When it comes to driving, nobody's perfect. In fact, it's estimated that the average person gets approximately 3 to 4 car accidents during their lifetime.
As we all know, a poor driving record can adversely affect insurance rates. To make matters worse, collisions aren't the only contributing factors.
Your insurance company can raise your rates (or even cancel your policy) over other traffic infractions, such as too many speeding tickets or unpaid citations. Since it's illegal to drive without insurance, you may be in a tough situation if your record is less than stellar.
The following violations may result in higher insurance premiums if they go on your record:
- Traffic tickets
If you get a ticket for violating traffic laws, that blot on your record will remain chargeable on your insurance premiums for three years. Depending on which insurance company your policy is from, a speeding ticket, for example, can increase your yearly premiums by the thousands. In areas like Durham North Carolina, your annual auto insurance premium scan increase up to an average of $2,268 after a speeding ticket.
- Driving Under the Influence (DUI)
Driving under the influence of alcohol or narcotics is, of course, a much more serious offense and has a much bigger impact on your insurance. If you're caught violating the law against drunk driving, it's a major strike against you and will significantly increase your premiums. In North Carolina, a DUI means paying for an average annual premium of $3,659. This is equal to a 322 percent increase in your premiums.
- Open Container
Being under the influence when driving is bad, but even the presence of it in your car can give you trouble. The country's open container laws regulate and prohibit the existence of open alcohol containers as well as the consumption of their alcohol content in public spaces. These public spaces include your vehicle. If you're caught in violation of this law in North Carolina, you can expect to pay an average of $2,509 for your annual insurance premiums.
- Reckless Driving
The blatant disregard for the rules of the road, while you're behind the wheel, means you can be charged for reckless driving. This increases your annual premiums by up to 70 percent. Reckless drivers in North Carolina pay an average of $3,635 yearly rate.
- At-Fault Accidents
Every time your insurance provider pays out a claim against your vehicle, even a small amount, you can look forward to an increase in your premiums.
In North Carolina, at-fault accident claims where your insurer paid less than $1,000 can bring your insurance premiums to an average of $1,177. If the company paid between $1,000 and $2,000, you'll be paying $2,750 in premiums. Anything above $2,000, you can expect up to a 30 percent hike.
Being involved in these scenarios classify you as a high-risk driver, which is why it will be increasingly difficult to find affordable insurance.
But, there are solutions out there.
Look for High-Risk Auto Insurance
Given your unfavorable driving history, it's likely that standard insurance policies are out of the question for you. Luckily, it's still possible to get coverage.
High-risk insurance is just that: insurance policies for drivers who are deemed high risk because of their record. While you may be paying a bit more total than someone with a better driving record would, many high-risk insurance companies are flexible enough to offer accommodating payment plans.
Before you begin your search, however, be aware that your new policy is more than likely going to put a larger dent in your wallet than your old plan.
Look For Lower Coverage Policies
If you had extensive coverage in your old policies before your tarnished driving record, consider lowering the amount of coverage that you seek. While it may be disheartening to give up protection against things like theft and vandalism, it's a necessary fact to face.
If you do enough research, you may be able to find a lower coverage policy that costs the same as (or even less than) your old one.
When looking for new bad driving record insurance, this is also a time to consider downgrading your vehicle if possible. If your car is too nice to drive without extensive coverage, something used and reliable may be more suitable for you.
Look for Discounts
Although not everyone knows about them, there are plenty of discounts for drivers with a poor record. These range from having multiple policies, owning a home, and proving financial stability.
While you may be considered a high-risk driver, you can save a lot of money by proving that you're reliable when it comes to making payments.
To learn more about how you can save money on our insurance policies, you can get a free quote here.
Bad Driving Record Auto Insurance Is Manageable
Although it may be a temporary setback, bad driving record auto insurance isn't the end of the world.
With enough planning and proper budgeting, you'll find that getting this type of insurance isn't nearly as difficult or expensive as you once thought.
Have any questions about where to go from here? Contact us today!