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What Is High-Risk Auto Insurance’s Average Cost?

motor1.com logo motor1.com 14/06/2021 Motor1.com Team
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Learn how much high-risk drivers can expect to pay.

On average, high-risk car insurance costs as much as 84% more than standard car insurance according to our rate estimates. Many drivers are classified as “high-risk” by insurance companies, including young motorists and those with numerous accidents or infractions in their driving history. 

In this article, we'll examine high-risk auto insurance average costs. We'll also show you ways to lower your auto insurance premium if you fall into this category.

But remember, the only way to know with certainty how much you will pay for car insurance is to get a quote. This is because pricing varies depending on your location, vehicle, and more. Enter your zip code below to start comparing the best car insurance companies in your area.

In this article

  • What Is High-Risk Auto Insurance?
  • What Is The Average Cost Of High-Risk Auto Insurance?
  • What Should I Do If I’m Denied Coverage?
  • How Can I Lower My High-Risk Auto Insurance Cost?
  • Our Recommendations For High-Risk Auto Insurance
  • Frequently Asked Questions About High-Risk Auto Insurance
 

What Is High-Risk Auto Insurance?

High-risk auto insurance is insurance sold to drivers who have an increased risk of getting into an accident or not paying their insurance premium. High-risk drivers are offered the same insurance coverage plans as low-risk drivers, but at increased prices.

Drivers that might be considered “high-risk” include:

  • Drivers convicted of Driving Under the Influence (DUI) or Driving While Intoxicated (DWI)
  • Uninsured drivers who experience an at-fault accident
  • Drivers with multiple speeding tickets or traffic offenses
  • Drivers involved in vehicular assault or other violations involving negligence or severe endangerment of other drivers and/or pedestrians
  • Young drivers or drivers with little experience
  • Drivers with bad credit
  • Drivers who have lapses in their insurance coverage

If a high-risk driver has had their license suspended or revoked, they may be required by the state Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to have an SR-22 form filled out by their insurance company before driving privileges can be reinstated.

What Is An SR-22?

An SR-22 is an official document proving that a driver bought a minimum level of liability coverage, a type of insurance that covers bodily injury and property damage caused by an accident.

Drivers that often require an SR-22 include:

  • Drivers convicted of a DUI or DWI 
  • Uninsured drivers who experience an at-fault accident
  • Drivers involved in vehicular assault or other violations involving negligence or severe endangerment of other drivers and/or pedestrians
  • Drivers with multiple speeding tickets or traffic violations

Whether or not an insurance company will fill out an SR-22 for a driver is dependent on whether it sells high-risk auto insurance. Once an SR-22 form is received by a state’s DMV office, the state may reinstate the driver’s license.

   

What Is the Average Cost Of High-Risk Auto Insurance?

According to our rate estimates, the average 34-year-old driver who isn't categorized as high-risk pays about $1,732 per year for car insurance. However, they may pay as much as $3,191 for having bad credit and $3,188 for having a DUI. That's an increase of about 84%.

Since average car insurance rates by age vary widely, having an accident or DUI on your record can raise your rates in different amounts. What you pay also depends on your deductible and whether or not you have full coverage. There are also many different things that can make you a high-risk driver. What you can know for sure is that your car insurance premiums will increase by some amount.

Car Insurance Rates For Drivers With Bad Credit

According to our rate estimates, drivers with poor credit can pay as much as 84% more for high-risk auto insurance costs on average than drivers with good credit. However, if you live in California, Hawaii, or Massachusetts, your credit rating won't impact your score. 

Credit Rating Annual Car Insurance
Good $1,732
Fair $2,102
Poor $3,191

Car Insurance Rates For Bad Drivers

Moving violations, car accidents, and convictions can make your auto insurance policy much more expensive. According to our rate estimates, average high-risk auto insurance costs up to 53% more for having an accident and 84% more for having a DUI.  

Driving Violation Annual Car Insurance
Clean $1,732
Speeding Ticket $2,185
At-Fault Accident $2,644
DUI $3,188
   

What Should I Do If I’m Denied Coverage?

If you are denied coverage because of your risk level by one auto insurance provider, you should call other insurance companies to see if those companies will insure you. Different providers are willing to take different levels of risk, and there is a good chance that you will find a provider willing to insure you.

If you have called several providers and none have offered you coverage, here are some steps you can take according to the Insurance Information Institute (III).

  1. Join a state-assigned risk pool. Auto insurers participate voluntarily in state-assigned risk pools. Each insurer that joins the risk pools must accept motorists assigned to it by the state.
  2. Look for car insurance companies that advertise coverage for high-risk drivers. If you’ve called a few insurance providers and have been denied, you might search specifically for companies that advertise high-risk driver coverage, like The General or State Farm.
  3. Contact your state insurance department for help. Your state insurance department will likely be able to help you find a car insurance company that will insure you.
   

How Can I Lower My High-Risk Auto Insurance Cost?

The Insurance Information Institute recommends that you take these steps to lower your high-risk auto insurance cost.

  • Take a defensive driving course to improve your driving skills. If you are a teenager, you may be able to get lower rates for completing such a course.
  • Never drink and drive. Make sure you always call an Uber or have a designated driver.
  • Drive safely and obey traffic laws. By avoiding accidents and traffic citations, you can improve your driving record over time.
  • Improve your credit score. Some of the ways you can do this are paying your bills on time and paying off any existing credit card debt.
  • Buy a safe car. Cars that receive high vehicle safety ratings typically cost less to insure, while also providing peace of mind.
   

