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Best car insurance for high-risk drivers
Best auto insurance for “bad” drivers and those difficult to insure
You weren’t planning on getting a car insurance policy for “high-risk drivers”. (Who wants to plan for that?) But you are where you are. You are considered a high-risk driver if you have had one or more auto accidents, received multiple speeding tickets or other traffic citations.
Now your goal is to find a company that is willing to insure you—and for a fair price. As you can probably imagine, the auto insurance companies know you’re more likely than the average driver to have another issue that requires an insurance claim. Still, in most cases you are insurable. Let’s get you comparing your best options for high-risk drivers, and get covered as soon as possible.
Comparison shop car insurance for a high-risk driver
Many people continue with the same auto insurance carrier for years by default, even after having an incident that bumps them into the category of a “high-risk driver.” Let’s not do that to you.
Remember, car insurance is a very competitive market. By simply bidding it out, even as a high-risk driver you may get a surprisingly better rate as companies compete for your business. Keep in mind that rates vary by the insurance company depending on the state you live in. At a minimum, get three quotes from different companies.
Need help finding high-risk auto insurance?
Enter your ZIP code to discover how much you can save.
Enter your zip code to see how much you can save.
Car insurers that cater to high-risk drivers
While some big-name companies offer their services to high-risk drivers — Allstate, Progressive, State Farm to name a few — there are smaller companies that truly shine when it comes to insuring high-risk drivers. Take a look at the list below for a number of companies that cater to you as a high-risk driver:
- SafeAuto Insurance
- The General (a subsidiary of American Family Insurance)
- Direct Auto Insurance (a subsidiary of Direct General Insurance Group)
- Titan Insurance (a subsidiary of Nationwide Insurance)
- Dairyland Insurance (a subsidiary of Sentry Insurance)
- GEICO Casualty
- Infinity Insurance (a subsidiary of Kemper Corporation)
- Alliance United Insurance (a subsidiary of Kemper Corporation)
Restrictions placed on high-risk drivers
Because you’re a high-risk driver, your insurance company may do more than just charge you a higher premium. They place some additional restrictions on your driving habits that you must adhere to or risk losing your coverage. A few examples:
- Limiting who’s able to drive the car. Normally, car insurance stays with the car itself and provides coverage for anyone who drives the car. That’s not necessarily the case with high-risk driver policies, many of which are offered through non-standard auto insurance companies. Nonstandard insurance can insure only specific drivers, which means that while you might be insured to drive your car, your roommate likely isn’t.
- It’s more likely that your policy won’t cover punitive damages. Many insurance policies exclude punitive damages coverage from their policies, and if you’re a high-risk driver with a nonstandard insurance policy, your chances are pretty much nill. (Punitive damages is money typically awarded to a plaintiff when they prove their injuries were caused by the defendant’s malice, oppression, or fraud, typically in cases of intentional harm or extreme recklessness. A classic example: road rage.) This means if you get in a car accident and are deemed responsible for punitive damages, you’ll have to come up with that money on your own.
- High-risk drivers have their driving records reviewed more commonly. Typically, safe drivers don’t necessarily have their driving records reviewed every year to check for driving violations. As a high-risk driver, you can expect the insurance company to review your record every time your policy renewal is up for renewal. They’re want to see if there have been any violations of any kind since they last reviewed your record.
Comparison of insurance companies for high-risk drivers
While some companies won’t be willing to insure you if you’re a high-risk driver, a lot of the big names will—for a price. While the available policies will vary by state, you should be able to find multiple insurers willing to cover you to get the best price you can.
Take a look at the table below to see some of the features available to you through both the big players in the insurance industry and some of the smaller national companies.
|Safe-driving discount, Vanishing deductible, Accident forgiveness||Get quote|
|Started as insurance for high-risk drivers, Various coverage options, Pain-free process if you do have an accident||Get quote|
|Drive Safe and Save Program, The Steer Clear Drive Program, Largest insurance company in the United States||Get quote|
|Geico casualty is made for high-risk drivers, Transparent policy and pricing, No surprise fees or rate hikes||Get quote|
|Willing to insure the vast majority of high-risk drivers, Offers great rates for minimum coverage, SR-22 insurance in 50 states||Get quote|
|Various coverage options, Flexible payment options, SR-22 insurance in 23 states||Get quote|
|Among the highest multiple vehicle discounts (38%), Offers great prices for high-risk drivers, SR-22 insurance in 8 states||Get quote|
How to save on high-risk car insurance
As a high-risk driver, you may think that your options are limited, and there isn’t much you can do to lower your premiums. Luckily, this isn’t true! There are plenty of things you can do, even as a high-risk driver, to lower your insurance rates. A few of the options that may help you save some money include:
- Compare rates. This is the single most important thing you can do to save money! Shop around, compare various company’s quotes, and get yourself the best deal possible!
