High-risk car insurance

Steps get cover when insurers classify you as a high-risk driver

Insurance providers are risk management specialists. When a car insurance provider sets your premiums, they’re largely based on what kind of risk level the insurer perceives you to be. Factors insurers consider can include driver age, driving history and vehicle.

If you’ve had a suspended license or have a history of traffic infringements, you might be lumped into an extra-high-risk category, raising your premiums even higher on top of the normal risk factors. In addition, your risk factor might be further compounded by the type of car you’re driving. Altogether, these and other risk factors make a substantial difference to your premiums.

What makes someone a high-risk driver?

Generally, different insurers will have their own driver categories. Some might have three different tiers (low, medium and high risk) while others might take a more nuanced approach with additional categories and the consideration of more factors.

Your category will affect your premiums, and your category is generally determined by a combination of risk factors, which can both raise and lower your premiums by different amounts. It can be a good idea to get a solid understanding of the factors affecting car insurance premiums, so you can easily pick out ways to reduce your costs. Some of the following factors can bump your risk level up:

  • Being a learner driver or on P plates
  • Having a history of speeding, DUIs or other violations
  • Spending a lot more time on the road than other customers
  • Having a high-powered car
  • Having made a lot of car insurance claims in the past

If you’ve been lumped into a high-risk car insurance category, there’s no magic bullet for more cover at lower cost. It’s worth comparing cover from a range of providers and if necessary, speaking with a specialist car insurance provider.

How to reduce the risk and cut your costs

The following are some of the major steps you can take to reduce premiums:

  • Keep an eye out for discounts. Some brands offer discounts as high as 25% just for taking out cover online.
  • A different policy. You can choose a third party property damage only policy or a third party policy with fire and theft cover. This means giving up the benefits of comprehensive car insurance, but it can greatly reduce the cost of a policy.
  • Drive less. You might start taking public transport and get rides whenever you can, so you don’t drive unless you really need to. There are pay as you go car insurance policies which let you nominate a kilometre limit per policy period, which can give you reduced premiums for staying within it. If you need to go over your kilometre limit, you can top up your policy on a case by case basis.
  • Choose a higher excess. This has a major effect on your premiums. You might choose an unpleasantly high excess and then save your car insurance for the really important claims, like liability costs or a total loss.
  • Park off the street. A lot of car insurance claims come from someone damaging your car overnight. Some insurers may offer lower prices to people who park cars off the street, preferably under cover or inside a lockable garage.
  • Remove any modifications. These add to the overall value of a car and to your premiums.

You can also find multiple ways to stack smaller discounts on top of each other.

  • Nominate a driver. Depending on the policy, you might be able to reduce costs by specifically nominating yourself as the only driver.
  • Pay premiums annually. If possible, it often costs less overall to pay premiums in annual instalments rather than doing it monthly or fortnightly.
  • Use security devices. A lot of insurers will extend discounts to you if your car has certain security devices.
  • Use market value. It’s usually cheaper to insure a car at market value instead of agreed value.
  • Look for a multi-policy discount. If you have other forms of cover with one provider, you are often able to get a multi-policy discount, to the tune of 5-10%, by taking out car insurance with the same insurer.
  • Complete a defensive driving course. Even if you don’t need it, having a driving certificate can mean lower premiums with some insurers. Generally, courses need to be approved by the insurer.
  • Buy online. Significant discounts may be available for signing up online.

