Auto insurance can be expensive, but it doesn’t have to be. Even those labeled as “high risk” or “risky” can still find affordable auto coverage (although good deals might be harder to come by). As always, shopping around for the best deal is your best bet for finding affordable auto insurance for high risk drivers.
What Is A High Risk Driver?
The short explanation of a high risk driver is one who poses a high financial risk to the auto insurance company. In other words, someone that is likely to cost them money. There are typically two different classifications of high risk drivers.
The most common type of high risk drivers are younger, inexperienced drivers. Often times, teenage drivers fit this bill. Statistically speaking, these drivers are more likely to be involved in an accident, and the auto insurance companies know this better than anyone. Assuming you have a relatively clean driving record, you’re likely to see a rate decrease around your 25th birthday, when most auto insurance providers stop considering you to be high risk.
The second group of high risk drivers consists of DUI offenders, those with multiple speeding tickets, and accident prone drivers. If either of these groups sounds like you, the auto insurance companies may consider you a high risk driver.
Why Do High Risk Drivers Have To Pay More For Auto Insurance?
The name say it all. These drivers are very risky, and often times expensive to insure. This is because the chance of the insurance provider having to pay for repairs, medical bills, and property damage is much higher. In order to cover themselves financially, they must charge higher rates to those more likely to wind up in an accident.
What Do Insurance Companies Deem To Be Risky?
To get a better idea of who is a high risk driver and who isn’t, picture these two cases:
- Male aged 17
- Drives his dads old Ford Mustang
- Drives his car to school and to work. He also likes to “race” with his friends on the highway.
- Already has two speeding tickets (he has been driving for less than a year)
- Arrested for driving under the influence. Depending on the outcome of his trial, he might get his license revoked.
- Female aged 45
- She is an elementary school teacher
- Her children are away at college, so the only people on her policy at home are her and her husband.
- Never had a traffic violation or an accident
Now ask yourself – if you were an insurance company, who would you rather insure?
Save Money On High Risk Auto Insurance
Proving to the auto insurance companies that you are in fact a safe and responsible driver can go a long way when it comes to saving on high risk auto coverage. Luckily there are many ways to do this. The most popular and effective way to do so is to take a defensive or safe driving course, which you can find more information on from your local DMV office.
A car with a good safety reputation, and all the latest safety devices will also greatly reduce the risk you pose to your insurance provider. Such safety devices include automatic seat belts, anti-lock breaks , and airbags. Fast or “tricked out” cars are a definite no-no for high risk drivers, and driving such a car can greatly increase your premiums.
Best Insurance Companies For High Risk Drivers
If you are a high risk driver or you are looking for auto insurance for someone else who would be considered a high risk driver, it stands to reason that you want to ensure you are getting the best coverage possible; and that you are getting the most affordable rates, too.
To help you find insurance coverage that you can rely on to ensure you meet the legal requirements – and to protect you from having to pay an exorbitant amount of money – we’ve put together a list of the best insurance companies for high risk drivers. Whether you have been in multiple accidents, have several tickets, are a teen driver, or are an older driver, the following companies are excellent options to consider for your auto insurance needs:
- Bristol West. This insurance provider is a subsidiary of the seventh biggest car insurance company in the United States: Farmers Insurance. This carrier is highly regarded and offers excellent rates on liability coverage for high risk drivers. They have an excellent track record and a firm standing, financially speaking. In addition to offering affordable rates, Bristol West also provides options for low down payments on liability coverage, as well as payment options that are flexible and can meet a driver’s specific needs.
- GEICO Casualty. GEICO Casualty is a subsidiary of GEICO that is specifically intended for high risk drivers. What makes this carrier so great for high risk drivers is that they use a clear and very easy to understand point system to figure out how much you will pay for your auto insurance policy. This point system is based on how many accidents a driver has been involved in (and how frequently accidents have occurred), reckless driving, and the type of coverages that are chosen. In terms of customer satisfaction and rates for high risk drivers, GEICO Casualty has received outstanding reviews.
- Progressive. When Progressive first started, they were an insurance company that offered insurance exclusively for high risk drivers. This carrier was the very first to allow drivers to pay premiums in installments instead of in a lump sum, and they still allow you to do so, which makes their rates very affordable for high risk drivers. Progressive also provides drive-in claims services. This carrier has received outstanding reviews for customer services, as well as claims processing, since they first started. Furthermore, the process of having a car repaired in the event that a claim is made is very simple compared to other insurance companies.
- Titan Insurance. As a subsidiary of Nationwide, one of the largest car insurance providers in the United States, Titan Insurance is an excellent option for high risk drivers. That’s because they offer insurance coverage for high risk drivers that other carriers would never consider covering; for example, drivers who have a history of DUI convictions. They also provide the drivers they cover with SR-22 paperwork, if it is needed. If you’re looking for the least expensive coverage possible, you’ll like that Titan offers a variety of minimum coverage options. They also offer several discounts that can make a big difference to the cost of your premiums, such as a discount for driving a vehicle with anti-lock brakes.
- State Farm. Last, but certainly not least, of the best auto insurance companies for high risk drivers is State Farm. Not only does this carrier offer affordable plans for drivers who are considered a high risk, but they also offer their specialized Drive Safe and Save program, which keeps tabs on your driving to determine how safe you are driving and offers discounts according to the information they collect; for example, if you are braking properly, you may be eligible for a discount.
How Do I Know If I’m Considered A Risky Investment?
Most people don’t find out they are high risk driver until they’ve been declined by a number of auto insurance companies. But there are some easy ways to determine if your are a high risk driver before even getting a quote.
DUI/DWI – If you have one of these on your driving record within the last 10 years or so, chances are you will be considered a high risk driver. Taking driver improvement classes and alcohol or addiction classes may improve you chances of finding an auto insurance policy.
Young drivers with bad records – If you’ve been driving for a very short time, and already have a number of tickets and accidents on your record you may be considered a high risk driver. Again, taking driver improvement classes will help you out.
Fast/Expensive Cars – Even if you have a clean driving record, an expensive, high performance car may lump you into the high risk driver category. A good way to counteract this is to make sure your car is loaded with safety features.
Finding High Risk Car Insurance
As stated above, just because you are considered a high risk driver, doesn’t mean you won’t be able to find someone to insure you. Most large auto insurance companies will be happy to insure you for a higher rate.
There are also auto insurance companies that specialize in high risk drivers. If applying for quotes online, they will usually be able to determine your risk level on the spot after you’ve entered your driving history. As a result, you will probably get high risk auto insurance quotes for high risk auto insurers.
If you stand any chance of finding and affordable rate on car insurance, you must get quotes from as many companies as possible. This step is made easy by simply entering your zip code above. You’ll then be presented with the best offers auto insurance has to offer. And yes, even high risk drivers can incredible deals from the leading companies, and even providers that specialize in the field.