What Is Non-Standard Auto Insurance?

What Is Non-Standard Auto Insurance?

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Non-standard auto insurance refers to car insurance for risky drivers or drivers who need special coverage, like nonowners policies. In most cases, it is the same as standard coverage, except that the premiums are higher. You can get non-standard car insurance from some major insurance companies, their subsidiary non-standard insurance companies or companies that specialize in non-standard or high-risk auto insurance.

How does non-standard auto insurance work?

Non-standard auto insurance is for drivers who are too risky for insurance companies to cover at their standard rates.

Insurance companies typically break down their coverage into three risk tiers: preferred, standard and non-standard. Preferred customers pay the least for their insurance premiums because they're considered the least risky drivers. Drivers in the non-standard tier pay the highest car insurance rates.

For example, if you've filed multiple accident claims within the past few years, insurance companies calculate that you're more likely to be in another accident than other drivers. You'll fall under the non-standard tier of drivers, and your rates will be much higher than average.

If you're deemed too risky, the insurance company might cancel your policy. You'd have to purchase coverage from an insurance company that specializes in non-standard auto insurance. You could be categorized as a high-risk driver if you're younger than 25, older than 75, you lack driving experience or have a poor credit history.

How much does non-standard auto insurance cost?

The cost of non-standard auto insurance depends on both the average premiums in your state and the reason you're required to get non-standard coverage. A speeding violation may cause your rates to go up, but not as much as a DUI.

Surprisingly, age had the largest influence on rates in most states. Teenage drivers tend to pay higher rates than drivers guilty of DUI-related accidents.

Car insurance rates by state and driver profile

Clean driving record
Speeding violation
DUI + accident
Young driver
New Jersey$2,416$4,452$6,576$9,048
New York$1,812$2,544$5,532$6,216

Best non-standard auto insurance for high-risk drivers

State Farm has the best non-standard auto insurance quotes for most drivers. In most states State Farm has the cheapest rates for young drivers, as well as drivers with speeding tickets or accidents.

While State Farm is the cheapest on average, compare quotes from multiple companies to make sure you're getting the best deal.

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How do I get non-standard auto insurance?

Many insurance companies offer non-standard auto insurance as a separate tier of coverage. Some large insurers have subsidiary companies that offer non-standard coverage to high-risk drivers. These specialist companies may have better rates for non-standard insurance than larger companies.

You can purchase non-standard or high-risk auto insurance the same way you would any other policy. If your state requires you to file an SR-22, you'll need your insurance company to file your form to prove to your state that you have adequate auto insurance. You'll need to pay a filing fee, and you'll see a significant increase in your premiums.

Insurance companies that sell non-standard auto insurance

What if I can't get a policy from any company?

If you can't get car insurance from any high-risk auto insurance companies, consider your state's assigned-risk pool, which provides insurance to high-risk drivers who cannot otherwise obtain coverage.

This should only be used as a last resort, however, as most states’ assigned-risk programs tend to be more expensive than coverage offered by non-standard insurance companies.

Reasons you might need non-standard auto insurance

Non-standard insurance is a broad term, and there are a variety of reasons you may have to get it. Generally, any factor that significantly raises your auto insurance rates indicates a non-standard tier of insurance. For example, you may fall into the non-standard tier if:

  • You have multiple tickets or accidents on your driving record. If you have had multiple traffic violations and accidents that have resulted in insurance claims, you will likely be labeled a high-risk driver.
  • You had a lapse in insurance coverage. Because drivers are required to have a car insurance policy in nearly every state, car insurance companies like to see a consistent record of coverage. Drivers who aren't insured, even for less than 30 days, are considered riskier.
  • You are required to have an SR-22. Your state may require you to carry an SR-22 if you've been convicted of a DUI or other form of reckless driving. As long as the form is required, you'll have to pay non-standard insurance rates to legally drive.
  • You need car insurance but don't have a car. non-owner car insurance is coverage for people who don't own a car but frequently drive. Unlike high-risk drivers, non-owners can usually find cheap liability insurance through major insurance companies.
  • Your car has a salvage title. Some major insurers offer liability coverage for rebuilt vehicles, but not collision or comprehensive coverage. If you can't get liability coverage from a major company, you may need to turn to a non-standard insurance company.

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