6 Steps to Get Cheaper Car Insurance With a High Risk Driving Record
If you’ve got high risk insurance, you probably don’t want to talk about it, let alone even think about it. A little piece of you dies when you make a payment. Your eyes roll every time someone says a word about auto insurance, or when they brag about their discount or ridiculously low quote. It’s painful. Of course, having high-risk insurance now does not mean you’ll have it forever. In fact, many people are able to find reasonable quotes after a while, considering they learn the right driving safety habits that will clean up their records and drive a car that’s not too expensive to insure. So there’s hope for you. Even if your premium is a pricy punch to the gut, you can take some steps to eventually lower the painful rates you’re currently paying. Dealing with insurers for high risk driving isn’t a lifelong curse.
1. Avoid illegal behaviour
If you’ve acquired criminal charges through driving, car insurers will immediately see you as a high-risk (as you already know). DUIs, stunt racing, and reckless driving charges are like sirens. You know what the penalties are and how hard it is to find a company willing to insure (for a reasonable price) after receiving such convictions. The most important thing is avoiding what got you in trouble in the first place. Some people are repeat offenders, so you want to make sure that you’re not in that category. Be strict with yourself! If you drink, DON’T drive. If you feel the urge to race, you can take your desires out in motorsport activities. Whatever you do, obey the rules of the road without a hint of hesitation.
2. Reduce distractions
No one is perfect, and every driver is guilty of getting distracted. But if distractions have caused you to crash or collide with someone else in the past, you should be extra vigilant to stop it from happening again. One accident alone can make your insurance premium shoot up. Try your best to prevent another one. You might have a friend who seems to be a multitasking master while driving, but that doesn’t mean they’re a good driver. In fact, they too are at an increased risk of succumbing to an accident if they keep up their behaviours. In your case, you can reduce your distraction level in numerous ways. For one, you can turn your phone off or set it up in such a way that you don’t have to hold it while driving. Additionally, you should avoid activities such as applying makeup, shaving/grooming and eating full meals while driving.
3. Don’t drive drowsy
Although it sounds a bit silly, the advice to avoid drowsy driving is vital. Drowsy driving is responsible for a high number of traffic accidents, and research has shown that being awake for 21 hours has the same effects as having a blood alcohol count (BAC) of .08. So if sleep deprivation is like driving drunk, it would make sense to get more sleep if you’re already not doing so. Not getting enough sleep will greatly reduce your reaction time and attention span, both of which need to be in working order while driving. At the very least, getting a good night’s rest will prevent you from feeling miserable.
4. Take a driving refresher course
Sometimes, driving skills that haven’t been fully formed are the reasons why people get into accidents or get traffic violations. It’s hurts to admit if you recognize it within yourself. It goes along with the label of being a “bad driver”. However, just like any other skill, whether it is athletic, musical or social, you can get better at driving. There are refresher courses out there that cater to those who need to brush up on their driving skills for whatever reason. Taking these courses will involve written and driving tests, which will help you replace bad habits with good ones.
5. Shop for a better quote
So far, we’ve mentioned things that will indirectly affect your insurance rates (something we’ll discuss further in a bit). However, we’re giving you our first piece of advice that will have a direct impact. With a tainted driving record, many drivers take the first quote they receive. They assume it’s wise to take it, because no one else will insure them. But that’s not necessarily true. Although you may indeed pay more than the standard driver, there are many companies out there that cover high-risk drivers. And if your record isn’t too bad (perhaps a few too many tickets or one accident), you can still get a decent quote. But you’ll only know if you look. So that means searching around for different companies rather than focusing on the first one you come across.
6. Drive less frequently
Another piece of advice that directly affects your insurance quote, is the frequency at which you drive. The less you drive, and this goes for everyone (both high-risk and regular drivers), the less you’ll pay for insurance rates. Car insurance companies see less time spent on the road as an indication that you’ll most likely have a lower likelihood of getting into an accident. That may mean significantly reducing your mileage though. Fortunately, there are tons of alternatives. Carpooling is a great option, allowing you catch up on your downtime and reducing the overall stress of owning a car. The other, more accessible option is to take public transit.
It All Adds Up
The last two pieces of advice listed here (shopping around for a quote, driving less often), directly impact your insurance premium. But what about the first four? Although they may seem like obvious, no-need-to-mention-it type of tips, they’re there to help you drive with absolute care. The goal is to maintain your record, getting into no accidents or receiving no infractions. What will happen, is these “charges” will gradually fall off your record. If you’ve remained clean (meaning you haven’t received anything else) in that span of time, your premium will drop to a more manageable amount. More importantly, these behaviours will make you a better and safer driver in the long run.
It Get’s Better
It’s not easy when it seems like you have higher insurance rates than everyone else. You might even feel bitter and jaded. However, keep in your mind at all times, that it’s not like some chronic disease that’s bound to stick with you for life – you can get out of it. That does mean taking some crucial steps though. Ultimately, you’ll have to take your record to “rehab”, by changing your driving habits to prove that you are worthy of lower insurance rates, and past your high risk driving days. With time, you’ll see those demerit points and tickets fall off the record, and your driving ratings will increase too. It won’t be long before you’re no longer rolling your eyes or despising others for their frugal insurance premiums.