Standard Vs Non-Standard Auto Insurance: What’s the Difference?

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Claire Smith 05-05-2021

The Difference Between Standard and Non-Standard Auto Insurance Explained

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Finding car insurance can be confusing. Not only do you have to know the difference between standard vs non-standard auto insurance, but there are so many options out there to choose from, it’s easy to get overwhelmed.

Not anymore though. We’re going to help demystify car insurance so you know exactly what to look for.

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What’s Standard Auto Insurance?

Standard auto insurance is designed for low risk drivers that insurance companies can afford to give low rates to. Every top insurance company will have standard auto insurance and the coverage won’t vary too widely between providers.

Every insurance provider calculates the risk of every driver before extending them insurance, and many drivers fall into a low-risk grouping. This means that a variety of factories including driving history mean that you’re likely to not cost insurance companies more than you pay in premiums. Calculating this risk helps insurance companies avoid going under from too many insurance claims.

Many factors go into determining your risk level, including:

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Make, model, and vehicle
  • Credit
  • Driving record
  • Driving habits

Having this information handy when you’re looking for insurance will help you qualify for standard auto insurance, which is your best bet to get low insurance rates with the coverage you need.

What’s Non-Standard Auto Insurance?

Non-standard auto insurance is where insurance providers have more flexibility. They can charge higher premiums but also insure those who wouldn’t qualify for standard auto insurance.

Non-standard auto insurance is generally for high risk drivers. Insurance providers know that these types of drivers are more likely to file a claim (or many) so they need to charge higher premiums to make it worth their while.

You may need non-standard auto insurance if:

  • You have several traffic violations on your driving record
  • You’re a young driver (typically under 25)
  • You drive a flashy or rare car
  • You’ve had a lapse of insurance coverage
  • You have poor credit
  • Have made many insurance claims in the past
  • You have a foreign driver’s license

Other than the cost, the coverage ends up being the same as standard auto insurance in most cases, although it varies from provider to provider because there’s less uniformity for non-standard auto insurance.

Standard vs Non-Standard Auto Insurance

So, what is the difference between standard and non-standard insurance? It boils down mainly to cost.

Drivers with good records can get standard auto insurance and the low rates that come with it. Those who can’t qualify for standard auto insurance will have to pay higher rates, but at least they can still be insured.

The good news is that just because you don’t currently qualify for standard auto insurance doesn’t mean you never will. It’s entirely possible to move from a non-standard auto insurance policy to a standard one by improving your risk level to insurance companies. This can mean improving your credit, driving a more conservative car, avoiding any driving infractions, and more.

Claire SmithClaire is a creative entrepreneur with a variety of marketing and content creation skills, including blog and web copy writing, research, and strategy. She has a Masters in Cultural Studies from Queen's University and is known for thinking laterally about marketing, based on her deep knowledge of people and behavior.