If you want to protect yourself and your belongings, you need to invest in high-quality insurance. Ideally, you can qualify for competitive rates among different carriers, meaning you get the best protection at a relatively low rate.
What We'll Cover
- What is Non-Standard Insurance?
- List of Non-Standard Insurance Companies
- Non-Standard Home Insurance Companies
- Non-Standard Auto Insurance Companies
- Standard vs Non-Standard Insurance
- What is a Non-Standard Risk in Insurance?
- How Do I Get Non-Standard Insurance?
- Pros and Cons of Non-Standard Insurance
- The Bottom Line
But what if you're at a higher risk? Most standard insurance companies won't want to cover you because they feel you're too much of a liability. Fortunately, non-standard insurance can help fill in the gaps, although you'll have to pay more for the same coverage.
If you feel like you need non-standard insurance or you just want more information about how it works, here's everything you need to know.
What is Non-Standard Insurance?
Non-standard insurance is coverage for individuals who are viewed as high-risk. This type of insurance is most common with auto insurance, as some drivers can have multiple infractions or accidents on their record. However, individuals can also get non-standard homeowners and health insurance if they know where to look.
Because these policies are designed for high-risk policyholders, they often have less coverage and higher rates. However, policyholders can often find ways to minimize their risk so that they qualify for standard insurance later on. For example, if you have multiple collisions on your driving record, most companies won't consider them after five years (sometimes less). So, if you reapply for standard insurance after that period, you may qualify.
List of Non-Standard Insurance Companies
If you're looking for a non-standard insurance plan, you may not know where to look. Here is a list of the top insurance providers for car, home, and health insurance if you need it.
Non-Standard Home Insurance Companies
Most single-family homes qualify for standard insurance policies, but there are several situations where you may have to seek non-standard options, such as:
- Older Home - Homes that are more than 50 years old can be at much higher risk because they weren't built according to modern codes. Usually, electrical systems can be dangerous, and there might be unseen issues like foundation damage or extensive mold growth.
- Flood Risk - The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) offers flood insurance to all properties. But, in areas where flooding is common, standard insurance providers won't cover these homes.
- Natural Disasters - If you live in Florida, you'll likely need to secure coverage with Citizens Insurance, which is the "insurer of last resort." Other states like California offer state-sponsored plans because natural disasters are far more common in these areas.
- Wood Structures (i.e., Cabins) - Modern building codes use fire-resistant materials to protect the structure if a fire breaks out. However, wooden buildings like cabins are far higher risk, so many insurers don't cover them.
- Vacant and Vacation Homes - If you own property that sits empty for 30 days or more, you can't qualify for standard homeowners insurance. Instead, you need to get a non-standard policy that covers basic damage like fire and vandalism.
Here are some top non-standard home insurance providers:
- California FAIR Plan (only available to CA residents)
- Citizens Insurance (only available to FL residents)
- Marindependent (only available in CA)
- Melendez Insurance
- PURE Programs
- Prime Insurance Company
Non-Standard Auto Insurance Companies
Non-standard auto insurance is far more common because it's relatively easy for drivers to have non-standard risks (more on that later). Some reasons why you may need this type of coverage include:
- Multiple Violations - These can include speeding tickets, moving violations (i.e., red light camera), or other citations. Too many of these and you're considered a high-risk driver.
- Coverage Lapse - Unless you didn't have a car when your policy ended, insurers don't like to see a gap in your coverage. Because every state requires car insurance, even a small lapse can be a cause for alarm.
- Multiple Collisions - The more accidents you have, the higher your risk level. You may even get dropped by your current carrier if you were at fault.
DUIs - Keeping your license after a DUI is tough, and you have to jump through a lot of hoops to maintain your insurance, too. You'll likely have to switch to a non-standard policy until your record is clean again.
