Personal Finance Expert
Tyron Jones is a finance expert who has operated within the auto insurance business for more than 10 years. He has written many other finance related articles for a number of prominent publications.
Once you are designated as a high-risk driver, you are going to automatically encounter more challenges when looking to obtain auto insurance. Not only do high-risk drivers have difficulty finding insurance companies willing to take them on, but they are also going to pay a significantly higher premium than their lower risk counterparts.
Insurance companies define high-risk drivers by a combination of both driving and non-driving factors. Read on for all that you need to know about your classification as a high-risk driver and what you can do to lower your automobile insurance premiums.
WHAT MAKES YOU A HIGH-RISK DRIVER – DRIVING FACTORS
- Speeding Tickets – The kiss of death for insurance premiums is an abundance of speeding tickets on your record. Every speeding ticket on your record can send your premiums soaring up to an average of $300 per year. Because speeding tickets are indicators that the driver is more likely to engage in riskier driving behavior, it is no surprise that even the smallest violations will land you in the category of a high-risk driver.
- At-fault Accidents – Being found guilty of causing a vehicular accident is an automatic black mark on a driving record. This is especially damaging if an injury resulted from the collision. An accident can add a significant amount of money to your monthly premium because not only does the insurance company have to pay for the damages, but it also assumes a higher risk in the future.
- Reckless Driving – A charge of reckless driving will affect your premiums for an average of about three years. A reckless driving conviction is right behind a DUI and racing charge in regards to how much it will cost you in the long run. As a major moving violation, the charge of reckless driving will raise your annual premiums by as much as $1000.
- DUI – It is no surprise that a DUI will send your insurance policy premiums through the roof. As the most expensive citation to deal with, a DUI charge will cause the monthly premium to increase by about 40%. This does not include the money that you will be out for legal fees and other costs.
- Racing – While this charge can be somewhat innocuous, it is never a good idea to take to the streets to race your vehicle. Not only this an extremely dangerous practice, but a racing charge has the potential of raising your premiums by approximately $1,000 per year
WHAT MAKES YOU A HIGH-RISK DRIVER – NON-DRIVING FACTORS
In addition to direct driving incidences, there is a myriad of non-driving factors that can potentially give you the label of a high-risk driver. Some of the most common factors include the following:
- Age – Insurance companies have a strong preference for experienced drivers. Older and more experienced drivers should expect to see better rates while teenage drivers are more likely to see higher rates. If you are a high-risk teen driver, you can lower your rates by hitting the books. Most insurance companies offer discount car insurance for college students who maintain a GPA of 3.0 or higher. The reasoning behind this discount is that a high GPA not only demonstrates responsibility, but it also translates to more time behind the books and less time behind the wheel.
- Credit – While it has nothing to do with your direct driving ability, poor credit can wreak havoc on your vehicle insurance rates. Having poor credit means drivers are more likely to file an insurance claim than those drivers with better credit scores. Because of this risk of more claims filed, insurance companies charge higher rates to protect their bottom line.
- Personal Insurance History – Insurers do not look kindly to drivers who have had gaps in their vehicular insurance coverage. A series of gaps in your coverage indicates a lack of responsibility. Drivers with high levels of consistent coverage are less of a risk.
- State of Residence – The place you call home can also have an effect on your status as a high-risk driver. Insurance rates are set by zip code, making your residence a significant factor in what you pay. Drivers in no-fault states may see higher premiums if their driving record is not perfect. A no-fault state is one that mandates that every driver file a claim after a collision, regardless of who was at fault. This policy has the purposes of reducing the number of cases that end up in small claims court, lessening the burden on the local court system. There are currently 12 no-fault states in the US. Those states are Florida, Hawaii, Kansas, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, and Utah.
- Type of Vehicle – The type of vehicle that you drive will also affect your designation as a high or low-risk driver. Vehicles that boast performance features are more vulnerable to higher insurance premiums. Drivers that operate vehicles capable of traveling at high speeds or with off-road capabilities are more at risk of getting into an accident. In addition, vehicles that have parts that are not easily replaced may also incur a higher rate to insure.
