Best Cheap Car Insurance for High-Risk Drivers

What is the best insurance company for high-risk drivers?

Life might not always feel fair in many ways. And if you are a high-risk driver, the truth is you won’t be able to buy the same policies at the same rates as drivers who fall into the standard and preferred categories.

Those drivers, who have no or few violations, minimal claims, good credit and continuous insurance history, get better rates because they pose less risk. Preferred drivers—these are drivers who are older, married and own homes, pay the least and get the most discounts.

Here’s the good news: As a high-risk driver, you may be able to buy a standard policy at a higher rate from a traditional private insurance company. Or you may buy what’s known as a nonstandard policy, where there are restrictions on, say, who can drive the car or how much coverage you can buy.

The nonstandard market represents about one-fifth of all private auto insurance sold. It draws both small, niche companies, and the big boys, like Progressive and Nationwide, which have divisions selling nonstandard policies.

“Not all insurers treat high-risk drivers the same way,” says Penny Gusner, a senior staff insurance writer for Forbes Advisor. “Some companies will assess much harsher rate penalties than others on high-risk customers, which means it’s always wise to compare car insurance quotes before buying a high-risk policy.”

Let’s take a look at some of our top-rated insurance companies that sell high-risk auto insurance policies, and what we like about them:

Best high-risk car insurance for DUI/DWI: State Farm

Get a DUI and expect your car insurance rate to see a significant jump. However, State Farm’s average annual premium for drivers with a DUI mark on their driving record is $1,633. Sure, that’s no chump change, but it’s actually less than half of what some of State Farm’s competitors charge.

What’s more, you can stack the discounts to bump down your costs. Case in point: have a multi-car policy with State Farm, and you can snag a 20% discount. Enroll in a defensive driving course, and score up to 15% on your insurance rates. Plus, sign up for the State Farm Drive Safe & Save program, and you can scoop up a discount of up to 30%. Not too shabby.

Best high-risk car insurance for bad credit: Geico

When it comes to the best and cheapest high-risk car insurance for bad credit, look no further than the insurer with the cute lizard as a mascot. No matter where you live, you can expect a low credit score to spike your car insurance rates. Geico’s annual premium is the cheapest for those with not-so-stellar credit – $2,094.

Plus, we can save through Geico if you’re accident-free, which can decrease your rates by 22%. Insure two or more cars with them, and you can snag an extra 25% discount.

Best high-risk car insurance for young drivers: Liberty Mutual

If you’re young and aren’t quite a veteran of the fierce roads, you can expect car insurance to cost a pretty dime. But ring Liberty Mutual’s bell, and find relatively cheap car insurance for high-risk drivers. Liberty Mutual’s average annual premium for teens is $2,137 (that’s for full coverage with 100/300/100 liability and a $500 comprehensive and collision deductible).

Further, if you’re a good student and enroll in Liberty Mutual’s RightTrack program, you can snag a discount of up to 30%.

Best high-risk car insurance for drivers with at-fault accidents: The General

So you’ve had a few at-fault accidents under your belt and your driving record isn’t looking so great. If so, consider The General for a car insurance policy. That’s because The General has a reputation for long offering coverage to drivers with driving records with blemishes. The neat part is that if you drive cautiously and maintain a clean driving record, you can rack up points with The General.

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How much is the cost of high-risk car insurance?

Wondering how much does high risk auto insurance costs? Well, the short answer is; it depends on the driver’s profile. The long answer is; each category of a high-risk driver gets different insurance quotes. For example, drivers with poor credit scores will get a different high risk driver insurance quote than drivers with DUI.

Similarly, the cost also varies for minimum and full coverage insurance. If you want to buy only the minimum requirements of your state then the cost will be less. But if you need full coverage insurance for your vehicle then the cost of the premium will be much higher.

Average high-risk car insurance cost

Let’s begin with an analysis of different driving profiles for young drivers and experienced drivers. Here as per our data, we have considered all the drivers below 25 years of age as young drivers. Similarly; drivers above 40 years of age are experienced drivers.

Driver ProfileYoung DriverExperienced Driver
Clean Driving Record, Good Credit$657$572
At-fault Accident$1,019$889
Poor Credit$1,173$974
DUI$1,323$1,139

Cost of Car Insurance with Bad Credit

Drivers with poor credit are also considered high risk drivers. As per the insurance companies; your credit score can predict how likely you are to file an insurance claim. And the drivers with poor credit scores are more likely to file frequent claims. As a result; these drivers also get higher car insurance rates as compared to the others.

