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Compare car insurance for high-risk drivers
Get affordable high-risk car insurance coverage even if you have a ticket, previous claim or insurance lapse.
Updated . What changed?
Getting in a car accident or making too many claims could put you in the high-risk category, leading to higher premiums. Even if your car insurance company thinks you’re a major risk on the road, you have options to improve your driving record and reduce your risk for better insurance rates.
What's in this guide?
How to buy car insurance for high-risk drivers
Depending on what your risk factors are — and how many apply — you could see a significant jump in your car insurance premium. You can manage the hike in several ways to prove you learned from your mistakes, possibly leading to better rates.
With points on your license
Where you can get approved for car insurance depends on the number of points and type of violation on your record. Most car insurance companies will accept you with license points from one minor speeding ticket, but points from a serious violation could be grounds for a coverage denial. In this case, you’ll need to compare companies that accept high-risk drivers—or even specialize in this risk group.
Taking a safety or defensive driving course can help lower your rates after accumulating license points. In some states, you could even drop a few points if your state lets you take an approved course for this purpose.
With a few accidents on record
If you’ve been in a few accidents, your best bet is to compare policies from several insurance companies — including a couple that specialize in high-risk drivers.
If you’re confident that you’re a safe driver, you could lower your rates with a device that tracks your driving with a policy called telematics. Progressive’s Snapshot or Allstate’s Drivewise are two telematics programs with traditional companies, and companies like Root and Metromile specialize in telematics policies.
After a coverage lapse
If you’re uninsured for more than a few days, expect to pay a higher premium. To save on insurance, you can reach out to your former insurance company and see if it’s willing to reinstate you without a premium hike.
Otherwise, you can compare quotes from other insurance companies, and you may need an SR-22 insurance company to file proof of insurance with your state.
To save money, re-evaluate your insurance after six months of safe driving — you should qualify for lower rates. If you live with a family member, you could 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.
With a license suspension
If you want to keep your car insured while you legally can’t drive it, expect to pay high premiums — or have coverage denied outright, especially if your license was suspended for a driving-related offense.
To buy coverage for a car primarily driven by someone else, you can list them as the primary driver on your policy, improving your chances of approval. If you plan to garage your car, you can ask your company to drop your coverage to the state minimums like liability insurance.
You’ll want to compare quotes from companies that offer SR-22 insurance since you’ll need to file this proof of insurance form as a requirement for getting your license back.
After driving under the influence
Drunk driving convictions carry steep penalties to your car insurance, especially if you need to file an SR-22. While the laws varies by state and case, typically a DUI will affect your rates for at least three years.
Compare car insurance rate increases after a DUI to see how much your premium could increase. You’ll likely need to compare high-risk car insurance companies if your current company drops you.
|State||Premium increase||Average annual rate||Average rate after DUI|
Compare high-risk auto insurance companies
How to find legit high-risk car insurance companies
Aside from the companies listed above, you can look for companies in your local area that insure drivers with a nonstandard risk level. Source a list of companies to contact from your state’s department of insurance:
- Search for your state’s insurance department online.
- Click to your state department’s homepage or any pages linking to contact information.
- Look for contact information on the contact page or in the footer of the main website.
- Call during office hours and ask for a list of SR-22 or high-risk car insurance companies.
- Provide any contact details the office needs to send you the list.
- Compare quotes from multiple companies on this list.
What if I’m denied insurance coverage from most companies?
Many states offer government programs to help drivers who are denied insurance through the private market. You should use government insurance programs as a last resort. While it guarantees you coverage, these companies typically charge a steep rate to make up for your risk.
Getting insurance through the government means getting grouped in an assigned-risk pool, meaning participating insurance companies share the risk of insuring high-risk drivers. Different states have different eligibility requirements, but you typically need one or more insurance denials before you qualify.
Top 7 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, bundling homeowners or renters insurance 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.
- Be careful about filing claims. If you can cover damages to your own car without filing a claim, it saves you money on premiums down the road. However, you shouldn’t skip out on filing if you damage someone else’s property.
What makes someone a high-risk driver?
Your car insurance company bases your premium on how likely it thinks you’ll get in an accident or make a claim. Your company looks at the big picture of your driving history and other factors to figure out this risk.
If you have a record of a suspended license, accident claims or driving violations, your company might lump you in a high-risk category, increasing your insurance rates. Understand the factors affecting your premiums so that you can pick out ways to lower your costs.
Factors that suggest you’re a risky driver
These factors involve your experience and driving record, such as:
- Being at fault for a car accident. Car insurers usually consider at-fault accidents a bigger risk factor than no-fault ones.
- DUI or DWI. Being convicted of a DWI or DUI is considered a big risk factor, with some of the priciest premium hikes.
- Hit-and-run. If you’ve been convicted of a hit-and-run or have a suspended license, that’s a big risk factor.
- Lack of driving experience. Teens and new drivers often end up with higher rates until they prove their driving experience.
- Racing citations. Street racing comes with several risks to the drivers, onlookers and vehicles, and may even void your policy.
- Reckless driving. Reckless driving puts points on your record and puts you at a higher risk of being in an accident.
- Speeding tickets or traffic violations. Multiple speeding violations or even too many parking tickets can affect your rates.
Nondriving risk factors
Your record isn’t the only factor car insurance companies consider about your risk. These factors also affect your rates:
- Low credit score. Insurance companies consider poor credit history a risk factor for filing more claims in most states.
- Living in a high-claim area. Being in an area that has higher claims than average raises your risk of making a claim too.
- Low safety ratings. Driving a car with a poor safety means a greater risk of injury, which means higher premiums.
- Driving a sports car. Sportier, high-performance cars can come with high price tags and expensive parts to replace,
- Driving an off-road vehicle. An off-roading car could see more physical damage, such as if you run into a ditch or hit a tree.
- Having a salvage title. You likely can’t get comprehensive coverage if your car was unrepairable after an accident.
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 nonstandard 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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