Compare car insurance policies from Australian brands

Each insurance brand will have an assessment criteria for applicants. It is crucial that you disclose all details to your insurance brand that may impact whether or not cover may be provided.
Details Features
Comprehensive
Comprehensive
Save 24% on your policy if you've been claim free for 3 years.
  • Discounts: No
  • Pay monthly at an extra cost
  • Hire car after theft: Yes - up to $50 a day
  • Choice of repairer: No
  • Roadside assistance: No
Get Quote More info
Comprehensive
Comprehensive
Benefit from 24/7 claims.
  • Discounts: Buy online and save 15%
  • Pay monthly at an extra cost
  • Hire car after theft: Yes - up to $1,000 (limit 14 days)
  • Choice of repairer: Yes
  • Roadside assistance: Optional
Get Quote More info
Comprehensive
Comprehensive
Buy online and save up to 10%. Price-beat guarantee for drivers aged over 25
  • Discounts: Buy online and save up to 10%
  • Pay monthly at no extra cost
  • Hire car after theft: Yes - up to $70 a day for up to 14 days
  • Choice of repairer: No
  • Roadside assistance: Optional
Get Quote More info
Comprehensive
Comprehensive
24/7 emergency claims assistance so you're never left in the dark.
  • Discounts: If you complete a quote but don’t switch you get 100 YouiDollars
  • Pay monthly at an extra cost
  • Hire car after theft: Yes - Reasonable costs for 14 days
  • Choice of repairer: Yes
  • Roadside assistance: Yes
Get Quote More info
Comprehensive
Comprehensive
24/7 claims and emergency assistance.
  • Discounts: Save up to 10% when you buy online
  • Pay monthly at no extra cost
  • Hire car after theft: Yes - up to $70 a day for 14 days
  • Choice of repairer: No
  • Roadside assistance: Optional
Get Quote More info
Price Saver (Comprehensive)
Price Saver (Comprehensive)
Eligible customers can receive 5,000 Velocity Frequent Flyer points before 31 December 2017.
  • Discounts: Buy online and save 15%
  • Pay monthly at an extra cost
  • Hire car after theft: Yes - up to $1,000 (limit 14 days)
  • Choice of repairer: Yes
  • Roadside assistance: Optional
Get Quote More info
Comprehensive
Comprehensive
Transforms your driving so it's 100% carbon neutral.
  • Discounts: No
  • Pay monthly at no extra cost
  • Hire car after theft: Yes - up to $70 a day for up to 14 days
  • Choice of repairer: No
  • Roadside assistance: No
Get Quote More info
Comprehensive
Comprehensive
Save on your premium if you choose to restrict your cover to drivers aged 25 years or over.
  • Discounts: Buy online and save up to 10%
  • Pay monthly at no extra cost
  • Hire car after theft: Yes - up to $100 a day for up to 30 days
  • Choice of repairer: Yes
  • Roadside assistance: No
Get Quote More info
Comprehensive - Elegant Cover
Comprehensive - Elegant Cover
Offers one of the largest online discounts on our panel.
  • Discounts: Save up to 20% when you purchase online
  • Pay monthly at an extra cost
  • Hire car after theft: Yes - up to $60 a day for up to 14 days
  • Choice of repairer: No
  • Roadside assistance: Optional
Get Quote More info
Details Features
Third Party Fire and Theft
Third Party Fire and Theft
Benefit from 24/7 claims.
  • Accidental damage: Yes
  • Fire and theft damage: Yes
  • New car replacement: No
  • Hire car after theft: Yes - up to $1,000 (limit 14 days)
  • Discounts: Buy online and save 15%
Get Quote More info
Third Party Property, Fire and Theft
Third Party Property, Fire and Theft
If you're over 25, Woolworths will price beat your current Comprehensive policy.
  • Accidental damage: Yes
  • Fire and theft damage: Yes
  • New car replacement: No
  • Hire car after theft: Yes - Up to $70 per day for up to 14 days
  • Discounts: Buy online and save up to 10%
Get Quote More info
Third Party Fire and Theft
Third Party Fire and Theft
24/7 emergency claims assistance so you're never left in the dark.
  • Accidental damage: No
  • Fire and theft damage: Yes
  • New car replacement: No
  • Hire car after theft: Yes - Reasonable costs for up to 14 days
  • Discounts: If you complete a quote but don’t switch you get 100 YouiDollars
Get Quote More info
Third Party Property, Fire and Theft
Third Party Property, Fire and Theft
24/7 claims and emergency assistance.
  • Accidental damage: Yes
  • Fire and theft damage: Yes
  • New car replacement: No
  • Hire car after theft: Yes - Up to $70 per day for up to 14 days
  • Discounts: Save up to 10% when you buy online
Get Quote More info
Third Party Fire and Theft
Third Party Fire and Theft
Eligible customers can receive 5,000 Velocity Frequent Flyer points before 31 December 2017.
  • Accidental damage: No
  • Fire and theft damage: Yes
  • New car replacement: No
