High risk auto insurance in Connecticut is not always cheap. But there are many policies that are underwritten by the most respected and biggest companies that can keep premiums affordable until the rate starts to gradually reduce. And that is one positive about nonstandard policies. Eventually, your premium has to come down! And often, premiums reduce quite a bit since you will not need your SR 22 bond any more.
If you find yourself in this substandard category, of course, your CT vehicle rates have drastically increased. If you’re fortunate, the large increase will be isolated to a single vehicle or perhaps only the driver that has most (or all) of the tickets and accidents. Of course sometimes, it may just be many little claims instead of one big one.
Insurers often frown upon the “quantity” of claims just as much as the amount of money that is paid out. For example, if you have four small claims totaling $2,000 in damages, they may be viewed more negatively then one $2,500 claim. And here’s a tip: Accidents involving your vehicle (only) often create the most concern for underwriters. Although drinking or texting may not have been the cause, it many times is suspected.
One of the most important things to do is to request a copy of your driving and accident record from the Department of Motor Vehicles. You should also ask for a printout of your claim history with your current company. Whether you stay with your existing company (which is probably the best option), or attempt to change to a different carrier, you’ll need to know the exact dates and details of every incident for the last 3-5 years. And that applies to all drivers in the household, not just you.
If there are two or more violations (or at-fault accidents) that are about to drop off your driving record, the best advice may be to stay put and wait a few months before attempting to change car insurance coverage. The magnitude of the rate reduction could be large, perhaps as much as 30%-50%. So why jeopardize a substantial rate reduction by applying for a new policy to early. And each year you wait, you may see reductions as much as 15%-25%.
Non at-fault accidents and other incidents (such as vandalism, theft, fire etc…) must also be disclosed. While each auto insurance company treats these differently, these incidents must be reviewed by the underwriter along with any other blemish on the record. Accidents where the other driver received a citation may have little or no impact on the underwriter’s decision. But if both parties were at fault, that may count against you. If neither party was cited, it may depend upon how much (if any) of the damage you were held responsible for.
An underwriter for your insurance application does not necessarily determine your exact premium. They will evaluate many pieces of information, including your driving record, how long you have been insured with them, claims history and possible credit history. However, they can determine if that particular company (Geico or Farmers, for example) will accept you as a new policyholder.
Since they may choose to reject your application, it is never a good idea to cancel your active policy and then start checking rates from other insurance companies. Keep your existing coverage active unless you are 100% certain you have been accepted AND you are going to actually make the change.
Rates are often quite different when you are comparing different companies. Underwriting guidelines and cancellation procedures are never identical from one company to the next. But you can’t simply haphazardly apply to handfuls of companies. For that reason, knowing, or perhaps getting a good inclination of an underwriting decision BEFORE you apply for a policy is a must.
Your own personal health history could also impact your premiums. Often, when you reach a specified age (perhaps 70 or 80), you may be asked to provide documentation that you are in good health, although not all companies request that information. If there are serious medical issues that impede your driving ability, your rate could possibly be impacted, as could your driving privileges. So staying fit is a must.
Sometimes a “non-bound” application will be accepted, and this method is recommended. This option often allows you to apply for an auto insurance policy without committing to the purchase. Often, no advanced payment is required, although there is no guarantee that you will be offered a Connecticut policy. If you’re not sure if you should change policies, this option makes sense.