A high-risk driver is someone who is much more likely to file an insurance claim than the average driver. Some of the most common attributes of high-risk drivers are a history of car accidents, multiple tickets and citations, bad credit, and a conviction for a serious offense like DUI. Regardless of the exact reason why you’re classified as a high-risk driver, it can have a serious impact on your ability to get affordable car insurance down the road.
Here’s what makes someone a high-risk driver:
- One or more car accidents in the last three years
- Multiple tickets and citations
- Bad credit
- Lapse in coverage
- Owning a sports car
- Needing an SR-22 or FR-44
- Being a new or teen driver
- Living in a high-risk zip code
Although your driving record has the greatest impact on your high-risk status, other factors come into play, too. For example, a lapse in your auto insurance coverage can signal to insurers that you’re willing to take more risks and are therefore more likely to get into an accident. And if you live in an area that has a high crime rate, there’s a greater chance that your car will be damaged and you’ll file a claim.
Since high-risk drivers generally have an increased likelihood of filing a claim, they can have a more difficult time getting car insurance, and usually have to pay more for coverage. There’s no quick fix, either, unfortunately. But the good thing is that your high-risk status isn’t permanent. If you practice good habits and drive safely, your risk will drop over time. How far back an insurer looks back at your driving record depends on the company, but most minor traffic violations only stay on your driving record for 3-5 years.
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