How to Find the Best Insurance for High-Risk Drivers
At Compare.com, it’s our mission to find simple ways to help our customers save money on the things they need. While we partner with some of the companies and brands we talk about in our articles, all of our content is written and reviewed by our independent editorial team and never influenced by our partnerships. Learn about how we make money, review our editorial standards, and reference our data methodology to learn more about why you can trust Compare.com.
If you have a DUI or DWI, a reckless driving charge, or even a high number of speeding tickets on your driving record, you might need to get high-risk auto insurance. High-risk auto insurance isn’t a specific type of insurance policy; it just means that some insurers may charge you higher premiums or decline to insure you at all because they see you as a higher risk than the average driver.
If you’re having trouble finding affordable car insurance, you can look for an insurance company that specializes in non-standard insurance coverage or offers discounts to drivers who improve their driving habits over time.
Here’s everything you need to know about high-risk car insurance companies and how to find the best insurance for high-risk drivers.
Find High-Risk Car Insurance Today
Find High-Risk Car Insurance Today
- Many factors cause insurance companies to consider you a high-risk driver, including a history of at-fault accidents, a low credit score, previous traffic violations, and even your age.
- Some car insurance companies provide coverage for high-risk drivers and may offer competitive rates or specialized options like SR-22 coverage.
- As you explore high-risk insurance companies, it’s essential to consider the policy cost and other factors like the company’s claims process and reputation for providing quality customer service.
What Is the Best Insurance for High-Risk Drivers?
Your best high-risk car insurance depends on where you live, what type of car you drive, and your personal driver profile. Most states have minimum car insurance requirements, which may mandate liability insurance but not collision coverage.
If you have a serious infraction on your record, like a DUI, then you may be required to provide an SR-22 form, or Proof of Financial Responsibility, to your state’s DMV. This might dictate what type of auto insurance policy you need.
At the same time, maintaining a car insurance policy isn’t just about adhering to the letter of the law. It’s also about protecting yourself if you get into an accident.
A cheap car insurance policy with a high deductible might sound great – until you get into another fender-bender and have to pay that deductible out-of-pocket.
If you think of yourself as a bad driver, paying higher auto insurance rates for more extensive coverage may be a good idea.
Best Insurance Companies for High-Risk Drivers
There are several things to consider when choosing a high-risk car insurance company. Low rates are important, but so is the ease of selecting a policy and filing a claim. You’ll also want to look out for car insurance discounts that you might qualify for.
Here are six top picks for the best car insurance companies for high-risk drivers:
1. The General
The General auto insurance company caters specifically to high-risk drivers who have multiple traffic violations, a bad credit score, or a history of at-fault car accidents. It has an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and an A rating at AM Best.
Although drivers with a clean driving record may find better rates with other insurers, its selling point is that it won’t turn high-risk drivers down. The General offers liability-only insurance, full coverage, uninsured motorist coverage, and more.
You can also benefit from a wide range of discounts, including a homeowners discount and a paid-in-full discount. There’s even a discount for driving a vehicle with anti-lock brakes and other safety features and for taking a driver safety course.
SafeAuto is available to high-risk drivers in 19 states. They specialize in state minimum insurance requirements and SR-22 insurance to keep you legal on the road.
SafeAuto has an A+ rating from the BBB and 3.4/5 stars on Clearsurance. They offer a 24/7 helpline and a Spanish version of their website to cater to their customers.
How much does a policy with SafeAuto cost? Rates are as low as $55 for a single car in Indiana, while drivers in Georgia can expect to pay higher rates, up to $176.
Young drivers may qualify for a good student discount, while high-risk drivers who take a driver improvement course may also see lower rates.
Dairyland is available to drivers in all 50 states, offering car and motorcycle insurance, SR-22 insurance, non-owners insurance, and more. Policyholders have access to a 24/7 support line and a Spanish-language online portal.
Dairyland has some of the best rates for high-risk drivers, starting from $43/month in Idaho and $78/month for a single car in California.
With an A+ rating from the BBB and AM Best, Dairyland has a reputation for offering cheap car insurance premiums, even for drivers with several moving violations. As for discounts, you may be eligible for a renter or homeowner discount or a discount for taking a defensive driving course.
4. Direct Auto
Direct Auto provides high-risk auto insurance in 16 states, mostly in the Southeast of the country. You can choose from multiple coverage options, including towing, rental reimbursement, uninsured motorist coverage, and more.
Average premiums range from $124 for a retired driver to $190 with an accident on your record to $166 with a DUI. Eligible drivers can get a good student discount, senior citizen discount, military discount, multi-car discount, and more.
