- DynamicDrive telematics program
- Prior coverage
- Rental reimbursement
- Towing and labor
- Accidental death
*J.D. Power 2021 Auto Claims Satisfaction Study. Based on a 1,000-point scale.
High-Risk Car Insurance: What You Need to Know
High-risk drivers — those with a history of accidents, tickets, DUI convictions, a low credit rating, lapses in coverage, or inexperienced — may find that they have a harder time getting car insurance than other drivers. High-risk car insurance isn’t a particular type of policy, though; it refers to a policy covering a high-risk driver. You may also see high-risk coverage called “non-standard car insurance.” If you are a high-risk driver, you may have a more limited number of companies willing to offer you a policy, and your rates will likely be higher.
An SR-22 isn’t actually a type of insurance. Rather, it’s a form that provides proof of coverage to the states for high-risk drivers. SR-22 forms, or FR-44 forms in some states, are usually required for drivers who have their license suspended following a major traffic violation, like a DUI or getting caught driving without insurance.
While some insurance companies offer SR-22 insurance, many do not. Drivers who need SR-22 insurance may need coverage through a non-standard insurance company. You will have to pay a filing fee for your SR-22, but the fee itself is usually relatively inexpensive. However, the fact that you need an SR-22 likely means you have a major driving violation on your record. This means that you’ll likely pay a higher-than-average rate for car insurance.
To get an SR-22, you’ll need to contact your insurance company. Your carrier will file the form with your state’s Department of Motor Vehicles on your behalf. If your current insurance company cannot offer an SR-22 form, you’ll need to shop for a new policy. Generally, you’ll need to keep an SR-22 form active for three years past your conviction date, although the time range may vary based on your state and the specific circumstances of your incident.
When Someone Is Considered a High-Risk Driver
There are a number of factors that can make you a high-risk driver. Here are some common ones:
A DUI, DWI, or OWI is one of the most serious offenses on a driving record. You will likely lose your driving privileges for a period of time, but you could also face jail time on top of hefty fines. In most states, drivers who have a DUI on their record are required to file an SR-22, and you could be dropped by your insurance company. If that were to happen, you would need to get insurance from a company that sells high-risk insurance.
Having multiple claims or tickets on your record can put you in the high-risk driver category. You might need to get high-risk auto insurance even if your past claims are relatively minor, like speeding tickets or fender benders. A history of driving incidents, including accidents and traffic citations, can indicate that you do not practice safe driving habits; this means your insurance company may have a greater likelihood of having to pay claims on your account.
Most states use a credit-based insurance score, which takes your credit rating into account when insurers rate your policy. Drivers with lower credit scores are statistically more likely to file claims and so generally pay higher premiums in the states where credit is a rating factor. If you can increase your credit score, you may see a reduction in your premium over time.
Age can also put someone in the high-risk category. Specifically, young drivers — especially teens — who are newly licensed are often considered to be high-risk due to their lack of experience on the road. Car insurance rates for young drivers typically begin to decline around age 25, but many insurance providers offer discounts aimed at young drivers to help you reduce your rate.
What to Do If No Insurance Company Will Cover You
High-risk drivers may have fewer options for coverage than standard drivers. However, you can purchase coverage from a company specializing in high-risk coverage if needed. You may need to take a bit more time and shop around more than you would if you fit a standard-driver profile, but there are companies that specialize in providing insurance for high-risk drivers.
Frequently Asked Questions
The cost of high-risk car insurance will be different for every driver. Your premium depends on a number of factors, including your state, driving record, the type of vehicle you drive, and the coverage types and levels you choose. Some providers offer cheaper car insurance than others, though, so shopping around and comparing quotes can be a good strategy.
The best car insurance company for high-risk drivers will depend on your unique needs. You may be looking for the cheapest premium possible or you may need high-risk coverage that offers a particular optional endorsement. Understanding your needs and shopping around might help you find the right fit.
You’ll start by getting a quote. You can often do this online, or you may need to call a company or visit a local agency. You’ll need some basic information about you, your vehicle, your driving record, and the details of any other drivers who need to be listed on your policy. To purchase coverage, you may need to make a payment and sign an application.
We evaluated car insurance companies based on discounts, coverage, online resources, financial strength, and customer satisfaction to create our best car insurance reviews. To compare car insurance companies with other providers across the board, we analyzed the following:
- Discounts: Most auto insurance companies offer discounts, so we analyzed each carrier’s discounts in relation to their impact on high-risk drivers.
- Financial Stability: We utilized AM Best ratings to assess each insurance company’s financial stability.
- Claims Satisfaction: J.D. Power ranks car insurance companies by customer satisfaction, so we used its 2021 Auto Claims Satisfaction Study to compare the average rating of insurers.
- Coverage: We reviewed each company’s coverage offerings and analyzed which options, including endorsements, were most helpful for high-risk policyholders.
- Online Resources: We reviewed the digital resources of each car insurance company, including mobile claim estimates, digital insurance cards, and more.