- Vehicle Usage – The way that you use your vehicle and its frequency of use may also tilt the balance toward a higher premium. You may qualify for a lower rate if you can demonstrate that you do not use your vehicle frequently. Vehicles for use in commercial instances or as rideshare vehicle are susceptible to being more difficult to insure. It can be challenging to find insurance coverage at a decent rate if your vehicle is not used primarily for personal purposes.
HOW TO SAVE ON HIGH-RISK INSURANCE
- Go Back to School – If you know that a previous collision is killing your chance at an affordable premium, taking a defensive driving course can help you to learn the skills needed to avoid these costly mistakes in the future.
- Boost Your Credit – Being proactive about boosting your credit score will lower your premiums while providing a host of additional benefits in your life. Many insurance companies have done studies that show a strong correlation between credit score and incidence of claim filings. Lifting your score up one category can cut your rates by about 15%, saving you a substantial amount of money over the course of a year. If you’re not able to do this in a timely manner then you may want to look into non credit based car insurance.
- Do Not Jump to File Claims – It is natural to want to recoup lost money during a collision or mishap on the road. However, in the long run, filing that claim may end up costing you more money. Before you rush to file a claim, it is important to compare the value of the damage with the anticipated premium increase. When estimating the potential increase to your premium, be sure to consider the boost over a three-year period because that is how long most collisions will stay on your driving record. Be sure to remember to consider the deductible cost when deciding whether it is worth it to file the claim.
- Ditch the Vehicle – While it is true that many people need a vehicle to get through life, ditching the personal vehicle may be a good solution for you if your insurance costs have spiraled out of control. By the time you factor in vehicle payments, insurance, maintenance costs, and fuel, it is eye-opening to see how much money you will have to put toward rideshare services and public transportation costs. Waiting three years for the violations to slide off of your driving record will help you to secure better rates in the future.
- Track Your Record – Most insurance companies examine coverage rates every six months. However, if you have a violation that is set to fall off prior to the reexamination period, you may not see the savings for months down the road. For this reason, it is always a good idea to be aware of your record and when violations will no longer be a part of your driving history. Once a violation has fallen off, be sure to contact your insurance company so that you can negotiate a better rate.
- Compare Prices – As with all types of insurance coverage, it pays to shop around. Coverage amounts can vary greatly between companies, making it important that you do your research and compare prices. Budget-conscious drivers can also look into employing the service of an insurance broker. While these middlemen are generally equipped to find you the best deal for your needs, you need to be wary of the commissions that they may be receiving.
UNDERSTANDING LICENSE POINTS
Every state has different specifications when it comes to high-risk insurance. One of the most common ways that some states assess driver risk is through a system of license points. Every violation or risk receives a specific number of points. Drivers are at risk of losing their license if the point total reaches the specified amount. While insurance companies do not use points to assign risk to applicants, they do look at the individual driving report that provides information regarding violations that contributed to the driver’s point total.
ASSIGNED RISK INSURANCE
An assigned risk driver is one that has been denied vehicle insurance coverage after trying different avenues. Assigned Risk Insurance is insurance that is assigned to extremely high-risk drivers when there are no other options available. High-risk drivers who have repeatedly been denied coverage by multiple insurance companies may be eligible to apply for this specialized type of coverage. While Assigned Risk Insurance is generally very expensive, it may be the only option for some drivers.
OTHER DISCOUNTS TO APPLY
Even if you are a high-risk driver, there are other discounts that you may be eligible to receive. Because every dollar counts, it never hurts to ask your insurer if are eligible for any of the following discounts:
- Military – Military personnel, both active and retired, may be eligible to receive a break on their premiums.
- Vehicle Safety Features – Just as home insurers may deliver discounts to homeowners with features such as security systems, auto insurers may provide discounts on drivers who operate cars with specific safety mechanisms. Some of the most common features that may earn you a rate cut include anti-lock brakes, extra airbags, and theft-deterrent systems.
- Tracking Device – Many major insurance companies now offer the use of tracking devices on vehicles. These devices provide insurers with data and statistics that help to track your driving abilities. It is important to note that you will have to use the tracking device for a standard time period before seeing potential savings on your premium.
