Best Car Insurance Companies for High-Risk Drivers & How to Lower Your Rates

Best Car Insurance for High-Risk Drivers

If you have received a traffic citation, lack driving experience or have poor credit, then insurers may consider you a high-risk driver — and raise your premiums accordingly. But there's still hope. Plenty of reputable carriers will insure high-risk drivers, and if you're having trouble finding one, you can check your state's automobile insurance program.

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If you're interested in getting a list of insurance companies in your area with high-risk plans, enter your ZIP code above to get a quote.

Which companies offer the cheapest high-risk auto insurance plans?

If you already fall into one of the high-risk categories, some companies may be cheaper than others when it comes to insuring you. We compared rates from several major insurance companies that offer plans to higher-risk drivers.

While your rates will differ from the sample in our study, our list can help you figure out where to begin. Below we'll look at the average annual cost for four of the largest car insurance companies (Geico, Allstate, Progressive and State Farm) for three scenarios:

Best High risk Auto Insurance Companies

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On average, State Farm was the cheapest high-risk auto insurance company for all drivers, though Progressive offered similarly low rates for those with a DUI (driving under the influence) conviction. Geico was the second least expensive insurer for young drivers or those caught speeding, with monthly rates of $204 and $460, respectively.

This study is based on select sample driver profiles, so your rates may differ. To find cheaper high-risk auto insurance, you should compare quotes from multiple companies.

How much does high-risk auto insurance cost in every state?

Drivers who fall under any of the high-risk categories will see their insurance costs rise relative to the average driver.

To give you a sense of the difference between these rates, we compiled data across all 50 states for three categories of high-risk drivers to help you understand how much more auto premiums can cost you.

State
Annual cost
With speeding ticket
With DUI
For young driver
Alabama$1,870$2,360$3,299$6,204
Alaska$1,576$1,787$2,333$4,594
Arizona$3,071$3,933$4,435$7,786
Arkansas$2,065$2,466$3,356$6,302
California$1,817$2,699$5,153$4,497
Colorado$3,120$3,892$4,509$8,349
Connecticut$2,753$3,239$5,553$10,495
Delaware$2,883$3,393$4,433$9,293
Florida$3,230$3,981$4,097$8,832
Georgia$2,386$2,767$3,877$8,025
Hawaii$1,763$2,047$5,652$1,781
Idaho$1,707$1,960$2,836$4,799
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Rates represent the average cost of a full coverage car insurance policy for different profiles of high-risk drivers. Averages are based on a sample of the largest insurers in each state. These averages do not include rates for insurance through each state's residual pools.

How to get insurance if insurers won't cover you

Almost every state requires drivers to carry car insurance, but some insurance companies may deny coverage to high-risk drivers. In this case, drivers can get help through their state's automobile insurance plan. You can apply for coverage after proving you've unsuccessfully tried to find insurance coverage.

Contact an insurance agent or broker for more information on assigned risk plans, or read more about your state's plan in the AIPSO directory.

Below, we've noted the name of the state plan or mechanism for high-risk drivers in every state and Washington, D.C.

State
High-risk plan
AlabamaAlabama Automobile Insurance Plan (AL AIP)
AlaskaAlaska Automobile Insurance Plan (AK AIP)
ArizonaArizona Automobile Insurance Plan (AZ AIP)
ArkansasArkansas Automobile Insurance Plan (AR AIP)
CaliforniaCalifornia Automobile Assigned Risk Plan (CAARP)
ColoradoColorado Motor Vehicle Insurance Plan (CO AIP)
ConnecticutConnecticut Automobile Insurance Assigned Risk Plan (CT ARP)
DelawareDelaware Automobile Insurance Plan (DAIP)
District of ColumbiaDistrict of Columbia Automobile Insurance Plan (DC AIP)
FloridaFlorida Automobile Joint Underwriting Association (FAJUA)
GeorgiaGeorgia Automobile Insurance Plan (GAAIP)
HawaiiHawaii Joint Underwriting Plan (HJUP)
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Who is an at-risk driver?

