By Stuart Simpson
Bless your heart if you fall into a high risk category of the car insurance world. High risk means that you are a high risk to the insurance company and this could be for various reasons. Let me give you some idea so you can decide if you can afford to be in the high risk category.
Accidents almost always put you in the higher category unless you have a clean record and this is your first accident. Then, you might be spared. Otherwise, you’ll be in for an expensive insurance payment for the next 3 years until these accidents are cleared off your record.
DUI or DWI. Unfortunately, these charges hang around for a while and even if you have a one time offense and otherwise clean record, you still may be penalized and put in the high risk group. Best bet – if you drink, don’t drive. Hello? McFly?
Always pay your insurance. If you miss payments or decide not to carry insurance for a while, then you have created a gap. Insurance companies know when you have gaps in coverage. This is an indication that you won’t pay them on time and puts you in a higher category. Why? Well, you quit paying and they quit making any money. They have to reissue policies or reinstate old policies. Best bet – pay your bills and pay your insurance on time.
One option that is under your control is the type of vehicle you drive. If you buy a new corvette with 505 hp and expect to get the same cost insurance as if you were driving a Ford Explorer then you are too goofy to be driving a corvette. If the car you chose even has a hint of being “sporty”, then you might be bumped into the high-risk group. It is all about statistics and cost of repairs. I’m sure smashing up a big money corvette will cost more to repair than a Toyota corolla.
How can I lower the rates? Don’t have an accident. Don’t buy the new corvette. Buy an old heavy car that’s less likely to be stolen and for goodness sake, don’t drink and drive. If you have already fallen into one of these categories, you might still be able to lower your insurance. Ask you agent about raising the deductible or other advice – put the monkey on his back and see what he can do to get your rates to a manageable level.
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