The designation of a ‘high risk motorist’ isn’t something respectable. As a car owner or driver, you wouldn’t like to be considered as a driver posing high risk to your insurer.
In case you have been shopping around for your car insurance with one of the established insurance brokers like Surex, you might have come across the terms ‘high-risk’ and ‘low-risk’ drivers. These terms actually define your profile, depending on how automobile insurers perceive you.
High-risk drivers naturally attract higher insurance premium rates. If your insurer considers you a high-risk driver, you may pay at least 25% more premiums.
Consulting one of the established insurance brokers at an online insurance brokerage can help you curtail your premiums.
How do automobile insurers define high-risk drivers?
Your insurer is likely to categorize you as a high-risk motorist if you have a record of irresponsible driving. Maybe your driving history doesn’t look bright due to your involvement in accidents, traffic tickets, criminal charges, or any other action behind the steering. All these factors reflect negatively on your insurance policy. You would end up paying significantly higher due to your risk profile.
Some insurance companies in Canada even refuse to provide coverage to high-risk drivers. This is because these drivers are likely to file claims more frequently. If you find it challenging to insure your vehicle due to your high risk profile, online insurance brokers can help you find a policy.
A few traffic tickets or an accident won’t put the ‘high-risk’ tag on you. However, if you habitually indulge in illegal actions like speeding or driving under the influence, you will gain this undesirable tag.
What is a high-risk driver? — An in-depth guide for motorists in Ontario
To give you a clearer idea, insurers would consider you a high-risk driver in Ontario under the following conditions.
- If you have a DUI conviction or commit a major traffic violation like speeding.
- If you have several frequent traffic violations like accidents or tickets.
- Multiple accidents or driving violations leading to the accumulation of negative points in your driving history.
- Several at-fault accidents in the last five years.
Who can be considered a high-risk driver?
Now that you know the answer to the question, “what is a high-risk driver?”, you will realize why insurers charge higher premiums for this category of Canadians.
Here are a few examples that would help you understand whom automobile insurers might consider being a high-risk driver.
- First-time drivers with no driving record to evaluate their capabilities on the road.
- Teenage drivers, who generally tend to be more adventurous and aggressive with the wheels.
- Drivers having lapsed their insurance coverage and are not responsible enough to renew their policies.
- Senior drivers aged over 65 who might lack the mental agility to mitigate accidents.
- Drivers having poor credit or no credit at all.
- Drivers having DWI or DUI convictions in the past.
- Drivers with any serious traffic offence including moving violations.
How much would a high-risk insurance coverage cost?
The insurance premiums significantly differ from one insurer to the next. However, be prepared to shell out higher premiums if you are a high-risk driver.
Depending on the risk profile, a high-risk driver may have to pay premiums higher by 25% to 100%. In some cases, it might even be more than 100%, while some insurers might refuse to insure your car altogether. You might sometimes be forking out $2,500 to $5,000 higher than the standard insurance policy annually.
How long will you retain the high-risk driver status?
The good news for high-risk drivers is that they can get rid of this undesirable tag by cultivating sincere driving habits. The high-risk driver status generally remains on your profile for 3 to 5 years. It largely depends on the offense you are involved in.
For instance, if your license is suspended, the black mark will haunt your driving record for three years. If you are currently paying high premiums due to this high-risk profile, try to maintain a clean driving record for the next five years.
How can high-risk drivers save insurance premiums?
Established insurance brokers can help you choose the right policy and save on the annual premiums. Here are some of the recommendations that can help you get rid of the negative reputation.
Practice safe driving
As we mentioned, all the records of at-fault accidents and driving tickets remain on your record for up to five years. When you embrace safe driving practices, you will give up the tendency to drive aggressively. So, you would have a clean driving record after a few years.
Undergo defensive driving training
Being a high-risk driver, you should consider undergoing a defensive driving course. New drivers often benefit from these driving programs and end up paying lower insurance premiums. Defensive driving significantly reduces the risk of traffic violations and accidents. Besides, you can take advantage of the discounts on insurance premiums.
Get an efficient but inexpensive car
In case you own a luxurious car or make several modifications to the vehicle, the insurance premiums might soar. So, try to get a simple and efficient vehicle that doesn’t cost you too much. Correspondingly, you can also curtail the insurance premiums. An affordable, easy-to-maintain car would be a good pick to save on premiums.
Enhance your credit rating
In case your credit rating is poor, try to improve it. Fulfill the monthly payment requirements since they directly impact the premium you have been shelling out.
Being a high-risk driver, you must be on the hunt for viable means to slash your insurance premiums. While shopping around with different insurance providers is a time-intensive affair, you may consult the insurance brokers at an online insurance brokerage.
These professionals would help you compare quotes from leading insurers ready to cover high-risk drivers in Canada. This way, you can get adequate coverage while paying reasonably low premiums, even when you carry a high-risk profile.Meanwhile, you can try and improve your driving record or take a defensive driving course.