It is important to know some guides in buying a car to have no regret at the end. Drivers in Hawaii, and nearly every other state except New Hampshire, are held to certain car insurance standards. Every one pays a different amount for their car insurance because policies are so personalized. However, they are all around the national average of $1,633 annually or lower. The average car insurance cost for Hawaiians is around $1,060 a year. This can be due to the fact that there aren’t many metropolitans areas on the island. But like with other states, an accident, violation, and insurance claim can increase your car insurance rates in Hawaii to increase. With each one, your car insurance provider assigns risk to you as a driver. High-risk drivers are often the most expensive to insure, with some insurers hesitating to do it in the first place. While the cost is higher, it is still possible for high-risk drivers in Hawaii to find car insurance.
In Hawaii and in general, high-risk drivers are those with a spotty driving record with accidents and traffic violations. We’ll go over these specific violations and accidents in the next section as each has its own insurance rate increases. At the same time, the car insurance provider also has its own thresholds set for risk and premium increases. The system functions consistently, with mark-ups affecting car insurance the same way.
Car insurance companies everywhere will tell you that the path to low insurance premiums is paved with safe driving habits. A safe driver looks like someone who has little to no insurance claims, no traffic violations or tickets and has years of driving under their belt. Young drivers pay high premiums for car insurance at first, but if they maintain safe driving habits as they get older –they will be subject to lower, more regular premiums. Car insurance rates increase in Hawaii due to the following:
- Speeding ticket – The most basic type of traffic violation that will affect car insurance rates in Hawaii is speeding tickets. While one may not increase your insurance rates a whole lot, regular and consistent ones can do some more damage along with a possible license suspension if it persists. Note that nonmoving violation tickets like parking ones don’t typically affect insurance.
- Accident resulting in a claim – When you file a claim with your insurance provider, then you are also verifying that you have been in an accident. This will increase your insurance rates more so than a speeding ticket would. Your car insurance provider will equate this with risky driving. The goal of car insurance is to actually not use it a lot, so you want to go with as few claims as you can.
- DUI conviction – There is no more severe traffic violation than a DUI when it comes to penalties. A driver convicted of such can lose their license for a period of time at the very least. Car insurance companies will increase their rates for drivers convicted of such by an incredible amount because there is nothing riskier than getting behind the wheel of a car while intoxicated.
With the riskiest driving behavior and violations in mind, let’s look at exactly how much they can affect your car insurance rates as a high-risk driver:
- Speeding ticket – After your first speeding ticket, you can expect your car insurance rates to increase by 1% to 22%, depending on your car insurance provider.
- Accident – After an accident which you are at fault for and must use your insurance to cover the damages, your car insurance rates can increase anywhere from 15% to 31%, depending on your car insurance provider.
- DUI – After your first DUI, your car insurance can severely increase your car insurance rates anywhere from 60% to 176%, depending on your car insurance provider. Some drivers report an increase of over 200%.
The law won’t usually punish you for getting a speeding ticket or an accident. The worst penalty for these is that you have to pay more money than you would want to. A DUI results in more severe consequences, including a license suspension, high fines, jail time for repeat offenders, and a requirement that you carry SR-22 insurance as a high-risk driver to avoid auto policy cancelation. SR-22 insurance isn’t exclusive to the state of Hawaii. When a driver is deemed too high-risk for standard insurance, they are required to get SR-22 insurance.
SR-22 insurance functions the same way in Hawaii as it would in any other state. It’s not actually a car insurance policy but a certificate saying that you carry one as a high-risk driver. Your car insurance provider will file it with Hawaii’s DMV as you purchase it and your coverage from them after a DUI. Because it’s so often used with DUIs, SR-22s also go by drunk driving car insurance. SR-22s are renewed on an annual basis and are required for a period of time. With an SR-22, your car insurance rates may be higher than average.
The power to not be a high-risk driver is entirely in your hands. You can personally influence how much you pay for car insurance in Hawaii and pretty much any other state. If you feel like you are paying too much for car insurance, you can do the following:
- Shop around for high-risk car insurance – Some car insurance companies specialize in high-risk car insurance and compete to offer you the best value. You can pull as many quotes from as many insurers as you need to find the best provider.
- Ask for discounts – While you may not qualify for many discounts as a high-risk driver, it never hurts to ask the agent about what discounts you qualify for, ones you can soon qualify for down the road.
- Set deductibles higher – Your car insurance deductibles have a direct effect on your premiums -the higher the deductibles are, then the lower your premiums will be and vice versa. You can customize your deductibles to achieve this; just make sure you are still able to pay it if you need to file a claim.