Non-standard auto insurance is a term to classify insurance sold to drivers whose risk factors makes it difficult or impossible to obtain insurance at standard or preferred rates. Some companies work only in the non-standard insurance business, while others file rates that are tiered into non-standard, standard and preferred tiers.
A motorist that may be considered as a high-risk driver is someone that has a serious violation, such as a DUI, on their driving record. It also may be difficult for a driver to find standard auto insurance if they have been recently involved in a serious accident or who may have had a number of claims, accidents or motor vehicle violations in their recent past.
The non-standard market can be more of a portion of the insurance market for drivers who have a worse than average driving record or drive specialized cars such as high-powered sports cars or custom built cars. Most drivers who did not meet an insurance company's standard or preferred risk underwriting criteria will end up using a non-standard insurer to obtain the auto insurance coverages that they need.
Also, some drivers with little experience or high-value vehicles may find the best rates from a non-standard focused insurance company.
To sum up, non-standard auto insurance is normally for drivers who are unable to purchase standard coverage which can be due to various reasons such as a poor driving record, lack of driving experience, high-performance vehicle, or lapse in coverage.
One does not necessarily need to be a non-standard driver to buy insurance from a non-standard insurance company. Sometimes these specialty insurers are able to offer a more competitive price. Some large, well known insurance companies own smaller no-nstandard insurance companies and offer non-standard policies through their agents.
As with most types of car insurance, there can be large variations in price when shopping for non-standard insurance. If you can keep a good driving record without claims you should be able to stay within the standard (voluntary) car insurance market and likely will obtain better insurance premiums.
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