Voluntary insurance is when you are able to obtain an auto insurance policy by shopping around for an insurer on your own. If you are considered high risk you may have difficulty acquiring insurance through this regular voluntary market.
Most states' insurance regulators work the insurance industry to make it possible for high risk drivers to acquire the required car insurance, so that the motorist does not drive around uninsured. Special insurance plans set up by various states can be known as residual, shared, ceded or involuntary markets.
Some states have created a Joint Underwriting Association, commonly known as JUA, which will insure drivers who are not able to secure car insurance from an insurer on their own. For more information about voluntary and ceded insurance carriers you can contact your state's insurance regulator.
Premium rates for a policy through a ceded insurer will normally be higher than policies that are obtained through a voluntary insurer. This is due to the fact that those unable to obtain insurance through the voluntary market are usually high risk drivers and thus will pay more than those categorized as a good, safe driver.