High Risk Car Insurance

High Risk Car Insurance

Cancellations for non-payment, at-fault accidents, and traffic tickets on your record can all add up to an expensive insurance policy. While other brokers shrug off high-risk drivers, Cheep Insurance believes in insurance with dignity for everyone. Our flock is here to help you get the best coverage and lowest price you are eligible for – even if the price is high right now, we have payment plans for all policies. Don’t get your wings clipped by past decisions – we’ll get you back on the road to success.

What is a high-risk driver?

Prices for car insurance are set by a variety of factors – everything from how many years you’ve been licensed, to insurance payment history, to claims record, and tickets. Having several of the above, or a combination, can put you in the high-risk category.

Being placed with a high-risk or “sub-standard” company usually means your yearly insurance price will be higher and may need to be paid up-front in advance. This may also mean you pay more out-of-pocket if you are in an accident, or have less options when it comes to coverage. The best thing to do is keep your record clean from here on out to get back to a “regular market” ASAP!

Cheep Insurance offers monthly payment plans for high-risk insurance policies, and we help you do everything we can to help you get back to “regular market” so you’ll have more coverage options and access to lower prices.


How long am I considered a high risk driver?

A tablet screen shows a record of past payments for insurance policies - a red

Payment Problems in the Past

Cancellations for non-payment of premiums on past insurance policies can land you in the high risk category for up to 6 years.

A martini glass with red liquid and a green olive is behind a red circle being crossed out. A pair of car keys is also shown. Indicating do not drink and drive,

DUIs or driving under the influence

Driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs is not only dangerous, but can land you in the high-risk category for 10 years or more.

A grey and black shield with a red

Driving with no Insurance

The only thing more expensive than an insurance policy is getting caught for driving with no insurance. No-insurance tickets can impact your insurance price & eligibility for 3+ years.

A yellow clipboard holds a piece of paper marked with green dollar signs along the top

Tickets & convictions

Put the cell phone down, drive the speed limit, and buckle up – if not, these violations can affect your insurance eligibility and price. “Minor” convictions such as speeding will stay on your record for 3+ years – while criminal tickets like cell phone tickets can affect you for 6-10+ years.

A red cartoon car and a yellow cartoon car are shown up against one another indicating they have crashed

At-Fault accidents

Unless you have accident protection coverage, each at-fault accident can impact your price for up to 6 years. More than one at-fault claim can place you in a high-risk market. Accidents where you are found not-at-fault are typically not held against you.

A grey certificate with green text and a yellow ribbon is shown

Financial Responsibility Certificate (FRC) Needed

Remember how we talked about driving with no insurance? Getting a no-insurance tickets will mean you need to purchase a policy with an FRC. There is only one company that will write policies with FRCs, and you’ll have to stay in that high-risk market for at least 2 years.

Getting out of a high-risk market

If you have several at-fault accidents, payment issues, or convictions; it can place you in a high-risk market and be hard to keep track of. Your best bet is to return to a “regular market” (standard insurance policy) as soon as possible. This means keeping a clean driving record.

So, how do you get back to better prices as quickly as possible?

  • Follow all the rules of the road – if you aren’t doing anything wrong, you can’t get caught. Follow posted speed limits and don’t drive distracted or impaired.
  • Take a defensive driving course – this can sometimes counteract the effect of tickets on your record. Even if it doesn’t, these courses can be a great refresher and help you stay safe on the road.
  • Pay your insurance on time – we know this can be difficult in a high-risk market with high prices – but if you continue to have cancellations for non-payment, you won’t be able to move to a regular market company until the most recent one is 3-5 years old. Cheep Insurance has great financing options to help you get back on track!

FAQs about High Risk Insurance

How do impaired driving laws in Nova Scotia work? What are the legal BAC (blood alcohol content) limits?

Driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol is illegal. Getting caught driving with blood alcohol content (BAC) over a certain limit will result in fines and a license suspension.

  • Newly licensed drivers are not permitted any alcohol at all in their system. If they are caught with a BAC over 0.00 they will lose their license and must start their graduated license (GDL) again from the beginning.
  • If you are caught with a BAC between 0.05 and 0.08, your license is immediately suspended for 24 hours and additional fines may apply.
  • If you are caught with a BAC over 0.08, your license is immediately suspended for 90 days and additional fines may apply.
  • Note: you can get a DUI even if your BAC is below 0.08. Alcohol affects people differently, and you can still be considered impaired while under the legal limit.

