Standard Vs. Non-Standard Auto Insurance 

Mikhail Nilov

In most states, it is mandatory for car owners to have auto insurance. The minimum is liability cover, which will pay the other party for any damages or injury you caused. 

Even though insurance is a legal requirement, insurance companies may not cover some drivers deemed high risk under a standard policy. That’s where non-standard or high-risk auto insurance comes in. A high risk auto insurance is a type of insurance cover specially designed for high-risk drivers who don’t qualify for a standard policy. 

The main difference between standard and non-standard or high-risk insurance is that the premiums for high-risk cover are higher. High premiums protect the insurance company, as high-risk drivers are riskier and may file more claims. 

Standard Car Insurance

The most common auto insurance offered by all insurance companies is standard cover. This insurance is provided to drivers who are considered low-risk. To be a low-risk driver, you must have a good driving history and credit score and drive an average car. 

A good driving history means not causing any accidents or having any violations, like speeding tickets, on your driver’s license. The vehicle you drive is essential in determining your cover and premiums – if the parts required to fix your car are expensive or difficult to source, the premiums will be more expensive. 

Drivers who meet these criteria can qualify for affordable auto insurance. 

Non-Standard Car Insurance 

If your auto insurance application was rejected or your insurer informs you that they will not be renewing your policy, you’re likely classified as a high-risk driver. You’ll have to apply for non-standard cover. 

Not all insurance companies offer non-standard cover, but since the premiums are higher, it’s worth shopping around and comparing prices before committing. 

The following drivers are considered high-risk:

  • New drivers who are under the age of 25 and over the age of 65

Insurance providers consider being inexperienced a risk because such drivers are more likely to cause accidents. As a results, their premiums are higher. 

On the flip side, older drivers, while experienced, may suffer from normal aging symptoms like impaired vision and slower reflexes. Consequently, they are likely to have accidents.

  • Drivers who have a foreign driver’s license

Foreigners visiting the US or temporary residents are considered high-risk because they don’t have a driving record in the United States. Insurance companies classify these drivers as high-risk to protect themselves and mitigate the risk. 

  • Drivers who have not had any insurance or have a lapse in coverage

Drivers who drove without a license or allowed their policies to lapse due to non-payment or for any other reason are considered high-risk and, as such, won’t qualify for standard cover.

  • A poor driving history

A poor driving history includes causing accidents and accumulating speeding tickets, DUIs, and other traffic infringements. Since these drivers have a bad driving history, it’s assumed that they will continue to be high-risk and not qualify for a standard policy.


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