- Multi-Policy Discount – The single best way to save money on your auto insurance is to combine it with other policies from the same insurance company. You can achieve this discount in a few different ways. If you have multiple vehicles in your household, keeping them on the same policy will likely save you some cash each month. You can also qualify for a multi-policy discount by combining it with home and business insurance policies. This practice of combining policies is insurance bundling. For help finding the best home and car insurance bundle please refer to our full article on the topic.
There is still hope if you are a high-risk driver. While you may pay more initially, a safe driving record can help you to lose the high premiums over time. Insurance companies always welcome new business. As such, they are more than willing to sit down with you and discuss your options for obtaining coverage without busting your budget. Being conscious of your driving record going forward and practicing patience will aid in your efforts to shed the high-risk driving status.
General High-Risk Car Insurance Questions
This section answers general questions that you might have about high-risk car insurance. Use this section to get a solid understanding of what high-risk insurance is and how it works.
What is high risk car insurance?
High risk car insurance is a product that drivers use when they are ordered to do so by a court or when other insurance companies refuse to cover them because of their past driving record.
How long does high risk insurance last?
High-risk status varies by insurance company and state law. Most companies will remove the high-risk tag after three years of incident-free driving.
Where to get car insurance for high risk drivers?
There are lots of options for car insurance for high risk drivers. Look for insurance companies in your area that specialize in SR-22 policies. Ask if they have car insurance with no down payments required.
How to get high risk auto insurance?
You can get high-risk auto insurance the same way you get any other kind of insurance – shop around to compare prices and pick the policy that works best for you.
What is high risk insurance called?
High risk insurance is called high risk insurance. It can also be referred to as SR-22 insurance, after the form that’s filed to verify your insurance coverage.
How does high risk auto insurance work?
High-risk auto insurance works just like regular auto insurance – the main difference is that you pay more for high risk insurance.
How many insurance points makes you a high-risk driver?
Each insurance company and state have different guidelines for what qualifies someone as a high-risk driver. You’ll need to check with specific companies and your local laws to get your answer.
What determines high risk or low risk in auto insurance?
Individual insurance companies get to set their own guidelines on what counts as a high-risk driver. They make these determinations guided by local and state law. Related: How can I lower my car insurance?
Why would I need high risk insurance?
You might need high risk insurance if you’re in several at-fault accidents, have a serious traffic violation like a DUI, or if you have an extremely bad credit score.
Is under 25 high risk auto insurance?
No – high risk insurance refers to drivers that have demonstrated they are more likely to be in an accident or generate a claim against their insurance.
High Risk Auto Insurance and DUIs
We’ll answer the most common questions people have about car insurance and DUIs in this section.
How long do I need high risk insurance after DUI?
The amount of time you’ll need high risk insurance after a DUI depends on your state, insurance company, and driving record. However, most companies will require DUI insurance for at least three years.
How long does a DUI stay on your insurance?
Different state laws have different guidelines for how long a DUI stays on your insurance. You’ll need to check with your local laws to answer your question.
When does insurance go down after DUI?
In most cases, your insurance will go down three years after your DUI. However, based on your driving record and local laws, it could be longer or shorter.
How do insurance companies find out about DUI?
Insurance companies find out about DUIs because court systems report DUIs to insurance companies. That means there’s not really any way to avoid having your DUI reported.
How much does insurance go up after DUI?
You should expect to see an auto insurance rate increase of 50-75% if you are convicted of a DUI. This could be higher or lower depending on your specific driving record.
Does full coverage insurance cover DUI accidents?
In most cases, yes. However, you need to check your specific policy agreement to see if there are any exceptions written in to your policy.
How far back do insurance companies check for DUI?
Each state sets a limit on how far back an insurance company can check for DUIs. You’ll need to consult local state laws to get your answer.
Do car insurance companies cover DUI accidents?
In most cases, yes. However, your policy may be written in a way that allows your insurance company to avoid liability in some instances.
How much is car insurance with 2 DUIs?
