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Auto insurance rates always seem to be rising over time, but if you find you’re suddenly paying too much, you or someone on your policy may have become a high risk driver. Your insurer may have decided that you fall into that category for one of the following reasons:

Alcohol and Driving

Some states use DUI (driving under the influence) and some DWI (driving while intoxicated). Both mean you were guilty of driving while impaired by some chemical agent, most commonly alcohol, though it can also apply to drugs. This puts you, and everyone else on the road, at much greater risk, so even a single incident will cause a sharp spike in your rates. Some insurers won’t even cover someone with a history of DWI.

Points on Your License

Each moving violation or at-fault accident will add points against your license. Although these points will fall away after a while with a clean record, generally, getting more than six points within a three-year period qualifies you as a high risk driver. Depending on the circumstances, you could receive as many as three points from a single violation.

Uninsured Motorist

If you have young drivers on the policy that have never been insured, or you have been caught driving without insurance, most carriers will consider it a high risk situation. This may also hold true if you’ve allowed one or more previous policies to lapse through non-payment. Regardless of your driving record, you still represent a financial risk and you’ll be paying a higher rate. Make sure to visit a place like United Security Agency to get auto insurance.

Rules for Insurance Coverage

No matter where you live and who your carrier is, you’ll find the previous three conditions put you in the high risk category. Depending on the insurer and state regulations, one of the following could also elevate your risk status:

  • MIP (minor in possession): When a minor driving your vehicle is convicted of DWI or is caught with an illegal substance.
  • Open Container: In most states you can be charged with an “open intox” violation for having an open can or bottle of alcohol in the car, whether or not you’re drunk.
  • Bad Credit: Some insurance companies will look first at your credit rating when determining your rate, even if you have a clean driving record.

Some companies will only accept “preferred risk” drivers. The good news is that you can lower your insurance costs by following responsible driving habits and paying your bills on time.

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