Insurance companies look for customers who are safe drivers and have a low risk of filing claims, avoiding applicants from groups that are riskier. These groups might include young or inexperienced drivers, those with high performance cars, or areas with a high risk of theft or vandalism.If you can’t find insurance, states have set up Assigned Risk Pools where all insurance companies accept policies assigned to it based on the proportion of business that it does in the state. The cost is much higher in the pool than if you purchase the policy directly, but all applicants are accepted regardless of risk.

There are also companies that specialize in higher risk and non-standard policies. Pricing is higher than standard policies, but generally lower than the pool.  Some advertise on TV.  Google “high risk non-standard auto insurance” with your state name for leads to other companies in your area. Prices vary greatly so shop around.

Each state is different but most states have a process for joining the assigned risk pool.  Often qualification is based on points or by being turned down by 3 insurance companies.  In most cases it’s best to look for a non-standard policy before applying to the assigned risk pool as the rates will be lower (although they may still be high).

Once you’re in the pool, look to get out as soon as possible.  Check at renewal time.  If your driving record has improved, or maybe your credit score is better, there’s a good chance of finding lower cost plans.

Risk ratings and assignment to the pool are based on different factors in each state.  Some, like age, sex, and neighborhood ratings can’t be changed.  Others like your driving record, credit score, distance of your commute, and accidents can change over time.  Driving record is the top factor.  Having a lot of accidents, tickets or a DUI are tough to overcome.