High-risk drivers are usually people that have been charged with serious motor vehicle violations. Insurance rates rise substantially for these drivers, particularly those that must carry an SR-22. Some cash-strapped individuals may decide that their only solution is to drop their auto insurance entirely, but it is a very risky decision.
Failing to produce insurance during a traffic stop or following an accident is a serious offense, and someone with a poor driving record could face fines and lose their license. There are safer and more effective money-saving options available.
Meet Legal Requirements
Do not cancel your policy or let it lapse. If stopped by an officer, the fine of not having insurance coverage will far exceed the cost of maintaining a policy. South Carolina drivers without insurance face an automatic $550 fine with an additional $5 charged each day the owner is without insurance. The driver's license and the registration of the vehicle are also instantly suspended.
Establish Automatic Payments
Allow the insurance company to electronically debit your bank account each month. Automatic payments guarantee the payment is always current. This step avoids all of the legal worries or the fees that accompany late payments. Some insurers even offer a discount to customers that choose this type of payment method.
Discuss Policy Discounts
Talk to your agent about discounts they offer to see if this could reduce the cost. Common discounts include those for veterans, drivers with good credit, and senior drivers. Other possible reductions include a credit for having secure overnight parking, driving limited miles, or installing an anti-theft system.
Take a Class
High-risk drivers that complete a defensive driving course frequently qualify for a discount on their insurance. The courses are available online, so they are easy for people to attend even if they work or are in school. Completing this type of course in South Carolina can also reduce the number of points on your driver's license.
Drive With Caution
Save money in the future by driving safely now to avoid any additional charges. A clean driving record for a period of 5-7 years eliminates the need to carry an SR-22 and takes away the high-risk status. Drivers that are no longer considered high-risk instantly receive lower insurance rates.
Trade the Vehicle
Trade a high-risk vehicle for one the insurance company considers to be a lower risk. Non-sporty vehicles with high safety ratings usually cost less to insure than others that do not meet these same standards. Online charts list the current makes and models that the insurance industry considers to be the highest and lowest risk.
Raise the Deductible
You can lower the cost of your monthly insurance payments by raising the deductible. However, you should only attempt this savings method if paying the deductible will not create a personal hardship. One way to make it easier to ensure the money is available is to take the amount of the discount and deposit it into an emergency account.
Drop Any Extras
Auto manufacturers offer roadside service for their vehicles for a certain number of years. Some drivers maintain a membership with auto clubs. Drop the towing and roadside service option with the insurance company if other coverage is already available. Rental car coverage may also be unnecessary if other transportation is available.
The need for an SR-22 may seem frustrating, but it is an opportunity for drivers to keep their license and stay on the road. No one wants to struggle financially because of overpriced insurance. At Rowell Insurance Agency we help all drivers find affordable insurance solutions that meet their needs. Contact us for a free quote.