If you’re labeled a “high risk” driver, your auto insurance premium is probably more expensive than other drivers’, since the insurer uses your profile and your driving history as an indicator of safe and responsible driving — it’s based on their determining your risk for getting into a possible accident or collision. The higher the possibility that you’ll incur costs to them through damaged property and medical bills, the more pricey your premium will be.
There are three main factors that insurance companies look at to decide what kind of driver you are:
- Driving History
- Credit History
Although, there’s nothing you can do to change the past, you can take steps to get out of the “high risk” category. The most important thing you can do is to prove that you can be a responsible driver by maintaining a “clean record” for an extended period of time. This means that you must drive carefully and avoid: being involved in any type of collision or accident, not just those that you’re at fault, incurring any speeding tickets, and violating traffic laws. Since most car insurance policies renew every 6 months or so, the more time that passes without an incident will benefit you and help make the case that you’re a less risky driver. Conversely, every ticket or traffic violation will indicate higher chances that you may be driving recklessly and could get into an accident. Typically, a driver with no points caused by accidents or tickets is considered good or low risk.
In terms of your profile, there may not be anything you can do, since it’s based on your age, sex, location, distance from work, etc. Based on statistics, car insurance companies favor these groups as safer and more low risk:
- Women over Men
- Adults over Teenagers
- Rural residents over Urban residents
- Parents and those who are Married over most Single drivers
So even if you have a perfect driving record, there may be existing characteristics that may make you a “high risk” driver, such as if you are under 25 years of age, are a new driver, are a male, are a student, have a history of filing claims, or have bad credit. And although bad credit isn’t directly related to your driving habits, there are studies that show a correlation between poor credit and an increased number of insurance claims, meaning it may cost more to provide coverage for all those claims. However, as with many other things, time can help; so can improving your credit history by making those bill payments on time!
There are also some changes you can make on your car insurance policy to help lower your insurance costs. You can choose a higher deductible, which will directly affect your pricing, since this means you’re opting for higher out-of-pocket costs before your insurance coverage kicks in. You may also want to consider dropping your collision and comprehensive coverage to even further cut your premium costs. You can even switch to an older car or a more “safe” car, which insurers will take into account and factor in as part of your driving profile.
Lastly, you can also shop around and compare car insurance quotes! There are even insurance companies specializing in high risk drivers so they may be able to give you more competitive pricing if you take the time to get a few price quotes.
Although being a “high risk” driver can mean that you’ll be hit with higher pricing now, with some time and good habits you can get on your insurer’s good side!