Non-standard auto insurance is a term to classify insurance sold to those those drivers whose underwriting experience 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 nonstandard 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 nonstandard insurance companies and offer nonstandard policies through their agents.
As with most types of 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.
CarInsurance.com offers carriers that have rates in all tiers including Preferred, Standard, Middle Market, Non-Standard, and Specialty. We are everything car insurance. Comparison shop for car insurance prices here with us.