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Key Takeaways

  • Standard insurance policies provide standard coverage.
  • Standard coverage targets low-risk policyholders.
  • High-risk drivers who cannot obtain regular auto insurance coverage may consider non-standard insurance.
  • An auto insurer cannot offer standard coverage, or if it is, the rates might be higher.
  • Two things affect the cost of non-standard auto insurance: the standard pricing in your state and the requirements for obtaining non-standard coverage.

Standard v/s Non-standard Insurance

For drivers labeled low-risk by insurance companies, a standard insurance policy offers standard coverage. These drivers may get reasonable auto insurance rates from any "well-known" insurance providers, such as Nationwide, Allstate, and State Farm, because they typically have good credit, accident-free driving records, and drive smaller cars. You should anticipate receiving reasonable pricing quotations from numerous insurance providers as long as your driving history is average and you don't have a history of significant infractions or violations.

Similarly, the preferred insurance tier often gives the lowest insurance costs for good drivers with excellent driving records and credit. Again, these clients will save the most money because they represent a lower risk to their insurance provider.

Characteristics of Standard Insurance

  • A low-risk policyholder is the target audience for standard coverage.
  • These insurance policies are often highly similar to one another in terms of their coverage and insurance cost.
  • The Guaranty Fund, a State-run funding scheme for the payment of claims on behalf of a carrier unable to pay claims on their own, accepts participation from standard policies.
  • More limits usually apply to the categories of people covered by standard insurance. For example, only people who fall into the low-risk group are eligible for insurance.
  • For instance, vital determining variables for coverage like auto insurance include a driving history free of traffic fines, accidents, and other infractions and the number of insurance claims made.

Features of Non-standard Insurance

Although non-standard insurance plans are also issued using State-approved policy forms, they are variable to the policyholder's demands and, as a result, differ significantly in coverage and cost.

Excess & Surplus Lines is a term that describes non-standard policies (E & S).

  • Depending on the exact coverage you need and the level of risk you are willing to assume, non-standard insurance may incur additional costs.
  • You will pay rates that reflect your high-risk status if you apply.
  • When accepting high-risk candidates who might not be eligible for other regular insurance providers, non-standard policies offer far more flexibility.
  • Before attempting to convert to a standard provider, most businesses require customers to remain with a non-standard policy for a specific time.

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What makes you a non-standard driver?

Non-standard insurance is for high-risk drivers unable to obtain conventional auto insurance coverage. But who exactly is a high-risk person? The following drivers come under the category of non-standard or high risk by auto insurers:

New drivers: Younger drivers who lack experience are more likely to be in collisions. Young drivers pay expensive premiums to cover the more significant risk due to the threat they pose.

Foreign driver's license : A temporary resident or visitor may not qualify for the same level of auto insurance as a driver with a U.S. license.

Coverage lapse: Policyholders with expired auto insurance may be at greater risk. Insurance premiums and policy eligibility may be affected if they were operating a vehicle without canceling their previous insurance for non-payment.

Driving-related incidents: Speeding tickets, auto accidents, or a DUI conviction could raise a red signal about a driver.

Need to carry SR-22 proof: Drivers who have had their licenses suspended or revoked may have to file an SR-22 certificate as evidence that they have at least the bare minimum vehicle insurance coverage required by their state.

The above scenarios could all label a driver as a higher risk for insurance. Some may also assume that new or foreign drivers, as well as those with a history of collisions or coverage lapses, are more likely to participate in future collisions and expensive claims. An auto insurer might not provide standard coverage, or if they do, the premiums might be higher.

Other Risk Factors

Driving race cars: Non-standard vehicle insurance policies are for drivers of race cars, luxury automobiles, or other car categories that have a high risk of theft and other losses, in addition to those who have a history of moving offenses or DUI convictions. Additionally, occasionally a person without insurance must purchase a non-standard policy.

Driving luxury cars: If you drive an expensive supercar, a rare car, or a vehicle with a salvage title, you may need non-standard vehicle insurance.

Who sells non-standard auto insurance?

Numerous insurance providers provide non-standard auto insurance as a different tier of protection. Furthermore, a few significant insurers have subsidiaries that provide non-standard coverage to the high-risk segment of the market.

Specialized companies may offer you non-standard insurance at lower prices than larger carriers if you need such coverage. To be sure you're getting a good deal, compare quotes from at least three different insurance providers.

How much does non-standard auto insurance cost?

Two factors mainly affect the price of non-standard auto insurance: the typical costs in your state and the prerequisites for getting non-standard coverage. For example, your premiums could increase due to a speeding ticket, but not as much as a DUI.

