Standard Car Insurance v. Non-Standard Car Insurance

Standard insurance is car insurance that you can purchase through the voluntary marketplace. This is the insurance most people think of when they think about buying car insurance. It’s simply insurance that you get by shopping around and finding the best deal. Some people are considered high-risk and cannot get standard insurance. They must then search for non-standard auto insurance.

If you have a DUI, several traffic violation or if you are a new driver you will need non-standard car insurance. Anyone who drives any type of high powered vehicle may also need to find non-standard insurance.

Essentially, the difference between standard and non-standard car insurance is that standard is  for car owners with a good driving record and are "preferred drivers" while non-standard insurance is for people with a less than average driving record, no driving experience or a  driver with a specialized vehicle.

Also, you don’t have to be a non-standard driver to get non-standard insurance. Sometimes these non-standard insurers offer lower prices for people who could otherwise get standard car insurance.  Often, large, well-known standard insurance providers own non-standard providers and can pass on low rates.

As with all insurance, rates can vary quite a bit both between and among standard and non-standard insurance providers.

The best way to get the cheapest rate is to use our free quote service.  It will allow you to search for the lowest priced car insurance in your area and help you find both standard or non-standard car insurance.

Can I insure a foreign car in the United States?

Its most likely that you will be able to find at least one company that will insure your foreign automobile.

Your vehicle will be subject to US emission standards, as well as bumper and other safety standards. If you are shipping your car into the US, be prepared for these issues when it passes through customs. If the car passes through customs successfully, then there shouldn’t be any reason you can’t find insurance for the car.

As a reminder, you should also check with your local DMV for anything out of the ordinary they may require as far as foreign vehicles.

Finally, check here for a free quote on your foreign vehicle.

When do car insurance companies check my record?

Car insurance companies may check your driving record any time they choose. Some companies check records at periodic intervals while others check records randomly. Here are some the most common times your record could be checked:

  • When you first apply for coverage
  • A customer initiated change to the policy
  • New/Removed/Changed vehicles on the policy
  • Policy renewal time
  • Every other renewal cycle

What is a Fleet Vehicle?

A fleet vehicle is essentially a vehicle that a company uses during operations of a company. Fleet vehicles are owned or leased by the company. Vehicles which are used in the normal operation of a company, but are owned by company employees are not fleet vehicles.

Some examples are vehicles operated by car rental companies, taxi companies, public utilities,  bus companies, and police departments and government cars.

The definition for fleet varies by state and by insurance companies. The number of vehicles owned by the business to be considered a fleet may vary. If your state does not have its own definition that governs insurers then each insurer in your may have different guidelines to determine how many cars are required to make a fleet.

How do points affect auto insurance rates?

Moving violations, parking tickets, at-fault accidents, or driving under the influence, are assigned a certain point value. When you are found guilty of one of these infractions, the appropriate number of points is added to your driving record. The more points you have, the worse your record. Each insurance company has its own method of evaluating applicants, so the points on your driving record may or may not have a direct impact on the rates you pay for auto insurance.

A point system is simply the assignment of "points" or values to each infraction. Then, the rating system of the insurance company evaluates the "points" instead of each infraction. For example, a company may use this type of system:

Infraction

Points 1stOccurrence

Points 2ndOccurrence

Points Each Additional Occurrence

At-fault Accident

2

3

2

Driving Under the Influence

1

2

3

No Charge Violation

0

0

0

Major Violation

4

4

4

Minor Violation

2

1

1

Not-at-fault Accident

0

0

0

Speeding

3

2

2


Because each insurance company has a different (complex) rating algorithm there is no set dollar amount or rating point comparison that can be given. If you want to find the specifics for your insurance company, their rates are filed with the state's department of insurance. You can request a copy of those rating factors and how they affect the companies' specific rates. It is very complex and not for the faint of heart.

Typically, you can expect the company rating algorithm to try to put an insurance point value on each infraction (regardless of the state driving record point system). Based upon that point value a different rating factor is use to either raise or lower the rate. Again, it is different for every company. Some companies rating algorithms are much more complex and some are simple.

One major violation can increase your rate by 26%. Then, most rating systems gradually lower the impact each year.