Insurance is an important safety net to have in all facets of our lives, including when we get behind the wheel. Protecting our car, those inside it, and those on the road with us is crucial to getting where we need to go safely. However, some people may be deemed high-risk when they get in the driver’s seat, which could impact their insurance premiums. Let’s take a closer look at what goes into those insurance rates while figuring out what could make for a higher risk.
What constitutes a bad driving record?
Auto insurance companies will take a look at a driver’s history behind the wheel when evaluating whether or not they want to accept the risk and sign them on for insurance coverage. So what makes up a bad driving record? This is usually defined by having multiple infractions, whether it’s traffic tickets or car accidents. Across the U.S., each state has different ways of determining how citations and wrecks impact your driver’s license. Some states use a demerit point system that could lead to suspension of your license, but the point value for each violation could vary.
Of course, there are some circumstances while driving that are major violations and a red flag for insurers. A DUI will cost a policyholder dearly when it comes to insurance premiums. If you’re found at fault in a collision, your insurance rate will go up. Some data suggest that every speeding ticket you receive substantially raises your risk of a future accident. That’s where car insurance rates could also be impacted by a bad record.
Understanding High-Risk Insurance
High-risk car insurance is available through most insurance companies by way of asking insurers for help in enrolling in SR-22 insurance. This is, in essence, auto insurance that doesn’t check driving record. They will apply to your local Department of Motor Vehicles. Once you have SR-22 auto insurance, it will last for three years. When the three years have passed, the insurer will determine whether you’re a risky driver or not. If it’s determined that you are still a high-risk driver, you will have to reapply for SR-22 car insurance.
High-risk insurance policies usually come with a greater insurance cost, even if there are no infractions or traffic violations linked to the driving record. For example, teenagers are considered high-risk behind the wheel since they lack experience as drivers. Older drivers are also susceptible to a higher car insurance cost because of fears regarding their reaction time while driving. Insurance products may also take into account the types of vehicles being driven to determine a premium beyond the driver’s record.
What can impact your car insurance premium?
Of course, any insurance policy will cost more with more comprehensive coverage. Most states in the U.S. will have a minimum for coverage that is basically enough insurance to cover any injuries to other parties when involved in crashes. Depending on where you’re located, the cost of insurance could be higher as well. For example, drivers in larger cities end up paying more for car insurance because of the number of vehicles on the road with them. That’s why a driver in New York City pays more than a driver in a rural community in Iowa.
Major insurance companies understand that insured parties want lower rates for the best coverage for themselves and their family members. That’s why many implement discounts to curb some of the costs. Some insurers provide rebates for bundling with other coverage, and some actually discount you for replacing paperwork with an electronic statement. As for those high-risk drivers, teens can get discounts for their good grades, and older drivers can get discounts for taking defensive driving courses. It’s all about finding better rates and the best coverage for your situation.