Auto insurance companies tag risky drivers

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Have you had a speeding ticket, several car accidents or a conviction for driving under the influence of alcohol? Any of these offenses will send you straight into “high risk” alert with auto insurance companies.

You will also automatically be considered high risk if you are a young or inexperienced driver, or if you own an expensive, sporty “fast” car. High-risk driving translates into sky-high premiums, or worse, becoming uninsurable.

How to make good

While there’s not a lot you can do to reverse past transgressions, there are some steps you can take to lower your car insurance premiums in the future and decrease the chance that auto insurance companies will write you off completely:

  • Visit your state department of motor vehicles office. Know exactly what your violations are and if there are any outstanding fines and pay them.
  • Stay on the straight and narrow. Watch posted speed limits and do not exceed them. Stop at all red lights and signs. Forget ever driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs — you can appoint a designated driver or call a taxi cab if you think you have had too much to drink.
  • Drive a modest car. Auto insurance companies frown upon souped-up, expensive sports cars. These cars have the reputation of having reckless owner-drivers.
  • Take a safety and/or defensive driving course. This is looked upon favorably by auto insurance companies and may lower your premiums.

You can also look for auto insurance companies that offer insurance for high-risk drivers, but be aware that these policies will be more expensive. Shop around. Even among high-risk insurers, there are wide variations in premium prices.