Prudence Creates Big High Risk Category
Posted March 21, 1999 6:00 a.m. EST
RALEIGH — If numbers alone told the story, North Carolina would seem to have slews of poor drivers. That's because each state's percentage of drivers classified as "high risk" is at or above 25 percent, while the national average is 3 percent.
Driver Sean Rich has a problem obeying the speed limit. As a result, he is paying $1,200 a year for his insurance.
"I have three speeding tickets. I'm paying out of the cazoo," said Rich.
Rich is not alone. A quarter of all North Carolina drivers are considered high-risk by the insurance industry.
But drivers should not feel guilty.
"There are people purchasing insurance who may not want to buy insurance, and this is forcing companies to write policies that they may not have voluntarily wanted to insure," said John Watkins, general manager of the North Carolina Rate Bureau.
The insurance category is large because North Carolina requires that owners provide proof of insurance before registration is issued for the vehicle.
In other places, drivers have to show proof of insurance only after they have an accident.
And people can also land in the high risk category without having a record of accidents. Inexperienced drivers, and people who have bad credit records, can also wind up in the high risk category.