What if a single judgment could dramatically change your life?
That’s exactly what happens to those who are deemed “high-risk drivers” by the court or by insurance carriers, in large part because they now have trouble finding high-risk driver auto insurance. Such a judgment can affect everything from the cost of your insurance to whether your license is suspended or revoked.
But how long are you actually considered a high-risk driver, and how can you find affordable insurance? Keep reading to discover the answers.
High-Risk Auto Insurance: Everything You Need to Know
At first glance, you might think “high-risk auto insurance” sounds very straightforward. It’s just insurance for high-risk drivers, right?
The truth is that this is a surprisingly complex topic. There are many different factors that may cause you to be designated a “high-risk” driver. Furthermore, the DMV and your insurance company may designate drivers as high-risk due to different causes. They may each consider you a high-risk driver for different lengths of time.
But we’re here to help you make sense of everything. So by the time you finish reading this, you’ll know everything you need to know about high-risk auto insurance!
What Makes Someone A High-Risk Driver?
If you’re reading this, chances are that you’ve been designated a high-risk driver or are worried about such a designation. That brings us to the first big question: what makes someone a high-risk driver in the first place?
Insurance carriers make the decision to designate you as a high-risk driver. In some cases, a person is considered high-risk because they are either a very young driver or a very old one. In other cases, a person is deemed to be high-risk because their insurance coverage lapses or the insurance company is nervous about things like a poor credit score.
Most of the time, though, a driver is considered high-risk due to moving violations. If you have enough violations in a short period of time, you may be flagged as high-risk. Other violations, such as getting a DUI or DWI, may result in an instant high-risk designation even if you have an otherwise spotless driving record. Being found at fault in an accident can also earn you the designation of high risk.
Why Is High-Risk Driver Auto Insurance So Difficult To Find?
Generally speaking, it is more difficult for risky drivers to get auto insurance. If they do get it, it is going to be costly.
To understand this better, you need to understand average costs. What is the average cost of car insurance? The average cost in the U.S. is $134.16 per month for full coverage, though you may pay more or less depending on your location and other factors (including who has your insurance policy).
But, depending on your carrier, the amount you pay will most likely rise once you are considered high risk. It’s not uncommon for such drivers to pay hundreds more per year on their car insurance, and that’s assuming they can find a carrier that will cover them. If you are considered high-risk, it may be worth your time to get quotes from multiple companies, so you have enough comparison information to make a good decision.
Why is this insurance so hard to find? Basically, insurance carriers are wary of covering drivers that are likelier to cause accidents – or otherwise cost them money. Once someone is considered high risk, they are considered more dangerous on the road, and it is difficult to find a carrier that will cover such a driver without charging higher fees.
Some “High-Risk” Designations Are Very Brief
Because there are many different reasons, someone may be considered high risk, how long the designation lasts can vary. In some cases, though, the designation is very brief.
For example, younger drivers will not be considered high-risk drivers once they get a bit older. Those who are considered high risk because they had no previous insurance history or let their coverage lapse may be regarded as high risk for less than a year once they get proper coverage.
You May Be Considered A High-Risk Driver For a Long Time
In other cases, though, a driver may be considered high-risk for a very long time. In fact, it could last as long as 10 years!
That is because the insurance company designation of a driver as high risk is separate from a court designation. If a court requires that a driver file an SR-22 (more on this later), such a requirement typically lasts for three years.
Why would the insurance carrier designation potentially last so much longer? The short answer is that the insurance companies may examine both your driving record and any accidents and claims recorded by the Comprehensive Loss Underwriting Exchange to determine what makes you a riskier driver to insure.
The good news is that most drivers aren’t considered high-risk for 10 years. The bad news is that there is no “one size fits all” answer for how long you will have this designation.
Factors That Affect How Long You Are Considered High-Risk
Previously, we touched on the different factors that would cause an insurance carrier to deem you “high-risk”. But once you are considered a risky driver, what are the different factors that affect how long this lasts?
In some states, this comes down to the points on your driving record. The DMV keeps track of different moving violations you commit, and too many points accumulating in a short period of time may result in the loss of your license.
While the insurance carriers keep their own points system, it is largely modeled after the DMV’s system. So you may need to wait a certain period of months or years before these points naturally fall off your record.
Reasons You May Need To File An SR-22
Many risky drivers must file an SR-22 with their state DMV. But what is an SR-22, and what relationship does it have to you being considered a risky driver?
There are certain moving violations (i.e., DUIs and DWIs) that make the courts consider someone a risky driver. These courts understand that risky drivers may have difficulty getting insurance coverage.
An SR-22 form is one that drivers must file with the DMV to verify they now have at least the minimum insurance coverage required by the state. In order to avoid paying too much, it’s important to find a carrier that offers competitive insurance prices to high-risk drivers.
Find the Best High-Risk Driver Auto Insurance Today!
Now you know almost everything you need to know about being considered a high-risk driver. But do you know where you can find the best high-risk driver auto insurance today?
Freeway Insurance helps all drivers (even risky drivers) get the right insurance coverage. You may qualify to pay below the average cost of car insurance; find out how to get a free quote here, visit us at one of our offices or give us a call at 800-777-5620.