Unfortunately, even the best high-risk car insurance companies will likely charge you high rates if you’re considered a high-risk driver. While there’s little you can do to change your age or driving record, there are some factors that are still within your control as you attempt to find cheap car insurance.
Skip the Add-Ons
Even as a high-risk driver, your state only requires you to carry minimum coverage. Requirements from your lender or leaseholder may force you to purchase additional coverage, but for the most part you’ll only need to meet state requirements.
Removing unnecessary coverage is an easy way to trim your car insurance bill down, so consider which coverages you can skip.
Increase Your Deductible
Raising your auto insurance deductible is another way to instantly reduce your rates. You will, however, have to pay more out of pocket for repairs or a total loss. Be sure to weigh that risk alongside any monthly savings that you might receive.
Complete a Safe Driving Course
Many insurance companies offer a discount for completing an approved safe driving course. Completing one of these courses will reduce your rates and has the added benefit of potentially improving your driving skills and awareness.
Remember, insurance rates are based on risk. If an insurance company gives you a lower rate, it’s because the math suggests that you’re less likely to file a claim. This shows how effective defensive driving courses are at reducing accidents and violations.
Look for Discounts
Being labeled as a higher-risk driver doesn’t preclude you from auto insurance discounts. Most insurers will have at least one or two discounts you can take advantage of. These are some of the most common:
- Autopay: Set up automatic payments
- Multi-policy: Also known as a bundling discount, you can often save by combining your auto policy with other insurance products
- Multi-vehicle: Insure multiple vehicles under the same policy
- Good student: Take advantage of discounts for maintaining good grades in school
- Military: For members of the military and their families
Watch Your Credit Score
California, Hawaii, Maryland, Michigan and Massachusetts have laws preventing insurers from using credit scores as a factor in setting rates. In every other state, your credit score can have a major impact.
Drivers with lower credit scores typically pay higher rates than those with better ones. Practicing good financial habits and learning how to improve your credit score can help you get better rates, even if you have multiple infractions on your driving record.
Try Pay-Per-Mile Insurance
With most car policies, you’ll pay a flat rate for coverage. But these days, the best high-risk auto insurance companies are offering usage-based insurance plans which charge you based on how much you actually drive your vehicle.
If you rarely need to drive or can limit your time behind the wheel, these plans could be a good way to save on high-risk auto insurance. Just keep in mind that if you use your car too often, you’ll end up paying more.
Use a Telematics Program
Most major insurers offer a telematics program that can use data from your phone’s GPS or other device to monitor your driving habits. If you avoid risky behaviors like accelerating too quickly, slamming on your brakes or looking at your phone while driving, you’ll be rewarded with lower rates.
However, these programs can also cause your rates to go up. If you’re caught practicing too many unsafe driving habits, your car insurance could get even more expensive.
Shop Around for Coverage
Getting car insurance quotes from several providers is one of the most important steps in getting cheap coverage from the best high-risk auto insurance companies. As seen from our cost data, the insurer that offers the cheapest rates depends a lot on the motorist.
Even as a high-risk driver, factors other than your driving record or age will come into play. You won’t really know how much an insurance company could charge you until you get a quote. Then, compare rates to find the most affordable car insurance on the market.