  • Hire car after theft: Yes - $1,000 for up to 14 days
  • Discounts: Buy online and save 15%
Get Quote More info
Basic (Fire & Theft optional)
Basic (Fire & Theft optional)
Transforms your driving so it's 100% carbon neutral.
  • Accidental damage: No
  • Fire and theft damage: Optional
  • New car replacement: No
  • Hire car after theft: Yes - Up to $70 per day for up to 14 days
  • Discounts: No
Get Quote More info
Third Party Fire & Theft
Third Party Fire & Theft
Save on your premium if you choose to restrict your cover to drivers aged 25 years or over.
  • Accidental damage: No
  • Fire and theft damage: Yes
  • New car replacement: No
  • Hire car after theft: Yes - $100 per day up to 30 days
  • Discounts: No
Get Quote More info
Details Features
Third Party Property Damage
Third Party Property Damage
Save 24% on your policy if you've been claim free for 3 years.
  • Damage to other people’s property: Up to $20 million
  • Damage to your vehicle: No
  • Pay monthly at an extra cost
  • Fire and theft damage: No
  • Hire car after theft: No
Get Quote More info
Third Party Property
Third Party Property
Benefit from 24/7 claims.
  • Damage to other people’s property: Up to $20 million
  • Damage to your vehicle: No
  • Pay monthly at an extra cost
  • Fire and theft damage: No
  • Hire car after theft: No
Get Quote More info
Third Party Property Damage
Third Party Property Damage
If you're over 25, Woolworths will price beat your current Comprehensive policy.
  • Damage to other people’s property: Up to $20 million
  • Damage to your vehicle: No
  • Pay monthly at no extra cost
  • Fire and theft damage: No
  • Hire car after theft: No
Get Quote More info
Third Party Property Only
Third Party Property Only
24/7 emergency claims assistance so you're never left in the dark.
  • Damage to other people’s property: Up to $20 million
  • Damage to your vehicle: No
  • Pay monthly at an extra cost
  • Fire and theft damage: No
  • Hire car after theft: No
Get Quote More info
Third Party Property Damage
Third Party Property Damage
24/7 claims and emergency assistance.
  • Damage to other people’s property: Up to $20 million
  • Damage to your vehicle: No
  • Pay monthly at no extra cost
  • Fire and theft damage: No
  • Hire car after theft: No
Get Quote More info
Third Party Property
Third Party Property
Eligible customers can receive 5,000 Velocity Frequent Flyer points before 31 December 2017.
  • Damage to other people’s property: Up to $20 million
  • Damage to your vehicle: No
  • Pay monthly at an extra cost
  • Fire and theft damage: No
  • Hire car after theft: No
Get Quote More info
Basic (Third Party Property Damage)
Basic (Third Party Property Damage)
Transforms your driving so it's 100% carbon neutral.
  • Damage to other people’s property: $20 million
  • Damage to your vehicle: No
  • Pay monthly at no extra cost
  • Fire and theft damage: No
  • Hire car after theft: No
Get Quote More info
Third Party Property Damage
Third Party Property Damage
Save on your premium if you choose to restrict your cover to drivers aged 25 years or over.
  • Damage to other people’s property: $20 million
  • Damage to your vehicle: No
  • Pay monthly at no extra cost
  • Fire and theft damage: No
  • Hire car after theft: No
Get Quote More info
Third Party Property Damage - Economy
Third Party Property Damage - Economy
Offers one of the largest online discounts on our panel.
  • Damage to other people’s property: Up to $20 million
  • Damage to your vehicle: No
  • Pay monthly at an extra cost
  • Fire and theft damage: No
  • Hire car after theft: No
Get Quote More info

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Andrew Munro

Andrew writes for finder.com.au, comparing products, writing guides, sniffing out deals and looking for new ways to help people get the most out of their money.

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2 Responses

  1. Default Gravatar
    KimSeptember 15, 2017

    What will it cost to insure a car third party for someone who has had their licence suspended for 6 months?

    • Default Gravatar
      JonathanSeptember 15, 2017

      Hello Kim,

      Thank you for your inquiry.

      Please be informed that finder.com.au is a comparison website service and we provide generic advice.

      Premium cost for your car insurance needs to be underwritten by an insurer. We recommend that you take a look at our insurance panel to compare available options and contact them directly. You may click “Get Quote” green button of your chosen insurer to proceed.

      Hope this helps.

      Cheers,
      Jonathan

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