $91.44 per month.
Because young and inexperienced drivers are automatically considered high-risk for obvious reasons, there is not all that much you can do to guard against these higher premiums. However, teen drivers and new drivers can opt to take an advanced driving course, which may help to reduce their premiums.
For more smart premium reduction methods, check out our post on how to save on car insurance for teens.
4. Insurance Coverage Lapses
Yes, if you lapse on your vehicle insurance coverage, this can also increase your premiums.
Although this doesn’t necessarily indicate that you are a high-risk driver—it does make you more high-risk for the insurance company.
If you let your insurance lapse, even for a day, it is a signal to them that you are more prone to this than someone who maintains their coverage year in and year out. This can also be an indication to insurers that you are not as responsible, and therefore might be more likely to be involved in accidents or mishaps.
5. Vehicle Type
Another factor that can influence whether or not you have to pay high-risk auto insurance is your vehicle type. If your car has a high safety rating this means that there is less likelihood that the insurance carrier will need to pay for medical costs for you or your passengers.
Inversely, cars with low safety ratings, such as classic cars and or backyard performance conversions can up your premiums and push you into high-risk drivers’ insurance territory.
6. Your Credit Score
Lastly, depending on what state you reside in, your credit score can also affect your premiums and determine whether or not you will need to pay high-risk auto insurance rates.
In certain states—such as California, Hawaii, and Massachusetts—insurers are forbidden to use credit information when determining rates. However, if you live in a state such as Illinois or Indiana where this is allowed, a low credit score could have you looking at significantly increased premiums. In some states, a poor credit score can garner you a premium increase of over to 200%.
Once again, your credit score does not necessarily make you a reckless driver, but it might push your premiums to high-risk car insurance levels.
Do You Need Help Finding Affordable High-Risk Car Insurance?
Are you staring high-risk car insurance in the face? If you need to take out insurance for high-risk drivers, there is one important thing you need to do. And that is shop around for the most affordable deals that offer the best value.
There is a lot you can do over time to eventually avoid having to pay car insurance for high-risk drivers. However, in the short term, you need to get that policy taken out, otherwise, your premiums might suffer another spike from a lapse in coverage.
Here at Insured ASAP we are committed to making insurance shopping quicker, easier, and more convenient.
Start a quote online to be paired with insurance solutions tailored to your needs from our list of A-rated insurance carrier partners. If you have any questions feel free to contact us and we will be happy to help.
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