In the auto insurance world, non-standard auto insurance is a term for the policies given to those who don’t meet the criteria for a preferred driver. As an insurance product vendor, an auto insurance company is trying to get the best customers, those with the lowest risk rating.
Many states have now gone to a tiered system for auto insurance, where a preferred tier offers the most competitive rates, and a non-standard tier has a different set of rates for those who may have some negative items on their driving record. Drivers with a DUI, past accident, or lots of points from the Department of Motor Vehicles, would be placed in a non-standard tier. Or they would have to seek a non-standard auto insurance policy from a company that deals specifically with high-risk drivers.
Lots of those who fall into the high-risk driver category look for non-standard auto insurance as a way to get legally on the road. Another alternative is an assigned risk pool, where some states assign a certain insurance company to a high-risk driver. The insurance market works differently in each state, with products like “stacking non-stacking” insurance or a tiered system that help high risk drivers get access to the liability insurance they need to operate a vehicle. Non-standard auto insurance is still a big part of this system. It’s in the best interest of every driver, no matter what their driving history looks like, to shop around for the best insurance rates to fit their needs.
DUIs, prior accidents or even smaller things like a previous lapse in coverage, can bump an individual 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.
This is one of the basic rules for getting the best car insurance rates for any driver, but especially for a high-risk driver. Try an online search and research prices from different companies to see if you can get a bargain regardless of your driving record.
Assigned risk coverage is something that some states offer, where the state assigns a high-risk driver to a specific insurance company. Assigned risk coverage may or may not be cheaper than non-standard auto insurance, but it’s always worth a look to make sure.
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.
Sometimes, drivers are characterized as high risk because of old and obsolete data or misleading and erroneous information. Auto insurance companies sometimes use C.L.U.E. reports to find out about past claims, where a random non-claim document 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, including your FICO credit score, that can impact your auto premium quotes.
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.
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.