There’s no set price for car insurance with 2 DUIs, but it’s going to be at least double the cost of car insurance with no DUIs.
Can you get car insurance with a DUI?
Yes, you can get car insurance with a DUI. However, you should expect to pay much more for insurance than if you didn’t have a DUI, as you’ll need high-risk insurance. However, as you shop for auto insurance you’ll notice different rates from different companies.
How to hide a DUI from insurance?
There’s no way to hide a DUI from your insurance company. The best option is to take steps to mitigate the cost of your insurance, like extra driver’s training classes.
What does a DUI do to your insurance?
A DUI can cause your insurance rates to go up dramatically and you will likely have to get what’s called SR22 insurance. It can also cause your insurance company to no longer carry you, forcing you to find new insurance.
Can insurance deny claim for DUI?
In some cases, yes. It depends on your specific policy, situation, and state laws. You’ll want to talk to a lawyer to get more help with your specific case.
Does a DUI affect GAP insurance?
Not in most cases. Car gap insurance covers the difference between what you owe on your car and what your insurance company pays out, so it’s not really tied to your driving record.
Can you get an insurance license with a DUI?
Your ability to get an insurance license with a DUI is governed by state laws and the policies of your state’s department of insurance or equivalent organization.
How to lower insurance after DUI?
There are several options to lower your insurance after a DUI. You can take driver’s training classes, bundle your insurance with your home insurance, combine insurance with someone else, and other options. Talk to your insurance company for different ways to lower your rate.
High Risk Car Insurance in Specific States
This section answers questions about high-risk car insurance in specific states.
How many points require high risk car insurance Ohio?
Ohio considers drivers that have a serious infraction or 12 or more points on their record to be high-risk drivers. This of course leads to high car insurance premiums.
Where to go for auto insurance high risk driver NY?
You have lots of options for high-risk driver insurance in New York. Geico, The General Bristol West, and Kemper are all good options.
High Risk Auto Insurance Companies
We’ll answer your questions about different insurance companies and high-risk insurance in this section.
Who will insure a high-risk driver?
Lots of companies will insure high-risk drivers. Some of the most popular companies include Progressive, Geico, and The General.
What is the best insurance company for high risk drivers?
There’s no single best company for high-risk drivers. Just like with any car insurance, you should shop around and use price comparison tools to make sure you’re getting the best possible deal.
Does Geico have high risk insurance?
Yes, Geico does offer high-risk insurance in most markets. You’ll need to talk to a local Geico agent to see if they can provide insurance in your situation.
Does State Farm offer high risk auto insurance?
State Farm does offer high risk auto insurance, but you aren’t guaranteed to get accepted for coverage. This can change based on local laws and local branch policies. To find cheap car insurance for bad drivers you’ll need to thoroughly shop around.
Does USAA offer high risk auto insurance?
In many cases, yes. However, it depends on your specific driving record and situation. A local USAA agent can help you figure out if they’ll offer you coverage.
Is Progressive a high-risk insurance company?
Progressive does offer insurance for high-risk drivers on a case-by-case basis, but they are not a dedicated high-risk insurance company. Something you may not know is that there is also Progressive rideshare insurance in case you’re a driver for one of those services.
What companies insure high risk drivers?
Most companies will insure high-risk drivers on a case-by-case basis. You’ll need to talk to your specific insurance agent to see what your options are. Comparing car insurance multiple quotes is advised as it will allow you to choose to cheapest option.
How long does an accident stay on your Geico insurance?
Geico looks are your accidents in accordance with relevant state law and policy, which determines how far back they can look to take accidents into account for insurance pricing.
High Risk Car Insurance and Accidents
This section answers some of the most popular questions people have about car insurance and accidents.
How much does insurance go up after an accident?
The amount that your insurance goes up after an accident depends on lots of factors, like your overall driving record, the damage caused in the accident, the car you drive, and so on. You’ll need to talk to your agent to find out how much your insurance will go up.
How long does an accident stay on your insurance?
There’s no one set amount of time an accident stays on your insurance, as different companies and states have different rules and guidelines about how long an accident can be used to influence the cost of your insurance.
