When it comes to finding affordable car insurance, high-risk drivers may have the toughest time of all.
Forget higher premiums: Did you know that if an insurance provider labels you too “high-risk,” they might refuse to insure you all together? It’s true. And while states provide a safety net for these drivers, options for cheap car insurance disappear.
So how do drivers get the label to begin with? In short, traffic violations. These include speeding tickets, DUI/DWI, red-light violations, at-fault accidents, and reckless driving, just to name a few. Get more than three of these violations in a year, and you can bet on tremendous rate increases.
But it doesn’t stop there. Factors having nothing to do with tickets and fines can also drag your insurance score into the mud. Teen drivers, drivers over the age of 65, lapses in insurance coverage—even their vehicle of choice can push drivers into the “high-risk” (sometimes also called “nonstandard”) category.
In most cases, it takes a combination of these factors to make an insurance provider label you too high-risk to insure. But the label alone can make premiums skyrocket.
Now, if you’re wondering why, the answer is straightforward: insurance companies would rather make money than lose money. And companies make money by insuring drivers who never file a claim. Because high-risk drivers are most likely to file a claim, the insurance company hedges its bets by requiring higher premiums.
However, just because you’ve been designated as a high-risk driver doesn’t mean there aren’t any options to lower your higher rates. Many discount programs are still made available to drivers with varying driving records.
Cheap Car Insurance for High-Risk Drivers
Insurify crunched the numbers and determined the cheapest and most expensive companies for high-risk drivers. See which companies have the lowest and highest minimum quotes on record:
Cheapest Companies for High-Risk Drivers
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Most Expensive Companies for High-Risk Drivers
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The single, easiest thing to do to save on high-risk car insurance
Comparison shopping will change your financial life, especially when it comes to insurance providers. Because policies vary widely from each car insurance provider, so can the cost of car insurance premiums.
While one car insurance company examines the last five years of your driving history, another examines the last ten. Each will have a different approach to evaluating the risk of different violations. And what may be considered a high-risk category for one company might be regarded as “standard” by another.
Some providers even specialize in high-risk insurance. These providers understand your challenges and needs better than a standard insurance company can. Agents there also have more experience helping high-risk drivers navigate through policy options to get the best rate.
For example, insurance agents will advise on policy options that make policies unnecessarily expensive. They will also have intimate knowledge of different discount programs that can lower costs. (More on discounts to watch for a little later.)
There are a handful of high-risk providers that are often subsidiaries of larger auto insurance companies, including:
- The General
- Bristol West (a subsidiary of Farmers Insurance)
- Alliance United
- Dairyland (a subsidiary of Sentry Insurance)
- Direct Auto
- United Auto
If you’re dreading the idea of spending hours getting car insurance quotes from all these companies, fear not!
Insurify can help you get free quotes from up to twenty of the most affordable insurance companies in as little as two minutes. Whether or not you’re unsatisfied with your current auto insurance policy, check out Insurify to unlock discounts, discover smaller or cheaper companies in your area, and even save on your auto insurance costs. It’s that easy!
Car insurance discounts for high-risk drivers
Here are the average rates of discount for which you might be eligible:
More high-risk car insurance saving tips
- If you’re known for your lead foot, it’s time to slow down. If you’ve been known to text and drive, try an app that blocks distractions while you drive. In short, there’s no wrong time to start practicing safe driving habits and improve your driving record, especially since repeat offenses will push you into higher-risk categories. You may even risk having your license suspended or revoked.
- A provider-approved defensive driving course will also bring costs down, especially if you’re a new driver. Course costs typically range from $200 to $1,000, but the savings in premiums will easily make it worth the investment.
- Telematic programs can also help lower rates by literally proving you’re engaging in safe driving practices. This is done by installing a small tracking device in your car (there is a small plug for it usually below the steering wheel). This device sends information about your habits back to your insurance company. It typically tracks time of day, mileage, hard braking, and acceleration; some can even detect when you’re speeding.
- Never allow your coverage to lapse. Gaps in insurance coverage often lead to insurance rate increases. And if you’re caught with a gap in coverage, you can get hit with a hefty fine and even suspension/revocation of vehicle registration and/or your license.
- If you keep enough savings on hand, consider raising your deductible. While you will pay more out of pocket in the event of a claim, you will also spend less month-to-month on your premium.
- Paying your premium in full will also typically lower your costs. As a bonus, it also makes it less likely to experience a lapse in coverage.
- Another tip to keep in mind is that your insurance score is in varying degrees affected by your credit history. Having a bad credit score can raise premiums. Be sure to stay on top of your bills and other finances to ensure lower rates are always available to you.
- Lastly, if you’re a teen driver or a young driver and you live at home, do not get your own policy. Staying on your parent or guardian’s car insurance policy will most likely unlock a multi-vehicle or multi-driver discount. Your parent or guardian may also have access to other discount programs, like loyalty or employer discounts, that you will not.
Buying a car
- Safety features, best found on newer vehicles, often come with discounts in coverage. Full-frontal and side-curtain airbags, anti-lock brakes, and automatic seatbelts are just a few examples of safety features that can reduce costs.
- Consider purchasing a boring vehicle. Sedans and wagons are less expensive than a convertible or truck.
- Even better, consider purchasing a boring, reliable vehicle under five years old that has proper safety features. An older car costs less to replace, and so makes it more practical to forgo collision or comprehensive coverage. Carrying just liability coverage is typically the cheapest route for insurance. A used car with an anti-theft device will also likely lower your car insurance rate.