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Car Insurance for High Risk Drivers: The Best Options

Published June 16, 2021

8 minute read

Devon Taylor

By Devon Taylor

When you apply for car insurance, insurance companies complete a “risk assessment.” This is to determine the likelihood that you’ll eventually file a claim. Many factors play into assessing your overall risk as a driver. Your driving history is obviously included, but so are things like your credit score. If you have a history of accidents or traffic violations, you may be considered a “high risk” driver. The insurance companies will assume you’re likely to file a claim and cost them money. That’s why we put together this list of the best insurance for high risk drivers.

High risk drivers typically have to pay higher insurance premiums. Most of the time, companies will charge more to drivers with any violations or accidents on their record, regardless of whether they’re applying for a new policy or are simply looking to renew. Fortunately, there are some insurance companies that are more willing to take a risk on drivers with dismal records. If you have a history of at-fault accidents, traffic tickets, or even a DUI, these companies won’t shy away from you. Here are some of the best options for auto insurance if you’re a high risk driver.

The General

The General claims that it will provide auto insurance policies to everyone, including high risk drivers. In fact, they are what the industry calls a “non-standard auto insurance carrier.” That just means they specialize in covering high-risk drivers. The General offers coverage in only 25 states, though. So you’ll have to confirm whether you live in a state that they service before you dig too deep.

The General give you the option to handle everything online — from the quote process to filing claims. You can also use their app, or go old school with an actual phone call. Conveniently, you can make policy changes instantly through their online portal. Both The General’s website and smartphone app have built-in chat features, giving you instant access to live customer service representatives.

State Farm

Let’s be clear, driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is not cool. Please don’t do it, it’s just not worth the risk. It should come as no surprise that insurance companies drastically raise rates for drivers who have received a DUI or DWI infraction in their past. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, drunk drivers kill nearly 30 people every day in the United States. So the higher insurance rates are certainly justified. However, State Farm is more tolerant of DUI drivers than most. On average, State Farm has the lowest rates for drivers with DUIs of any major insurance company.

When it comes to discounts, State Farm offers lots of options for people who prove that they are safe drivers. These discounts can amount to anywhere from 5-to-25% in savings. The company’s Drive Safe & Save plan is one of its more popular features. It uses a smartphone app to track your driving habits. You get a small discount just for signing up. However, the longer you drive safely, the more savings you can rack up. Over time, savings can add up to 30% off of monthly premiums.

Direct Auto Insurance

A low credit score can also negatively impact your monthly insurance premiums. In some cases, it might even cause companies to reject you entirely. However, Direct Auto Insurance provides affordable car insurance to those with a poor credit score, as long as they can demonstrate that they are working on improving their credit score. For many, this is a much-needed lifeline. There are certainly drivers out there who would be unable to drive at all, if not for Direct Auto.

Direct Auto offers roughly a dozen discounts that you can qualify for. All told, they may save you as much as 25%. The two most notable discounts are their military discount (that offers 25% off to all active service members) and their multi-car discount (also 25% off, for covering two or more vehicles). The company also offers discounts to seniors, safe drivers, and people who switch to Direct Auto Insurance from other companies.

Dairyland

In most U.S. states, drivers with DUIs, major violations, or a history of uninsured driving need a specific proof of insurance document called an SR-22. It is merely a certificate of financial responsibility, often mandated by a court order or the state itself. However, not all insurance companies will insure high-risk drivers. In fact, not all insurance companies even offer SR-22 documentation. If your driving history requires one, you can still qualify for a Dairyland car insurance plan. You can apply quickly through their website and get the required SR-22 documentation you need to get back on the road. In this respect, Dairyland is one of the best insurers for high-risk drivers.

Dairyland offers as many discounts as most other insurers. Highlights include multi-car discounts, advanced quote, quarterly and yearly payment plans, and defensive driving and anti-theft discounts. Altogether, the discounts can add-up to 25-to-30% in savings. Dairyland also offers many services through its website or smartphone app. You can obtain quotes online or use the online portal to access account information, make payments, or pull up ID cards. The app allows you to access account info and pay bills straight from your smartphones.

Geico

It usually takes several driving violations or accidents for someone to be labelled a high risk driver. However, some people still see their insurance rates increase after just one at-fault accident or a couple speeding tickets. Some increases are so high that make it hard for drives to even afford their car insurance. However, GEICO offers competitive rates even for drivers with speeding tickets or accidents on their record.

One of GEICO’s strengths is the wide variety of discount options it offers. The company not only offers discounts based on a vehicle’s safety features, but also on your personal driving habits. Additionally, GEICO partners with many corporations and associations to provide special discounts to members of those organizations. You may be eligible for a discount that you weren’t even aware of.