What happens if you get in an accident without insurance?
If you get into an accident without insurance then you will be liable for any damages in the accident. You’ll also likely face civil and/or criminal charges from the government if your state requires insurance.
Can I get insurance after an accident?
Yes, you can get car insurance after an accident. However, you should expect to pay between 20% and 40% more than you were previously, depending on the nature of the accident. Related: How much is insurance on a leased car?
How much does insurance go up after a minor accident?
There’s no single set amount that insurance goes up by after a minor accident. It depends on your overall driving record and lots of other factors.
Do insurance rates go up after no fault accident?
It depends on lots of factors – like the events surrounding the accident, your overall driving record, and state laws governing insurance.
When do accidents fall off insurance?
In most cases an accident will stay on your insurance record for 3-4 years. However, this can be different depending on company policies and the laws of the state where you live.
When does car insurance go down after accident?
Most drivers paying a higher insurance rate after an accident will see a drop anywhere from 6 months to 2 years after the accident, depending on other factors.
High Risk Car Insurance Pricing
We’ll answer your questions about high-risk car insurance pricing in this section.
How much is high risk insurance?
The exact cost of high-risk insurance depends on the driver, the car, your state, and other factors. Generally, high risk insurance will be between 30% and 100% more expensive than standard insurance.
How much does high risk insurance cost?
High risk insurance will cost between 30% and 100% more than standard insurance depending on your specific driving record, car, company, and the state where you live. Related: What does liability only car insurance cost?
How much more is high risk auto insurance?
High risk auto insurance generally costs between 30 to 100% more than standard insurance, depending on your overall driving record, price reduction actions, and other factors. You might find it interesting to compare insurance rates by zip code to see what people in surrounding areas are paying.
How much is high risk insurance a month?
The price of car insurance varies a lot from state to state and driver to driver. You can generally expect your high risk insurance to cost between 30% and 100% more than your standard policy costs.
What is the cheapest high-risk auto insurance?
There’s no single company that has the cheapest high-risk auto insurance. We recommend using an online price comparison tool to see who has the best insurance offer for you in your area. You may want to consider low mileage car insurance options.
Do high risk individuals pay more for insurance?
Yes, high risk individuals pay more for insurance because the insurance company things that there’s a higher chance they’ll need to pay out on a claim as a result of covering that driver.
How to lower high risk insurance?
You have several options to lower your high-risk insurance. Driver training classes are an extremely effective option. You can also get discounts for paying in full, bundling, and more.
How to get cheap high-risk insurance?
The best way to get cheap high-risk car insurance is to use online price comparison tools to find the lowest price option in your area.
How to lower car insurance after accident?
You’ve got several options for lowering your car insurance after an accident. One of the best ways is to take qualified driver training classes. You can also get discounts for things like bundling, driver monitoring apps, and other programs. Ask your agent what your options are.
Other High-Risk Car Insurance Questions
This section covers insurance questions that don’t fit into our other categories. Check here if you can’t find your question elsewhere.
How long high risk last for no tags or insurance?
Your high-risk status for no tags or insurance depends on any court orders and the laws for your state. You’ll need to consult those laws to get the answer to your question.
How to remove high risk from insurance?
The best way to remove high-risk status from your insurance is to maintain a clean driving record for at least three years. That means no at-fault accidents and no tickets.
How long will insurance pay for rental car after accident?
The amount of time an insurer will pay for a rental car after your accident depends on your insurance policy. You’ll need to check your policy agreement to see how long you get rental car benefits.
Should I call my insurance company after a minor accident?
Yes, you should always call your insurance company after an accident so that you can protect yourself from any damages or liabilities claimed by the other driver.
How to report accident to insurance?
The easiest way to report an accident to your insurance is to call your agent. You can find the phone number to call on your insurance card.
How would you classify accident insurance?
Accident insurance covers the damages when you are at fault in an accident up to the limit on your policy.
Does insurance cover towing after an accident?
In most cases, yes. However, it depends on your specific insurance policy agreement. Review your policy or contact your agent to see if your policy covers towing.