Am I a High Risk Driver?
Does it feel like you are paying out the nose for car insurance? A sure way to pay a high rate is if you or a family member is a high risk driver. Determine if you are high risk to prepare yourself for potential high car insurance costs. Most insurance companies use similar sets of rules to determine a high risk driver.
You are a high risk driver if you answer yes to any of the following questions:
Do you have a DUI?
DUI and DWI are acronyms for driving under the influence and driving while impaired. Both terms refer to the same thing, drinking too much and driving a motorized vehicle or for that matter any substance altering your ability to drive a motorized vehicle. A DUI on your record most definitely qualifies you as high risk. Drinking and driving is extremely dangerous. The potential for physical damage to your vehicle and or injury sky rockets when driving drunk. Making a poor choice such as drinking and driving, scares insurance companies. Preferred insurance carriers do not want to insure drivers with a DUI.
Do you have more than 6 points on your record within the past three years?
A combination of multiple traffic violations or at fault accidents can force you into the high risk category. All drivers are susceptible to traffic violations. No one is a perfect driver 100 percent of the time, although some are definitely better than others. A lot of the time more than two of any type of tickets adds up to more than 6 points on your record. More than six points means you are no longer welcome with a preferred insurance carrier.
Are you currently uninsured?
Most preferred insurance carriers do not accept drivers with no prior insurance. Preferred carriers that do accept no prior insurance will charge a higher rate. If you are a licensed driver, insurance is always required in some form, whether it is being listed as a driver on a policy or having a non-owner policy. Drivers with no prior insurance can pay rates as high as a driver with a driving under the influence traffic violation.
Some cases are not as cut and dry. Insurance companies handle the following violations differently per carrier.
Were you charged with an Open Intox?
Some insurance carriers recognize an open intox ticket as a major violation. Open intox usually refers to having an open bottle of alcohol in a moving vehicle. The driver does not have to be drunk to be ticketed with an open intox. In most states, an open intox can also be given to a person walking down the road with an open container of alcohol. Insurance companies can penalize a driver even if the ticket was not issued while in a vehicle. Bad choices regarding alcohol can affect your record for a long time.
Do you have a Minor in Possession, or MIP Violation?
Minor in possession refers to an underage person caught with alcohol or illegal substance. MIP is applied to your record whether a vehicle is involved or not. Some insurance carriers are stricter than others. So this violation can really vary on whether or not it will affect your insurance at all. Some carriers treat it as severely as a DUI while others do not factor it into the rating. Anyone with an MIP should shop insurance carriers if the MIP is affecting their rate.
Major traffic violations and no prior insurance are both fixable offences meaning they will go away eventually. Improving your driving habits and making your car insurance payments a priority will get you out of high risk insurance ratings. Cheaper insurance is possible if you set your mind to making a change.