• May 4, 2011

Are You a High Risk Driver? Here is What it Could Cost You

Do you often drive well over the posted speed limit? Do you have a blemished credit history? Are you under 25? Have you gotten more tickets than you would like to admit? Have you been convicted of a DUI or DWI? Are you a new or inexperienced driver?

If you answered yes to even one of the above questions, auto insurance companies consider you a high-risk driver. High risk drivers are those deemed more likely to be involved in an accident or, in the case of drivers with bad credit, more likely to have their policies canceled due to late or non-payment of premium.

Even if you have had a good driving record for years, that could change the minute you get a DUI or DWI on your record. Anything that indicates less than safe driving habits put you in a high-risk category, and high-risk always means higher premiums. A driver with a DUI on his record, for example, will pay three to five times higher for auto insurance, whereas a driver with one or two speeding tickets will pay one to two times more. Either way, low-cost auto insurance is out of reach for both.

Depending on your circumstances, you may have to file a SR22 form when applying for insurance. The form serves as proof of meeting the minimum insurance requirements of your state or as required by the court. High-risk drivers who are required to file a SR22 (depending on where they live) are drivers whose driver’s licenses were suspended or revoked due to DUI/DWI convictions, too many traffic infractions or driving while uninsured. Not all states require a SR22 filing. You must maintain liability insurance on your vehicle for the entire duration of the SR22 filing, which is usually three years. Moving to a state that doesn’t require SR22 filing will not lift your requirement. The new state must honor the requirements of your former state, and your new insurance policy must meet your former state’s minimum liability requirements. Not all insurance companies offer SR22 filings.

Reckless or careless driving has been the culprit in thousands of vehicular accidents and deaths. A traffic ticket, higher insurance premiums and the loss of your driver’s license will be the least of your worries if you cause an accident that results in bodily injury or death of another person. You would be looking at serious jail time in either case.

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