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Obtaining affordable auto insurance as a high-risk driver

Ron Hettler President and Certified Insurance Agent Hettler Insurance Agency
Obtaining affordable auto insurance as a high-risk driver

Did you recently get charged for a DUI, DWI, manslaughter, reckless driving, or for a hit and run? Or you may have been dropped by your insurance company for another reason. All of these situations can put you at a high-risk for car insurance carriers. When you have to obtain high-risk insurance your rates are generally going to be higher. The following are tips to help lower your risk and cost for auto insurance, after being considered a high-risk driver.


Do

Do raise the deductible

After being considered a high-risk driver, raise your deductible (if your loan company will allow it). Raising the deductible creates less risk for an insurance company and puts more risk on you. While you won’t be able to make a small claim, you will still have auto insurance for when you need it most, for catastrophic and serious damages. The benefit being your monthly or overall cost for auto insurance will be much less than with a low deductible.

Do get an independent agent

Independent agents tend to work with multiple auto insurance carriers, and as a result are more likely to find better coverage at a lower cost. Many of the well known, national carriers tend to decline high-risk drivers. Working with an independent insurance agent is more likely to result in more affordable coverage because of the additional carriers and some of the carriers they work with are carriers that are willing to take more risks. Look for a “Trusted Choice” or an “Independent Insurance Agent”.

Do know that time can save you

Every insurance carrier is different, and they have different requirements for what classifies you as high risk and for how long. An independent agent should find an insurance carrier that lessens the impact of your driving record. For instance, Company P tracks your driving record for the past five years, which means if you got a DUI three years ago, it would show up on your driving record and you would be considered high-risk. There are several insurance carriers that only look at the past three years for driving records, which means you could receive a non-high risk rate depending on when the incident occurred.

Do get a bundle

A lot of insurance companies bundle insurance packages together. So if you own a home or a boat, look for an insurance carrier that can bundle rates together, because this would decrease your auto insurance rates.

Do research your options

Search for insurance companies and independent agents that will give you great rates, even though you are considered high-risk. Some insurance companies make it their mission to help a broad range of drivers including drivers with high-risk characteristics. You just have to do some research and find a company that would be the best fit for you.


Don't

Do not drop your insurance company

If you already have car insurance, don’t get rid of it unless your carrier will no longer provide you insurance. Often the company you are already with is going to be more lenient and give you better coverage at lower rates because they know your history. Unless you can find a lower rate and get approved with another insurance carrier, don’t leave what you currently have.

Do not lie

Don’t lie about your driving record. Your insurance company will find out, because it is their job to. Insurance companies operate on the relationships between agents and customers. They are not going to trust you and will not insure you if you lie to them about your record.

Do not give up on insurance

You need car insurance, it’s the law in every state. Anyone can be insured with the right agent and carrier, no matter what your driving record shows. Don’t give up on insurance. Driving uninsured is the most costly mistake you could make.

Do not worry about the paperwork

After you have been involved in a serious driving incident, you are often required to file a SR-22 form. This form basically states tells your state that you have insurance and also requires the insurance company to inform the state if your insurance cancels. Having to file one of these forms almost always classifies you as high-risk driver. The insurance company will file this form so you won’t have to worry about all of the necessary paperwork involved.


Summary
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Even if you have made some driving mistakes in the past, there is hope. Prove to insurance companies that you are responsible and trustworthy. Do the research and find an insurance company that is willing to give you the best rating considering your record. Most importantly, do not give up on buying car insurance because you need car insurance to be a legal driver.


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Ron HettlerPresident and Certified Insurance Agent

Ron Hettler is the President of Hettler Insurance Agency. Since 1992, Hettler has served individuals and families in Lubbock and surrounding West Texas....

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