There’s also a DynamicDrive program for drivers who use an app to track their driving habits. There’s no accident forgiveness program, but there is a safe driver discount for drivers who go 36 months without an accident or driving violation.
How does Direct Auto’s reputation stand up? It has an A- rating from AM Best and 4.1 out of 5 stars on WalletHub. Customers can file claims 24/7 and make payments via credit or debit card or in cash at local Direct Auto locations.
GEICO is a major name in the car insurance industry, with policies available to drivers in all 50 states. Although they don’t specifically cater to high-risk drivers, you may be able to get an affordable policy with GEICO.
Discounts include those for homeowners, military, and federal employees, as well as 15% off for enrolling in paperless billing. GEICO may also use your credit history to determine your rates (in states where they can do so legally).
GEICO has an A+ rating with the BBB and a score of 867/1,000 from J.D. Power. You can file claims online, over the phone, or using their mobile app.
Progressive offers the best rates to drivers with a clean driving record, but that doesn’t mean they won’t insure high-risk drivers. Drivers in low-cost states pay an average of $137 per month, while in more expensive states, they pay an average of $232.
You may be eligible for a discount by using the Progressive Snapshot app; however, your rates could go up if you don’t display good driving habits.
You could also benefit from their Small Accident Forgiveness program, which will keep you from being penalized if you make a claim of $500 or less.
Progressive has an A+ from the BBB, a J.D. Power rating of 856/1000, and over 250 offices around the country, making it a well-known and reputable insurance provider.
How to Evaluate Your High-Risk Auto Insurance Company
Whether you’re shopping for a new policy or trying to decide whether you should stay with your current policy, it’s important to consider multiple factors when evaluating your high-risk auto policy.
Quality of Coverage
If you are paying more for your coverage, it’s essential to ensure that it is suitable for your needs. Consider factors like what your policy includes, your exclusions, and the deductible. These factors can affect the value you will get from your coverage just in case you need to file a claim.
Think about the quality of the customer service the insurance company offers. Can you call the company and easily and quickly get your questions answered? Do the customer service hours work with your schedule?
More companies are offering customer service online via chat functions and even apps, and some have gone entirely online. This option might appeal to some drivers, but others might see it as a downside. Think carefully about the type of customer service you most want your insurance company to offer.
Even though your premiums might be high, insurance companies offer various discounts that can help you save money. Look for an insurer that provides specific discounts that will benefit you, like a good student discount or a multi-policy discount.
It’s also important to consider the insurance company’s reputation. Research and read online reviews to see what other drivers say about the company. If you have never filed a claim, pay particular attention to what other drivers say about their claims experiences. Did the insurance company pay out the claim? Did drivers have to wait too long to receive the payment? How was their communication with the insurance company?
Hopefully, you will never need to file a claim with the insurer, but confirming the insurance company has a good reputation regarding the claims experience can give you additional peace of mind.
Who Is a High-Risk Driver?
When calculating your risk, insurance companies review your driving record to get an idea of your driving habits and the likelihood that you will be in an accident. They consider multiple elements of your record.
If you are in an at-fault accident, your insurance company assumes increased risk by insuring you. Depending on your coverage, your insurance company may be responsible for vehicle repair and replacement costs for you and the other driver, medical expenses for everyone involved, property damage, and even funeral costs if the accident results in death. Those expenses can add up to hundreds of thousands of dollars per accident.
If you’ve been in an at-fault accident, expect your premiums to increase for at least three years.
Insurance companies will also consider you a high-risk driver if you have multiple traffic violations, including speeding tickets. While often a minor infraction, speeding tickets can indicate to insurance companies that you aren’t driving safely and that you’re at an increased risk of getting into an accident. Other traffic violations like failing to use a turn signal, not staying in a marked lane, or running a red light or stop sign can indicate that you are taking risks on the road.
If you receive one or more tickets, your insurance premiums may increase for three to five years.
Reckless driving can also prompt an insurer to classify you as a high-risk driver. This charge refers to driving dangerously in a way that could result in bodily harm or property damage. It’s a serious violation. Knowing you’re driving in a way that could cause injury or accident, your insurance company will raise your premium for at least three years.
A DUI offense will not only land you in legal hot water but also classify you as a high-risk driver. DUI drivers can cause significant property damage, bodily injury, and even death. Being that your insurance company could be responsible for those expenses, they have to act accordingly.
