I have been identified as a high risk driver for auto accidents, some of which were my fault. Why the classification and what can I do to change it and get better insurance rates?

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Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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UPDATED: May 10, 2010

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Insurance Question from Buffalo, NY

Asked on 05/10/2010

I have been identified as a high risk driver for auto accidents, some of which were my fault. Why the classification and what can I do to change it and get better insurance rates? NULL

Answer given on May 18, 2010

People are classified as high-risk for a number of reasons.  You have listed one of them already – your driving record.  People with multiple traffic tickets, at fault accidents, and multiple not-at-fault accidents, are considered high risk.  Younger drivers (less than 25 years old), older drivers (over 70 or 75 years old), newly licensed drivers (regardless of age), and people who haven’t held continuous insurance are considered high-risk.

The classification exists so that people who are likely to cause accidents are surcharged appropriately, and the people who have maintained good driving records in the past, are rewarded for this with lower premiums.

For the most part, only time will lower your rates.  As the younger drivers get older, as the tickets and accidents get older, as the driving experience grows, and as people are continuously insured, rates will decrease.  Drive safely, within the speed limit, and maintain a safe distance from other vehicles, so that in the event of sudden stops, you have time to react without causing an accident.

You can also shop around for lower rates.  You can also raise your deductibles to save money.

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