Most drivers need auto insurance that matches their vehicle’s value. However, some drivers need to consider the risk they present to determine what coverage they need. If you had an accident in the past, you may need different coverage because you are a high-risk driver. This does not apply to all drivers with accidents, but might if someone had a history of reckless driving. The good news is that you can buy car insurance even if you are a high-risk driver. Here is some insight.
Who Is Labeling You a High-Risk Driver?
A good place to start is to know why you are classified as a high-risk driver. Most drivers will receive such a classification. However, your insurance company may tell you that you are a higher risk than other drivers for several reasons. Here are a few examples.
- You were in a car accident that you caused as a result of speeding or reckless driving.
- Your driver’s record indicates you have a driving under the influence (DUI) offense.
- You caused damage to another person’s property with your car due to reckless driving.
- Your license accumulated too many points over a short amount of time.
- You have a history of significant damage to cars, such as being in more than one accident with the same vehicle.
In these situations, you are more risky, not only to the car insurance company but also to yourself and others. For their part, the insurer needs to protect themselves from the higher cost risk that you might pose by filing multiple claims. That is why, if you have high-risk driving designations, your policy will likely cost more.
Is That the Same as an SR-22?
An SR-22 is a certificate that comes from your car insurance provider. The department of motor vehicles in your state often requires it. It simply shows that the state’s DMV believes you are a high-risk driver. The certificate indicates that you have insurance. It also requires your insurer to contact the DMV if you fail to maintain coverage.
Because you are a high-risk driver, the DMV might require you to carry certain coverage. They therefore will require you to maintain liability insurance at certain limits. Most drivers must have this coverage anyway, but the SR-22 is a way for DMVs to closely monitor their highest-risk drivers. Not all high-risk drivers must have an SR-22 certificate, either.
Your auto insurance company may still charge you more – even if you do not have an SR-22 requirement for coverage. It is important to work to minimize claims and improving your driving record. You might see this rating drop off. And, when it does, it is likely that your auto insurance will cost significantly less.