The 'secret' auto insurance you didn't know existed

Published 8:00 pm Tuesday, April 23, 2024

The ‘secret’ auto insurance you didn’t know existed

Auto insurance. It’s a topic we’re all familiar with, at least in terms of knowing it’s something we must have to operate a vehicle. Auto insurance protects you as well as others when driving. But in some cases, depending on your personal history, you may not qualify to be insured by a company. 

Most people are unaware that there is an alternative solution, so looked into a lesser-known insurance option for higher-risk drivers. Every state offers a program called the “assigned risk pool” for drivers who cannot obtain insurance coverage through voluntary markets. Car insurance companies are required to take part in these assigned state pools and accept any drivers assigned to them. Drivers who are part of the assigned risk pool will get coverage no matter what’s on their driving history, even if they have multiple speeding tickets or DUI convictions. 

The reason you’ve never heard of it? It’s a government program and is not heavily marketed like public carriers. Note that coverage options vary among state pools and could be more limited. Insurance premiums and rates may be higher than on the voluntary market as well.

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While the assigned risk pool is an option for ‘high-risk’ drivers, it also gives the consumer time to rehabilitate their criteria over time so that, eventually, they can return to the voluntary market at an affordable rate. 

Typically, it takes around a year to qualify for regular insurance options (most carriers consider a three-year history of violations and accidents.) While state-sponsored insurance is cheaper than a regular policy, there is a reason for this: The most affordable rates in the plan are for the state’s minimum coverage amounts.  

The most common reasons for needing this assigned insurance include drivers who have had multiple accidents, DUIs, or moving violations.  

Unlike many government-assisted programs, getting this type of insurance can take as little as 48 hours. But every state is different.  

The assigned risk pool in your state is not meant to be a ‘cure-all’ for your insurance needs. It could be used as an opportunity to rehabilitate your qualifications and eligibility. An end goal is to return to the public offerings in the open market at an affordable rate. The assigned risk plan is your vehicle for more insurance stability. 

Visit your state’s Department of Insurance website to learn more about the assigned risk plan. You may be able to obtain a quote directly from the state or find a list of local agents who can assess if it’s the best option for you and offer the plan in your area.