A prior DUI offense, age, lapses in insurance coverage and credit scores can all affect your risk profile — and therefore influence your auto insurance premium.

Below, we take a closer look at how each of these factors can affect your rates.

DUI offense

If you've been convicted of driving under the influence, your premiums will increase. Once you get your license back, your insurer will need to file an SR-22 form on your behalf. This form confirms you have auto insurance with at least the state-required limits. You may need to keep the SR-22 form on file for several years — and during this time, you'll pay higher rates as a high-risk driver.

Young or first-time drivers

Research has shown that young drivers are more likely to exhibit risky driving behavior and get into car accidents, so insurance carriers adjust their premiums accordingly.

Regardless of age, drivers who are newly licensed will always face higher insurance rates than seasoned drivers who have been driving for a longer period of time. There is one way to work around this rule: Ask a more experienced driver to add you to their existing policy. This shortcut ensures your premiums will be lower than if you decided to go it alone.

Lapse in insurance coverage

Regardless of why you dropped your last car insurance policy and were uninsured for a period of time, you're going to find premiums are higher now that you're reapplying. The good news is that over time, and once you prove to the insurance company that you're a responsible driver, your premiums will drop back down to normal rates. The bad news is that it may take six months or more for your policy premiums to decrease.

Poor credit

People who have a poor credit history will also be deemed high-risk drivers. Why is this the case? Insurance companies are essentially placing millions of bets in the form of insurance policies, and to decrease their risk, they want to insure responsible people.

Insurers have determined that checking your credit history is a quick and easy screen to ballpark your level of responsibility in advance of insuring you. Fortunately, there are some insurance carriers that don't do credit checks — but you'll have to shop around. Additionally, a few states ban insurers from using credit history when calculating rates.

Other serious driving violations

While getting a DUI falls into this category, your insurance premiums will also spike if you have any other type of serious driving violation — such as hit and run, road rage and excessive speeding. Higher insurance premiums may be the least of your worries, however, as many of these moving violations are considered felonies that could result in jail time.

How can I find high-risk auto insurance?

We recommend getting online quotes from multiple insurance providers and comparing rates. Fortunately, the internet allows you to apply for quotes, compare and contrast results, and choose the best plan, all from the comfort of your home.

Until you get your quotes, you're never quite sure which carrier will be able to give you the lowest premium. And there are other steps you can take to lower your rate. With few exceptions, proactive measures like the following may help improve your risk profile:

  • Working to improve your credit score
  • Getting good grades as a student
  • Taking driving classes after a violation

Just remember, your insurance company will want proof of these measures, so it's best to keep good records and submit them to the carrier when you're ready.

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Being a high-risk driver doesn't last forever

While insurance companies may view you as high-risk today, you'll be happy to know your status will change once you've proven you're a safe and responsible driver. Yes, certain things like getting a DUI will keep you paying increased premiums for an extended period, but most other high-risk drivers can begin paying lower rates in a much shorter time frame.

Methodology

To calculate the average cost of high-risk auto insurance, ValuePenguin sampled rates from several insurers in each state. Our hypothetical driver was a 30-year-old man driving a 2015 Honda Civic EX. He had a full coverage policy including above-minimum liability limits, uninsured motorist coverage, as well as comprehensive and collision coverages.

Average costs for the top insurers were based on an average of 35 states in which all four were among the top underwriters.

Surveyed auto insurance costs are for illustrative purposes only, and actual quotes will vary based on your physical residence, driving history and other factors. ValuePenguin's analysis used insurance rate data from Quadrant Information Services. These rates were publicly sourced from insurer filings and should be used for comparative purposes only — your own quotes may be different.

Mark is a Senior Research Analyst for ValuePenguin focusing on the insurance industry, primarily auto insurance. He previously worked in financial risk management at State Street Corporation.

Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It has not been previewed, commissioned or otherwise endorsed by any of our network partners.