Here are the minimum coverage rates for the driver with a poor credit score in the top states:

StateAnnual Premium (Minimum Coverage)
Alabama$1,032
California$812
Florida$1,993
Georgia$1,411
Hawaii$341
Kansas$937
Kentucky$1,631
Louisiana$1,821
Michigan$1,239
Minnesota$1,287
New York$2,731
Texas$1,148
Washington$871

Car insurance costs for drivers with a DUI

Driving under the influence is a serious crime in most states. Drivers with a DUI on record are also considered highly risky drivers as they can get into fatal accidents easily. As a result, these drivers get higher auto insurance rates as compared to other drivers with clean records.

A 25-year-old DUI driver will have to pay $3665 for full coverage and $1339 for minimum coverage. While a 40-year-old DUI driver gets $3119 for full coverage and $1173 for minimum coverage.

Let’s have a look at the cost of car insurance for DUI drivers in top states:

StateAnnual Premium (Minimum Coverage)
Alabama$1,052
California$1,956
Florida$1,329
Georgia$1,693
Hawaii$1,176
Kansas$1,031
Kentucky$1,923
Louisiana$2,559
Michigan$3,739
Minnesota$1,443
New York$2,041
Texas$1,376
Washington$1,145

Related Read >> Find the Best Cheap Car Insurance After a DUI Ticket

The Best Way to Get Cheaper Car Insurance for High-Risk Drivers

Your car insurance rates don’t have to suffer so much from your past. When you’re looking for high-risk auto insurance, it’s important to be patient and wait for the car insurance policy that meets your needs at rates you can afford.

The best way to find that perfect policy is with Insurify, which lets you compare car insurance rates from across the insurance industry in just a few minutes. It’s totally free and has helped millions save money. So what are you waiting for?

For How Long Are You Considered a High-Risk Driver?

Luckily for you, a bad driving history won't impact your insurance rates forever. In fact, most car insurance companies only look at accident and traffic violation records that span the past three years. Accidents and tickets older than this rarely factor into your insurance rates. However, DUI convictions are an exception to this rule: they typically impact your rates for up to five years.

Who Is a High-Risk Driver?

High-risk drivers include people whose driving history shows potentially higher threats than the average. Some high-risk driver profiles include:

  • New drivers and, for some insurers, young drivers
  • Those without prior insurance
  • People who have had one or more car accidents 
  • Drivers who have been convicted of DUI or driving while intoxicated (DWI)
  • Drivers with multiple traffic violations
  • Someone who has been required by a state to file an SR-22
  • People who have a below-average credit history
  • People with modified or high-value cars

Average cost of high-risk car insurance in my state

Your stomping grounds can certainly impact what you’re paying for premiums on a high-risk car insurance policy. Depending on the state you live in, high-risk car insurance could be more or less expensive.

Let’s say you live in Maine. In that case, your annual rate for insurance could be only $758. But if you live in Michigan, you might be paying three times that amount — $2,297. If you live in New Jersey, your average annual premium for high-risk car insurance is $1,348.

State Average Rate DUI Rate 2 Speeding Ticket 1 Bodily Injury Accident Bad CreditAlabama$1,217$2,029$1,533$1,482$2,184Alaska$1,188$1,771$1,405$1,313$1,705Arizona$1,009$2,532$1,245$1,301$1,761Arkansas$1,277$2,087$1,535$1,475$1,823California$1,461$3,765$2,878$2,769$1,461Colorado$1,095$1,660$1,457$1,363$1,784Connecticut$1,597$2,592$2,026$1,979$2,351DC$1,628$2,406$1,965$1,971$2,711Delaware$1,538$3,113$2,051$2,479$2,532Florida$1,463$2,739$2,107$2,036$2,616Georgia$1,210$1,972$1,516$1,655$2,053Hawaii$1,104$3,112$1,531$1,196$1,104Idaho$822$1,279$1,338$1,130$1,361Illinois$990$1,570$1,230$1,278$1,652Indiana$950$1,651$1,213$1,199$1,546Iowa$939$1,345$1,247$1,255$1,294Kansas$1,141$1,816$1,559$1,486$1,783Kentucky$1,177$2,176$1,514$1,436$2,228Louisiana$1,645$2,488$1,902$2,064$2,719Maine$758$1,386$1,011$982$1,233Maryland$1,260$1,411$1,606$1,425$2,022Massachusetts$1,469$2,629$2,213$2,420$1,469Michigan$2,297$6,337$5,306$3,057$5,078Minnesota$1,270$2,584$1,829$1,695$2,151Mississippi$1,218$1,913$1,499$1,385$1,667Missouri$1,039$1,550$1,580$1,228$3,593Montana$1,321$2,249$1,724$1,597$2,079National$1,215$2,146$1,673$1,571$1,986Nebraska$1,035$1,759$1,346$1,211$1,666Nevada$1,113$1,696$1,387$1,389$2,182New Hampshire$865$1,776$1,282$1,140$1,637New Jersey$1,348$2,499$1,949$1,728$2,001New Mexico$1,125$1,787$1,353$1,358$1,718New York$1,336$2,144$1,613$1,699$2,414North Carolina$836$3,206$1,491$1,161$1,025North Dakota$1,365$2,143$2,063$1,553$1,864Ohio$763$1,165$985$912$1,293Oklahoma$1,405$2,461$2,542$1,821$3,236Oregon$1,110$1,737$1,393$1,409$1,925Pennsylvania$1,252$1,968$1,676$1,577$2,042Rhode Island$2,117$3,502$2,710$2,724$2,847South Carolina$1,055$1,566$1,234$1,362$1,759South Dakota$1,080$1,520$1,396$1,530$1,715Tennessee$1,256$2,193$1,573$1,580$1,895Texas$1,416$2,267$1,923$1,956$2,247Utah$935$1,472$1,184$1,284$1,633Vermont$900$1,392$1,107$1,031$1,517Virginia$849$1,415$1,203$1,053$1,452Washington$1,075$1,740$1,395$1,496$1,702West Virginia$1,534$2,523$1,841$1,827$2,344Wisconsin$863$1,417$1,164$1,171$1,342Wyoming$1,237$1,945$1,498$1,501$1,878