Drivers and passengers are also not allowed to consume drugs or alcohol in a vehicle, whether or not it is moving. If you are carrying any alcohol in your car, it must be in a closed, sealed package and out of reach from anyone in the vehicle. Your best bet is to keep all alcohol in the trunk of your vehicle.

Remember that alcohol is not the only substance considered when driving under the influence – illegal substances, marijuana, and even some prescription medications can impair your ability to drive and result in a DUI.

What are the fines for drinking and driving in Nova Scotia?

There are some hefty fines and penalties in place if you are convicted of drinking and driving. Here is the breakdown.

First offence:

  • Fine of $600-$2000
  • License suspension for 1 year
  • Completion of an addiction/dependency program at your own cost ($455)
  • License reinstatement fee at your own cost ($124.60)

Second offence:

  • Fine of $600-$2000
  • Possible prison term of at least 14 days
  • License suspension for 3 years
  • Completion of an addiction/dependency program at your own cost ($455)
  • License reinstatement fee at your own cost ($124.60)
  • Requirement to re-take driver’s tests

Third offence:

  • Fine of $600-$2000
  • Prison term of at least 90 daysIndefinite license suspension (minimum 10 years)
  • Completion of an addiction/dependency program at your own cost ($455)
  • License reinstatement fee at your own cost ($124.60)
  • Requirement to re-take driver’s tests

Fourth offence:

  • Permanent license suspension in addition to penalties listed above

CHEEP TIP: If you refuse a breathalyzer without a reasonable excuse, the courts will find you guilty. Can you think of a good excuse to refuse a breath sample? We can’t either, so you’re always better off taking the test.

How long does an accident stay on my record?

How a car accident affects your insurance record depends on a few different details.

  • At-Fault Accidents – At-fault accidents do affect your insurance and will likely increase your insurance premium on your next renewal. You can be found partially or fully at fault for vehicle collisions, and they stay on your record for approximately 6 years from the “date of loss” reported. These claims may also affect your ability to change insurance carriers.
  • Not At-Fault Accidents – If you are in a vehicle collision and it is determined that another person is at fault, the accident will not be held as a mark against you on your insurance, will not increase your premium, and will not prevent you from getting insurance with another company.
  • Comprehensive Claims – Comprehensive claims include fire, vandalism, theft, collision with wildlife, and if you break your windshield. Because these incidents are often beyond your control, they do not affect your insurance record and are not marked against you. Claims resulting from these perils will not increase your insurance premium or ability to change companies – however, if you have frequent glass claims, your insurance company may opt to discontinue your glass coverage.
What kind of Insurance Claims affect my Driving Record?

Insurance claims can affect your driving record in different ways depending on the nature of the claim. For the most part, the kinds of claims that affect your record are:

At-Fault Accidents: If you are involved in an accident and deemed at fault by the insurance company, it will be recorded on your driving record. At-fault accidents can have an impact on your insurance rates, likely causing them to increase. This includes single vehicle collisions – such as hitting a power pole, or skidding off the road.

What about Comprehensive Claims?

Claims related to incidents such as theft, fire, vandalism, or weather damage, may not directly impact your driving record. However, these claims could still affect your insurance premiums depending on the circumstances and your overall claims history. For example, if you have several claims for glass (needed a window or windshield replaced) the Insurance Company may remove coverage for glass on your policy. Comprehensive Claims also include impact with wildlife.

Remember, each insurance company has its own rules. It’s a good idea to talk to your Insurance Broker to understand how claims can affect you. Contact our flock at 1-866-92-CHEEP (24336) or email us at if you have questions about your claims history.

What is an FRC?

A “Financial Responsibility Certificate”, or FRC, lets the DMV (Department of Motor Vehicles) know that you have an active insurance policy in place so they can reinstate your license and you can get back to driving. It serves as proof that you have enough funds to cover any damages or liabilities that may arise from an accident. Because it is meant to show financial responsibility, you will want to make sure you are paying your insurance premiums and other bills on time, otherwise you may run into other issues such as a cancellation for non-payment.

FRCs are required if you are charged with driving without insurance. Once you are convicted of driving without insurance, your license will be suspended. When your license is suspended, you need an FRC to get back on the road. Get in touch with our team by phone at 1-866-92-CHEEP or by email at and we’ll take care of everything for you.

For more information on FRCs – see our blog post “I got a no insurance ticket and now I need an FRC – help!”