- Think twice before filing a collision claim. If you have an accident involving an object such as a wall or pole, don’t necessarily file a claim right away. This will raise your insurance rate as well as having to pay a deductible. It is often cheaper to pay for the repairs out of pocket. In a pinch, you can go without repairing it, depending on the extent of the damage. Just consider all options before filing another claim. (Of course, if you are in an accident with another vehicle, you probably don’t want to take this approach.)
- Know when your violations will be cleared from your record. If you know when your infractions will expire from your record, you can call your insurance company and see if you qualify for a cheaper rate. Once they are gone from your record entirely, you won’t be considered a high-risk driver anymore and you can get far cheaper rates!
- Raise your credit score. A good credit score saves you money on car insurance. This is a great option to do in conjunction with everything else because you don’t even need to change anything with your driving habits. You can save an average of 17% on car insurance with every bracket your credit score moves up — fair to good, good to very good, very good to excellent. Check out our credit building guide to help you get rolling.
Keep these things in mind when you’re looking for car insurance or even after you’ve already settled on a plan. These are a few easy ways to save you some money on your car insurance, and who doesn’t love saving money?
Need help finding high-risk car insurance?
Enter your ZIP code to see how much you can save.
Enter your zip code to see how much you can save.
If you’ve made it this far, you likely already know that you either are already a high-risk driver, or you think that there’s a decent chance of being labeled as one. Being a high-risk driver definitely isn’t ideal, but it also doesn’t mean you need to stop driving entirely. Below are answers to questions that people commonly have about being high-risk drivers and how they will be affected by that label.
What is high-risk auto insurance?
The “high-risk driver” definition varies by the insurance company — with some definitions being more lenient than others. As a general rule, if any of the following apply to you, there’s a chance that you could be pegged as a high-risk driver when you get your next car insurance quote:
- A DUI
- Excessive violations such as speeding tickets or other moving violations
- Very young and old people
- Multiple at fault-accidents
- A lapse in car insurance coverage previously
- An exotic, expensive, or high-horsepower car
How much is high-risk auto insurance?
High-risk drivers pay more for insurance than the average driver, but it will vary by company and state. It also depends on the severity of the violations that are causing you to be high-risk. For example:
- A couple of small moving violations can increase your annual insurance rates by as little as 8% ($126) in Montana up to 50% ($583) in North Carolina. As you can see, this varies wildly by state so where you live plays a big factor.
If you have a DUI or even multiple DUIs, you can expect to pay significantly more. The exact price hike you’ll see for high-risk auto insurance will be specific to your situation and where you live, so be sure you get multiple quotes.
How much will my car insurance go up with a DUI?
DUIs take a particularly big toll — with premiums increasing 28% to 371% depending on your state and the number of DUIs. On average, car insurance after a DUI increases by $1,104 per year for full coverage and $473 per year for the minimum required coverage. But where you live affects your rates.
What insurer has the cheapest car insurance for high-risk drivers?
No one insurance company is consistently the cheapest for high-risk drivers. Rates vary by state and the insurer’s algorithm to calculate your premium based on your record. It’s best to get multiple quotes from carriers.
What if I can’t find car insurance?
If you’ve exhausted all your other options and can’t find car insurance anywhere, states offer an option to enter a state-assigned risk pool. If you can show that you’ve been rejected for coverage over and over, the state will assign an insurance company to provide you coverage.
You really don’t want to do this unless you don’t have any other options. The premium cost is typically 2-3 times higher if get assigned through the state.
How long does it take to not be considered a high-risk driver?
Having the high-risk label removed from your driving record will no doubt be a weight off your shoulders. How long that takes will again depend on the violation as well as where you live. Typically, speeding tickets and smaller violations fall off your record within three to five years, if not sooner. More serious infractions like a DUI will stay on your record for ten years or longer.
In the meantime, all you can really do is be as safe of a driver as you can and wait it out. Try calling your insurance company every year when policy renewal is coming up to see if you qualify for a cheaper rate. This will cause them to check your driving record to see if you’re no longer labeled as high-risk.
Being a high-risk driver doesn’t mean you can’t find car insurance
It may take a little extra work, but you’ll find car insurance coverage as a high-risk driver. Compare car insurance quotes, sift through your options, and pick the best policy for you. Keep in mind, your status as a high-risk driver is within your control and temporary. Drive safe, and within three to five years, you’ll be able to save money with cheaper insurance rates.
Enter your zip code to see how much you can save.
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