Car insurance premiums are generally calculated based on the driver's risk level. High-risk car insurance is just another type of car insurance where the driver's profile makes all the difference. If your driving history involves accidents, parking violations, or similar citations, it automatically translates to high-risk insurance and higher premiums. This might narrow your choices for insurance companies, but here we help you navigate through the best car insurance companies for high-risk drivers, factors that bring home high-risk insurance, methods to avoid them and save money on the high-risk insurance.
Who is a high-risk driver?
Insurance companies consider drivers falling under these categories as high-risk drivers.
Young and inexperienced drivers
Drivers with poor credit scores
Drivers with parking tickets or other violations like road rage, reckless driving, or DUI convictions
Lapse in insurance coverage
Owners of high-powered or exotic vehicles
A high-risk driver becomes an unreliable client and a liability, thereby increasing the rates of the insurance, also known as non-standard car insurance. High-risk drivers might face limitations on who could drive their car, reduction in policy coverage, and loss of safe driver discounts.
What makes you a high-risk driver?
Both driving and non-driving factors can categorize you as a high-risk driver, leaving you with high-risk insurance as your choice. While at-fault claims, reckless driving, speeding, parking violations, and DUI come under the driving factors, age, location, credit score, type of car, insurance coverage history, and license points fall under the non-driving factors.
Speeding tickets and reckless driving: Though speeding tickets seem to have less impact on insurance premiums, they are considered precursors to other severe violations. While speeding can increase your average premium rates by around $353, reckless driving charges can rise anywhere between $496 to $3000.
At-fault accidents: Accidents that result in bodily damage settlements are a significant predictor of insurance risk. It is a financial burden on the insurance company, which is liable for losses and accumulating risk for the firm while covering you further. In most states, an at-fault accident increases your insurance rates for three years. It can increase to $664 annually on average.
Racing on public roads: It can be an expensive violation one would need to pay for if charged with. One can be charged with additional $985 per year.
DUI charges: Excluding the additional legal fee that comes in handy if convicted of driving under influence, the 6-month premium can hike by $483
Bad credit score: A poor credit score (below 578) need not necessarily make you a bad driver, but studies say so. Those with poor scores are more likely to file a claim than those with good scores. Drivers with a poor credit score pay around $1250 more than those with a good score.
Driver’s age: Teen drivers and their inexperience are proportional to high risk. Younger drivers tend to pay more premiums than older and experienced drivers above the age of 25.
Locality: The place of your residence also matters while calculating high-risk as insurance rates are governed by laws of the respective states.
Insurance coverage history: Clients with a lapse in their insurance coverage are considered unreliable and less financially responsible
Safe driving practices: It is evident that avoiding tickets and collisions can go a long way in reducing your auto insurance costs. Adhere to the posted speed limit and any other posted signs. If you already have penalties, search for new rates.
Work on your credit score: Improving your credit score can save you a lot of money. Paying your bills on time, keeping your credit card balances low, or adding yourself to your parent’s utility bill can improve your credit scores.
Complete a safe driving course: Taking up a defensive driving course is not only a way to avail discounts from the insurance companies but also helps to understand safe driving practices and recognize driving hazards quickly.
Avoid expensive cars: Sports cars and luxury cars are expensive to insure, as they are inclined to speed and costlier to repair.
How to save money on high-risk insurance?
Following these simple yet effective steps can help you save money on your high-risk insurance.
Grade your collision damage: One should think twice before filing a collision claim. Since these claims will remain on your insurance records for 3-5 years, it can lead you to pay higher claims in the long run. So, it is important to file the collision claim based on the degree of the damage.
Take a defensive driving course: This may not help if you already have a ticket, but it will help to claim the safe driver discounts offered by car insurance companies.
Improve your credit score: If you are under the high-risk category due to your poor credit score, improving it to excellent can save you around $1350 annually.
Staying car-free: If you are on a budget, then paying high-risk insurance premiums could be an unnecessary liability. Public transportation or rideshare services can be opted for this self-imposed auto break.
See what you could save on auto insurance
Which are the cheapest cars to insure for a high-risk driver?
Insurance Rates (average annual premium)
Auto Insurance Data Methodology
The auto insurance rates published in this guide are based on the results of research completed by Way.com’s data team. Using a mix of public and internal data, we analyzed millions of rate averages across U.S. ZIP codes.
Quotes are typically based on a full coverage policy average unless otherwise noted within the content.
These rates were publicly sourced from insurer filings and should be used for comparative purposes only — your own quotes will differ. Given this, it’s important to go through our insurance steps form to find how much you can save with way.com
Frequently Asked Questions
How much is high-risk car insurance?
High-risk car insurance will cost around $2246 annually on average. This means a driver under this category pays roughly $1000 more than a regular-risk driver.
Who falls under the high-risk insurance category?
Drivers with records of violations, speeding, poor credit record, and DUI charges, along with other non-driving factors like age, experience, location, and type of car, can categorize you under the high-risk insurance category.
How long can you be a high-risk driver?
Though one can be considered high-risk for as long as ten years, this is not generally the case. If a court orders that a driver file an SR-22, the need to do so normally lasts for three years unless the court orders otherwise.
Does every high-risk driver need to file an SR-22 form?
The SR-22 form is not a type of insurance. It's a legal need to file a policy with the state, and drivers who require an SR-22 face higher insurance premiums. If you are found driving without auto insurance, you will face the same filing consequences.