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.

Yes. The terms of most policies stipulate that you need to tell your insurer about anything that raises your risk level unless you can reasonably expect the provider to know about it already.

  • If your insurer does know about it, then informing them probably won’t affect your premiums.
  • If your insurer doesn’t know about it, then not telling them may be used to deny a claim later on.

It’s generally a good idea to let your insurer know about it.

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
Low-cost, straightforward car insurance aimed at safe drivers
  • Costs of towing and storage
  • Lifetime guarantee on all repairs
  • Emergency repairs, travel and accommodation
  • Optional zero-excess cover for windscreen and window glass
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Comprehensive
Comprehensive
15% discount for comprehensive policies purchased online
  • New-for-old replacement
  • Trailer damage up to $1,000
  • Up to $500 for personal effects damaged in collision
  • Discounts for restricting policy to drivers of a certain age and over
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Gold Comprehensive
Gold Comprehensive
Save 15% when you purchase online
  • New-for-old replacement
  • Debris removal in the event of a collision
  • $5,000 death benefit
  • Optional extras include adjustable excess and no-claim discount
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Comprehensive
Comprehensive
Buy online and save 15% on your policy
  • New-for-old replacement
  • Debris removal, emergency accommodation, and hire car after theft
  • Discounts for restricting drivers, hire car after accidents, and no-claims
  • Free 7” Android tablet with every comprehensive policy
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Comprehensive
Comprehensive
Buy online and save up to 10% on your policy
  • $25,000 cover for accidental death
  • $500 cover for emergency repairs
  • Cover for legal costs
  • Temporary cover on replacement vehicle - 14 days
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Comprehensive
Comprehensive
Buy online and save up to 10%. Price-beat guarantee for drivers aged over 25
  • Essential repairs and towing costs up to $500
  • Loss or damage while your car is in transit
  • Cover can be increased or reduced at any time if your circumstances change
  • Optional extras: roadside assistance, excess-free windscreen cover and hire car
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Price Saver (Comprehensive)
Price Saver (Comprehensive)
Save 15% when purchasing online. Eligible customers receive 10,000 Velocity Frequent Flyer points before 31 October 2017
  • New-for-old replacement
  • Receive an alert by SMS if hail is predicted
  • Personal effects up to $500 after collision and theft
  • Optional 24/7 roadside assistance
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Comprehensive
Comprehensive
24/7 roadside assistance included in your comprehensive policy
  • Emergency fuel, replacement of flat tyre and battery service
  • Modifications like personalised plates, towbar and tinting covered
  • $1,500 to cover the cost of counselling sessions after a claim
  • Cover for work equipment carried inside vehicle and contents of caravan
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Comprehensive - Elegant Cover
Comprehensive - Elegant Cover
Save up to 20% when you buy online
  • Up to $500 for personal effects damaged in a collision
  • Cover for modifications and accessories
  • Loss or damage while your car is in transit
  • Option of full reimbursement for replacing windscreen and window glass
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Details Features
Third Party Fire and Theft
Third Party Fire and Theft
15% discount for third party fire and theft policy purchased online.
  • $3,000 uninsured motorist damage*
  • $20 million legal liability cover
  • $1,000 hire vehicle following theft
  • After-hours claim helpline
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Third Party Fire and Theft
Third Party Fire and Theft
Cover for your car against damage by fire and theft. Get discount for restricted drivers. Optional 24/7 roadside assistance with unlimited callouts.
  • Fire and theft cover
  • $3,000 cover for damaged by an uninsured driver if not at fault
  • Liability cover for your car's damage to third party property
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Third Party Fire and Theft Cover
Third Party Fire and Theft Cover
Receive up to $20 million legal liability cover.
  • Up to $20 million in legal liability cover
  • $3,000 cover for Uninsured Motorists Damage
  • $1,000 cover (limit 14 days) for hire vehicle following theft
  • Lump sum or installment payments available
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Third Party Fire & Theft
Third Party Fire & Theft
Buy online and save up to 10% on your policy
  • Cover for accidental loss of or damage to your vehicle caused by fire or theft
  • $20 million cover for legal liability
  • Cover for legal costs
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Third Party Fire and Theft
Third Party Fire and Theft
Up to $20 million in legal liability cover and up to $5,000 cover for damage sustained by uninsured drivers.
  • Legal liability up to $20 million
  • Replacement vehicle up to 14 days
  • Cover for fire damage and theft of vehicle
  • Up to $750 cover for contents inside vehicle
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Third Party Fire and Theft
Third Party Fire and Theft
Up to $20 million in legal liability cover and a lifetime guarantee on repairs.
  • Hire vehicle following theft - $1,000 cover (limit 14 days)
  • New for old replacement (in first 12 months)
  • Lifetime guarantee on repairs
  • $20 million legal liability
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Details Features
Third Party Property Damage
Third Party Property Damage
Receive up to $20 million in liability cover for accidental damage to someone else's car or property.
  • Up to $20 million in liability cover
  • Fast, simple online claims process
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Third Party Property
Third Party Property
15% discount for third party property policy purchased online.
  • $3,000 uninsured motorist damage*
  • $20 million legal liability cover
  • Flexible payment options
  • After-hours claim helpline
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Third Party Property
Third Party Property
Cover for your car against damage to other peoples property. Get discount for restricted drivers and optional 24/7 roadside assistance with unlimited callouts.
  • Liability cover for your car's damage to third party property
  • $3,000 cover for damaged by an uninsured driver if not at fault
  • Lifetime guarantee on repairs
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Third Party Property
Third Party Property
Receive up to $20 million in legal liability cover.
  • Lifetime guarantee on repairs
  • $3,000 for Uninsured Motorists Damage
  • Up to $20 million legal liability cover
  • Lump sum or installment payments
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Third Party Property Damage
Third Party Property Damage
Price beat guarantee for comparable policies for drivers aged 25 or older.
  • Substitute car cover
  • Uninsured motorist benefit
  • Third party property damage
  • No extra charge for paying monthly
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Third Party Property Damage
Third Party Property Damage
Buy online and save up to 10% on your policy
  • $20 million cover for legal liability
  • Cover for legal costs
  • Legal liability cover when using a substitute vehicle
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Third Party Property Only
Third Party Property Only
Up to $20 million in legal liability cover for any accidents and damage caused to other properties.
  • Legal liability up to $20 million
  • Replacement vehicle up to 14 days
  • Up to $5,000 cover for accidental damage by uninsured third party
  • Maritime liability cover up to $10,000
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Third Party Property Damage - Economy
Third Party Property Damage - Economy
Save up to 20% when you buy AI car insurance online. Basic cover for third party property damage with affordable pricing for modest vehicles.
  • Accidental damage to third party vehicle or property
  • Legal liability up to $20 million
  • Option to pay premiums monthly
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Third Party Property
Third Party Property
Lifetime guarantee on repairs and up to $20 million in cover for legal liability.
  • Lifetime guarantee on repairs
  • $20 million legal liability
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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

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    KimSeptember 15, 2017

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

    • Staff
      JonathanSeptember 15, 2017Staff

      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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