Car Insurance and High-Risk Driving

by Jim Thompson | Last Updated: May 5, 2021

If you have had a couple of accidents and/or received a few traffic citations, you might discover that it’s hard to find an insurance provider that is willing to sell you a policy. This difficulty arises because the insurance companies have the right to refuse to insure a driver if they feel that they are too risky to cover. Thankfully, most states have assigned-risk insurance plans to help you get the coverage that the state requires.

Automobile Insurance Plans and Assigned Risk

Since most states mandate minimum auto insurance coverages, there has to be a way for all drivers to get coverage, even if they are denied coverage by standard market providers.

Automobile insurance plans are designed with these drivers in mind. These programs allow for the risk of insuring a “high-risk driver” to be shared by all participating insurance providers. States that have such plans in place generally require all auto insurance providers that do business in that state to participate in the plan. Drivers that apply for a high-risk plan will be assigned to one of the companies within the program.

How Do I Apply?

Usually, you can apply to your state’s automobile insurance plan or an assigned risk plan through your insurance agent. If you need this type of plan, ask your agent to begin the application process for you.

You can also apply for this type of plan by contacting your state’s Department of Insurance directly.

Some states require that you try to find coverage through a standard market provider. If you try several companies, and they all deny coverage, you’ll be accepted into the state’s plan. Usually, your signature on the application acknowledges that you have fulfilled this requirement.

Shop the Best Rate Possible

Auto insurance rates are difficult to predict due to the many factors considered before a policy is offered. Since these plans are meant for high-risk drivers, the rates are going to be higher than a standard car insurance policy.

Just because one company rejects you, that doesn’t mean that all of them will. Many companies specialize in high-risk coverage.

Get as many quotes as you can when shopping for a new policy. This step is much easier today now that most companies offer free auto insurance policy quotes online. After you contact several providers, if you still can’t find one that will cover you, you may need to apply for a state-offered plan. This should be a last resort, though, since the premiums will most likely be considerably higher.