If you have a bad driving record, then you probably know that this is bad news for your car insurance rates. Car insurance prices are determined, in part, by your driving record, and if you have a history of accidents, tickets, or other adverse driving incidents, your prices are likely to skyrocket. Your insurance provider could even drop you or choose not to renew your policy.
While it certainly may be difficult, it is possible to get car insurance with a bad driving record, and this article will give you some useful advice.
How to Get Car Insurance with a Bad Driving Record
Step 1: Be honest about your situation. Be straightforward with yourself and with your insurance agent.
In terms of being honest with yourself, you have to recognize that some things are going to change and car insurance is going to be a bigger part of your emotional and financial life. As stated above, your rates are going to go up and you are going to have to think more about car insurance than you really ever wanted to. Getting this into your head from the outset is going to make the process much more bearable.
Secondly, be honest with your insurer. Don’t try to sugarcoat your driving record. They will find out, and if you give false information, your quotes will be inaccurate. If you are honest with the agent, they will be much more likely to help you out along the way.
Step 2: Find a company that specializes in high-risk drivers. There are companies out there that offer special plans for those who have a poor driving record.
You’ll have better luck with a company like this, which can fashion a plan to suit your needs, rather than paying for a traditional plan with a carrier that is trying to accommodate your driving record. Of course, you’ll end up paying more for a plan with a company that specializes in high-risk drivers, but it’ll be better for you overall.
Step 3: Search for discounts. With higher overall rates, you should find ways to reduce what you have to pay for the monthly premium.
You can try bundling your home and auto insurance to get a better rate. You can also search for some low-mileage discounts. The less driving you do, the less likely you are to have an accident, which means you are less of a risk so you get rewarded with better rates.
You can ask your insurance agent about other discounts that might be available to you, based on your occupation or other factors surrounding your driving habits. You may need to change your habits to get some of these discounts if saving the money really matters to you.
Step 4: Overhaul your insurance needs. A good way to save some money is to reduce the actual amount of coverage that you carry.
You could reduce your coverage to liability only rather than carrying comprehensive coverage as well. This will mean that you won’t have coverage on your car in an accident that is your fault, for example, but if your car is already paid off, you may not really need comprehensive coverage.
Step 5: Downsize your car to free up cash. If car insurance is difficult to afford, downsize your car if needed.
This could free up some cash on both your car insurance bill — by reducing the amount of coverage you need — and your car bill each month.
Getting car insurance with a bad driving record is more difficult than with a perfect record, but it is not impossible to do. You should be prepared for a higher bill and some other changes, but you can get insurance and not have it derail your finances.