There is a lot of terminology that comes with car insurance that can be confusing, especially to new drivers. Many of these terms are used primarily by insurance agents, but it's useful for drivers to know what these terms mean and how they affect car insurance coverage and rates.
A standard driver is generally a driver with a moderate to good credit score, a good driving record and a low number of claims. These are drivers that agencies are most likely to insure and who receive lower insurance rates.
On the other hand, a nonstandard driver is a driver who has poor credit, a poor driving record, a high number of claims - or a combination of these. Nonstandard drivers may have more difficulty finding car insurance. If they do find a policy, they will pay higher premiums on average for insurance.
Why Do Nonstandard Drivers Pay More For Car Insurance?
Insurers base quotes on a variety of factors. All these factors are used to calculate the risk of a driver filing a claim. Insurers must pay out when claims are approved, so they prefer to insure drivers who are less likely to file claims.
This doesn't mean that it's impossible for nonstandard drivers to get insurance, however. There are still agencies who offer policies to nonstandard drivers. They might also offer discounts based on other factors.
Signs You Are A Nonstandard Driver
You may be a nonstandard driver if you have:
- Multiple traffic or moving tickets
- Previous claims on the vehicle
- A low credit score
- At-fault car accidents on your record
- An SR22 requirement
Be sure to shop around for car insurance if you believe you may be a nonstandard driver. Many insurance agencies specialize in nonstandard and high-risk drivers, but some hide extra fees in order to make up for the extra risk. High-risk drivers are nonstandard drivers that are considered extremely likely to file a claim.
What Is An SR22 Requirement?
An SR22 is often referred to as SR22 insurance. This is a form required by a state or judge for drivers to carry proving that they have the state-required amount of liability insurance on their vehicle. For example, say you cause an accident while under the influence. You receive a DUI on your record, and the judge states that you must carry an SR22 form for three years. This form can be purchased through an insurance agency for relatively cheap, at an average of $20.
An SR22 form is not insurance. Despite its name, SR22s are simply forms proving that you carry the amount of car insurance required by the state. You must carry this form for as long as it is required without a pause or break in coverage.
If you have an SR22 requirement, your car insurance rates are likely to be higher than standard drivers without an SR22. This isn't because of the SR22 form itself. It’s because of the violation that caused the requirement.
How Much Is Car Insurance For A Nonstandard Driver?
Rate changes from standard to nonstandard depend on the severity of the violations. A single at-fault accident lasts about five years on your driving record and raise your rates by around 30 percent on average. Other accidents — such as DUIs, DWIs and hit and runs — can raise your rates by 80 percent or more. This is thousands of dollars more a year than what you were paying previously for the same amount of coverage.
Ask about discounts from your car insurance provider in order to save money on your car insurance policy.
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