High-risk insurance is auto insurance coverage for drivers with poor driving records, little driving history, or vehicles considered more likely to get into accidents by insurance providers. High-risk insurance is often called “non-standard insurance,” and it means different things to different auto insurance providers. The term “high-risk” can refer to drivers who pose a higher-than-average risk of getting into an accident or filing a claim, as well as drivers who are considered so risky that they are not eligible for traditional auto insurance.
In serious cases, high-risk drivers may be required to file an SR-22 or FR-44 form with their state government to qualify for car insurance. High-risk drivers who have a hard time getting approved for coverage may also need to turn to special government-sponsored insurance pools, such as the New York Automobile Insurance Plan (NYAIP), the Florida Automobile Joint Underwriting Association, and the California Automobile Assigned Risk Plan.
Reasons You May Need High-Risk Insurance
- You have been convicted of a DUI/DWI.
- You are required to file an SR-22 form with the state because of another serious driving violation.
- You are a teenager/young adult (under 25 years old) or senior (65+ years old).
- Multiple traffic violations have been added to your driving history in the past 3-5 years.
- You allowed your auto insurance to lapse.
- You don’t have an insurance track record.
- You are getting your driver’s license for the first time after the age of 25.
- You have poor/no credit.
- You drive a car that’s considered more likely to get into an accident.
High-risk insurance also takes the timeline of incidents on your driving record into account. Any tickets or accidents that have occurred more recently will weigh more heavily than incidents from several years ago.
How to Reduce the Likelihood of Needing High-Risk Insurance
There are several steps you can take to try to avoid having to carry high-risk insurance. For example, you can take a safe/defensive driving course certified by your state’s DMV, improve your credit score, drive a car model with a better safety record, or upgrade the safety features on your vehicle.
Having to get high-risk auto insurance is not a fate you’re necessarily stuck with, at least not forever. Also, keep in mind that while the term “high-risk insurance” is most commonly used in the auto insurance industry, there are also high-risk marine, business, property and life insurance policies.
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