1. No coverage, or reduced coverage, for some drivers
Generally a standard policy covers you, the listed members of your household and friends or relatives you let borrow the car
But if you've got a risky driver living with you -- a teenage boy with a speeding ticket, for instance -- a nonstandard policy
might require you to exclude him from coverage.
Some nonstandard policies also exclude coverage for permissive drivers -- people who use your car occasionally with your
permission. Or they might exclude coverage for permissive drivers under age 25 or 21.
In some states insurers can include step-down provisions in their policies. Under a step-down provision, the liability limits
are reduced to state required minimum levels when someone who's not named on the policy drives your car. So even if you
pay for higher-than-required liability coverage, you could have less protection when you let a friend borrow your car than
when you're driving.
2. More driving record checks
"Insurance companies typically only check the driving records of preferred drivers once a year, sometimes even every other
year," Gusner says.
But if you already have a checkered driving history, then the insurer might check your driving record every six months,
before each coverage term begins, so it can adjust the premium accordingly.
3. No special benefits
Don't count on getting some of the extra goodies advertised by major insurers on TV for their best customers.
"Usually a nonstandard policy will come without the perks of a standard policy -- no vanishing deductible or accident
forgiveness," Gusner says.
Even those perks aren't really free -- those customers' premiums are higher -- but they aren't usually an option for the
4. No coverage for punitive damages
5. Less coverage for repairs
Under collision or comprehensive coverage, a standard policy generally pays for the full cost of repairs unless the car is
declared a total loss. If the car is totaled, the policy pays the depreciated value of the car -- its market value immediately
before it was damag
But some nonstandard policies take depreciation into account even for repairs. Instead of paying the full amount to repair
hail damage on an older car, for instance, the policy would pay only a percentage of the cost, based on the vehicle's
If you cause an accident and are sued, some nonstandard policies exclude coverage for punitive or exemplary damages.
That means you'd be on the hook for paying those damages if a court sides with the other guy.
6. Lower mileage allowed
Some policies designed for specialty cars have very low mileage caps, such as 2,000 miles a year. Even if you don't use the
car for everyday driving, the allotment may not be enough if you travel to car shows. Think about how much you'll drive the
car, and make sure the policy includes enough mileage to cover it.
7. No coverage for pizza delivery
Some nonstandard policies exclude liability and physical damage coverage when the car is used for any type of business
purpose -- including delivering newspapers or pizzas.