"You can get insurance, but you are going to have to pay through the nose," warns Kevin Foley, a New Jersey-based independent insurance agent.

Adler says the nonstandard auto insurance market is not a place that you want to be. "Most people are not going to have to go to the nonstandard market, but those who do are going to pay a high price. They are in a bad pool. This is not a good situation."

Only time and consistent good driving can improve your status, but you should switch to a standard policy as soon as possible, says Bach. "You are going to have to be proactive and continue to shop around every time your policy comes up for renewal" until you find a better deal, she says.

Prepare to exercise patience. Even if you maintain a spotless record, you normally will be on the nonstandard market for three years, says Moraga. "There is no shortcut."

5. Teen

"Teen" may be the scariest car insurance word of all. Your chip off the old block is going to put a big dent in your bank account as soon as he or she gets a driver's license and goes on your auto policy.

Your child doesn't have to be a bad driver to cost you big bucks. Teens in general are an enormous risk for insurers. They lack experience, drive too fast, and frequently exercise bad judgment. In 2010 the fatal crash rate for teen drivers in the U.S. was nearly three times higher than for drivers age 20 and older.

Bach says you can minimize your financial hit by asking your insurer about teen discounts, such as reduced rates for good students. Older cars usually are cheaper to insure than newer models, she adds. She advises you to get a policy that allows you to designate your teen as the driver of your least expensive car.