What do I do if I can’t get car insurance?
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UPDATED: Oct 19, 2021
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- Having an active car insurance policy is required in most every state in the U.S.
- There may be some situations where purchasing or obtaining coverage is harder than originally thought
- For example, some drivers may have a poor driving record or a poor insurance history; this can lead to difficulty finding coverage
- There are also types of vehicles that may not qualify for traditional coverage options, and the area you live in can also be a factor
- If you find yourself encountering difficulties when looking for coverage, remember that there are some options still available to you
As you shop around for a car insurance policy, you may encounter difficulties obtaining coverage depending on your unique situation.
If you are finding it hard to obtain coverage from a traditional car insurance provider, you may want to determine what it is that makes you so hard to insure. When you find yourself in a situation like this, it’s important to remember that there are other options available to you.
Factors That Keep You From Obtaining Coverage
When you are trying to obtain a car insurance policy, learning what is making it more difficult for you is often a good first step. While many states have a compulsory car insurance requirement, this does not mean that any provider is obligated to provide you with coverage.
This means that you will be required to find and obtain minimum levels of car insurance from a willing insurance provider, even if traditional insurance carriers are unwilling to insure you.
Two common reasons that an insurance carrier may not want to provide you with coverage are:
- when your previous driving record is not good
- when your insurance history is lackluster
These are two factors that almost every insurance carrier will look at, and this can be a deciding factor when it comes to your risk level.
Your driving record is a documentation of every previous:
- other driving-related offense
If your driving record is poor and shows a history or pattern or offenses, then a traditional insurance carrier may decide you are too high of a risk when it comes to insurance coverage.
Similar to your driving record, your insurance history is a documentation of your interactions with previous carriers and your history of claims.
If you have a limited or non-existent record, or your record contains several claims or accidents, insurance providers may see this as a red flag.
Another issue that traditional providers may find when reviewing your quotes is the type of vehicle that you drive. If you have a unique, specialty, high-performance, or otherwise exotic style of car, then traditional carriers may be unable to unwilling to meet the coverage needs.
Some of these carriers may be unwilling to accept such a risk, while others may not be equipped to handle the needs of such unique vehicles.
Where you live or store your vehicle can be a big factor when it comes to providing you with car insurance.
If you live in an area or garage your vehicle in an area that has a high amount of theft or vandalism, then insurance providers may consider that too high of a risk. This may make it difficult for you to obtain coverage from standard providers.
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Options You May Have For Obtaining Coverage
If you find that all of your options for getting coverage through a traditional provider have been exhausted or you cannot find a quote that meets your needs, there are some options still available that you may not know about.
The most common options in a situation like this are purchasing insurance coverage from a private insurance company or joining a state assigned risk pool.
If you look at buying coverage through a private insurance company, you may find yourself getting a better premium than some other high-risk coverage options.
These companies specialize in covering drivers that do not meet traditional requirements; this may mean they have:
- a poor driving record
- multiple accidents
- unique or exotic cars
- live in a high-risk area
You may also be able to obtain options through these providers that a state risk pool is unable to provide.
State assigned risk pools are a little different than private insurance companies; you are often assigned to an insurance provider without being given a choice.
These state risk pools provide each insurance company in the state with a percentage of the high-risk policies they have, which is based on how much business that provider does in the state.
These companies will then provide you with coverage, but they may limit what coverage options you can choose and they will often charge a higher premium.
If you are wondering how you can get insurance through a state risk pool or how you can locate a private insurance provider in your area, your state’s Department of Insurance can help.
They may be able to share additional information about your options as a high-risk driver, as well as companies that operate within your state that can help you obtain coverage.
Reduce Your Risk To Get a Traditional Policy
While finding ways to reduce your risk may not help in your short-term mission of finding car insurance, it’s crucial that you take steps to reduce your risk for your long-term success.
Reducing your risk factors and showing that you are a responsible driver are just a few ways that you can influence your ability to obtain a traditional policy.
Having a good driving record is one of the biggest influencing factors that insurance carriers look at, so being responsible and avoiding citations is a great way to start.
The area that you live in can be another big factor that providers will look at, but this can be harder to adjust.
If you find yourself living in an area with high levels of theft or vehicular vandalism, speak to your current or potential provider to see if there are any steps you take to reduce your risk.
This could be as simple as storing your vehicle in a locked garage or installing additional safety features if possible.
If you have purchased a unique or exotic car, you may want to have a more traditional car to use on a day-to-day basis. Many providers are more willing to provide coverage for unique or special cars when they know it is not on the road each day.
These policies may carry stipulations or restrictions, but it can be a cheaper and easier option than purchasing coverage through a high-risk insurance carrier.
Your age, gender, and the length of time you have carried insurance coverage are harder to influence or alter, but they will still be looked at by any potential provider.
As you continue to operate a vehicle and carry coverage, your providers will start to see your risk decline as you gain more experience and show more responsible driving habits. This will ultimately make it easier for you to obtain coverage from a standard provider.
Obtaining coverage through a more traditional car insurance provider is often the easiest route for many drivers, but there are options available if you do not qualify for coverage.
There are state operated risk pools, which requires insurance providers to provide coverage for drivers that they would otherwise not provide coverage for.
There may also be private insurance providers that specialize in covering high-risk drivers; both options normally require higher premiums.
When you are looking for coverage under one of these options, ask about what risk factors are making it difficult for you to obtain coverage.
Once you know, take steps to reduce your risk factors and improve your standing in the eyes of traditional insurance providers. This can make it easier for you to get quotes for coverage in the future, especially when you look for a traditional car insurance policy.