Hey, it happens. Not everyone’s driving record is squeaky clean, and getting car insurance can be difficult. You’re probably wondering how your driving and credit history could impact the chance of getting approved for good quality insurance or what comes with being labeled a high-risk driver.
The good news is finding an insurer that takes high-risk drivers is possible, but you should know some other things. Here’s a quick guide to what you should know about being a high-risk driver.
What Are the Characteristics of High-Risk Drivers?
Some insurance companies may view certain drivers with an extensive driving record as “high risk.” What are the characteristics? You could be labeled a high-risk driver if you relate to any of the following:
- Never had car insurance before
- Recently received a driver’s license
- Been in one car accident that was your fault within the past three years
- Received multiple speeding and traffic tickets within the past three years
- Have a poor credit history
- Made multiple auto insurance claims within the past three years
- Own a high-value or specialized vehicle
- Been convicted of a DUI/DWI within the past three years
How Can You Avoid Being a High-Risk Driver?
The best way to avoid being a high-risk driver is to make good decisions on the road. Driving defensively will keep your record clean and prevent you from being labeled a high-risk driver.
Here are other ways you can avoid being risky in the eyes of insurers:
- Never drive under the influence.
- Make on-time car payments when possible.
- Obey all traffic and parking laws.
- Eliminate distractions while driving.
Things To Know About Being a High-Risk Driver
Some Insurance Companies Don’t Offer High-Risk Insurance
Some insurance companies will not insure people with extensive driving records. Other companies offer high-risk insurance, but it can be expensive. It’s important to find the most affordable coverages so you can prove you’re taking precautions to change your driving habits.
SR-22 Is Not a Type of Insurance
Some people mistake SR-22 as a type of insurance, but it’s not. An SR-22 is a document the insurance company files with the state to certify you met the minimum legal responsibility requirements for auto insurance.
Some courts and states may require an SR-22 for people with severe driving violations. However, it’s important to note that not all insurance companies offer SR-22 documents. You must find an insurance company that provides that service.
You’re Not “High-Risk” Forever
The good news is you’re not labeled a high-risk forever. After three to five years of driving defensively and safely, driving penalties (accidents, traffic violations, speeding tickets, etc.) will disappear from your record. Your insurer might reward you for attending some traffic safety courses or defensive driving classes to clean up your driving record.