What is ‘hard to place risk’ when it comes to car insurance? It’s a relatively common question as more people are hearing it as a term used to describe difficult-to-insure drivers.

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To explain briefly, when asked to pull together a quote for a policy, every insurer will assess the risks involved with insuring that person. They take all aspects of their circumstances into consideration.

If there is a higher risk of liability, this is considered ‘hard to place risk’ and can also be spoken of as non-standard risk.

This can be applied to:

  • Car and Van Proposers Returning from Abroad – if there is a gap in driving experience in Ireland, it makes it more difficult to insurers to get a clear picture of driving history
  • Private Cars in a Company Name – the named owner of a vehicle should also be the insured party, and usage of company vehicles is difficult to establish in the long run
  • Private occupation, but commercial vehicle – again, it’s hard to insurers to be sure of the usage of vehicles that are commercial but registered privately
  • Proposers with an Open Claim – an open claim is a red flag for insurers because it means that a case hasn’t been settled and they are insuring something they don’t know the outcome of
  • Proposers with a high frequency of claims or a large claim – this is of course an issue for insurers because it increases the likelihood of someone making a future claim
  • Proposers who own a Limited Mileage Second Car or Insuring a second vehicle without a no claim bonus – questions arise over the usage of a second vehicle. A no claims bonus can only be used on one vehicle, so a second vehicle without one raises risk of claim
  • Convictions – any unspent driving, or non-driving related convictions present an increased risk. This has to be taken into account when providing a new insurance policy, or renewing an existing one
  • Previously had a policy cancelled – there is always a reason for cancelling a policy, so this should be discussed with insurers

You could also be placed in a high category of risk due to your vehicle being undesirable to insurers. The following reasons could be given for a non-standard risk policy:

  • A high power, or high performance car – the make and model, engine size, top speed and number of cylinders will dictate the policy premium
  • Imported cars – they can cost more to repair, and are often higher power or spec to suit regulations in other countries. This causes more uncertainty for insurers
  • Older cars – this isn’t necessarily about roadworthiness because cars will pass an NCT to be deemed safe to drive. But there is still a higher risk as a car gets older
  • Vehicles declared off the road – any vehicle that has previously been declared off the road comes with a reason! This is hard to measure for insurers and therefore carrier more risk

Of course, if you are classed as a ‘hard to place risk’ case, you will want to know how you can lower your risk and therefore your car insurance premiums.

It might sound obvious, but taking more care and consideration when you’re driving will help to reduce your chances of making a claim.

Having points on your license is also a red flag for insurers so always be aware of your speed and drive safely, following all the rules of the road. You will always have to declare any penalty points to your insurance company for as long as they last.

As above, the vehicle you drive makes a big difference to your premiums, so driving a standard powered car that hasn’t been modified will help.

Car insurance is all about risk – your premium and policy will always be dependent on the chances of claiming, and therefore the risk in you, as a driver, and your car.

If you fall under the high-risk category and you’re having trouble finding a car insurance company to provide you with a quote, talk to us today. There are plenty of options available and we’ll do our best to get you the most reasonable quote for your circumstances.

When it comes to car insurance, Britton Insurance takes each client individually because we know not one size fits all. We will always compare quotes to get you the most competitive price and also one that best suits your requirements.