Are you struggling to find car insurance as a high-risk driver? If you’ve been labeled a high-risk driver (because of a serious traffic violation or several minor violations), you might not immediately know it, but you will definitely see a hike in your insurance premiums.
But before you purchase any policy, be sure to comparison shop and talk to your friends and neighbors about their experiences in the insurance market. It’s also a good idea to look into the financial strength and complaint ratios of the companies you’re considering. Companies with financial strength are able to pay out claims on time, meaning you’re sure that you’ll actually receive the coverage you’ve paid for in the event that you need to use it. Companies with a low complaint ratio are hard to find in the high-risk insurance market, but not impossible, and it’s worth trying to find a company that provides a good mix of value and cost.
So to get you back on the road as quickly and safely as possible, we’ve put together a list of the best insurance companies for drivers with tickets or accidents on their record.
01 Best Overall: Bristol West
Available in most states, Bristol West is a leader in liability coverage for high-risk drivers. The company typically has fewer than average complaints and has great financial standing, and offers low down payment options and flexible payment plans. As a subsidiary of Farmers Insurance, it is only sold through Farmers Insurance agents rather than directly to consumers.
Bristol West’s low down payment option can be very helpful. Having a low down payment can mean the difference between buying insurance and driving without. The most common reasons that individuals are labeled as high-risk drivers include serious violations such as driving under the influence, causing a hit-and-run accident, acquiring a ton of speeding tickets or failing to purchase car insurance before getting behind the wheel. But if you are a very young or old driver, live in a very dense urban area, or drive an older vehicle, you might also find yourself being labeled as an insurance risk.
02 Runner-Up, Best Overall: Allstate
On top of having above-average financials and fewer than the average number of complaints, Allstate also offers a slew of incentives that can help you get your driving record back on track – and provides financial incentives for doing so. Every six months you drive accident-free, you’ll receive a check in the mail from Allstate. For each year with no moving violations, you’ll get an additional $100 off of your collision deductible. If you’re willing to install the company’s Drivewise app, you’ll get 15 percent off for every six months you drive safely.
If you do happen to get into an accident, you can send photos and videos instead of in-person inspections for filing a claim, and the company guarantees claim satisfaction. They also offer accident forgiveness for your first accident and will even replace your car if you total it within the first two years that you purchase it.
03 Best for Rebuilding Your Driving Record: State Farm
Along with offering reasonably-priced plans, State Farm’s Drive Safe and Save program tracks you in real-time for a myriad of safe-driving factors as simple as accelerating smoothly and braking properly. And you can get very steep discounts, up to 50 percent, if State Farm determines you’re not as risky a driver as your record states. The company also offers training called The Steer Clear Driver Program if you need a refresher course on what safe driving behaviors look like.
04 Best for The Accident-Prone: Progressive
Did you know that Progressive actually started out as a company exclusively for high-risk drivers? They were the first insurance company to let you pay your premiums in installments and to offer drive-in claims service, as well. They are also a leader in customer service and claims processing: all elements of the process are handled by Progressive and Progressive affiliated body shops, meaning much less hassle for drivers when you need repairs and a more streamlined process for everyone.
05 Best for Clear & Upfront Costs: Geico
Geico Casualty, the high-risk subsidiary of Geico, uses a surprisingly transparent points system to determine how much an individual will pay for a particular policy, based on recency of accidents, reckless driving and coverage options selected. The company also offers a renewal and good driver discount, and always scores highly in terms of customer satisfaction levels.
As the second-largest insurance company in the nation, it should come as no surprise that Geico has “superior” financial strength as well. If you’re looking for a personal touch, however, you might want to consider a different company: GEICO is insurance agent-less because they sell directly to customers, meaning if you have any problems or questions, you’ll have to find it on the website or call customer service.
06 Best for Those Rejected By Other Companies: Titan
If you’ve been rejected by other insurance companies, don’t give up your search until you’ve looked into Titan, a Nationwide subsidiary. Titan often will insure drivers that other insurance companies wouldn’t touch, including those with drunk-driving convictions, and will provide you with SR-22 paperwork if you need it. The company offers many minimum coverage options if you’re looking for the cheapest option available, and provides many discounts for things you wouldn’t necessarily think would provide a financial perk, like having anti-lock brakes installed or using your vehicle on a farm.
07 Best Bare Minimum: The General
If you’re looking for an insurance company that won’t try to add additional frills to your policy but also has a solid financial backing, look no further than The General. This company will insure just about anyone, can issue SR-22 forms, and quotes on its website only include state minimum coverage.
The General also offers low down payments and flexible monthly payment options. While the company does have an above-average complaint ratio, The General’s financial strength is “excellent,” according to ratings agency A.M. Best – meaning their ability to pay out a claim, should you need to file one, is strong. The company also offers a self-serve app and website that eliminates the need to work with an insurance agent in order to make payments or policy changes, get your insurance card or view relevant insurance documents.
08 Best When You Need An SR-22: Acceptance Insurance
If you’ve committed an egregious offense, you might be required to file SR-22 paperwork with your state, which provides proof that you have purchased car insurance. SR-22 is not a type of insurance and those who refer to “SR-22 insurance” just means that companies who are willing to insure drivers are required to file this paperwork with the government.
You might have to pay an additional fee for the filing costs that come with an SR-22, but most high-risk insurance companies will not be surprised if you mention this requirement. Of course, it’s a good idea to be up front with any insurance agents when discussing policy options and mention that you’ll need to file an SR-22 form from the outset.
