Important tips for high-risk drivers

Important Tips for High-risk Drivers

Most people may never hear of high-risk drivers until they are classified as one. But what pushes a car insurance company to classify a driver as high-risk? In truth, the term high-risk driver is not a formal legal or insurance classification. Still, companies have been using it for drivers who have a past of irresponsible driving that led to tickets, accidents, and criminal charges. These reasons would cause insurance rates to go up, thus earning that driver the high-risk category.

But one action or one ticket will not classify you as high risk unless you’re driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. A major conviction, such as speeding and hitting someone, will also cause the insurance company to increase your premium. What other reasons are there for drivers to be classified as high risk?

  • Multiple minor violations, such as parking
  • Multiple at-fault accidents in the past three years
  • New driver
  • History of license suspension
  • Car modified with performance-enhancing features
  • Vehicle used for delivery services

Of course, there are also non-driving reasons that may result in you being categorized as high risk. The most common reason for the increased premium cost is missing payments that resulted in the cancellation of the policy. If you also lied to your insurance provider in the past, that can be used against you. Misrepresenting data in your record will push the insurance company to put your status at high risk despite having no prior driving-related conviction.

Insurance companies have different reasons for categorizing drivers as high risk, so you should always clear this up with your agent. If, for some reason, you have been classified as a high-risk driver, ask what you can do to lower that risk.

Getting Rid of the High-risk Driver Designation

High-risk drivers must take driving courses and behavior modification classes. Although insurers won’t always lift the high-risk designation automatically, companies will give a discount when you improve your driving skills. However, the infractions must drop off from the record to not be considered high-risk anymore. Time is of the essence if you want your insurance premium to go back to the original.

On your own, you should practice safe driving by never using your phone to call or text while driving and following the posted speed limits. You must also wear a seat belt at all times and never drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

Also, you might need to follow these tips until your status is corrected:

Shop Around

The problem with being a high-risk driver is that you’ll need to pay more than the average insurance premium cost. Also, not all insurance companies will agree to take on a high-risk driver. You have to shop around, read Progressive Insurance reviews, and ask for quotations before you can pick the most suitable insurance policy.

Depending on the state, high-risk drivers may only get coverage for that state’s liability insurance premium. Optional coverage like collision and comprehensive insurance, which also covers the damage to the car, are off the table for high-risk drivers.

Be Careful

When you already have a high-risk designation, the last thing you should do is compound it more. Check your rate every year, especially when there’s a new ticket or violation. There’s a chance that your rate will improve every year if you practice safe driving. Eventually, you will return to a standard auto insurance provider when all you have to do is drive carefully, avoid tickets, and pay the premiums on time.

Attend Training

Instead of waiting for the car insurance company, the courts, or the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to demand that you attend driving courses and behavioral classes, why not attend of your own volition? Why were you considered high-risk in the first place? Is it because you get easily angry while on the road?

Attending anger management classes might also do you good. Many accidents on the road happen because drivers can’t keep their emotions and moods under control. Even if you do not have anger management issues outside of driving, it’s still worth your time to consult with a specialist regarding your behavior on the road.

Check Out Specialized Car Insurers

Many big insurance companies work with subsidiaries that specialize in working with high-risk drivers. Although big insurance companies can also insure high-risk drivers, their offers can become extremely expensive. Specialized car insurers can offer the same coverage at a discount, though still higher than the standard insurance premium.

Insure a Cheap Car

Insuring a new car is always more expensive than a pre-owned car. Choosing a used car with a high safety rating is ideal for high-risk drivers. The insurance providers will look kindly at your situation if you use a vehicle with excellent safety features and ratings. Insuring older models is generally less expensive because the spare parts tend to be cheaper.

Improve Your Credit Score

Being a high-risk driver isn’t just about the way you drive. It’s also about how you’re managing your finances. If you have a bad credit score, auto insurance companies will classify you as high-risk. So, while waiting for the violations to drop off from your record, you can also start fixing your credit score. You need to pay your bills on time and stop accumulating debt.


A high-risk driver classification is not the end of the world. However, you should work hard not to reach that point since there are a lot of financial drawbacks when you are considered high-risk by insurers. You will lose critical coverage, but you’ll also put your lives and the lives of those around you in jeopardy. Following the above mentioned tips will keep you out of trouble.

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