Most drivers qualify for standard car insurance policies, but those who do not are forced to purchase non-standard car insurance policies, which generally carry higher premiums. Insurance companies rate factors such as a driver’s age, driving record and credit report, among others, in determining what type of policy they qualify for and what premium will be charged. When one or more of these factors drives a person’s score so low, and conversely their risk much higher, they are forced to purchase a non-standard policy in order to obtain the necessary insurance coverage.
Most commonly, drivers who need a non-standard policy have a DUI or other serious moving violation on their record. They are often notified that they must file an SR22 with their state of residence. Notification of the need for this form, which demonstrates to the state that you have adequate insurance coverage, is usually cause for an insurance company to cancel a standard policy. However, that is not always the case. Even if you have been notified that your insurance policy is going to be cancelled, it is a good idea to obtain quotes from several companies before purchasing a new policy. Insurance companies weigh the various factors differently, so it may be possible to get an affordable premium even on an SR22 policy.
Another common cause for being forced into non-standard insurance is a poor credit rating. Insurance companies view people who do not handle their finances well as being riskier drivers, and there have been studies done to support this theory. As a result, a very poor credit rating may disqualify a driver from standard insurance. The best way to handle this is to review your credit report, clean up any old debts and work to rebuild your credit score. If you are diligent about it, it won’t take long before your credit rating improves enough to move you out of non-standard insurance.
Less often, it is the type of vehicle you are driving that forces you to purchase a non-standard policy. Certain high-powered sports cars, antique and collector’s vehicles and some customized vehicles are seen as much riskier and more costly to repair when damaged. Some insurance companies simply won’t write policies for these types of vehicles. It can also be the case that a non-standard policy may be the most affordable for these types of vehicles.
Being informed that you cannot qualify for a non-standard insurance policy can be devastating, but it does not mean you cannot obtain adequate coverage. There are many insurance companies serving the non-standard market, so if you take the time to obtain several quotes, you should be able to find the right coverage at a price you can afford. Once you have the policy, take the necessary steps toward improving your insurance score so you can qualify for standard insurance coverage as quickly as possible.