It might seem strange to some consumers that, while the purpose of auto insurance is to pay for damage and injuries resulting from auto accidents, having an accident or receiving a traffic citation can hurt their chances of securing and maintaining car insurance. Even if you only receive a few citations or cause a single accident, you might have difficulty keeping your policy or obtaining replacement coverage. This is because the insurance industry might consider you a â€œhigh-riskâ€ driver.
Insurance companies use past experience when evaluating new applicants and deciding whether to continue insuring current policyholders. If you have citations or accidents on your driving record, an insurance company will consider you more likely to cause a future accident than a driver with a clean record. A â€œstandardâ€ insurance company, which focuses on insuring low-risk drivers, might refuse to renew your coverage at the end of your policy term. This can cause problems when you attempt to obtain a new policy through another standard insurance carrier.
Fortunately, there are still ways for high-risk drivers to obtain the auto insurance coverage they need. These steps can help you get coverage even if you have a less-than-stellar driving history.
1) Make sure there are no mistakes on your driving report. Mistakes can prevent you from obtaining coverage and can cost you more in premiums if you find a company willing to insure you. Order a copy of your driving report from your state’s motor vehicle division and review the descriptions of the report before you begin shopping. If you find an error, contact the motor vehicle department to have it removed from your record.
2) Find out if you need a SR22. If your license has been suspended because of an accident or a traffic citation, you might need a SR22 in order to have the suspension lifted. A SR22 is a form that certifies that your insurance policy meets your state’s financial responsibility requirements. Knowing whether you need a SR22 can help you decide where to look for auto insurance coverage.
3) Seek the services of an insurance broker or independent agent. Because they do business with multiple companies, they might be able to help you obtain coverage through a company that is tolerant of past tickets and accidents. An independent agent or broker might even be able to find you coverage at a price that is lower than you might expect.
4) Look for coverage online. Many insurance companies offer online quotes to high-risk drivers. Some even specialize in working with drivers who have had accidents, multiple citations, and license suspensions. You can typically obtain an online quote in 20 minutes or fewer. In some cases, you can even purchase immediate coverage online, which can be particularly important if you need auto insurance to restore your driving privileges.
Some high-risk auto insurance companies also advertise on television and radio stations. If you do not want to shop for and purchase coverage online, you can call these companies to obtain quotes and start coverage.
Of course, there are some drawbacks to obtaining car insurance as a high-risk driver. High-risk policies, also known as non-standard policies, are typically more expensive than comparable standard policies. This is because you are statistically more likely to cost the insurance company money for claims payments. Fortunately, if you avoid additional accidents and citations, your auto insurance costs will typically decrease over time.
Also, some high-risk insurance companies only offer low coverage limits. This is because they want to limit their exposure to risk if you cause an accident. As your driving record improves, though, you might be able to switch to an insurance company that offers higher limits and a wider variety of coverages.
Obtaining auto insurance as a high-risk driver might seem frustrating; however, by taking a strategic approach, you can get the coverage you need to satisfy your state’s financial responsibility requirements and protect you against having to pay for injuries and damages after an auto accident.
Sam Jones is the author of this article. He has been researching best car insurance for young drivers by going to uSwitch.com price comparison site and using the online price comparison facility to obtain multiple quotes with just one form fill
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