Non-standard car insurance is a special insurance for high-risk drivers. It is always more expensive than a standard auto insurance policy.
In other words, non-standard car insurance provides exactly the same coverage as a standard car policy, but because it covers high-risk drivers, it will cost more.
Today we’ll cover some of the reasons why someone might need this type of insurance, how to shop for it, and list the insurance companies that provide it. We’ll also use stories to touch on liability boundaries, risk groups, and risk ratings, to help consumers understand how auto insurance works.
Who Needs a Non-Standard Car Insurance Policy?
You may need non-standard car insurance if:
- You got involved in some accidents by mistake
- You have DUI/DWI/DWAI bills in your records in recent years
- Your SIM has been suspended or revoked in recent years
But inexperienced drivers and seniors may also need this kind of insurance.
Like many insurance concepts, the idea of non-standard auto insurance is best illustrated with a story.
How Lucas Finds Himself Shopping for a Non-Standard Car Insurance Policy
A young man named Lucas is 20 years old. As a man under the age of 25, insurance companies already considered him a risky driver. He was unmarried and had little credit history, so his auto insurance provider placed him in a high-risk group to determine his premiums. Like other young men in his position, Lucas paid a premium for his car insurance.
Winter rolled in and brought fierce storms. Lucas didn’t have much experience driving in winter weather. One day while driving to work, he loses control of his vehicle on a patch of ice. The car spun out of control and crashed into a nearby storefront causing $40,000 in damage and “total” the car. Thankfully, no one was hurt.
Lucas has a high premium car insurance policy liability limit. The insurer covers the damage to the storefront and pays off the rest of the car loan.
But then, his insurance company sent him non-renewal notice stated they would no longer insure him after his contract expired. Lucas found himself shopping for replacement vehicles and non-standard auto insurance.
How to Shop for Non-Standard Vehicle Insurance
If you receive a non-renewal notice from your insurance company after an accident, contact them. Your insurance company may offer non-standard auto policies, work with affiliated companies, or have subsidiaries that deal with higher-risk customers.
This is important if you “bundled” your various insurance products with one company! You may lose the multi-line discount on your homeowner’s or renter’s insurance if you take your car insurance to another provider. In the end, you will pay more for all your insurance products.
“But what if I get really fed up with my insurance company? I want to go!”
This is common! Consumers get very frustrated when they receive non-renewal notifications. You may feel disappointed because you have paid your car insurance premium on time many years, sum up dozens thousands of dollars, only to be dumped after a few innocent mistakes behind the wheel. That’s what insurance is for, right?
But try not to take it personally. Remember that auto insurance is a numbers game. Insurers have a century’s worth of data describing all types of drivers and vehicles, across all life stages and locations. Once you are established as a high-risk driver, it can take several years of safe driving to get out of this risk group.
If you’re ready to work with a new company for your non-standard auto policy, here are a few insurance companies to try.
List of Non-Standard Vehicle Insurance Providers
Note that we are not speaking for this insurance company. However, according to our research in 2021, these companies claim to offer non-standard car insurance policies.
- West Bristol
- Direct Vehicle Insurance
- Kemper Car Insurance
- Dairy Farm
- Automatic Safe
- National General
- Founder’s Insurance
Remember that honesty is the key when shopping for any kind of insurance. Be aware that insurance companies share data about drivers and vehicles with each other all the time. If you are caught lying about your driving history or safe driver status on an insurance application, you will be considered a “moral hazard” and your rates will increase even more.
Once you’ve selected the insurance company you want to work with, know that there are several ways to help keep your non-standard auto insurance costs down.
How to Keep Non-Standard Vehicle Insurance Affordable
You already know non-standard car insurance will cost more than the same coverage for safe drivers. But there are ways you can keep costs down:
- Drive cheap vehicles. Sell or “non-op” your $80,000 Ford Raptor and park it in the garage for a few years. Drive a $3,000 Ford Escort until your driving record improves.
- If you have full coverage, increase your deductible. Keep in mind that you should have enough cash on hand to cover the deduction after the accident. And be aware that some liens (banks) will not allow this if you make a car payment.
- Consider combining your policy with a new insurance company. A 5% discount on homeowners policies and recreational vehicle policies can help offset your increased auto insurance premiums.
- Pay for all policies at once and choose a paperless policy. You can save a few dollars by reducing the administrative costs associated with ongoing billing.
- Take some driver education courses. Between courses for young drivers, senior drivers and defensive driving, you may be able to lower your rate by a few percentage points.
- Keep in mind that the insurance company will not immediately apply the full discount. If the class promises to lower your rate by 10%, the insurance company may allow a 3% discount this year, 6% next year and so on.
The best advice we can give is to use these concepts as much as possible, and seek out your non-standard auto insurance. Compare several offers and talk to the insurance company about all the ways to keep your premiums low.