Being labeled a high risk driver by your insurance company is the rough equivalent to the kiss of doom for your car insurance rates. Fortunately, all good things come to an end! No matter how bad your driving record happens to be, you're not going to be paying ridiculous premiums and jumping through hoops just to get coverage forever. Getting off your insurance provider's high risk list is easier than you think.
What Makes a High Risk Driver?
You'd be amazed at how many high risk drivers have no idea why their insurance providers consider them to be a less than stellar risk out on the highways. You can't begin to get off your car insurance company's "Naughty" list if you have no idea what put you there in the first place, which is why the first step in rehabilitating your coverage is to look at your driving record. High risk drivers generally fall into one of four categories:
1) Young, inexperienced drivers (including teenagers) who have had their license for less than five years.
2) Drivers who have been convicted of a traffic violation, including speeding, running a red light, passing in a no passing zone and just about any other type of ticket the judge can throw your way.
3) Drivers who have been responsible for an accident in the past five years.
4) Drivers who have been convicted of a DUI/DWI in the past seven years. Be aware, however, that every state has its own laws when it comes to being convicted of driving under the influence. In some states a conviction can stay on your driving record indefinitely.
How to Get Off the High Risk List and Back Into Cheap Car Insurance Land
If you fall into any of these four categories you already know how frustrating trying to buy car insurance can be for the high risk driver. You're going to be paying more for your coverage and have a harder time convincing any insurer to take a risk on you than the other drivers on the road. The good news is, if you can keep your nose clean you're not going to be stuck on the "bad driver" list forever.
Here's what you need to know to get out of "paying too much for your coverage (if you can get it all) land" and back into "cheap car insurance" territory:
1) Most traffic violations come off your record after three to five years, which is why car insurance companies offer five year good driver discounts. So keep your nose clean for five years, resist the urge to rush through that red light or press just a little harder on the pedal going down the interstate, and before you know you won't just be off the high risk driver list, you'll also be enjoying great coverage with a great driver discount to go with it.
2) Regardless of your state's policies regarding a DUI its impact on your car insurance rates is going to fade over time. In the meantime, take an alcohol abuse class or join a program such as AA. Insurance companies love it, and if you haven't already been convicted taking the initiative is going to look great in front of a judge.
3) Voluntarily seeking out help always looks good. In this case you can add some extra points to your license and shave some bucks off your car insurance rates by signing up for a driver improvement course. They're available both on- and offline in most areas, making them easy to find no matter where you live.
Being a high risk driver is a pain, but with a little effort and a lot of careful driving in a couple of years you could be kicking back with the cheap car insurance coverage you deserve. No hoops required.