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What Does the High-risk Driver Category Mean for Auto Insurance Purposes

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Many drivers fall into the category being considered high risk for auto insurance purposes. New drivers are placed in this category because of their lack of experience behind the wheel and the fact that they are more likely to be involved in an accident. Other factors which may put a driver in the high risk category include the following:

  • More than one accident
  • Several moving violations on the driving record in in one year
  • DUI or DWI charge
  • Lapse in the auto insurance coverage
  • Poor credit history
  • Living in a high risk area

Accidents and Moving Violations and Driving

Auto insurance companies gather information about the number of accidents or moving violations that driver accumulates because they look at prior behavior as a way to determine how someone will behave behind the wheel in the future. A driver with a history of being involved in several accidents, whether at fault and not at fault, will likely pay more for his or her coverage than a person who has a clean driving record.

DUI or DWI Charge

Being charged with an impaired driving offense (Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol of a Drug or Driving While Impaired) means that the driver will be placed in a high risk category. This category designation will stay in place for several years. Insurance providers know that a person who has been charged with this type of offense is likely to do so again.

Lapse in Auto Insurance Coverage

Having a lapse in auto insurance coverage is another factor that providers use to determine high-risk for auto insurance purposes. Keeping continuous coverage in place is important for drivers who want to be seen as a good risk by insurance providers.

Poor Credit History

In some states. an auto insurance provider can use an applicant’s credit history when determining how much to charge for coverage. A person with a poor credit history may be considered a high risk for coverage purposes and be charged higher rates of the result.

Living in a High Risk Area

People living in high risk areas also pay more for their auto insurance coverage. A policyholder who lives in a neighborhood where several car thefts have been reported is considered a high risk for corporate purposes. For this reason, auto insurance companies ask for an applicant’s zip code before they will provide a quote for coverage.

Finding High Risk Auto Insurance Coverage

A driver who is considered a high risk for auto insurance purposes should make a point of shopping around and getting quotes from different providers for his or her coverage. There are some auto insurance companies which specialize in covering high risk drivers and each one determines how much to charge for coverage independently.

It is possible for a driver who is considered high risk to qualify for standard auto insurance rates after a few years, provided that he or she maintains a clean driving record. This designation, and the higher rates which go with it, does not have to be permanent.

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