Nobody wants to pay for a high risk car insurance policy. One of the things that upsets many is that “high risk” is subjective, and means different things to different people. Let’s take a look at high risk auto insurance, and put things into perspective.
Although auto insurance is currently regulated at the state level in the United States, most states allow carriers some flexibility in the actual policy coverage form, and have a wide latitude when it comes to choosing which customers to accept. They also have some choice as to how they apply the state approved rates to each customer. This is particularly important when considering the high risk consumer, because it means that not all automobile insurance companies are going to judge the same consumer as “high risk”.
There are several common factors that most automobile insurance companies will automatically label as high risk in a client. These include more than two at-fault accidents within three years, multiple (more than three) not at-fault accidents within two years, insuring a luxury car a low credit score (under 525), a major driving violation (DUI, Reckless Driving, Driving on Suspended License), no prior insurance coverage (or gap in coverage more than 30 days) or a SR-22 Filing Requirement.
Some of these factors can be corrected by the customer, in a year or less. This means they can then be moved to a “standard” insurance company and pay less premium. These would include improving their credit and simply staying insured for a longer period of time Other issues can be managed through proper insurance company selection. Some insurers, for example, will not raise rates dramatically, for the first DUI offense, if there are no other violations and the customer has a good credit score. Other insurers have a very minimal fee for an SR-22 filing, and one or two will specialize in writing those high value vehicles.
Shopping for more competitive auto insurance premiums is going to be more challenging for a high risk consumer, but it very well could be worth a few hours of effort. Sometimes an existing broker, if used, will automatically refer a potential insured to the state assigned risk, reinsurance, or facility automobile pool – which is probably going to be the most expensive option. Checking rates online or with a few other local agents, could end up saving a considerable amount, over the state “last resort” car insurer.
Using a local insurance agent, or calling the prospective insurance company directly, could also result in getting additional credits applied to the account, to lower the premiums. Some of the lesser known credits, can include aftermarket anti theft discounts; home ownership discounts; various driving school discounts (they aren’t just for teens, in some states!), and the “package credit” for having homeowners or renters insurance with the same company. Yes, purchasing a second contract, such as homeowners insurance, could save $400 or more in discounts on a high risk auto policy. Of course, some of carriers that write this type of automobile contract, don’t write home insurance. This may mean you need to look at other carriers.
When a consumer is facing the prospect of a high risk automobile insurance plan, it literally pays to look beyond the label, do some homework and some legwork, and take these few simple steps to get the automobile insurance policy rates back under control. An agent should be doing some of the work for the consumer. If an agent can’t or won’t sit down and take the time to explain the options, and devise a plan to eventually move out of the high risk marketplace, it’s time to find a new insurance agent. bugatti for sale