If you have a DUI, your insurance company might need to file an SR-22 form to confirm that you have insurance that meets your state’s minimum requirements. Your state may require you to file that form for multiple years, and you can expect to pay higher premiums during those times.
While you can become a high-risk driver because of your actions on the road, you may also be classified as a high-risk driver because of factors that aren’t caused by how you drive.
Insurance companies often view drivers with poor credit scores as being high-risk. If your credit rating is low, your premiums may increase. Working to improve your credit can help avoid these premium increases and demonstrate that you’re a responsible, low-risk driver.
There’s nothing you can do about your age, but insurance companies do use it to determine your risk factor. Young drivers, particularly teen drivers, always pay high premiums because they lack experience on the road. As teens reach their 20s, their premiums gradually drop as long as they maintain a clean driving record.
But once you near your senior years, your rates will increase again. Insurance companies consider older drivers to also be at an increased risk of getting into a car accident.
Lapse in Insurance Coverage
Insurance companies consider drivers who let their insurance coverage lapse to be risky to insure. A lapse for as little as a day can be a red flag to your insurance company, regardless of whether you canceled a policy or neglected to pay your premiums. This lapse signifies that you might not be financially reliable, so expect to pay a higher premium when you apply for insurance again. Over time, your premiums will gradually decrease if you maintain consistent coverage.
Where you live and commute can also affect whether an insurer considers you a high-risk driver. Insurance rates tend to be higher for drivers in highly populated areas, like cities. Also drivers with longer commutes pay more because there’s an increased risk of getting into an accident. Your premiums may drop if you move or start working in a different location with a shorter commute.
How to Save Money on High-Risk Car Insurance
While you will pay higher premiums as a high-risk driver, you can save money on your car insurance in multiple ways.
Take a Defensive Driving Course
Your insurance company may offer you a discount on your premiums if you take a defensive driving course. Check with your insurer first and confirm that the course you plan to take will qualify for that discount.
Focus on Building Your Credit
Work on building your credit back up if your insurance provider classifies you as a high-risk driver because of your poor credit rating. This can take time, but you can boost your credit in multiple ways.
Start by making sure that you pay all of your bills on time. Setting up automatic bill payments can be an effective way to do this. Work on paying down accounts like credit cards and loans, and minimize how much of your available credit you use.
Rather than settling for the high rates you are paying to your current car insurance company, consider shopping around for insurance to get the best price. Compare.com users save an average of $720 per year on their car insurance.
See How Much You Can Save on Your Insurance
See How Much You Can Save on Your Insurance
Compare Car Insurance Rates Today
There are several factors that determine your car insurance costs, and having a DUI conviction or a history of at-fault accidents is one of them. But you might also be considered high-risk simply for having a poor credit score or being a new driver without much information on your driving history.
If you fall into the high-risk category, get quotes from multiple auto insurance companies before choosing a new policy. Since every insurance carrier uses its own methodology to calculate your insurance premium, you may find lower rates elsewhere.
Want to save money on auto insurance coverage? Simply enter your ZIP code below to compare quotes from multiple insurance carriers side-by-side:
Compare Auto Insurance Quotes Today
Compare Auto Insurance Quotes Today
FAQs About High Risk Car Insurance
Who are the most high-risk drivers?
Some classes of drivers are automatically classified as high-risk, even if they’ve never had an accident or received a traffic violation. Insurance companies consider teens the most high-risk drivers because of their lack of experience and increased chance of getting into a car accident. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, teens are almost three times as likely to be in a fatal car accident as drivers 20 or older.
How long will I have to pay for high-risk car insurance?
High-risk auto insurance rates are higher than average, but the good news is that your rates will gradually start to decrease. While an offense like a DUI will have longer-lasting effects, in most cases, your high-risk insurance costs will drop within a year or two.
How much is high-risk insurance?
The cost of your high-risk insurance will depend on what makes you a high-risk driver, the state where you live, the vehicle you drive, and even how long ago the high-risk incident occurred.
Compare Car Insurance Quotes
Compare.com’s #1 goal is to save you money. We publish resources that are based on hard-hitting data and years of industry experience to help you make more informed decisions with your wallet.
- All of Compare.com’s content is written and reviewed for accuracy by a team of experienced writers and editors who are experts on the topics they cover.
- None of Compare.com’s content is ever influenced by the companies and brands we partner with.
- Compare.com’s editorial team operates independently of any of the company’s partnership or business development interests. We publish unbiased information strictly for the benefit of our readers.
- All of the content you see on Compare.com is based on comprehensive analysis and all data is gathered and vetted from trustworthy sources.