What are the ways to avoid high car insurance rates?

Young drivers can not control the fact that their age is the reason behind high risk car insurance quotes. Do you know there are some factors that you can control to avoid getting into the high risk driver’s category? So by keeping in mind these factors you can save yourself and your money.

Here are some ways how other drivers can try and avoid getting into the high risk driver’s category:

  1. Improve your credit score. You can try to pay all your EMIs on time, pay your credit card bills on time, pay taxes on time. With these simple steps, your credit score will improve slowly.
  2. Try to change the insurance carrier after three or five years of the violation. Every state has a limit by which the high risk category will be applicable to the driver. It can be 3 years or 5 years for different states.
  3. Get a driver safety course. Some companies provide good discounts to drivers who have completed driver safety courses.
  4. Never ever let your car insurance lapse. The drivers who have a gap in their car insurance are also considered highly risky and irresponsible. Hence to avoid getting into that category, never let your insurance lapse.

How can I find high-risk auto insurance?

The first step to find a good rate for a driver with a bad record is to get several online quotes from multiple insurers and compare rates to choose the best plan.

Until you get your quotes, you can’t be quite sure which carrier will be able to give you the lowest premium. And there are other steps you can take to lower your rate. With few exceptions, proactive measures like the following may help improve your risk profile:

Work to improve your credit score Get good grades as a student Take driving classes after a violation

Just remember, your insurance company will want proof of these measures, so it’s best to keep good records and submit them to the carrier when you’re ready.

Being a high-risk driver doesn’t last forever.

While insurance companies may view you as high-risk today, you’ll be happy to know your rates will go down over time as you prove you’re a safe and responsible driver. Yes, certain things like getting a DUI will keep you paying increased premiums for a longer period, but most high-risk drivers can begin paying lower rates after a year or two.

Tips for safe driving

The most effective way to prevent being categorized as a high-risk driver is to avoid accidents and moving violations by practicing safe driving habits. Good drivers tend to pay lower rates because they have a lower risk of filing a claim. Some tips for driving more safely include:

  • Follow posted speed limits. Speeding is a risky driving habit that can lead to accidents. Driving the speed limit could reduce your risk.
  • Avoid accelerating or braking quickly. While you may need to react quickly to avoid potentially dangerous situations, a pattern of rapid accelerations or braking can indicate reckless behavior.
  • Limit distractions. Placing your cell phone out of reach, turning down your music to a reasonable level, using hands-free devices and avoiding multi-tasking while driving can help you stay focused on the road.
  • Avoid adverse conditions. While it’s probably not possible to never drive in heavy traffic, bad weather, or late at night or early in the morning, you might lower your risk of being in an accident if you can avoid hazardous road conditions.

Many states have defensive driving classes for both teens and adults. If you think you could brush up on your safe driving skills, you might want to consider enrolling. Your insurance carrier might even give you a discount for passing the course, but be sure to check into this before signing up for a class. Most companies that offer this discount have a list of approved classes.

What Factors Make A High-Risk Driver?

Interestingly, your high-risk designation comes not only from what you do behind the wheel, but from several other factors as well. Let’s take a look at what increases your risk level with car insurance companies.

Driving Factors

Here are the major driving factors that will influence your car insurance premium.

Reason

Explanation

At-Fault Accidents

If you’ve filed an insurance claim because of an accident you caused, your rates will go up – especially if there was a bodily injury payout. Filing a claim usually results in a 20- to 40-percent increase.

Speeding Tickets

The more speeding violations you have, the higher your rates will rise. The amount also varies based on the severity of the incident. Speeding tickets are seen as precursors to accidents.

