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Compare car insurance for high-risk drivers
How to get cheaper coverage when you have tickets or accidents on your driving record.
Your car insurance rates are largely based on how much of a risk an insurer thinks you might be on the road. Getting in a car accident or making too many claims could put you in the high risk category, which means higher premiums. Luckily you have options to improve your driving record and reduce your risk to get better insurance rates.
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Top pick for high-risk insurance: The General
The General offers affordable coverage for nearly any driver who needs car insurance.
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- Available in 46 states
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6 ways to save on high risk car insurance
Find ways to drop your premium:
- Keep an eye out for discounts. Some providers offer discounts as high as 25% just for renewing online, choosing electronic billing or for taking a defensive driving course.
- Drop coverage you may not need. If you’re driving an older car and not as concerned about damage to it, consider dropping your collision and comprehensive insurance, especially if your car is worth less than your deductible.
- Choose a higher deductible. Your deductible majorly affects your premiums. A higher deductible can result in wiggle room for more important claims, like liability or uninsured motorist.
- Look into pay-as-you-go insurance. If you’re a safe driver or you don’t drive every day, compare usage-based insurance. Your rates are based on how much and how well you actually drive and not how much risk an insurer assumes you present.
- Improve your credit score. Unless you live in California, Hawaii or Massachusetts, your provider considers your credit history when calculating how much to charge. By working to improve your credit, you’ll ultimately get better rates.
- Drive a car that’s cheaper to insure. You can find typical car insurance rates by a car’s make and model online. Rates for minivans, SUVs and smaller cars tend to be less expensive than high-performance or flashy cars, and features like safety and antitheft devices could earn you extra discounts.
What makes someone a high-risk driver?
When a car insurance provider sets your rates, those premiums are largely based on how likely an insurer thinks you are to get in an accident or make a claim.
If you’ve had a suspended license or a history of claims or accidents, some insurers will lump you into a high-risk category, which increases your insurance rates significantly. You could even be considered high risk if your car is more likely to be stolen, for example.
Understand the factors affecting your premiums so you can easily pick out ways to reduce your costs. Typically, you can break them down into two categories: driving and non-driving related risk factors.
Risk factors related to your driving
Driving-related factors have to do with your experience and driving record, and can include:
- Being at fault for a car accident. Car insurance companies usually consider at-fault accidents a bigger risk factor than ones where you’re found not to be the cause.
- Multiple speeding tickets or traffic citations. While more than one speeding violation may seem like an obvious risk factor, even getting too many parking tickets can affect your rates.
- DWI or DUI convictions. Being convicted of a DWI or DUI is considered a big risk factor, and can be one of the priciest in terms of insurance hikes.
- Hit-and-run convictions. If you’ve been convicted of a hit-and-run or have a suspended license car insurance providers will mark you as a high risk.
Risk factors not related to your driving
Your driving record isn’t the only factor car insurance providers consider when determining risk. The following can also affect your rates:
- Being a new driver. If you don’t have much experience driving it’s harder for an insurance company to assess how good of a driver you’ll be.
- Poor credit score. Insurers can treat poor credit history as a risk factor when figuring out how likely you are to file a claim, unless you live in California, Hawaii or Massachusetts.
- Having a salvage title. If you have a salvage title your insurer likely won’t offer comprehensive coverage.
- Subpar safety ratings. Driving a car with a poor safety rating means a greater risk of personal injury, which means higher premiums.
Car insurance after a lapse in coverage
If you’ve been uninsured for more than a few days, expect to pay a higher premium. To save on insurance, reach out to your former insurer to see if they’re willing to cover you without a premium hike, and compare that quote to other insurers. Re-evaluate your insurance after six months — if you’ve been a safe driver, you should be eligible for lower rates.
If you live with a family member, you may also be able to get added as a driver on their policy for a lower rate. Once your policy is almost up, you can take out a new policy for a better deal.
Car insurance with a suspended license
If you want to keep your car insured while you aren’t legally allowed to drive it, expect to pay high premiums — or have coverage denied outright, especially if your license was suspended for a driving-related offense.
If you’re buying coverage for a car that will be primarily driven by someone else, some insurers will let you list them as the primary driver on your policy, making it easier to get coverage. If you’re restoring a vintage car, reach out to a specialty insurer.
If you need insurance to get your license reinstated, compare quotes from providers who offer SR-22 insurance.
Car insurance with a few accidents
If you’ve had a few accidents, your best bet is to compare policies from several different insurers, including at least a couple who specialize in high-risk drivers.
If you’re confident that you’re currently a safe driver, you may be able to lower your rates with a device that tracks your driving, like Progressive’s Snapshot or Allstate’s Drivewise.
Car insurance with a few tickets or points on your license
Taking a driver safety or defensive driving course can help lower your rates after you get a speeding ticket. You can also keep your premiums down by comparing insurers — both now and again when the points are off your record.
Your insurer may think you’re at a higher risk of accidents, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get car insurance or find ways to save. Compare non-standard car insurance options to find a great deal even with a few marks on your driving record.
Frequently asked questions about nonstandard car insurance
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