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Bristol West

Bristol West is a high-risk car insurance specialist. They’ve been insuring drivers for more than 45 years. Those with poor credit, no credit, no prior insurance, or even a DUI, are still able to get insurance with Bristol West. They are actually a subsidiary of Farmers Insurance, the seventh-largest car insurer in the United States.

Due to the range of high-risk situations the company will insure, their user-friendly websites, and comparably fewer complaints among high-risk insurers, Bristol West is often cited as one of the very the best high-risk insurers in the United States.

Progressive

Progressive has a great online quoting tool. It shows you comparative rates from other insurers and even lets you name your own price (within reason). The online quote then provides helpful suggestions on the kinds of coverage you can expect for the price you’ve been quoted. Progressive’s “name your price” tool even applies to those who have a bad driving record.

The company has been insuring cars since 1937. It’s one of the nation’s largest insurers, overall. Progressive is also a pioneer in telematics. The company has a safe driver program called Snapshot, that can lower your insurance cost based on data obtained with a tracking device that monitors your driving habits. The better you drive, the lower the premiums you’ll pay.

Kemper

Drivers with a high-risk profile (and who need the aforementioned SR-22 form), or who are seeking coverage for a car that’s been compromised or rebuilt from salvaged parts, can turn to Kemper Insurance. The company offers online sales, with quick confirmation of quotes by email. The online form is very basic, but it does offer options to adjust your coverage. They also sell insurance through independent agents and brokers.

Although Kemper doesn’t offer all options for high-risk drivers or those with salvaged cars, Kemper does provide a few nice features in its coverage options for standard cars. This makes it easier to insure all your cars in one place. Features for standard cars include new-car replacement and gap insurance. Kemper also offers roadside assistance, and accident and traffic violation forgiveness.

Hagerty

Hagerty is a specialty insurer for motor enthusiasts. They will cover almost any type of specialty-car, whether you’re involved in motorsports, have a high-value car, a classic collectible, a kit car, or even a supercar. Policies by Hagerty are underwritten by Essentia Insurance. They  provide coverage in all 50 states. Hagerty has an outstanding track record with insuring high-risk drivers or those who own cars made from salvaged parts.

Hagerty is frequently named a top insurer for modified vehicles. They are known for their ability to insure a wide range of specialty cars that standard companies don’t bother with. Another nice feature that Hagerty offers is their “Drivers Club” community of other members. It’s a great place for those who collect classic, antique, or specialty vehicles.

Safe Auto

Safe Auto Insurance specializes in high-risk drivers. In fact, they claim to provide insurance to anyone with a troubled driving records — even if that record include DUIs, racing citations, speeding tickets, at-fault accidents, reckless driving, or bad credit. There is literally no situation that Safe Auto won’t provide insurance coverage on.

Safe Auto also claims to provide extremely affordable car insurance for high-risk drivers. The company says that it understands how important it is to have a vehicle at your disposal, so they are willing to provide insurance for high-risk drivers. It will still cost you more than if you weren’t a high risk driver, but at least Safe Auto won’t simply turn you away.

Aviva

Aviva is another insurance company that is willing to take on high-risk drivers. They will insure drivers who have accidents or tickets on their record. They will also provide an SR-22 form to those who need it. While Aviva doesn’t have the lowest insurance premiums on the market, they are still flexible when it comes to insuring those with multiple blemishes on their driving record.

Aviva also offers a series of discounts for items such as insuring multiple vehicles, improving your driving record, going claims free for set periods of time, or using its online portal and app instead of a paper-based application process. As a multinational insurer, Aviva has the size and scope to provide most people with the coverage they need.

Travelers Insurance

High risk drivers can probably get car insurance through Travelers’  “EasyInsure” unit. The EasyInsure division provides a quote and will bind insurance for people who have terrible driving records.

Travelers also claims to save you money even if you have a bad record. If you have at-fault accidents, multiple claims, license suspensions, impaired driving charges, or multiple tickets, it doesn’t matter. Travelers will still insure you. The company boasts that it insures thousands of high-risk drivers every year.

The Bottom Line

Although high-risk drivers often struggle to find car insurance, there are companies that will provide coverage. You can even find competitive rates, despite having a less-than-great driving record. These companies basically fall into two types. First, there’s non-standard auto insurance carriers, who specialize in coverage for high-risk drivers. Secondly, there are more general providers who don’t discriminate among drivers in extending their competitive rates and discounts. For those who are high risk drivers, it’s important to make sure you receive everything needed from an insurance company, including an SR-22 or other documentation that shows they are insurable.

High risk drivers

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Devon Taylor

Managing Editor

Devon is an experienced writer and a father of three young children. He's simultaneously trying to build college funds and plan for an eventual retirement. He's been in online publishing since 2013 and has a degree from the University of Guelph. In his free time, he loves fanatically following the Blue Jays and Toronto FC, camping with his family, and playing video games.

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