What does non-standard car insurance mean?

It may seem like insurance agents use a different language when talking about coverage. For the average person, all the talk of “premiums”, “deductibles” and “limits of liability” can be quite confusing. So if you’ve ever had to buy car insurance or dispute a claim, you understand this better than most.

According to Forbes, car insurance has three classifications: average and privileged drivers (standard), high-risk (non-standard) or residual market. So what exactly is non-standard car insurance?

What is non-standard car insurance?

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Non-standard auto insurance is a type of auto insurance coverage for drivers considered high risk. On the other hand, a non-standard policy can cost more than a standard policy, but it can also provide much-needed protection for drivers with flawed driving records.

There are many reasons why a driver may be considered high risk. For example, drivers with a history of accidents or travel violations may have difficulty finding affordable coverage from a standard insurer. Young drivers and the elderly are also generally considered high risk. Other factors can contribute to a conductor being classified as non-standard:

  • A DUI or other criminal conviction
  • bad credit
  • A break in coverage
  • drive a high-performance vehicle

What does non-standard auto insurance cover?

Don Forgeron of the Insurance Bureau of Canada | David Cooper/Toronto Star via Getty Images

A non-standard auto insurance policy will generally offer the same types of coverage as a standard policy, including liability, collision and comprehensive coverage, according to Forbes. However, the limits of these coverages may be lower than those offered by a standard insurer. In some cases, drivers with a non-standard classification may only be able to purchase liability insurance.

Steps you can take to reduce your insurance

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Although you may find yourself paying more for an auto insurance policy, there are different ways to offset the cost. In fact, you might be surprised to find that you can get affordable coverage even after being deemed a high-risk driver.

Here are some tips to help you reduce the cost of your non-standard auto insurance:

Compare quotes from multiple insurers

Getting multiple quotes is one of the best ways to ensure you get the most affordable rates. Thanks to the Internet, it’s easier than ever to get multiple quotes quickly and easily. According to the Insurance Information Institute, you should get at least three quotes before purchasing a policy. This gives you a solid basis of comparison to choose the best option.

Ask about discounts

Even if you are considered a high-risk driver, you can still qualify for certain discounts. For example, many insurers offer safe driving discounts to drivers with good driving records. You can also get a discount for taking a defensive driving course or having certain safety features on your car.

Consider usage-based insurance

Usage-based insurance, also known as telematics, is a relatively new type of car insurance that charges rates based on how you drive and how long your trip takes. This coverage could be a good option for high-risk drivers who don’t mind installing a telematics device in their car. If you’re a careful driver, you could end up saving money on your fares.

Get a non-owner policy

If you don’t own a car but still need insurance, you can purchase a non-owner’s insurance policy. This type of policy will provide you with liability coverage if you are involved in an accident while driving someone else’s car. Non-ownership policies are generally much cheaper than traditional car insurance policies, so they could be a good option for high-risk drivers who don’t own a car.

Take a defensive driving course

According to Defensive Driving, taking a defensive driving course has proven to be one of the most effective ways to lower your insurance premiums. In some cases, you could see a reduction in your rates of up to 10%. Besides saving you money on your policy, a defensive driving lesson could also make you a better driver.

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