High-risk car insurance

How to get cheaper cover when you're classified as a high-risk driver. Compare quotes and apply today.

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When a car insurer sets your premiums, these are largely based on the level and type of risk the insurer thinks you represent. Factors can include your age, your overall driving history and the vehicle you drive.

If you’ve got any convictions for driving offences and have points on your licence, you could be in a high-risk category, meaning typically much higher premiums. And your risk factor might be compounded by the type of car you’re driving. Altogether, these and other risk factors can make a major difference to your premiums.

What makes someone a high-risk driver?

Generally, insurers determine their own driver categories. One provider might have three tiers — for low, medium and high risk — while another might take a more nuanced approach, considering other factors when deciding on its categories.

You may be considered a high-risk driver if:

  • You’ve been involved in a car accident, even just one accident.
  • You’ve received multiple speeding tickets or points on your licence for other driving offences.
  • You were convicted of dangerous driving.
  • You are a new driver.
  • You are aged under 25.

One or any combination of these risk factors can raise your premiums. Understand the factors affecting car insurance premiums so you can easily pick out ways to reduce your costs.

If you’re lumped into a high-risk car insurance category, there’s no one way to guarantee cover at a low cost. It’s worth comparing a range of providers and, if necessary, speaking directly with a provider that specialises in high-risk drivers.

Do I have to let my insurer know if I have points on my licence?

Yes. Most, if not all policies stipulate that you must tell your insurer about anything that raises your risk level unless you can reasonably expect the provider to know about it already.

  • If you think your insurer does know about it already, it’s worth confirming with them and checking that your cover is still valid.
  • If your insurer doesn’t know about it, not telling them may be used to deny a claim later on.

Avoid unnecessary headaches by alerting your insurance provider to any changes in your driving record.

How to reduce the risk and cut your costs

Here are a few major steps you can take to reduce your premiums.

  • Keep an eye out for discounts. Some providers offer discounts just for renewing online, choosing electronic billing or for taking a defensive driving course.
  • Drop cover you may not need. If you’re driving an older car and not as concerned about damage to it, consider dropping your comprehensive insurance — especially if your car is worth less than your excess.
  • Choose a higher excess. Your excess majorly affects your premiums. A higher excess can result in wiggle room for more important claims.
  • Look into pay-as-you-go insurance. If you don’t drive every day — or even every week — see if you qualify for use-based insurance.
  • Drive a car that’s cheaper to insure. You can find typical car insurance rates by a car’s make and model online. Rates for smaller cars tend to be less expensive than high-performance or flashy cars, and features like safety devices and anti-theft systems could earn you extra discounts.

No matter which provider you go with most will allow you to stack smaller discounts for even bigger savings. Look into the discounts offered by your insurer, and use it as a checklist for potential savings that can include those below.

  • Name yourself as the only driver. Depending on your policy, you might be able to reduce costs by specifically telling your provider that you’re the only one who will be driving your vehicle.
  • Pay your premiums upfront. It often costs less overall to pay your premiums up front each year rather than monthly.
  • Secure your car. Many insurers extend discounts if you use a car alarm or store your car in a garage at night.
  • Look for a multi-policy discount. If you bundle multiple cars or insurance, including home insurance, life insurance or other coverage, with one provider, you’re often eligible for a multi-policy discount.
  • Take a defensive driving course. Even if you don’t need it, learning safe driving techniques with an approved instructor could make you eligible for more savings.
  • Buy online. Online-only providers can avoid the overhead that comes with bricks-and-mortar branches, often passing along the savings to you in the form of lower rates and multiple discounts.

Bottom line

There may be any number of reasons why an insurer puts you in a high risk category with an equally high car insurance premium. But don’t fret just yet. If you’re careful, there are small steps you can take to lowering your costs.

Don’t be fooled into auto-renewing with the same insurer. It’s always a good idea to shop around, even if its specialist cover. Once you have found some policies that match your needs, compare them to find the best.

Frequently asked questions

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    *51% of consumers could save £257.97 on their Car Insurance. The saving was calculated by comparing the cheapest price found with the average of the next three cheapest prices quoted by insurance providers on Seopa Ltd’s insurance comparison website. This is based on representative cost savings from January 2021 data. The savings you could achieve are dependent on your individual circumstances and how you selected your current insurance supplier.

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