Acceptance Insurance caters to those who need this type of coverage and aims to make the filing process as painless as possible. Because they cater to high-risk drivers, Acceptance also has a variety of plans for high-risk drivers rather than using a one-size-fits-all approach. As a small Midwestern company, Acceptance also offers great customer service.
Thankfully, being labeled a high-risk driver is not a nail in the coffin. If you’ve been irresponsible, correcting your habits and behaviors will ensure your insurance rates are lower in the future.
High Risk Car Insurance
All Drivers and Backgrounds Considered
We have over 30 years experience in helping drivers who might be considered too high risk to most standard insurance companies, secure competitive car insurance. As a specialist insurance provider, we have a team of underwriters, dedicated to helping people like you secure an affordable, high risk policy that gives you the cover you need.
Convicted Driver? No Problem!
If you have points on your licence, you’ve been caught speeding, drink driving or driving without insurance, finding an insurance company that will give you a quote can be difficult. This is alongside actually trying to obtain a competitive policy that is affordable. Acorn Insurance is a specialist insurance provider; we can help convicted drivers secure a competitive, high risk car insurance policy, that doesn’t compromise on the level of cover available.
High Risk Driver Cover
There are a number of reasons why you might be considered non-standard or a high risk driver to a standard insurance provider. You could have:
a high-performance car
a history of claims
an outstanding car insurance claim
a criminal or driving conviction
Furthermore, you could have missed a car finance/insurance payment, have speeding tickets, or you could even live in an area considered a high risk by most insurers. We believe high risk drivers can change their driving style to become a safe and sensible driver, so there is no need to decline, refuse or cancel their insurance.
High-risk car insurance
22 February 2018
We know that everyone’s situation is unique and we aim to help you find the right product for you. We may receive compensation when you visit our partners’ sites or are approved for their products. You can read more about how we maintain editorial independence and how we make money here.
How to get cheaper coverage when you’re classified as high risk.
Think of insurance providers as risk-management specialists. When a car insurance provider sets your premiums, those premiums are largely based on the level and type of risk an insurer perceives you to be. Factors insurers consider can include your age, your overall driving history and even the vehicle you drive.
If you’ve had a suspended license or a history of traffic infringements, you could be lumped into a high-risk category, sometimes increasing your premiums beyond even those for your typical risk factors. In addition, your risk factor might be further compounded by the type of car you’re driving. Altogether, these and other risk factors can make a substantial difference to your premiums.
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What makes someone a high-risk driver?
Generally, insurers determine their own driver categories. One provider might have three tiers — for low, medium and high risk — while another might take a more nuanced approach, considering other factors when deciding on its categories.
You may be considered a high-risk driver if:
You’ve been involved even one car accident.
You’ve received multiple speeding tickets or traffic violations.
You were convicted of a DWI or DUI.
You are a new driver.
You have a poor credit history.
One or any combination of these risk factors can raise your premiums. Understand the factors affecting car insurance premiums, so you can easily pick out ways to reduce your costs.
If you’re lumped into a high-risk car insurance category, there’s no one way to guarantee coverage at a low cost. It’s worth comparing a range of providers and, if necessary, speaking directly with a provider that specializes in high-risk drivers.
Do I have to let my insurer know if my license is suspended?
How to reduce the risk and cut your costs
Here are a few major steps you can take to reduce your premiums.
Keep an eye out for discounts. Some providers offer discounts as high as 25% just for renewing online, choosing electronic billing or for taking a defensive driving course.
Drop coverage you may not need. If you’re driving an older car and not as concerned about damage to it, consider dropping your collision and comprehensive insurance — especially if your car is worth less than your deductible.
Choose a higher deductible. Your deductible majorly affects your premiums. A higher deductible can result in wiggle room for more important claims, like liability or uninsured motorist.
Look into pay-as-you-go insurance. If you don’t drive every day — or even every week — see if you qualify for use-based insurance. Esurance is just one provider that offers pay-per-mile insurance, whereby each mile costs a few cents.
Improve your credit score. Unless you live in California, Hawaii or Massachusetts, your provider considers your credit history when calculating how much to charge. By working to improve your credit, you’ll ultimately get better rates.
Drive a car that’s cheaper to insure. You can find typical car insurance rates by a car’s make and model online. Rates for minivans, SUVs and smaller cars tend to be less expensive than high-performance or flashy cars, and features like safety devices and anti-theft devices could earn you extra discounts.
No matter which provider you go with, most will allow you to stack smaller discounts for even bigger savings. Look into the discounts offered by your insurer, and use it as a checklist for potential savings that can include those below.
Name yourself as the only driver. Depending on your policy, you might be able to reduce costs by specifically telling your provider that you’re the only one who will be driving your vehicle.
Pay your premiums up front. It often costs less overall to pay your premiums up front each year rather than monthly.
Secure your car. Many insurers extend discounts if you use a car alarm or store your car in a garage at night.
Look for a multi-policy discount. If you bundle multiple cars or insurance, including home insurance, life insurance or other coverage, with one provider, you’re often eligible for a multi-policy discount, which could save you up to 10% a year.
Take a defensive driving course. Even if you don’t need it, learning safe driving techniques with an approved instructor could make you eligible for more savings.
Buy online. Online-only providers can avoid the overhead that comes with brick-and-mortar branches, often passing along the savings to you in the form of lower rates and multiple discounts.