High risk drivers often have the most difficult time shopping for car insurance. Learn where to shop for a policy and how to save money with a poor driving record.
High risk drivers often have the most difficult time shopping for car insurance. Their driving records not only makes their premiums significantly higher as a nonstandard driver, but insurance providers can refuse to sell them a policy all together. Because high risk drivers are more likely to file an insurance claim, many providers believe these drivers will end up costing them more money than they're worth.
States have varying laws that determine how far back insurance providers can look into your driving record to assess your rates. Most insurance carriers are interested in violations within the past five years, but some will be able to look back even further. There are ways to view your driving record online through the DMV if you’re concerned about what providers will be able to see.
Reasons drivers are considered high risk
- DUI/DWI A conviction of driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol leads to a slew of car insurance consequences such as increased rates, SR-22 filing requirement, and the possible termination of your policy. On top of these penalties, you’ll also be hit with some serious fines. According to the DMV, the average cost of a DUI after court costs, legal fees, license reinstatement, rehab, and the possibly loss of income averages around $10,000. In most states, a DUI will stay on your driving record for three years or more.
- New drivers Whether you’re a teen or you simply received your driver’s license late, your lack of experience and driving record history can deem you a high risk driver. New drivers are much more likely to file a claim than an experienced driver and therefore they cost the insurance company more money to cover. Teen drivers can avoid a high risk policy by being added to their parent or guardian’s policy. New adult driver may have to purchase a high risk policy depending on their specific providers, but they’ll likely only need to keep the policy for six months before being eligible for a standard policy.
- Owning a high risk vehicle Exotic cars, sport cars, super cars, or collectible cars can land you in the high risk driver category because they require more coverage than the average vehicle. When shopping for a provider consider one that specializes in covering high risk vehicles.
- Lapse in insurance coverage Providers consider drivers who were in a lapse in coverage at some point a huge risk because there are serious consequences for driving uninsured. Not only does driving uninsured put you at huge financial risk, but it’s also against the law. Drivers need to renew or find a new policy when their old one expires so that they’re never on the road without coverage.
- Drivers over 70 years old Older individuals often experience loss in mobility, reflexes, and vision which puts them at risk for car accidents. Seniors can save money on their higher premiums by taking a defensive driving course.
- Serious violations or accidents Besides a DUI, other serious violations and accidents that are considered high risk include excessive speeding, illegal street racing, a traffic violation that results in a death, and driving without a license. Each state has a different interpretation of serious accident, however usually any accident involving severe injury or property damage will be deemed serious.
Insurance companies for high risk drivers
Nonstandard drivers should devote even more time to exploring provider and discount options that will offer the appropriate amount of protection at a reasonable price. Luckily, quote comparison sites have made shopping for coverage less time consuming. Specifically, Insurify.com allows you to customize, build, unlock discounts, and purchase your policy online in minutes. Before you start shopping, you should be familiar with providers that offer high risk insurance quotes. Many large insurance companies own subsidiaries that offer policies for high risk driver.
- Geico Casualty Co.
- The General
- Bristol West
- Alliance United
- Direct General
- Safe Auto
- United Automobile
Discounts for high risk drivers
Even though high risk drivers face higher premiums there are a number of discounts they can still qualify for in order to lower their rates:
- Completed driver’s education or defensive driving course discount
- Good credit score discount
- Low mileage discount
- Good student discount
- Timely payment discount
- Higher education discount
- Multi-car discount
- Multi-driver discount
- Multi-policy discount: bundling your auto and renters/homeowners insurance
- Anti-theft discount
- Safety features discount
How do driving violations affect my car insurance rates?
A stain on your driving record might seem like the end of the world, but remember that most violations only stay on your record for a maximum of five years. As long as you make the efforts to become a safer driver and avoid future violations, you won’t have to pay for higher premiums forever.
To give you an idea of how much a driving violation can impact your insurance premiums, ValuePenguin has collected data from all 50 states that includes averages for the standard driver, a driver with a speeding violation, a driver with a DUI, and a young driver. View the map below to see how we interpreted the data.