High-Risk Auto Insurance

Insurance companies consider many factors when placing customers in the high risk auto insurance category. Drivers who have been convicted of one or more DUI/DWIs, have reckless driving citations and/or numerous vehicle violation tickets, or have been involved in two or more accidents within a one year period are considered the greatest risk. For obvious reasons, these individuals will have a difficult time obtaining auto insurance coverage.

Traditionally, middle-aged, non-smoking women represent the least risk to auto insurance companies. Males under the age of 25 carry the highest risk when formulating insurance coverage costs. Insurance companies also take into account where the car is located (state, city, even specific neighborhood) and the type of car that is being insured- red convertible sports car (risky) versus modest family sedan (less risky). In the world of high risk auto insurance premiums, risky almost always equals expensive.

The most common factors which can cause an individual to be considered a high risk driver are as follows:

  1. New, inexperienced drivers (adult or teenage)
  2. Drivers with numerous and frequent moving violations, such as speeding tickets
  3. Drivers with one or more DUI/DWI citations/convictions
  4. Anyone convicted of reckless driving
  5. Anyone involved in two or more accidents within a one-year period
  6. Individuals with a poor credit score/history
  7. Persons with medical conditions which could possibly impair their driving ability
  8. Males under the age of 25 and individuals over the age of 70

Many times when insurance companies place an existing policyholder in the high risk auto insurance category they also drop their coverage and refuse them an alternative policy. When this happens, consumers can consider using a state's Automobile Insurance Assigned Risk Plan (AIARP). Each individual state has an AIARP which allows certain drivers who have DUIs, reckless driving convictions, and/or repeated traffic violations to obtain that state's minimum liability requirements. While this does guarantee coverage, it also comes with a big price. High risk drivers normally will pay 2-3 times the national average for this type of policy.

If a driver is denied coverage from the AIARP, it is still possible to find auto insurance coverage. Hundreds of companies do offer non-standard car insurance policies, but as expected, at a much higher cost to the consumer. Insurance companies make their own evaluations regarding a high risk driver and whether to offer that person insurance coverage.

Drivers who think they might fall into the high risk category may want to consider contacting their local Department of Motor Vehicles for more specific information on non-standard auto insurance providers and the state's AIARP. Also, the National Association of Insurance Commissioners offers a complete listing of state insurance department websites.