“Oh, man — again?”
The sight of red and blue flashing lights in your rear-view mirror will definitely put your antiperspirant to the test. Traffic citations breed expensive fines. They can also breed higher insurance premiums if you get too many of them.
In fact, getting a lot of tickets can cause your insurer to drop you altogether.
Chances are that it already has happened to you, or it might happen if you’re reading this. So, let’s get into it. Here’s how to go about getting car insurance with a bad driving record.
While your situation might seem dire right now, there’s always someone out there willing to write you a car insurance policy. The question is: Will you be able to afford it? Fortunately, it’s a relatively competitive industry, so there is a pretty broad range in pricing.
And, for the record, don’t overlook mainstream insurers. Some offer SR22 coverage for drivers who have a lot of points against their driver’s licenses. An internet search for “insurance with a bad driving record” will net you a long list of potential underwriters.
Be honest about your situation so you can get an accurate quote. Any agent can get access to your record, so don’t bother to lie. And yes, they will verify your history before writing the policy.
Be Prepared to Compromise
You might need to make some concessions to get a policy to fit into your budget. Carrying a higher deductible will lower the cost, as will carrying lower limits of liability. Yes, this will cut you out of the best lease deals out there — as leasing companies want you to carry full coverage — but you can always take advantage of one of those once your record has cleared up.
If you’re driving an older car, you can elect to go with liability insurance only, eschewing comprehensive and collision coverage. Ideally, any accident you’ll have afterward will be the fault of the other driver, so your car will be repaired or replaced just the same. Further, knowing you only have liability coverage might give you pause the next time you’re tempted to drive in a manner that could get you pulled over.
Paying in Full Reduces the Cost
Payment plans typically cost more because insurers charge interest on what is essentially a loan they’re granting you. Thus, you’ll get a discount if you can afford to pay the annual premium in full.
Yes, once again, those who can afford to pay the most will pay the least. However, you can also sometimes get a discount when you agree to have the payment transferred automatically.
Certain Discounts Are Still Available
Insurers will usually cut you a deal if you combine your auto policy with your homeowners’ policy. Those who can demonstrate financial stability can often get a reduced rate as well.
Ironically, even having had insurance continuously just before you were dropped can earn you a better rate as well. Ask about all of these; you might be surprised to learn you qualify for a better deal than you might have thought.
Opt for a More Benign Car
Boring cars cost less to insure.
You might consider switching to something a bit more pedestrian if getting car insurance with a bad driving record is too expensive with your fire-breathing sportster. Well, at least until your driving record has had time to heal.
The good news here is you do have options. And, getting your insurance canceled is a lot better than getting your license suspended. Which, by the way, is what will happen next if you keep triggering those red and blue lights in your rear-view mirror.