What is car insurance risk?

There are many factors to contribute to your overall car insurance risk on the road, including your driving record, age, gender, and even the kind of car you drive. All of these factors impact your car insurance rates. There are ways to lower your auto insurance risk as a policyholder, such as asking about discount programs for taking defensive driving courses. Learn more in our guide to car insurance risk below.

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Tonya Sisler has a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of South Carolina in Journalism and has worked for 15+ years in management. She has also completed a proofreading certification and is currently a professional writer.

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Brad Larson has been in the insurance industry for more than a dozen years. He started out as a claims adjuster for a national carrier. He has since switched to the agency side of the business. Brad is licensed in all P&C lines.

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Reviewed by Brad Larsen
Licensed Auto Insurance Agent

UPDATED: Nov 17, 2020

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When it comes to finding affordable car insurance, it can be easier said than done. Car insurance for many is expensive and if you are a high risk driver, the cost of a basic policy can be higher that you would expect. Are you a male driver with traffic violations on your driving record or do you have a expensive sports car you want to get insured? There are many factors to contribute to your overall risk on the road including your years of experience, driving record, sex, age and make and model of your car can and more. All of these factors affect how affordable your car insurance policy will be. As you shop around for the car insurance plan that fits your lifestyle and budget best, here’s what to keep in mind as you continue being a safe and responsible driver.

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The Biggest Risk You Take

One of the biggest factors that can put you high at risk as a driver on the road is the number of traffic violations you have. As you discuss your options with any car insurance agent, they will ask you how many accidents you have been involved in within the last several years, how many traffic tickets (excluding parking tickets) you have acquired and any DUI or DWI’s you may have. Getting a DUI has a significant impact on your insurance policy and unfortunately there is no way to escape it. However, there are ways to improve your driving record such as taking a safe driving course and proactively acting as a responsible driver on a daily basis without accruing more speeding tickets. Just remember that when it comes to getting a car insurance policy, the more at fault accidents or DUI’s you have, the higher your policy will be and in some cases, you run the risk of not being able to get insurance at all.

Continuous Coverage Is Important

Whether you are getting insurance after not driving for a year or switching from one insurance company to another, a record of continuous coverage is crucial. If you didn’t have a car and relied on others for transportation for a year’s time or just took public transportation and are now seeking out auto insurance, it’s important to remember the ramifications of continual coverage. Without showing proof of the amount of time you were insured by another insurance company, this may cause an increase in your premium or a hefty one time penalty fee. Many car insurance companies require that you show proof and in some cases if you can’t, this can result in you being denied for insurance with their company altogether. Traffic tickets can also play a role in your risk as a driver for insurance, and with the right amount of traffic violations such as running red lights, speeding in a school zone or excessive speed on the freeway, it can really increase the amount of your premium. In the end, traffic violations over time can result in hundreds of extra dollars in higher premiums that a person with a clean driving record wouldn’t have to pay.

Lowering Your Risk

There are ways to lower your risk as an auto insurance holder but it takes dedication and time. Lowering your monthly premium takes work but in the end, worth the money you will save as your policy costs improve.  If your current premium is too high to manage for the long run, spend the time talking to an insurance agent over the phone. Ask them if they offer car insurance discounts for loyal customers. Many car insurance companies will offer a small discount after being a insurance customer for 3-6 months. Prove you are a worthwhile customer by driving safely and being courteous on the road. Over time while being insured with them, you can lower your rate if you don’t accrue any more traffic violations and DUI’s.  However, this kind of dedication takes patience as you can’t reduce your policy’s cost in a matter of days. Be patient and take the time to prove yourself as a safe driver. It can be helpful to ask your insurance company about taking a safe driver’s course which is offered in the classroom and online. This can show your commitment and potentially offer an immediate car insurance discount upon graduating from the course.

Know Your Rights

There are many ways to get insured no matter what level risk of a driver you are. If you feel overwhelmed by the thought that you may not ever get insured, keep the faith. Although any insurance company has the right to refuse a policy, you can contact the Department of Insurance who will place you in a high risk pool. Although paying for a policy as a high risk driver isn’t ideal and can be costly, remember the most important thing: it’s temporary. Soon, you will have an at-fault accident-free driving record that will make you eligible for a cheaper rate with a better private insurance company.

Start your car insurance comparison search today and compare car insurance quotes from auto insurance companies nationwide. Whether you have a high risk profile or simply a good driver it’s important to shop around for car insurance as the best rates can only be found by comparing multiple providers.

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