Attorney Rahul Balaram Discusses Car Insurance Coverage with Criminal Convictions
This article is sponsored by Balaram Law Office.
Having a car is more than a luxury today; it’s a necessity. Unfortunately, it can be difficult for some to acquire car insurance because of a criminal conviction that’s driving-related. In this article, Rahul Balaram, of Balaram Law Office, discusses insurance coverage with criminal convictions.
Only driving-related crimes affect your insurance rates, such as a DUI, vehicular manslaughter, reckless driving charge, and driving with a suspended or no license. Non-driving-related convictions do not have to be disclosed.
If a person does manage to get car insurance with a conviction, it often requires having to jump through hoops and comes with a hefty premium that they cannot afford.
However, there are still a few specialist companies willing to cover a driver with criminal convictions on their record. They not only work to get a person approved for car insurance coverage but also towards affordable coverage.
If you’re struggling to find car insurance, here are a few things to keep in mind:
Why it’s harder
The truth is, getting car insurance with a criminal record is difficult. Why? Because most insurance companies see people with records as “high risk,” because they’re more likely to be reckless and dangerous, which means they are more likely to have to cover.
Insurance companies base risk off of five main aspects: age, gender, location, credit history, and criminal history. They base risk factors off of statistics, similar to how teenagers, who are new to driving, are more likely to get into an accident.
What to do and not to do when applying to insurance companies
Even though the spot on your record may turn companies away, and you may be tempted to fib a little on your application, resist the urge to do so.
Most insurance companies do a background check to make sure that everything on an application is accurate, so purposefully not disclosing a criminal background may prompt them to turn you away for good.
Instead, be honest and open with insurance agents. Though they might turn you down, they’ll appreciate your honesty, which may result in a change of heart later.
Why it’s more expensive
Companies that are willing to cover you will likely offer it at a more expensive rate, and if you currently have insurance, your company will probably raise your monthly premium. That’s because you are considered high risk, just like why it’s harder to get insurance in the first place.
While it may seem unfair, it’s only because they figure you’re a high-risk driver and more likely have an accident, which they’ll have to pay for. Because they’re anticipating that you’ll have an accident, they try and make up for the costs with your premium.
Ways to get discounts
Generally, the best way to do it is to shop around; conviction or no conviction. See what your options are, and avoid an “Assigned Risk Car Insurance” policy, unless you have absolutely no other options.
Also, improving your credit score can significantly lower your yearly car insurance rates. For example, someone with poor credit (<579) might have to pay more than $2500 a year in premiums, while someone with very good credit (750-800) will pay around $1500 for theirs.
About Rahul Balaram
Rahul Balaram worked as a Public Defender for Solano County for many years and has represented hundreds of clients. Most recently, he worked on the misdemeanor conflict panel representing indigent clients. Rahul can be contacted at the Balaram Law Office in Santa Rosa and is available for consultation by phone and text 24/7. He represents his clients with dignity, compassion, and competence.