Can’t find car insurance? You’re not alone.
If you’ve got a few dings on your driving record – or even one big ding, like a DUI conviction – it can be tough to find a car insurance company willing to insure you at a fair price.
Or even at all.
The fact is that every car insurance company has different appetite for taking on drivers they perceive as “high risk.”
Obviously, that includes everyone with a recent DUI, DUI, DWAI, DUID, or reckless driving conviction.
And many of the companies that are the most reluctant to take on higher-risk drivers are the household names.
But here’s a dirty little car insurance secret for you: You don’t even have to have a bad driving record for the insurance company to categorize you as “high risk.” And jack up your premiums.
Your car insurance company may dump you in the high-risk bucket and substantially increase your premiums for these reasons, too:
- You have bad credit.
- You are too young.
- You’re a male under age 25.
- You are too old.
- You added a teenage driver to your policy.
- Your car insurance lapsed.
- You moved to the wrong Zip code.
- Someone broke into your car and you filed a claim.
- Someone slammed into your legally parked car.
It may seem unfair. But in the insurance world, it’s not a matter of “fair.”It’s a matter of math.
You’re not likely to get an existing policy cancelled outright for these issues. Well, except for the policy lapse, anyway.
But if your car insurance company jacks up your rates so high you can’t afford to keep it in force anymore, that’s pretty much the same thing.
Where things get really dicey is if you have multiple issues, in combination. For example, having bad credit is bad enough for your car insurance rates. But if you get a DUI, and then need to add a teenage driver to your policy on top of that.
Any one of these issues alone might not have made it feel impossible to get a car insurance policy at an affordable price. But when multiple risk factors are working against you, you might need to look at some smaller, scrappier, hungrier car insurance companies.
Can’t Find Car Insurance? Improve Your Credit
Aside from your driving record, your credit history is perhaps the most important car insurance risk factor that you can actually control. And making implements to your credit score can make a big difference to your premium.
You can read our article on getting car insurance with bad credit here.
The Insurer of Last Resort – State Car Insurance High Risk Pools
Most states have a state high risk pool, also called the “assigned risk pool” that takes on especially high-risk drivers. These risk pools are sometimes called the “insurer of last resort.”
And that’s exactly what you want these risk pools to be: A last resort, for when you need to drive, and therefore absolutely need to carry car insurance. But premiums in these risk pools, by design, are absurdly high.
Insurance companies choose whether or not to participate in the high risk pool. If they do, they agree to take on any driver the state assigns to them when thy apply to the assigned risk pool. Since the insurance carriers can’t use their own underwriters, carriers assume the worst, and premiums are set higher than they are in any of their own risk tiers.
Furthermore, in the state assigned risk pool, every insurance company must charge the same premium.
So there’s no competition for this business.
If you’ve been turned down by a few name brand insurance carriers, or their premiums offered seem absurdly high to you, don’t give up and go to the high risk pool!
Lots of agents for large insurance companies are “captive.” That means they can only represent a single life insurance company.
No matter what your situation, they couldn’t sell you a better policy if they wanted to.
And since their parent companies know that there’s no competition whatsoever in their offices. And so their prices often reflect that.
Incredibly, studies have shown that car insurance companies even penalize their most loyal customers. That is, they figure out which customers are least likely to shop around… and jack up their rates as high as they can get away with – a practice called price optimization.
Captive vs. Independent Car Insurance Agents
To get the best deal, your best bet is to contact an independent car insurance broker. These are independent sales organizations that are free to represent any car insurance company that wants their business, and that’s willing to compete with other carriers.
Where the captive insurance agent only works for the insurance company, independent insurance agents like the ones we have at Select Insurance Group work for you, the customer!
The reality is that every insurance carrier has a different strategy for calculating risk and assessing premiums. Every company slices and dices their massive databases in a different way, looking for an edge. Some insurance carriers are much more forgiving of accidents, bad credit, or even moving violations and DUI offenses than others.
And in the non-standard and high-risk car insurance markets, just being able to get quotes from many competing carriers instead of just one can save you thousands of dollars per year!
And to keep the price optimizers honest, a good agent will follow up and run quotes for you every year or two, just to see if anything’s changed or some carrier is out there willing to offer you a better deal.
Yes, you’ll almost certainly pay more for your coverage than you would if you had an unblemished driving record. But by shopping around, you can at least be confident that your premiums care commensurate with an honest risk calculation. And that you’re not being exploited or taken for a ride by an insurance corporation that’s counting on you not knowing any better.
If you’ve been dropped by your current insurance company, or if you’ve been turned down by one or more of the Big Guys, we want to hear from you!
At Select Insurance Group, our agents are independent brokers who can shop multiple competing companies in each state! So you can pick and choose which carriers provide the best value.
And we specialize in higher-risk drivers. We work with drivers with DUIs, DUIs, DUIDs, reckless driving convictions, and other serious problems every day.
Imperfect drivers have a home here.
You don’t have to worry about being treated unfairly or like a second class citizen. Our agents want your business, and we work with insurance carriers willing to compete for your business, as well.
Just click here, fill out our brief form, and we’ll get cracking to find you the best possible coverage at a price you can afford.
Or call us at (855) 438-7353.
Let us help you get your life back on track.
See you on the road!
Steve “Mr. Insurance” Ludwig
CEO, Select Insurance Group