In the auto insurance industry, “non-standard” insurance comprises the types of policies given to higher-risk drivers. In general, these policies include the same protections and specifics as regular coverage — the difference is that the premiums are more expensive (Fitzpatrick, “What Is Non-Standard Auto Insurance?”). Non-standard insurance can also include those who do not own their own car but still drive one.
You are likely to find non-standard insurance policies from major companies that sell them separately from their usual policies. However, there are also a large number of independent insurers who specialize in policies for high-risk drivers.
Most of the time, assessing you as exceptionally risky for the insurance provider comes down to age, a history of traffic violations or DUI, having to carry an SR-22 form, or driving a car with a salvage title:
Age is actually the biggest factor in issuing non-standard insurance across the states, meaning that teens tend to pay more in premiums than adults with a DUI-related accident (Fitzpatrick, “How Age Affects Car Insurance Costs”).
From infractions like speeding tickets to causing an accident, your driving record plays a large role in determining your insurance premiums. Drivers with more violations will face higher premiums, and accumulating too many violations could mean being slated for non-standard insurance.
Drivers who have been convicted of driving under the influence or committing reckless driving may be required by law to carry an SR-22. During the time in which you have to carry this form, insurance agencies will place you in their tier of non-standard insurance.
If you drive a car with a salvage title, you will likely have to pay non-standard insurance. You may be able to find some insurers who offer coverage if a vehicle has been rebuilt, but this is unlikely to include comprehensive or collision coverage.
If you frequently drive but do not own your own car, you will fit into the non-owner insurance tier, which larger companies often offer for more reasonable rates than non-standard insurance.
While you are working to qualify for standard insurance again, a non-standard policy gives you time to maintain a clean record, take driving courses, improve your credit, and prevent theft (“What Is Non-Standard Auto Insurance?”). All of these will help you regain the standing needed for lower premiums in the future.
1. “What Is Non-Standard Auto Insurance?” AgileRates.com, www.agilerates.com/what-is-non-standard-auto-insurance/.