A spotty driving record can make it difficult for anyone to get an affordable auto insurance rate. If you have been in car accidents, or have a number of traffic infractions, or a combination of the two tickets, and penalties, it is possible you are classified as a high-risk driver. Not only should you expect to pay more for car insurance, but you may also have a tough time finding a company that will insure you.
What Is a High-Risk Driver?
A high-risk driver is someone who an insurance company believes is a bigger-than-average risk, and therefore, poses a greater chance of filing a claim. For example, if you have an impaired driving conviction. You may also be considered a high-risk driver if you have speeding convictions, been involved in at-fault accidents, had your policy cancelled because you’ve failed to pay your premiums, or you’ve got other risk-related characteristics.
Although an insurance company can refuse to offer you auto insurance if you’re deemed “high risk,” the insurance industry can’t refuse to offer you basic auto insurance. It’s against the law to drive without auto insurance, so you’ll need to obtain at least basic insurance if you want to drive.
There are several insurance companies that deal exclusively with high-risk drivers, such as Pafco, Jevco (Kingsway), and Coachman Insurance. If you don’t have any luck with these companies, you can go to the Facility Association as a last resort. The Facility Association is an insurance pool that all auto insurers support. It offers high-risk drivers the chance to obtain auto insurance, and in turn, fix their record by driving safely, avoiding collisions, and traffic infractions.
How Do I Get a Copy of My Driving History?
A few years ago, it was difficult for high-risk drivers to obtain auto insurance. The good news is times have changed. As competition has increased in the auto insurance market, there are more insurance companies willing to offer high-risk drivers auto insurance.
Chances are you weren’t always a high-risk driver. Perhaps you were deemed a high-risk driver after being involved in a serious collision. High-risk drivers have more choices than ever when it comes to auto insurance. Before embarking on a quest to find car insurance, find out what your driver’s abstract states. It contains your entire driving history and gives insight into why your premium is what it is.
In Ontario, there are different types of driving records you can access, with some restrictions, and fees are applicable. For instance, you can request an uncertified copy of your driver’s licence history upon completing a driving-education course for $12 through ServiceOntario.
In other provinces like Alberta, motorists residing in that province can get a standard driver abstract after filling out an application and submitting it to ServiceAlberta. It costs around $28 for Albertans to obtain their personal driver’s abstracts.
Finding Insurance for High-Risk Drivers
As with any insurance product, it’s a good idea to shop around to find a low rate. Even though a high-risk driver won’t have as many choices, insurance premiums can vary a lot from one insurance company to another. Since each insurer has its own set of rules about who’s considered a high-risk driver, there are opportunities to find the policy you need at a reasonable rate.
When shopping for high-risk insurance, make sure you’re comparing apples to apples. If premiums on one auto insurance policy are a lot lower than others, talk to the insurer to make sure the coverage they are offering is adequate. If you’ve been involved in serious collisions, the last thing you want to do is underinsure yourself.