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Can I Lower My Insurance Costs As A High Risk Driver?

If you’ve been involved in one or more at-fault accidents, or if you have any convictions, insurance companies will likely rate you as a high-risk driver. Drivers with a poor driving record are often stuck paying high premiums, and some insurance companies may even opt not to insure you. Those with especially bad driving records may need to be referred to the Facility Association, an organization that insures people with multiple convictions and at-fault claims. We will talk more about this later.

What Classifies A Driver As High Risk?

A high-risk driver is someone who insurance companies believe is more likely to file a claim. If you have any of the following, you might be a high-risk driver:

  • one or more at-fault claims in the last 5 years

  • any traffic infractions (speeding, driving while under the influence, distracted driving, driving without insurance, etc.),

  • lapses in insurance

  • if you are a male under the age of 25

  • if you’ve ever been cancelled due to non-payment

What Happens If I’m A High-Risk Driver?

There’s no easy way to put this; if you’re a high-risk driver, you’re going to pay the price for it.

And to be honest, we don’t think that’s completely unfair. If your insurance company has already paid out tens of thousands of dollars to cover the cost of claims filed against you, it is perfectly reasonable to charge higher premiums to insure you.

For example, I had a friend who had 3 claims and 2 speeding tickets over the course of 4 years. The total insurance paid out was over $30,000 in property damage and bodily injury. Understandably, her insurance company dropped her, and she was unable to find any insurance companies that were willing to take on that risk. She was stuck purchasing insurance from the Facility Association, with an annual premium of close to $6,000.

How Long Do I Have To Pay High Premiums?

Fortunately, there is a light at the end of the tunnel. My friend committed herself to changing her driving habits, found herself an amazing broker, and within a few years her premium had dropped to a reasonable amount. Each year that you are claim and conviction free results in a lower premium, and usually by year 5, insurance companies will look at you as a safe and low risk driver.

So don’t give up! While the price might be high right now, it will get better, as long as you are able to change your driving habits and commit to the process.

What Can I Do To Lower My Premiums?

As mentioned above, it is possible to lower your premiums. It just takes time, and commitment. Here are some things you can do:

  • Take a defensive driving course

  • Follow the rules of the roads and don’t get any tickets

  • Try not to file any claims

  • Pay on time

  • Drive a beater car

  • Consider car insurance telematics

What Exactly Is The Facility Association?

We’ve mentioned the FA a couple times in this blog post, and if you’re wondering what exactly it is, we’re here to answer your questions.

The Facility Association is an insurance pool that every auto insurance provider contributes to. Because it is illegal to drive without insurance in Canada, the Canadian government created the FA to ensure that every Canadian has access to basic mandatory liability coverage, regardless of their driving record. Their rates are high, but at least you will still be able to drive.

The Moral Of The Story?

Don’t be a reckless driver, and if you have been, don’t give up. Find a broker who can shop the market for you, and each year have your broker shop for new quotes. It does get better, if you put together a good stretch of good behaviour, you’ll get back into the regular insurance market in no time.


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