Reckless Driving

High-level moving violations, such as reckless driving, can lead to about a 16-percent increase in your premiums, according to idrivesafely.com.

Racing

There are many dangers associated with racing, which is why your insurance company will raise your premiums considerably if this is on your record. You’ll then have to purchase high-risk car insurance.

DUIs

A DUI often results in property damage, bodily injury payouts, and even death benefits. This situation puts you into one of the highest risk categories for insurers. A DUI stays on your insurance record for three to ten years and can raise your rate about six percent after the first incident.

 
 

Non-Driving Factors

Not everything that changes your car insurance premium is a result of what happens in your vehicle. Several non-driving factors will raise a red flag with the provider, too. You may need to shop for high-risk car insurance if any of the following apply:

Reason

Explanation

Bad Credit

Insurance companies analyze your credit to determine the type of driver you are. Almost all providers consider credit scores when calculating premiums. Lower scores often indicate that the driver is more likely to file a claim than someone with better credit.

Age

The younger you are, the more risk you bring to the provider. Teenage drivers are labeled as high-risk because of inexperience and a greater likelihood to file a claim. On the other hand, senior drivers are also seen as a high-risk, so premiums may increase as you grow older.

Insurance History

If you have a lapse in your insurance coverage, you raise red flags with providers. Making sure coverage never lapses allows you to prove your responsibility to the companies and avoid having to purchase high-risk auto insurance.

Location

Insurance is almost always priced based on zip code. Your location impacts rates because of traffic, accident rates, theft rates, and state-mandated coverage terms.

Use of Vehicle

Car insurance premiums go up based on how you use your vehicle. If you are driving for a rideshare organization or commercially, you are going to have higher rates, if the provider will even cover you at all.

Type of Vehicle

High-performance vehicles create an added risk for auto insurance companies. In addition, you may see an increase in rates if you drive an off-road vehicle or have high-priced components on the car.

 
 

Cheapest Companies for Drivers with a Prior Accident

An at-fault accident always drags down your car insurance costs—but with these insurance providers, you have a better chance than the rest of getting cheap car insurance despite your driving history.

Insurance Company Cheapest Monthly Quote with a Prior Accident Metromile$99Farmers$130Amigo USA$133Kemper$144Novo$146

Disclaimer: actual quotes may vary based on the policyholder’s unique driver profile.

What Makes You a High-Risk Driver?

Many criteria can place you into a high-risk driver category; some of them are beyond your control, some reflect your driving history, and some don't even relate to cars at all. Those with high-risk status can include:

  • Teens and other newly licensed drivers
  • Elderly drivers
  • Drivers with poor credit scores or a high debt-to-income ratio
  • Drivers with a history of at-fault accidents
  • Drivers who have received a speeding ticket or other traffic violation in the past three years
  • Drivers with a DUI conviction
  • Drivers who allowed coverage to lapse or received a citation for no insurance

What Is An SR-22?

The SR-22 certification is filed with your state and isn’t an insurance type. An SR-22 certificate assures that the person named carries the minimum state-mandated car insurance. Your insurance company provides this certificate to the state to guarantee that you have financial coverage for an accident.

Most people that are required to have an SR-22 are drivers with a DUI on their record, but it can also be required for the following reasons:

  • DWI or driving under the influence of a controlled substance 
  • Major alcohol violation
  • Some moving violations, such as negligent or reckless driving
  • Numerous traffic violations in a short time
  • Previously driving without insurance
  • Previously involved in an accident without insurance
  • Probationary license
  • Reinstated license after suspension or revocation

Most companies charge a one-time fee for an SR-22, so this shouldn’t increase your rate directly.

Methodology

Bankrate utilizes Quadrant Information Services to analyze 2021 rates for all ZIP codes and carriers in all 50 states and Washington, D.C. Quoted rates are based on a 40-year-old male and female driver with a clean driving record, good credit and the following full coverage limits:

  • $100,000 bodily injury liability per person
  • $300,000 bodily injury liability per accident
  • $50,000 property damage liability per accident
  • $100,000 uninsured motorist bodily injury per person
  • $300,000 uninsured motorist bodily injury per accident
  • $500 collision deductible
  • $500 comprehensive deductible

To determine minimum coverage limits, Bankrate used minimum coverage that meets each state’s requirements. Our base profile drivers own a 2019 Toyota Camry, commute five days a week and drive 12,000 miles annually.

These are sample rates and should only be used for comparative purposes.

Incident: Rates were calculated by evaluating our base profile with the following incidents applied: clean record (base), at-fault accident, single speeding ticket, single DUI conviction and lapse in coverage.

Teens: Rates were determined by adding a 16- or 17-year-old teen to a 40-year-old married couple’s policy. The rates displayed reflect the added cost to the parents’ policy.

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