High risk car insurance

Whether you’ve been convicted of a driving offence, have a history of claims or you’re looking to insure a high-performance car, it can be hard finding an insurance provider who offers you the right level of coverage. We make it simple…

Whether you’ve been convicted of a driving offence, have a history of claims or you’re looking to insure a high-performance car, it can be hard finding an insurance provider who offers you the right level of coverage. We make it simple…

Daniel Hutson
From the Motor team
minute read
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Posted 7 JANUARY 2020

Who is high risk car insurance for?

High risk car insurance is for drivers who:

  • have points on their licence
  • have had their licence revoked
  • have outstanding criminal or motoring convictions
  • have a history of claims
  • are settling another car insurance claim
  • only recently passed their driving test

There’s a number of other reasons your claim could be considered high risk, including if you live in a high-risk area, have a high-risk occupation or you want to insure certain types of high-risk vehicles.

How do I know if my policy is considered high risk?

If you find insurance providers won’t offer you a policy, or the price they offer you is unusually high, it could be because they consider you high risk.

There’s no way to tell exactly why, but if any of the following applies to you, there’s a good chance that could be the reason:

  • You have a history of motoring offences – no matter how you got them, if you have points on your licence it could set alarm bells ringing for insurance providers. If you have many points and/or you accrued them quickly, this could make you even higher risk.
  • You previously lost your licence – if you’ve ever had your licence taken away, this will definitely put you in the higher risk category.
  • You have other convictions – if you have any other criminal convictions, no matter whether they were related to your driving, this will be seen as a high-risk factor.
  • You have a history of claims – if you’ve been involved in a number of accidents throughout your driving career, this will be a red flag to insurance providers. It doesn’t matter whether they were your fault.
  • You are currently settling another insurance claim – the more recent the insurance claim, the more likely you’ll be considered as high risk.
  • You haven’t been driving for very long – if you're a new driver (eg you passed your test within the past two years) you’ll probably be considered high risk.

Could my car put me in the high risk car insurance category?

You may be considered high risk if the vehicle you’re insuring could put you at greater risk of an accident. This could include a vehicle that’s:

  • Modified – if you have added your own wheels or made alterations to the engine or gearbox.
  • High performance – your premiums will be decided based on the make and model of the vehicle. They may be higher depending on the size of your engine, number of cylinders, acceleration, top speed and so on.
  • Unusual – for instance, if your vehicle has three wheels it may be considered high risk.
  • Easier to steal – the anti-theft system you have in your car can make a big difference to insurance premiums. If your security is outdated or easily compromised, this may put you in the high risk category.

What else could make me a high risk driver?

The area you live in can influence whether you’re seen as a high-risk driver. If the area you register your vehicle in is a hot-spot for vehicle thefts or incidents, this may affect your premiums no matter how safe a driver you are.

And certain occupations can be considered high risk. If you use your vehicle for business, you may find you enter the high-risk car insurance category because of your line of work.

What can I do to lower my high risk car insurance premiums?

Being a safer, more responsible driver can lower your high-risk car insurance premiums. That’s because the longer you go without making a claim, the more chance you’ll have of getting a no-claims bonus. This helps reduce your chance of falling into – or staying in – the high risk car insurance category.

If you’ve previously had your licence confiscated, if you have unspent convictions (motoring or non-motoring) or have had insurance claims made against you, you may be better off taking out high risk car insurance. After a number of years building up no-claims discounts, you’ll no longer have to report previous accidents to your insurance provider.

If you have penalty points on your licence, these will last for four or 11 years from the date of conviction, depending on the offence. You can check on GOV.UK to see how long your points will stay on your licence.

Once your penalty points are spent, you no longer have to report them to your insurance provider. But if you accumulate more points during the four or 11-year window, you’ll have to wait longer for the first set of points to disappear.

How else can I lower my high risk car insurance premiums?

If you’re considered a high-risk driver but still want to lower your insurance premiums, you could consider taking an advanced driving course. Pass Plus is a course designed for new drivers, although it can be taken by anyone. IAM RoadSmart offers similar courses including ones suited to drivers with more experience.

If you’re a high-risk driver, you could also consider choosing telematics (black box) insurance. Your insurance provider will place a black box on your vehicle to monitor your speed and driving style. If you can show that you’re a responsible driver, your insurance provider may lower your premiums.

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