Are you struggling to find a car insurance policy? Are insurance companies quoting you rates that are way above your local average or rejecting you outright? If so, you may be labeled as a high-risk driver by car insurance companies. High-risk drivers are more likely to get in an accident — and are more expensive to insure as a result.
If you’re having trouble finding lower car insurance rates, consider applying for coverage through one of our favorite high-risk car insurance providers for more affordable premiums.
Find the Best Insurance Auto Coverage for You
The Best High-Risk Auto Insurance:
- Best Overall: GEICO
- Most Affordable: Acceptance
- Best for Custom Coverage: The General
- Best for Claims: Progressive
- Best Customer Service: Allstate
Why You May Be Considered a High-Risk Driver
Just like each insurance company uses its own individual formula to determine how much you’ll pay for car insurance, insurers use their own criteria to determine who’s a high-risk driver.
An Accident on Your Record. If you have an at-fault accident on your record, insurance companies may assume that you’re more likely to be involved in an accident in the future. Even a minor fender bender can significantly increase your coverage rates, especially if you also have multiple traffic violations or tickets on your record as well..
DUI or DWI. Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol is incredibly dangerous. According to data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 68% of accidents that involved at least one fatality in 2017 involved at least one driver with an illegal blood alcohol level of .08 or higher. Even a single instance of intoxicated driving will label you a high-risk driver.
Teen Driver or a Senior Driver. If you’ve just gotten your license, don’t be surprised if your auto insurance rates are through the roof. Teenagers usually see much higher rates than their older peers. Additionally, elderly drivers may also be considered high-risk, even if they’ve been driving for decades and have never been involved in an accident.
Poor Credit Score. Most people assume that their driving record and their credit score have nothing to do with one another. Unfortunately, according to studies from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), drivers with lower credit scores are more likely to be involved in an accident or to drive irresponsibly.
If you have a poor credit score (below 560), chances are that you’ll be labeled a high-risk driver unless you live in Hawaii, California or Massachusetts, which don’t allow insurance companies to look at your credit score when determining your rate.
Insurance History and Gaps in Coverage. If you’ve been driving with a gap in coverage, this can be a red flag for insurance providers. This factor often feels like a Catch-22 for drivers. You may have been dropped from a previous policy due to a DUI or other incident, been unable to find cheap auto insurance and now companies are penalizing you for a gap in coverage.
How Much Does High-Risk Auto Insurance Cost?
Generally, you can expect to pay anywhere from 20% more to 150% more for high-risk insurance than standard insurance. If you’re considered high-risk, you may see an increase of anywhere from 20% to 90% in your insurance premiums when compared to non-risky drivers.
Drivers who have been convicted of a DUI or DWI see the highest increase in premiums. After your DUI or DWI is reported to your insurer, you can expect a 50% to 150% increase in your premium or you may be dropped from your plan altogether.
According to 2019 insurance data, the average driver pays about $941.65 annually for car insurance. This means that high-risk drivers can expect to pay anywhere from about $1,130 to $2,354 for their auto insurance. You may pay even more if you live in a state like Florida, Michigan or Louisiana.
What to Look for in a Company and Policy
If you’re a high-risk driver, you’re not necessarily doomed to a life of low-quality insurance. There are a number of insurance providers who specialize in insuring high-risk drivers and you should look for the following:
Rates You Can Afford. High-risk drivers naturally pay more for their auto insurance than drivers who aren’t considered risky. You may be able to secure a lower rate by bundling, negotiating with your insurance provider or explaining previous claims on your record.
Clear Pricing System. If you’re considered a high-risk driver because you filed a claim for a minor fender bender, you shouldn’t be paying the same amount as a driver who’s been convicted of a DUI. Look for an insurance provider who offers clear and straightforward fees and premium calculations. You can compare pricing as well as negotiate with other insurance providers for a lower rate.
Getting Out of the High-Risk Category. Every state has its own laws that dictate how long traffic violations, claims, and other driving penalties stay on your record, but the best high-risk insurance providers also offer their clients assistance moving out of this expensive category.
Discounts. Look for insurance providers who offer discounts to drivers who attend traffic safety classes or defensive driving courses, show improvements in their driving record, increase their credit score or remain claims-free for a predetermined period of time.
Our Picks for the Best High-Risk Auto Insurance Companies
Though it’s possible to escape the “high-risk” category over time, you need insurance now. Consider choosing one of our favorite high-risk insurance providers while you work on cleaning up your driving record.
