What Does It Mean If A Driver Is Labeled As Assigned Risk?
Automobile insurance companies, like other insurance firms, charge car insurance premiums to individuals based upon their risk profile. Depending on the state you live in, the risk may be based on your points or on the number of violations and accidents you have on your driving record, and on your driving profile (e.g., young driver). It is the financial goal of the insurance company to charge more in premiums than to pay out in claims, and sometimes there are drivers whose records or driving profiles are such that insuring them is likely to cause a loss for the insurance company. These individuals, called assigned risks, are typically rejected or dropped by most insurance companies, causing an issue as in the majority of cases they are required to carry insurance (either by law and/or by the requirements of their automobile loan provider).
Some states, such as New York and California, have assigned risk programs where the state insurance board distributes assigned risk drivers to each insurance company licensed to do business in the state. Typically, these policies are assigned based on a percentage of business conducted in the state. The insurance companies are required to insure these assigned risk drivers, often at much higher car insurance rates. While these car insurance premiums are higher, in many states, the premiums require approval of the state's insurance regulatory board.
To be considered an assigned risk and be assigned risk automobile insurance, you'll need to apply for regular insurance and be rejected, usually by at least three separate insurance companies. Then, you can send your information to the state insurance regulatory board requesting to be assigned to an insurance company. Insurance companies are required to provide assigned risk drivers with insurance for at least three years, and have the option to renew your policy or choose to drop you as a customer.
Being classified as an assigned risk does give you insurance coverage, but it also means that you'll pay higher car insurance rates, and often be required to only carry the minimum insurance required. While the state does often regulate insurance premiums in the assigned risk program, the rates will still be much higher than you'd pay with standard insurance. Assigned risk premiums don't vary by insurance company, but will vary by how much of a risk you are. It's in your best interest to pay your car insurance premiums on time and to maintain a clean driving record. After about three years of having a record of on time payments and no traffic violations, you can be considered for regular insurance, at a much lower price.