Best car insurance companies for high-risk drivers

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It can be hard to find affordable car insurance for high-risk drivers. Insurance companies use a long list of factors to determine rates. If you fall into a high-risk auto insurance category, you may end up paying significantly more than you’d like for car insurance, regardless of how careful you are behind the wheel.

a person driving a car: Two young men in a car are driving while the passenger is looking at something in his smartphone and calling attention to it while the other boy is driving.

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Two young men in a car are driving while the passenger is looking at something in his smartphone and calling attention to it while the other boy is driving.

Some companies are more lenient than others when it comes to issuing high-risk driver insurance. If you’re hoping to avoid the soaring rates that accompany being labeled a risk factor by your insurer, these alternative carriers might be willing to offer you a better deal.


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Best auto insurance companies for high-risk drivers

Some providers stand out for their options or willingness to cover drivers who are considered high-risk.

Allstate: Best after an accident

If you’ve recently been in an accident, there’s a good chance you’ll see your rate go up as a result. Unless you were already enrolled in an accident forgiveness program, you probably won’t be able to avoid paying higher premiums for the time being. But with Allstate, you might see your monthly payments go down faster than you think.

Allstate offers the most generous accident forgiveness program in the industry. Rewards begin accumulating after six months of being accident-free when you add on the Allstate Safe Driving Bonus. For additional savings, consider enrolling in Drivewise, the provider’s app-based safe driving program that tracks your driving activity and rewards you for good behavior. Before long, you’ll see those extra dollars start to fall off your monthly bill.

The General: Best after a DUI

The General is generally regarded as a good insurance option for all high-risk drivers, but those with a DUI on their record are most likely to benefit. Because The General offers lower rates than most competitors, it’s a good place to look for affordable insurance for bad drivers. Those with a DUI can also get SR-22 insurance through The General, a requirement in most states following serious infractions.

One downside is that The General doesn’t have as many policy and discount options as competitors. If you’re switching from another provider, you may have to adjust coverage to something less customizable.

Erie Insurance: Best for young drivers

Unfortunately, there’s not much young drivers can do to avoid paying for high-risk auto insurance. Those with fewer years of driving experience have an increased risk of getting in an accident by default, which will decrease as they gain years of practice. In the meantime, young drivers can keep premiums to a minimum by choosing a low-cost provider like Erie Insurance.

Erie Insurance offers low rates to new drivers an additional 20 percent discount for adults under the age of 21 who remain on their parents’ policy. Every policy comes with roadside assistance, good peace of mind to have for new drivers who are just starting to venture out on their own. Unfortunately, Erie Insurance is only available in 11 states and the District of Columbia.

Nationwide: Best for bad credit

Our analysis of best car insurance companies in 2020 named Nationwide as the best high-risk auto insurance option for those with bad credit. The provider has a tendency to give out below-average rates across the board, and drivers with work to do on their credit score have a solid chance of keeping payments affordable.

With Nationwide’s SmartRide program, drivers that are considered high-risk due to their credit can demonstrate safe driving habits and earn a discount of up to 40 percent. This is a great method of offsetting higher premiums due to non-driving-related factors. Nationwide also provides plenty of additional ways to save with discounts for automatic payments, bundling policies and maintaining an accident-free driving record.

What is high-risk car insurance?

High-risk car insurance is simply a standard auto insurance policy written for a driver deemed to have a higher chance of causing an accident. When insurance companies decide that a driver is high-risk, they raise rates to compensate for the increased likelihood that they’ll have to pay for a claim.

Who is a high-risk driver?

A high-risk driver is someone an insurance company believes has a significant chance of getting in an accident. There are several qualities that can cause a driver to be high-risk. These include:

  • Age (young and inexperienced drivers or older drivers with health issues that affect driving)
  • Areas with high crime rate
  • DUIs
  • History of driving violations
  • Holding a stressful job
  • Past accidents
  • Poor credit
  • Unmarried persons
  • Vehicles with a high repair cost
  • Vehicles without safety features

Just one of these factors may not be enough to have a driver labeled as high-risk, but the more you have, the more likely you are to have higher premiums.

Other tips for safe driving

The best way to avoid being labeled a high-risk driver is to avoid accidents and moving violations with safe driving habits. Follow posted speed limits, avoid accelerating or braking quickly, and limit distractions by placing your cell phone out of reach. To lower the chance of being involved in a crash out of your control, try to limit time spent driving during nighttime hours and in inclement weather.

Frequently asked questions

What is the best car insurance company?

According to our analysis, Amica Mutual is the best overall company for car insurance. However, the best option for you will depend on personal factors. Get quotes and research providers to determine your best option.

How do I find affordable car insurance for high-risk drivers?

The only surefire way to get the best rate on car insurance is to compare quotes from multiple providers. If you fall under one or more high-risk categories, try asking for pricing from the companies listed above to see if you can beat your current rate.

Can I get car insurance after a DUI?

If you’re caught driving while intoxicated, most states will require you to get SR-22 insurance. This is simply a document that proves you’re maintaining adequate coverage following risky driving behavior. Your insurance company will likely raise your rates and might drop you from coverage, which is more likely if you’re a repeat offender.

How do I avoid high-risk auto insurance?

To keep insurance rates low, avoid behaviors that might cause your insurance company to consider you a risk factor. Practice safe driving habits, keep your credit score up, and don’t get behind the wheel if you’ve been drinking alcohol.

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