You may be interested in reading: Cheapest DUI Car Insurance Providers by State: Find Your Area’s Best Rate
Fortunately, some of the biggest auto insurance providers also specialize in non-standard policies. Here are the top companies to look for when you're in one of these situations:
Top Non-standard Auto Insurance Companies
- Acceptance Auto Insurance
- Direct Auto Insurance
- Founders Insurance
- The General
- Safe Auto
- Titan Insurance
Standard vs Non-Standard Insurance
Standard insurance coverage is available when you're a relatively low-risk individual or you have low-risk properties. That said, standard insurance can often cover a wide range of situations, so don't assume you can't qualify because your record isn't spotless.
As a rule, you should always try to get standard coverage before moving to a non-standard policy. Here are a few reasons why:
- Higher Costs - Non-standard insurance is often several times higher than standard coverage. Because you or your property is riskier, insurance underwriters want you to pay more into the policy. In some cases, there may be a waiting period before you can file a claim.
- Lower Coverage Amounts - With standard insurance, you can often protect your belongings up to their full replacement value. With non-standard policies, you may only receive a set amount, regardless of the repair or replacement cost. There may also be more restrictions about when you can file a claim. For example, a non-standard home insurance policy might not cover theft or wildfires.
- Higher Deductible - The deductible is the amount you pay before your insurance kicks in. Non-standard insurance providers often require a high deductible to approve your policy. So, instead of paying $500 or $1,000 out of pocket, you may need to pay $5,000 or more.
- Fewer Policy Options - With standard insurance, you can often pick and choose which elements you need, and you may be able to customize your coverage amounts. For example, with homeowners insurance, you can often upgrade your personal property protection to pay the replacement cost value (RCV) instead of the actual cost value (ACV). Most non-standard insurance providers have a limited selection, so you have to take what you can get.
What is a Non-Standard Risk in Insurance?
The official definition of a non-standard risk is when the policyholder doesn't satisfy the preferred or standard risk profile of the insurance provider. Basically, if your risk level is outside of the standard range, it's considered a non-standard risk.
One thing to keep in mind is that risk profiles can change based on different factors, such as:
- Age - Older individuals are often lower risk (except with health insurance) because they're more experienced and knowledgeable.
- Driving History - If you have a relatively clean record, you can qualify for standard car insurance.
- Zip Code - Some areas are more prone to disaster and flooding than others. Also, underwriters will look at crime rates and other statistics based on your location.
- Insurance Provider - Each company sets its own profiles and assesses risk based on its own credentials. So, shopping around between providers can help you find the right coverage for your needs.
Overall, just because one company considers you or your property "high risk" doesn't mean every provider will. As we mentioned, it's best to attempt to get standard coverage first because you can save money and get better protection than you could with a non-standard policy.
How Do I Get Non-Standard Insurance?
We've provided you with some companies that offer non-standard insurance for different situations. However, there may be alternative options within your state. Also, some non-standard property insurance companies focus on a specific type of coverage, so you may need to supplement your standard policy.
For example, in Texas, homes on the Gulf Coast are often denied wind and hail claims because of hurricane damage. However, the Texas Windstorm Insurance Association (TWIA) provides coverage as an "insurer of last resort." Another example would be earthquake insurance in California.
Again, be sure to shop around between different providers. Never assume that the first quote you get is the best one. It may take more time and effort upfront, but you could save a lot of money in the long-term.
Pros and Cons of Non-Standard Insurance
Before signing up for a policy, it helps to know both the benefits and disadvantages of non-standard insurance.
- Pro: Easier to Get Approved - If you're a high-risk individual, you'll likely get denied coverage from all the major insurance providers. However, non-standard insurance companies specialize in saying yes to people like you. Some protection is better than nothing, especially when disaster strikes.
- Con: More Expensive - Overall, you'll need to pay higher premiums and deductibles with a non-standard insurance plan. If you have a tight budget, you may need to assess your needs accordingly.
- Pro: Avoid Lapses in Coverage - As we mentioned, insurance lapses can be problematic and make you an even higher risk. Getting non-standard insurance now could help you get better coverage later on.
The Bottom Line
As you can see, non-standard insurance can provide peace of mind and enable you to protect your belongings. As long as you take the time to shop around and you know what to expect, you can get suitable coverage for everything that's important to you.
The responses below are not provided, commissioned, reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any financial entity or advertiser. It is not the advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.