- RightTrack program
- Defensive driver course
- Vehicle safety features
- New vehicle replacement
- Rental car reimbursement
- Accident forgiveness
- Diminishing deductible
- Roadside assistance
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High-Risk Car Insurance: What You Need to Know
High-risk car insurance is a special type of policy for drivers who are considered high-risk. You might be required to purchase high-risk insurance if you have a poor driving record, or have been convicted of a DUI. Drivers who fall into the high-risk category often struggle to get approved for coverage from a preferred provider because they are more likely to file claims in the future.
High-risk driver insurance is often sold by companies that specialize in what’s called non-standard insurance. These companies agree to insure you despite the increased risk, but they charge a much higher rate for it. You may also have to go through a non-standard insurance provider if you’re required to get SR-22 insurance.
SR-22 insurance isn’t actually a type of insurance. Rather, it’s a special form of proof of high-risk car insurance that verifies you meet your state’s minimum insurance requirements. SR-22 insurance is usually required for drivers who get their license suspended following a major traffic violation, like a DUI.
While some preferred providers offer SR-22 insurance, many do not. Drivers who need SR-22 insurance should consider purchasing a certificate through a non-standard insurance company instead. Because SR-22 insurance isn’t a true type of insurance, there is no monthly premium or deductible. You’ll just pay a filing fee of around $50, as well as an annual renewal fee.
An SR-22 will stay on your record for a certain number of years. The exact length of time depends on the type of offense you committed and how many offenses you have on your record. Typically, an SR-22 is needed for three to five years. Once the SR-22 is removed from your record, your car insurance premium will start to decrease.
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 of the most common ones:
Getting convicted of a DUI, DWI or OWI is one of the most serious offenses to have on a driving record. Not only will you lose your driving privileges, 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 get an SR-22, and you could get dropped by your insurance company. If that were to happen, you would need to get insurance from a company that sells high-risk insurance.
Every time you file a claim, your insurance company is required to compensate you for the loss. With every claim, your car insurance rate will increase. Having multiple claims on your record can put you in the high-risk driver category because it shows that you may not be a safe or responsible driver. You might need to get high-risk auto insurance even if your past claims are relatively minor, like speeding tickets or fender benders.
In a majority of states, insurance companies will run a credit check before they approve your policy. If you have a poor credit score, it could impact your ability to get preferred car insurance. If you get denied because of your credit, your only option is to purchase high-risk driver insurance. The exception is if you live in California, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Michigan, or New Jersey where it’s illegal for insurance companies to use credit scores when calculating premiums.
High-risk drivers are not necessarily bad drivers. Age can also put someone in the high-risk category. Specifically, teen drivers who are newly licensed are often considered to be high-risk, due to their lack of experience on the road. Young drivers may struggle to get approved for a policy on their own, and if they do, they will pay a very high premium. Car insurance rates for young drivers typically don’t start to drop off until the driver reaches their mid-twenties, but many insurance providers offer discounts aimed at young drivers.
What to Do If No Insurance Company Will Cover You
If you can’t find an insurance company that will cover you based on your risk profile, you have a few options for high-risk insurance. First, see if you get added to a family member’s car insurance policy as a secondary driver. It’s a simple process, and usually, the insurance company won’t need to verify the driving record and credit score for an additional driver.
Another option is to look into a state-assigned risk pool. Insurance companies in each state volunteer to offer high-risk drivers insurance to reduce the number of uninsured drivers on the road. However, this should only be used as a last resort option. In order to get coverage through a state-assigned insurance pool, you have to prove that you have been denied standard coverage multiple times.
Also keep in mind that state-assigned insurance premiums are much higher than average, and the coverage is very limited. Most states have some type of assigned risk pool, but you can check with your state’s department of insurance to see what’s available where you live.
High-Risk Car Insurance FAQ
The cost of car insurance for high-risk drivers is different for every driver. It depends on a number of factors, like your state, ZIP code, credit score, claim history, age, driving record, and more. Additionally, some providers offer cheaper car insurance than others.
The best car insurance company for high-risk drivers doesn’t exist, because it’s different for every driver. Some of the companies we recommend are Geico, State Farm, and American Family, but it’s important to shop around and compare providers using your personal criteria.
Many of the largest car insurance companies will insure high-risk drivers. All of the providers we reviewed offer coverage for high-risk drivers, but you can also look into non-standard providers, like The General, Dairyland, or Bristol West.
There are a few different factors that can make you a high-risk driver. Some of the most common ones are having a DUI/DWI on your record, having multiple insurance claims on your record, getting into several at-fault accidents, having a poor credit score, and being a newly licensed driver.
High-risk driver insurance is a policy that is designed for high-risk drivers. The premium is usually more expensive, and the coverage may be limited. However, high-risk auto insurance has more lenient underwriting standards, which makes it a good option for drivers who are struggling to get regular coverage.
We evaluated car insurance companies based on discounts, coverage, online resources, financial strength, and customer satisfaction to determine Reviews.com scores and create our best car insurance reviews. To compare car insurance companies with other providers across the board, we calculate each Reviews.com score based on the following:
- Discounts: Auto insurance companies that advertised more discounts received higher scores in our methodology.
- Financial Stability: Reviews.com utilized AM Best ratings to assign a score based on each car insurance company’s financial stability.
- Customer Satisfaction: J.D. Power ranks car insurance companies by customer satisfaction, so we used its 2021 Auto Insurance Satisfaction Study to compare the average rating of insurers across all regions.
- Coverage: Car insurance companies were awarded higher scores for advertised coverages beyond the body liability, property liability, collision and personal injury protection.
- Online Resources: We reviewed the digital resources of each car insurance company and awarded higher scores to insurers with mobile claim estimates, digital insurance cards, and more.