Whether you like it or not, everyone must carry car insurance if they want to drive legally in the United States. And if your driving history is a bit spotty this can be an expensive endeavor. Safe, consistent drivers enjoy all sorts of discounts, and get to sit back and watch insurance companies fighting for their business. But if you’ve had a series of traffic tickets, have been the guilty party in car accidents or had some other unfortunate mishaps, you might be considered an insurance risk. Once you are deemed ‘high risk’ your current insurance will shoot through the roof, and you’ll end up paying through the nose for years to come. This isn’t a comfortable situation by any means. But you cannot change the past. Focus instead on the future, and how you can find affordable car insurance even as a ‘high risk’ driver.
First off, consider what you could possibly do to lose the ‘high risk’ label. If you’ve been put in that group because of your age, there’s nothing you can do. But if you drive some sort of sports car or an incredibly rare, expensive model vehicle you can make a change. Choose a more conservative car and you will find your insurance rates lowering. If you’ve been deemed ‘high risk’ due to a bad driving record, find out how to fix that. Many people attend driving school to drop points off of their record and lower their insurance rates. Although it’s not that fun, this is an easy and inexpensive option.
Before you give up hope, start out by asking your current insurance carrier if you can receive a deduction. This will be more probable if you were deemed ‘high risk’ and then compiled two solid years without any driving issues. The further you are from those problems, the greater the chances you’ll receive a deduction. In addition, if you’ve been with your insurance company a long time they may make a concession in order to keep you. You won’t have that sort of negotiating leeway with a new company. So definitely do not switch from carrier to carrier just to get some sort of promotional rate. You’ll lose your bargaining chips.
If your insurance company isn’t willing to come down, it is time to shop around. The best place to start is online. There are several websites that compete to offer your insurance quotes. Some of them are insurance companies themselves, while others just aggregate offers from many different insurers. Take the time to fill out several applications and see what sort of rate you are offered. Applying for several different policies won’t hurt your credit rating or lower your chances. Everyone is hurting in this recession, even national insurance chains. So make them fight over you, until you are satisfied you’ve received a quality offer.
Finally, don’t be swayed by the lowest possible rate. Remember, the key is finding affordable insurance, not the cheapest one out there. If you go with the lowest rate, you may end up with insurance that could put you in trouble if you do get in another accident. Insurance that doesn’t give you the proper amount of coverage is a waste of money. Check out http://www.averagecostofcarinsurance.com to find out what you should expect to pay on average, based on your area and car, and look for offers in and around those rates.