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.
Name Product New Car Replacement Pay monthly at no extra cost Choice of repairer Roadside Assistance Hire car after theft Personal effects
Optional - If your car is written off in the first 3 years
No
No
No
Optional - Up to $50 a day until your claim is settled
$0
Save 24% on your policy if you've been claim free for 3 years.
Yes - If your car is written off in the first 2 years or is under 40,000 km
No
Yes
Optional
Yes - Up to $1,000 (Max 14 days)
$250
Buy online and save 15%.
Yes - If your car is written off or stolen in the first 2 years
No
Yes
Yes
Yes - Reasonable costs (Max 14 days)
$750
Emergency roadside assistance included in Comprehensive policies.
Yes - If your car is written off in the first 2 years
No
No
Optional
Yes - Up to $70 per day (Max 14 days)
$500
Save up to 10% when you buy online.
Yes - If your car is written off in the first 2 years or is under 40,000 km
No
Yes
Optional
Yes - Up to $1,000 (Max 14 days)
$500
Save 15% when purchasing online. Eligible customers can earn up to 20,000 Velocity Frequent Flyer Points when purchasing a new policy by 31 Oct 2018. Excludes NT. Min 6mths policy & T&CS apply.
Yes - If your car is written off in the first 2 years
Yes
No
No
Yes - Up to $70 per day (Max 14 days)
$500
Transforms your driving so it's 100% carbon neutral.
Yes - If your car is written off in the first 2 years
Yes
Yes
No
Yes - Up to $100 per day (Max 30 days)
$1,000
Buy online and save up to 10% on your policy.
Yes - If your car is written off in the first year or is under 20,000 km
No
No
Optional
Optional - Up to $60 per day (Max 14 days)
$500
Save up to 20% on car insurance when you purchase cover online.

Compare up to 4 providers

Name Product Personal effects Roadside Assistance Choice of Repairer Hire car after theft
$0
Optional
Yes
No
Buy online and save 15%.
$750
No
Yes
Yes - Reasonable costs (Max 14 days)
Emergency roadside assistance included in Comprehensive policies.
$500
Optional
No
Yes - Up to $70 per day (Max 14 days)
Save up to 10% when you buy online.
$0
Optional
Yes
No
21-day money back guarantee if you change your mind and haven't made a claim.
$0
No
No
Optional - Up to $70 per day (Max 14 days)
Transforms your driving so it's 100% carbon neutral.
$0
No
Yes
Yes - Up to $100 per day (Max 30 days)
Save on your premium if you choose to restrict your cover to drivers aged 25 years or over.

Compare up to 4 providers

Name Product Agreed or Market Value Roadside Assistance Pay monthly at no extra cost Legal Liability
Market
No
No
$20,000,000
Save 24% on your policy if you've been claim free for 3 years.
Agreed
Optional
No
$20,000,000
Buy online and save 15%.
Agreed
No
No
$20,000,000
Emergency roadside assistance included in Comprehensive policies.
Agreed
Optional
No
$20,000,000
Save up to 10% when you buy online.
Agreed
Optional
No
$20,000,000
21-day money back guarantee if you change your mind and haven't made a claim.
Agreed
No
Yes
$20,000,000
Transforms your driving so it's 100% carbon neutral.
Agreed
No
Yes
$20,000,000
Save on your premium if you choose to restrict your cover to drivers aged 25 years or over.
Agreed
No
No
$20,000,000
Save up to 20% on car insurance when you purchase cover online.

Compare up to 4 providers


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Andrew Munro

Andrew writes for finder.com, comparing products, writing guides and looking for new ways to help people make smart decisions. He's a fan of insurance, business news and cryptocurrency.

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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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