Finding the best insurance company for high risk drivers hinges on three things:
- Licensed drivers in your household
- The reputation of the high-risk insurance company
- The reputation of the high-risk insurance brokerage
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Licensed Drivers in your Household
When it comes to choosing the best insurance company for high risk drivers, price isn’t the only factor to consider. Although high risk auto insurance in Ontario can be very costly, even to the point where car insurance becomes unaffordable, there are other things than the price that need consideration before committing to one company.
Auto insurance companies need to know if other licensed drivers living in your household, who might have access and use the vehicle you’re trying to insure. They need to know this information so they can price the high risk auto policy accordingly and also add special restrictions or limitations if needed.
If a licensed driver in your household proves they have their own insurance, this would usually satisfy the insurance company. However, if the risk profile of any “other” driver in the household doesn’t meet the eligibility criteria of the auto insurance company who’s underwriting the risk, then further steps are taken by the company. That is to say, the auto insurance company will require that the “other” driver/drivers be eligible (meet underwriting guidelines and rules) even though “other” drivers might have their own separate auto insurance. In this case, the “other” driver is usually excluded from the auto policy being underwritten.
Having to exclude a member of your household from driving your vehicles can be a deal-breaker from some people. The thought that insurance coverage would be denied should an excluded driver use a vehicle, for emergency purposes or not, can make people feel insecure or uncomfortable. So what can someone do if they find themselves in this position?
If you don’t want to exclude a licensed driver who lives in your household, you can always choose an auto insurance company that will allow licensed drivers, who have their own auto insurance, and don’t meet eligibility requirements of the underwriting insurance company, not to be excluded from the policy. This can only be possible if the company that is underwriting your policy is affiliated with the auto insurance company of the “other” driver. For example, if you have a standard auto policy through Intact, and need to insure your son or daughter with Jevco (high-risk insurer), Intact won’t request that your child be excluded since Intact is the parent company of Jevco. The same can be said about other high-risk insurers and their parent companies. If you don’t want to exclude a member of the household from driving your vehicles, then the best high risk insurance company may be one where an exclusion isn’t required!
Reputation of the High Risk Insurance Company
There are only a handful of high risk auto insurers in Ontario, so it’s not too difficult to figure out which high risk insurance company is best for you.
When assessing the reputation of an insurance company the feedback normally stems from how well they handle claims. This is no surprise as the insurance product itself is intangible, and the only way to get a meaningful opinion is to exercise a claim and judge how well the company administers it.
Some positive things to look for in a car insurance company are claim guarantees, operating hours, cost, and overall customer service.
Reputation of the High Risk Insurance Brokerage
Although a high-risk insurance brokerage is completely separate from a high risk insurance company, it is worth mentioning as you need to use a licensed broker to purchase high risk auto insurance.
The same method for assessing the quality of the high risk insurance company can also be used for high risk insurance brokerages. However, keep in mind that insurance brokers don’t typically handle claims. There are exceptions to this, usually seen in standard auto insurance, but for high risk auto, all claims are administered and dealt with by the insurance company.
Although insurance brokers don’t administer auto claims, they certainly should help you through the process. Look for an insurance broker that stands behind their customers and not afraid to challenge the insurance company on your behalf. That’s what you pay them to do!
The style or business philosophy is another important thing to consider when choosing the best high risk auto insurance brokerage. Insurance brokerages come in all sizes and specialties. There are niche or specialty brokers and also general insurance brokerages that handle any type of clientele. However, when it comes to high risk auto insurance you want a brokerage that specializes in non-standard automobile insurance. Insurance brokerages that specialize in high risk auto insurance typically have access to ALL high risk insurance companies. This means that you won’t miss out on a quote from an insurance company that the broker may not deal with!
Choosing the best high risk auto insurance company can be a subjective exercise. Although you may have different requirements and expectations, certain aspects can never be ignored. Customer service, market access, competent claims handling and choosing an insurance broker that understands and specializes in the high risk auto insurance market, all are important factors that will help you on your search for the best insurance company for high risk drivers!