Surprisingly, we discovered that age had the most impact on rates in most states. Teenage drivers typically pay higher rates than those responsible for incidents involving DUI. The table below demonstrates how considerably the extra cost of non-standard insurance differs by the state and the factor that led to the driver's assessment as a greater risk.

State Average Annual Premium Speeding Violation DUI+ Accident Young Driver
California $1,842 $3,072 $7,806 $6,189
Florida $1,588 $2,436 $3,396 $4,290
Illinois $1,332 $2,796 $2,016 $6,291
New Jersey $2,428 $4,464 $6,588 $9,060
New York $1,824 $2,556 $5,544 $6,228
Pennsylvania $1,831 $2,040 $3,448 $10,220
Texas $1,242 $1,244 $2,310 $4,080

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How is non-standard car insurance different from standard insurance?

Non-standard insurance mainly covers higher-risk drivers who may no longer be eligible for standard coverage. Cost and the number of auto insurers available are the two factors that differ most between standard and non-standard auto insurance. Car insurance that isn't normal is usually more expensive.

The procedure for getting non-standard auto insurance is the same as for standard coverage. Shop around and compare carrier rates to obtain the best deal. Since non-standard insurance rates are often more expensive than average, shopping around may enable you to get the lowest possible rate.

You can buy a policy after selecting a carrier. If an SR-22 is necessary, you can ask the insurer to submit it on your behalf to the state to show that you are adequately covered.

Can You Move from Nonstandard Auto Insurance to Standard Insurance?

You can change your non-standard insurance into a standard one if you can satisfy the eligibility requirements of a standard policy (for example, the DUI conviction has been duly paid and removed from your record). Additionally, make sure to drive carefully and obey all traffic laws.

How are auto insurance premiums determined?

Insurance companies identify you as a non-standard driver based on the characteristics described. In addition to the list, if you have bad credit, an auto insurance company may increase your prices - unless you reside in a jurisdiction where credit checks are not legal.

Your geographic location, the kind of vehicle you drive, and the insurer you select are other variables that could have a substantial impact on your rates but have nothing to do with you as the driver. For example, based on crime rates and the number of claims in the area, including those caused by weather-related losses, your residence impacts how much your auto insurance will cost.

Your premiums are affected by the car you drive because of the cost of replacing car parts, how well it shields its occupants from harm, and how much damage it can do in a collision if it is at fault.

The cost of the same level of coverage may vary depending on the provider you select. For example, you may reduce your premiums using vehicle insurance firms that are "friendlier" to high-risk drivers or focus on non-standard auto insurance.

By employing their proprietary algorithms, insurers assign different ratings to incidents, such as speeding tickets and at-fault accidents, when determining premiums.

Bottom Line

Last but not least, if you cannot get auto insurance from any high-risk auto insurance providers, think about your state's allocated pool, which offers insurance to high-risk drivers who cannot do so otherwise. However, since assigned-risk plans in most states are typically more expensive than the coverage provided by non-standard insurance firms, this should only be used as a last choice.

Auto Insurance Data Methodology

The auto insurance rates published in this guide are based on the results of research completed by’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

Frequently asked questions

Why are non-standard insurance premiums more expensive?

High-risk drivers who might not be eligible for standard coverage need non-standard insurance. Car insurance rates are more than average for high-risk drivers because they have a history of collisions, movement violations, or other hazardous behaviors frequently resulting in expensive claims.

How can I get new coverage if I receive a letter of nonrenewal from my car insurance company?

Your coverage could be withdrawn or not renewed by your auto insurance provider. If so, you will have to look elsewhere for car insurance. Finding a non-standard insurance provider can be your best option if you were refused renewal due to an incident like a DUI conviction or numerous claims in a short period.

Non-standard insurance providers might be more responsive to working with you and offer your state's Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) an SR-22 certificate demonstrating your lawful insurance coverage.

When am I eligible for standard car insurance?

Suppose you have a non-standard auto insurance policy. In that case, you might be qualified for a standard procedure by the DMV if a severe violation from your record or after you've had coverage for at least six months. Insurance companies typically want to know that you can drive safely and keep your car insured.

The requirements differ depending on the vehicle insurer, so you might need to maintain non-standard coverage for a more extended period or be eligible for standard coverage sooner. But, again, timelines will change depending on the standards of the typical business you are choosing.

Is the General Standard or Non-Standard?

The General is one of the companies that provide non-standard insurance.

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