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What is a High Risk Driver?

High Risk Driver Equals High Rate Insurance

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The term high risk can be used in different ways. Sometimes it refers to one driver being a higher risk than another. It can also be used in reference to a driver not eligible for insurance through a preferred carrier.

Most drivers do not get the very best insurance rates. Therefore, most drivers are a higher risk than those few so called perfect driving risks. Four main ways to not get the very best rate include:

  1. Not having the Best Insurance Credit Score
    If your insurance company sent you a notice stating you are not getting the very best rate because of your credit score, don't panic. The very best score is extremely difficult to obtain. You may still be getting a very good financial stability discount with your current credit score. Insurance companies have tied credit scores with probability of a claim. So if you do not get the very best credit score, you are considered a higher risk than someone with the best score.


  2. Having a Traffic Violation
    Even one traffic violation puts you at a higher risk than someone with none. It can be frustrating when you have gone years and years with no tickets to get surcharge for one small lapse in judgment. Some insurance carriers do offer an extra bells and whistles type coverage which would waive a single minor violation per driver. However, you do pay a small fee to get a ticket waived.
  3. Being a Teen Driver
    It is true, young drivers do not have to do anything wrong to be considered a higher risk than a seasoned driver. Their age alone instantly puts them in a high risk price range. So many young drivers are in accidents and have traffic violations which increases the severity of already high cost insurance. All drivers go through this period of high risk.
  4. Not Owning a Home
    Normally the term high risk and non-home owner do not go together. But, the home owner discount can be so good when you think about it, non-home owners must be considered a higher risk than home owners in the eyes of insurance carriers. Insurance companies like stability and owning a home is a large part of the stability factor. Several online insurance companies do not rate based on home ownership.

High risk driver meaning a driver who does not qualify for a preferred carrier is the most common use of the term. Three common ways to be a true high risk driver include:

  1. DUI/DWI
    Most drivers know a DUI means higher insurance rates, however many are surprised to see a cancel notice from their preferred carrier after the ticket. Preferred carriers do not tolerate major violations. Once a preferred carrier is aware of your major violation, your policy will be cancelled at renewal.
  2. Multiple Traffic Violations
    Multiple violations tallying more than six points typically means you will no longer qualify for a preferred insurance carrier. It can be a mishmash of tickets and at fault accidents to create the seven points or more. When it comes to at-fault accidents the police do not have to issue a ticket for insurance points to be added to your record. A single car accident with a claim paid out is always an at-fault accident regardless of the circumstances.
  3. No Prior Insurance
    Driving without insurance is against the law. Unfortunately, very few exceptions are made for drivers with no prior insurance. Driving a vehicle is so common in our daily lives, insurance companies have good reason to believe you drove at some point in time without insurance. Having a valid driver's license means you need to have car insurance in some form. Without proof of at least six months of continuous insurance, you are considered a high risk driver.

Every insured individual is a driver risk of some sort. Not many drivers qualify for the very best rate. High risk drivers always have room for improvement. Knowing where you stand is the first step in improving your record.

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