With over 15 million policyholders and over 24 million covered vehicles, GEICO is one of the largest auto insurance providers in the United States. But did you know that the company also has a special program for high-risk drivers to maintain coverage?
GEICO’s high-risk auto subsidiary uses a clear and straightforward “points” system to determine how much you’ll pay for your insurance. This can be an asset for high-risk drivers, who frequently have to deal with higher premiums and no explanations for their increase.
The company also cuts the middleman and sells policies directly to drivers without agents, which means that most drivers secure a lower rate by choosing GEICO.
They also offer all of its drivers a number of ways to save on insurance. A host of discounts are available for federal employees, members of the armed forces or military and active members in over 500 clubs and organizations.
GEICO also offers high-risk drivers a number of additional ways to lower premiums and save on their policies, including installing post-market safety tools inside their vehicles, an improved driving record and other safe behaviors on the road.
2. Acceptance Insurance
Many car insurance providers will refuse to insure you if you’ve committed a particularly grievous driving mistake, like being found at-fault for an accident while driving under the influence of alcohol. Acceptance Insurance caters to very high-risk drivers.
Though the insurer currently only operates in 17 states, Acceptance’s excellent customer service and simple filing process can make getting coverage less painful if you’re frustrated after multiple rejections from competing insurance providers.
Acceptance offers SR-22 filing assistance — a government filing that verifies that you have purchased car insurance. It may be required after you’re found at fault for an accident or you’re convicted of a DUI.
If you’re required to file an SR-22, Acceptance Insurance agents will assist you to make sure you’re in good legal standing to drive and that your paperwork is submitted correctly.
3. The General
The General is another low-cost insurance provider that specializes in high-risk drivers, including those who have been convicted of alcohol-related driving offenses.
Everyone is welcome at The General, from drivers who have a lapse in coverage on their records to drivers who have a DUI or DWI on their records.
Though The General’s website includes only plans that meet the bare basics of minimum liability insurance by state, drivers who have been rejected by other low-cost providers will love The General’s no-frills, basic insurance options.
The company also helps with filing and understanding SR-22 forms and offers free quotes online.
Progressive began as an insurance company for high-risk drivers — and even as the company’s grown to become one of the largest auto insurers in the nation, it still offers high-risk policies for most drivers.
Progressive even offers accident forgiveness protection as soon as drivers sign onto their policy, which stops your premiums from increasing after certain unavoidable claims if the claim is worth less than $500.
Another benefit of choosing Progressive is its multi-policy discounts. Progressive offers a wide range of insurance types, including homeowners insurance, motorcycle insurance, travel insurance
If you already have a policy with Progressive, contact your agent and inquire about saving more on your high-risk insurance with a bundle deal.
If you’re working to get your driving record back on track, Allstate is one of the best choices for high-risk drivers.
Allstate offers customers a host of incentives for safe driving practices.
These include bonus checks in the mail every six months you drive accident-free and a $100 discount from your deductible for every year you drive without an accident.
You can even earn Allstate Bonus points for completing safe driving courses and challenges, which can be used for additional savings.
Like Progressive, Allstate also offers a wide range of bundling discounts that can save you even more on all of your coverage types.
Driving Towards Low-Cost Auto Insurance
If you’re a high-risk driver who’s been rejected for a policy, don’t let this stop you from getting more than one quote before you choose an insurance provider. Remember to reevaluate your insurance options every year you drive without an accident. You may be surprised to learn just how much you can save after just a year of working to improve your credit score or driving safely.
Frequently Asked Questions
1) Q: Should I have just the minimum amount of car insurance required by my state?
It’s a good idea to purchase more than the state minimum of any type of insurance. State minimums are set relatively low to keep insurance affordable, but in the case of an accident, you can deplete your minimums quickly with expensive medical and property damage costs. Once your bills extend past the minimums, you’ll personally be liable for additional costs and damage. Get the coverage that makes sense for you here.
2) Q: How does my personal credit play a role?
Insurance carriers run credit scores to help determine policy premiums. Your insurance rates will likely be lower if you have an excellent credit score. On the other hand, your insurance rates may be higher if you have a poor credit score. Insurance companies believe credit scores are an indicator of whether you’ll make your insurance payments on time and credit scores combined with other data can be predictive of risk. Check out the best companies for all credit scores now.