High-Risk Car Insurance

Explore car insurance options for high-risk drivers online today.

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, updated on February 15th, 2024       

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For high-risk drivers in Australia, finding car insurance can be more of a challenge. Whether it’s a history of accidents or multiple driving offences, insurance providers may consider you a higher risk to insure. If you’ve been classified as high risk, it’s important to know what insurance options may be available to you. Comparing quotes online can give you a range of options from trusted lenders, helping you find a policy that suits your needs.

What makes a driver ‘high risk’ in car insurance?

Being classified as a high-risk driver in car insurance is typically based on various factors that indicate a higher likelihood of accidents, claims or offences. These factors may include:

  • A history of at-fault accidents and insurance claims
  • Multiple traffic violations
  • DUI convictions
  • Licence suspensions
  • A lack of driving experience

Having a criminal record, depending on what you were convicted for, may also make you a higher risk for insurance providers. All these factors will be assessed by the insurer to determine the level of risk associated with insuring a particular driver.

Can I get insured as a high-risk driver?

It's possible to get insured as a high-risk driver in Australia, though the ease of obtaining cover and its cost depend on why you are deemed ‘high-risk’. In most cases, high-risk drivers who are offered cover will have to pay a more expensive premium to obtain it.

If you're high-risk simply because you're a younger driver or inexperienced, most insurers offer cover for under-25s. However, in other situations, obtaining insurance coverage as a high-risk driver can be more challenging. You may be able to get insurance if your licence has been suspended or you have had an at-fault accident, but will again likely face high premiums. If you've been in a drink-driving accident and have DUI convictions, insurers may refuse to cover you at all.  

While your insurance options may be more limited as a high-risk driver in certain situations, some insurance companies specialise in providing coverage for high-risk drivers, while others may offer policies specifically tailored to this category. It’s important to see what options may be available to you before you buy your policy, which you can do easily by comparing quotes online.

What restrictions may be placed on high-risk car insurance?

Many high-risk car insurance policies have limitations and exclusions due to the increased risk associated with insuring high-risk drivers. While the specific coverage details may vary depending on the insurer and policy, restrictions could include:

  • Higher premiums: as mentioned, drivers with a bad driving record often face higher insurance premiums than drivers who have not been involved in serious incidents.
  • Limited coverage options: some insurance providers may offer more limited coverage options for high-risk drivers, such as only offering basic third party property damage or third party fire and theft coverage rather than comprehensive cover.
  • Exclusions and higher excess: high-risk car insurance may include specific exclusions relating to certain types of incidents or damage and higher excess amounts to be paid if you have to make a claim.
  • Restricted policy benefits: there may be restricted policy benefits, such as limited coverage for personal belongings inside the vehicle or reduced coverage for rental car expenses in case of an accident.

How long will I be considered high-risk by my insurer?

This can vary depending on your circumstances, your driving history and where in Australia you live, but demerit points from traffic offences generally stay on your driving record for at least three years. As time passes without any additional accidents or offences, your risk level may decrease.

Insurance providers typically review your driving record over a specific period, such as three to five years, to assess your risk. If you maintain a clean driving record and demonstrate responsible driving behaviour, you may eventually transition to a lower risk category and qualify for more affordable insurance options.

Types of car insurance you can choose from

How to reduce your premiums as a high-risk driver

Frequently asked questions about high-risk car insurance

Can I switch to a regular insurance policy after having high-risk driver insurance?

Yes – it’s possible to switch to a regular insurance policy after initially being considered a high-risk driver. However, each insurer has their own criteria and assessment process, so your application will be evaluated based on their specific guidelines. Factors such as your driving history, claims record and current risk profile will be taken into account when determining eligibility for a regular insurance policy.

Can I add a high-risk driver to my existing insurance policy?

You may be able to add a high-risk driver to your existing insurance policy, but it’ll likely result in increased premiums. It's essential you inform your insurance provider about the addition of a high-risk driver to ensure proper coverage. Your insurer may require additional information about the driver's history and they’ll assess the associated risks and adjust the premiums accordingly. There is a chance that, if the driver is deemed too risky, the insurance provider will refuse to add them to the policy.

Can I get high-risk car insurance with a suspended licence?

Obtaining high-risk car insurance with a suspended licence may be possible. Insurance providers typically require a valid driver's licence to provide coverage. However, some insurers may have exclusionary clauses if your licence is suspended, which would mean your coverage would be voided.

If you already have car insurance and your licence is suspended, you must inform your insurer to let them know. Your insurer may be willing to reduce the level of coverage while you are unable to drive the vehicle; others may refuse to renew your policy.

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