Auto insurance is required in the US. But it's very difficult for some people to get car insurance, either because of high-risk factors or a poor driving record. So what you do if you can't get car insurance or if you're denied by your traditional carrier?
Why Are You Denied Coverage?
Denial of insurance coverage can happen for any number of reasons. Those with poor driving records, including a history of accidents or traffic violations, and especially DUI convictions, can limit your carrier options or make it hard to find a carrier that will accept you.
You also might not have an insurance record or have a very sparse insurance record. This usually happens with beginner drivers like teenagers, who are doubly difficult to get covered because they don't have much experience behind the wheel. Others may be denied coverage because of a credit rating that is lower than average or if they live in an area where the likelihood of theft or vandalism is particularly high.
Options If You Don’t Get Insurance
Generally speaking, there are three main strategies you can employ if you don’t get insurance from your primary or previous provider.
Try Other Providers
First and foremost, you should call around to every insurance provider in your area and see if they’ll accept you even with your risk factors or driving history. Because auto insurance is almost unanimously mandated across the country, having expensive insurance is often better than not having insurance at all. Besides, no one wants to pay the extremely high costs of an accident out-of-pocket.
Join a Risk Pool
Alternatively, you can join a state assigned risk pool. Some insurance carriers participate in these pools that accept high-risk drivers on the condition that those drivers pay substantially higher premiums than most other premiums from regular companies. These risk pools are helpful in that they provide auto insurance regardless of driver history.
You’ll normally need to ask insurance providers specifically about whether they have risk pools that you can join. These pools may not be advertised along normal channels.
Get Insurance From a Specialized Private Company
Some private insurance companies specialize in high-risk drivers, and who write policies for those with bad accident records or those who live in high-risk areas. These premiums and deductibles are often higher than what you would get from a regular company, but again, it's better than not having any insurance at all.
Become a Lower Risk for Insurers
Regardless of the kind of insurance you receive eventually, you should take steps over time to become a lower risk driver for traditional insurance options. Getting a traditional carrier to accept you as a driver will be in a lower deductible and premium in most cases.
This may involve taking defensive driving courses to help you learn to avoid accidents, driving safely and obeying traffic laws over several years, and explicitly avoiding drinking and driving whenever you get in a car.
You can also repair your credit through other loans and credit building activities to show that you are financially capable of paying for a car and the requisite insurance. It’ll also help to buy a safe car, as cars with higher safety ratings usually come with lower insurance premiums.
It can be really hard to get car insurance for many, but there are always options even if you’re denied by most of the major companies. It’s always worthwhile to be insured, so don’t give up if your initial insurance carrier doesn’t provide you with the coverage you need.