Drivers who don't have anything negative on their driving record are eligible for standard auto insurance, but other drivers may need to look for non-standard auto insurance policies. Not everybody has a clean driving record. Moving violations, DUIs, prior accidents, or even a previous lapse in coverage, can bump a driver into a higher risk assessment category, and lead them to look for non-standard auto insurance in a different market, where rates are generally higher. There are some ways for these higher risk individuals to get some competitive lower rates for non-standard auto insurance.
- Shop Around- This is one of the basic rules for getting the best car insurance rates for any driver, but especially for a high-risk driver. An independent insurance agency that can shop your individual case with multiple insurance companies can often find you the best value for auto insurance.
- Look Into Assigned Risk Coverage- Assigned risk coverage is available in Massachusetts, where the state assigns a high-risk driver to a specific insurance company. Assigned risk coverage may or may not be a better value than a policy in the standard auto insurance market, but it's always worth a look as the state will assign you to a company that may have rejected you to begin with.
- Know Your State's System - Some states have now gone to a tiered auto insurance system. A tiered system helps more high-risk drivers get into the regular auto insurance market. It means that you may be able to get better rates for your non-standard auto policy. In other states, assigned risk may be your best option. Knowing all about your state's particular system will help you be your own advocate and consumer guide.
- Identify Inaccurate Information– Sometimes, drivers are characterized as high risk because of old and obsolete data or misleading and erroneous information. Auto insurance companies in massachusetts are barred from using credit reports which can flag an account and create a higher risk assessment. Always ask your insurer about why you are considered high risk, and be willing to argue your case if necessary, and know about what's on the public reports that can impact your auto premium quotes.
- Be Aware of Timeouts for Registry of Motor Vehicle Points and Other Liabilities - Some of the incidents that bump you into a high-risk category will only affect a record for a specific amount of time. If you know when your negative report data will expire, you can plan to get better rates at that time. Most comp-anies in Massachusetts look back 6 years. However, some companies are now only looking back 3 years.
Yes, you may have to pay slightly more to get on the road as a result of past mistakes, but that shouldn't force you to pay sky-high rates for your car insurance.