Penalties and Risks of a High-Risk Driver
Being in an accident can have longer-lasting effects than just the damage to property and possible injuries. In most instances, when a driver is at fault, his insurance premium will increase the following year. Being elevated to the high-risk driver category is not something to look forward to. High-risk drivers have to be SR 22 certified, especially in cities like Chicago, New York, Los Angeles, and other high-traffic, highly urbanized cities. These drivers are given seminars or refresher courses on driving and traffic rules and regulations.
The term high-risk drivers can have several meanings. These can be drivers without a permanent residence or who do not own a home. Not having a home of their own, they cannot avail of homeowner discounts. As far as insurance companies are concerned, if you don’t own a home, you are a high-risk driver.
Another category is teenagers. They have a higher accident rate, as well as higher premiums as a whole. They do not have enough experience driving, and they can be impulsive and make simple driving mistakes. The higher accident rate among teenagers can be attributed to simple errors in driving. Teenagers also do not have any prior insurance. No matter the age, not having been insured before is not a good sign as far as insurance companies are concerned. These companies depend on their in-house data to determine premiums, as well as the risks involved with certain demographics. If a person has no insurance history, there is no way to determine the risks involved in insuring him.
After being involved in an accident, insurance companies typically raise the premium on a driver. The increased premium usually takes effect for three years to as long as five years, depending on the insurance company. Being at fault in an accident claim can have a range of effects not only on the liabilities, costs of repairs, and others but also on the way the insurance company treats the driver. In addition, the state will require some form of assurance that the person will drive more safely. Whatever the person’s driving history is prior to the accident where he is at fault, he is also being reminded to drive safely.
One of the most common traffic violation is driving under the influence (DUI) or driving while intoxicated (or impaired) (DWI). This automatically results in a higher insurance rates. Some insurance companies would no longer renew the insurance for the following year. Multiple traffic violations would also raise a red flag with the insurance carrier.
Although the concept of “high risk” can be wide and open to different interpretations, the courts penalize high-risk drivers with additional requirements prior to getting their licenses back. When the court suspends a license, they also require an SR 22 insurance certificate. Some states have other requirements, including seminars. What is important is that high-risk drivers are penalized. If they do not improve on safety, they may lose their licenses.
Driving should not be taken for granted. It is a serious activity, and it can also lead to accidents. After an accident, there are opportunities to make sure that the person is not considered as a high-risk driver. The rules on reinstating the license also need to be followed. If no accidents occur within three to five years after the accident, the driver’s high-risk status reverts back to the normal risk status.