Leslie Kasperowicz holds a BA in Social Sciences from the University of Winnipeg. She spent several years as a Farmers Insurance CSR, gaining a solid understanding of insurance products including home, life, auto, and commercial and working directly with insurance customers to understand their needs. She has since used that knowledge in her more than ten years as a writer, largely in the insuranc...

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Melanie Musson is the fourth generation in her family to work in the insurance industry. She grew up with insurance talk as part of her everyday conversation and has studied to gain an in-depth knowledge of state-specific car insurance laws and dynamics as well as a broad understanding of how insurance fits into every person’s life, from budgets to coverage levels. She also specializes in automa...

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Reviewed by Melanie Musson
Published Insurance Expert

UPDATED: Mar 13, 2020

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Non-standard car insurance, or high risk auto insurance, policies are written for people who have factors that make them unable to get traditional car insurance. These may include things like a bad driving record or lapse in insurance.

Standard insurance is written for people that are considered low or average risk for filing a claim. Many factors are used to assess your risk level. If you are denied coverage, then you will need to search for a company that writes non-standard policies. There are many companies willing to write these policies. Many times, they advertise as accepting anyone.

These policies will cost more than standard insurance policies though. The rate will depend on your individual situation and the factors affecting your ability to get insurance. The more of a risk you are the higher the premiums will be.

What are the reasons might I need to get non-standard car insurance?

There are several reasons you might be forced to get non-standard insurance. Most have to do with your individual risk factors but the type of car you are insuring may also be a reason. If you are denied by a company for standard insurance, make sure you find out why.

The first major cause for a person to be denied standard car insurance is driving record. If you have too many violations, companies see a higher risk of you being involved in an accident. It shows you are an unsafe or aggressive driver.

Having only one driving under the influence (DUI) or driving while intoxicated (DWI) may also result in being denied for standard insurance. Most insurance companies only look at the last three to five years of your driving history. You will need to get non-standard insurance until you have a clean record for this amount of time.

Age is a risk factor that most people cannot control. People in the age groups of under 25 and over 70 are generally viewed as high risk. If you fall in one of these two groups, you may need to get non-standard insurance despite having low risk markers in all other categories.

Your prior insurance record is also used to consider if you are eligible for a standard insurance policy. If you have a lapse in coverage or no prior coverage, you may also need to get a non-standard policy. Insurance companies view this as a lack of driving experience. Most companies want policyholders to have a certain amount of experience.

Another factor is your credit score and payment history. If you have a low credit score or have been canceled by an insurance company for nonpayment of premiums, most standard companies will not write you a policy. Companies believe you will not pay them and if you have a claim, they lose money.

One last thing that may affect your ability to get standard car insurance is the type of car you want to insure. Many companies will not insure expensive or flashy cars. They also will not cover cars that have a large amount of custom modifications. These types of cars are viewed as targets and increase the risk of theft.

In addition, most standard policies cannot cover the high costs if your car is in an accident. Most body shops have to charge higher rates for repairs because the parts are more expensive and sometimes harder to find. If the car is totaled, the expense of a payout may also be more than they are willing to pay.

How much will non-standard car insurance cost?

Depending on your individual situation non-standard car insurance can cost anywhere from a few hundred dollars to a couple thousand a year. There is no way to determine the exact cost. If you need to get non-standard insurance, the best thing is to shop around. Get quotes from several companies.

Comparing quotes will help you find the best coverage for the lowest price available. Make sure you understand what each company is offering. There are companies that specialize in writing policies for different risk factors. Look at companies that offer programs that fit your needs.

Remember that just because one company turned you down for a standard policy, does not mean another company will. This is especially true if you were denied because of credit or age. Insurance companies have their own unique formulas for determining your risk and eligibility.

If get non-standard car insurance can I ever get a standard policy again?

Non-standard car insurance policies are not forever. Many companies offer you the ability to switch to one of their standard policies after you have proven to be a safe risk for a set period. The time required will vary from company to company.

If your insurance company does not offer you the chance to switch to a standard policy or does not handle standard policy, you still have another option. If you understand, what risk factor caused you to be denied in the first place, you can work on correcting it.

Once you feel the problem has been fixed you can shop for quotes on standard policies. It may take a few years before you are eligible though. Remember you cannot clear your driving record you must simply avoid getting any new violations.

Some companies may also be willing to write you a standard policy after completion of a safe driving program. These programs are designed to reduce your risk of being in an accident by teach you to be a defensive driver. Many insurance companies and local Department of Motor Vehicles will have a list of approved programs offered locally or online.