Our Recommendations For Car High-Risk Auto Insurance

While many providers offer high-risk auto insurance, three stood out in our research: Progressive, Geico, and State Farm. It should be noted that, while all of these providers sell high-risk auto insurance, there is no guarantee you will receive an offer from every provider. If your risk is high enough that the insurance company will not make a profit from your business, the company can legally deny you coverage.

logo: Progressive Insurance logo © Provided by motor1 Progressive Insurance logo

#1 Progressive: 4.5 Stars

Progressive began as an insurance company for high-risk drivers, and it continues to offer high-risk policies for most drivers. Our review team named Progressive auto insurance the best for high-risk drivers because of its great discounts for this group. We've also found that high-risk auto insurance average costs are cheaper with Progressive than many other companies.

According to Progressive, drivers save an average of $750 on their car insurance policies through the company’s discounts, and 99 percent of its auto customers earn at least one discount. It is important to note that some discounts are only available in certain states.

Here are a few examples of Progressive discounts that can lower the price of high-risk auto insurance:

  1. Teen discount: Teens' car insurance rates are often higher than other drivers, and Progressive offers discounts to those 18 years or younger to encourage them to join Progressive.
  2. Good Student discount: Students who earn a B average or better earn a car insurance discount with Progressive. In addition, college students who are more than 100 miles from their parents’ residence are eligible for a discount.
  3. Sign online discount: Progressive drivers save an average of 8.5 percent on their policy for simply signing documents online.

Find out more in our Progressive insurance review.

graphical user interface: Geico Insurance logo © Provided by motor1 Geico Insurance logo

#2 Geico: 4.5 Stars 

Geico Casualty, the high-risk subsidiary of Geico, uses a points system to determine how much an individual will pay for a particular policy. It factors in how recent a high-risk driver’s accident or traffic violation was, for instance. Its points system can benefit high-risk drivers who have been driving safely for at least a year.

In addition to its helpful points system, Geico offers roadside assistance, rental car reimbursement, and mechanical breakdown insurance. A large number of discount opportunities are also available to help you save money on car insurance.

Find out more in our Geico review.

logo, company name: State Farm Insurance logo © Provided by motor1 State Farm Insurance logo

#3 State Farm: 4.5 Stars

Like Progressive and Geico, State Farm offers outstanding coverage, an affordable cost, and has great customer service ratings. State Farm auto insurance is our first choice for students nationwide. In addition, State Farm offers the lowest rates to drivers with a DUI in over 20 states, according to Investopedia.

With State Farm’s Drive Safe and SaveTM program, you can save money on the cost of high-risk auto insurance. During the program, a telemetric device or an app on your phone tracks the way you drive. If you drive safely, including easy accelerating and braking, you can receive sizable discounts.

Find out more in our State Farm insurance review.

Deciding Which Provider Is Right For You

Whenever you shop for car insurance, we recommend getting auto insurance quotes from multiple providers so you can compare coverage and rates. In addition to the insurance company you choose, factors such as your age, vehicle make and model, and driving history can affect your premium, so what’s best for your neighbor might not be best for you.

Use our tool below to start comparing personalized car insurance quotes:

 

Frequently Asked Questions About High-Risk Auto Insurance

Which providers sell high-risk auto insurance?

Many providers sell high-risk car insurance. In fact, Progressive started by providing insurance to risky drivers. In addition, Geico, State Farm, and The General are major insurers of high-risk drivers. Some other sellers of high-risk auto insurance include Dairyland and Infinity.

Who has the cheapest high-risk auto insurance?

We named Progressive the best auto insurance company for high-risk drivers for its affordable rates and extensive coverage. Geico and State Farm also provide excellent high-risk auto insurance coverage.

What is considered high-risk insurance?

High-risk insurance will provide you with the same coverage as insurance that other drivers purchase, but you will pay more for the coverage. Drivers with an increased risk of getting into an accident or not paying their insurance premium may be required to purchase high-risk auto insurance.

What is high-risk auto insurance’s average cost?

Since there are many different types of high-risk qualifications, it’s hard to provide a single average cost of high-risk auto insurance. A high-risk driver might pay up to 84% more for car insurance than a low-risk driver.

How many points is considered high-risk?

Generally speaking, you'll be a high-risk driver if you have over six points on your record. At that point, you might not qualify for standard insurance. However, all driving points raise your rate.

   

Methodology

In an effort to provide accurate and unbiased information to consumers, our expert review team collects data from dozens of auto insurance providers to formulate rankings of the best insurers. Companies receive a score in each of the following categories, as well as an overall weighted score out of 5.0 stars.

  • Industry Standing: Insurers with strong financial ratings and customer-first business practices receive the highest scores in this category.
  • Availability: We consider availability by state as well as exclusions for specific groups of drivers.
  • Coverage: This rating is based on types of insurance available, maximum coverage limits, and add-on policies.
  • Cost and Discounts: Our research team reviews auto insurance rate estimates generated by Quadrant Information Services for a variety of drivers in every state. Companies with lower prices and many car insurance discount opportunities receive the best scores.
  • Customer Service: We comb through customer reviews and consumer feedback studies from experts like J.D. Power.
  • Technology: Auto insurers with mobile apps, advanced online services and telematics are more likely to meet consumer needs.
 

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