Mathew B. Sims is Editor-in-Chief and has authored, edited, and contributed to several books. He has been working in the insurance industry ensuring content is accurate for consumers who are searching for the best policies and rates. He has also been featured on sites like UpJourney.

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Dan Walker graduated with a BS in Administrative Management in 2005 and has been working in his family’s insurance agency, FCI Agency, for 15 years (BBB A+). He is licensed as an agent to write property and casualty insurance, including home, auto, umbrella, and dwelling fire insurance. He’s also been featured on sites like Reviews.com and Safeco. He reviews content, ensuring that exis...

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Reviewed by Daniel Walker
Licensed Auto Insurance Agent

UPDATED: Jul 16, 2020

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Here's what you need to know...

  • Bad drivers usually pay more for car insurance, and are labeled “high-risk”
  • Speeding tickets, accidents, and bad credit all affect your “driver” status
  • Defensive driving courses and repairing your credit can lower your bad driver insurance rates
  • Most states require liability insurance, and if caught driving uninsured, you may have to pay fines and reinstatement fees to restore driving privileges
  • Bad drivers are classified as a different driver type for auto insurance and insurance for different driver types can get complicated

If you’ve received too many tickets, been arrested for DUI, or are young, you may be considered a bad driver and have trouble finding auto insurance. While there are a lot of auto insurance companies that will give you car insurance, finding the best price in these economic times can be hard. However, read on to learn how to find cheap auto insurance with a bad driving record.

It does not matter if you are an older driver, a younger driver or that you just you want to save some money, knowing how to cut the premium cost is beneficial.

Start comparing cheap bad driver online auto insurance rates by entering your zip code into the box above!

Defining a Bad Driver

Your auto insurance company will label you a high-risk driver if they think that you have dangerous driving habits that are likely to result in claims. As mentioned earlier, multiple tickets or a DWI conviction are red flags for your insurance. Learn more about finding cheap DUI/DWI auto insurance.

Unfortunately, some things you have no control over such as your age or where you live matter too. Use the information below to set yourself on the road to cheap auto insurance and smooth riding.

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Finding Bad Driver Auto Insurance

As a high-risk driver, your auto insurance rates are bound to be higher than if you were a driver with a stellar record. In fact, those drivers get good driver discounts. Not to rub it in, but you should aim to be a good driver for that reason alone.

In the meantime, shop around. Some companies are far more willing to insure high-risk drivers than others. Depending on the reasons that you are flagged as a bad driver, some companies will be better suited to meet your needs. The only way to know is to compare.

Enter your zip code above to get free online cheap auto insurance quotes for bad drivers from providers in your area!

Poor Driving Record Car Insurance Requirements

In most states, auto insurance is compulsory even if you have a bad driving record. Although laws differ from state to state, failure to maintain auto insurance typically results in a license suspension. You may also have to pay fines and reinstatement fees in order to have your driving privileges restored.

High-risk drivers pay $137.75/month more on average for auto insurance. Keep your record clean by avoiding speeding tickets and DUIs.

You may also have to pay fines and reinstatement fees in order to have your driving privileges restored.

Fortunately, there are companies that specialize in providing insurance for bad drivers. These drivers might need high-risk auto insurance coverage.

In the insurance industry, these companies are referred to as “non-standard” auto insurance carriers.

Find quotes for you no matter what your driving record by entering your ZIP code into our FREE car insurance comparison tool.

Finding a Bad Driver Auto Insurance Company

Finding non-standard auto insurance companies does not have to be a difficult task. One way is to contact an independent insurance agent in your area.

Independent agents work with multiple insurance companies, and some write business for companies that specialize in providing coverage for drivers who are difficult to insure.

Be honest about your driving history. The agent can tell you right away whether he or she represents a company that can help you.

If the agent does not work with a non-standard auto insurance carrier, he or she will advise you to contact another agent.

Providing your agent with correct information is critical to finding and securing coverage with a spotty driving history. With the correct information, your agent can tell you up front whether he or she can help you obtain insurance coverage.

With the correct information, your agent can tell you up front whether he or she can help you obtain insurance coverage.

Omitting violations or accidents on your record will not help you because any insurance company the agent represents will pull your driving report before making a decision.

Non-standard car insurance companies also typically advertise online and through radio and television commercials.

You may be able to obtain a quote and start a policy directly through the company, instead of working with an agent. This allows you to obtain the coverage you need without having to leave your office or home.

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Getting SR-22 Bad Driver Insurance Coverage

If you have a bad driving history, you may need an SR-22 certification. This certification allows you to reinstate your driving privileges if your license has been suspended.

Non-standard auto insurance companies typically provide SR-22 filings for policyholders for a nominal fee.

It is important to remember that you must maintain continuous insurance coverage in order to keep your SR-22 active.

If you miss a payment or the company cancels your policy, your driver’s license will be suspended in most states unless you have obtained replacement coverage.

Let your agent or company know that you need an SR-22 when you obtain a quote. Insurance companies do not search motor vehicle department records to determine if you require an SR-22 filing.

Insurance companies do not search motor vehicle department records to determine if you require an SR-22 filing.

Obtain Bad Driver Insurance Quotes Online

Because many non-standard auto insurance companies have websites that offer quoting engines, obtaining rates for car insurance coverage is a simple task. Different information will be required.

You may need to enter the serial number, also called a vehicle identification number, for each vehicle you want to insure. You will also enter the personal information and driving history for each driver who will be covered under your policy.

You will also enter the personal information and driving history for each driver who will be covered under your policy.

After you have entered this information, you will receive a quote that reflects the premiums you will pay for auto insurance coverage.

You can obtain quotes from websites that contain non-standard insurance companies to ensure that you are getting the best deal for your money.

In some cases, you can purchase your policy online after you have obtained a quote that meets your budget and reflects the coverages you need.

Some non-standard auto insurance companies give you the option to make your initial payment and installment payments with a debit card, credit card, or electronic check.

Bad Driver Auto Insurance Costs

Insurance companies base rates on the probability of having to pay a claim. The cheapest auto insurance for a bad driving record depends upon insurance company rate classes. If you want to find the cheapest auto insurance for a bad driving record then compare rates from many companies will help you save.

Drivers with past accidents or violations are statistically more likely to be involved in accidents, which costs insurance companies money.

For this reason, non-standard car insurance companies typically charge higher premiums than standard insurance carriers.

Fortunately, there are strategies that can help you minimize your auto insurance costs. Shopping around for coverage can help you obtain coverage at the lowest possible rates.

Although you might be tempted to purchase a policy from the first company willing to accept you, comparing quotes online or through an agent will help reduce your costs.

You can also take advantage of policy discounts offered by non-standard car insurance carriers.

Most companies offer discounts for vehicle equipment such as anti-lock braking systems, anti-theft devices, and side curtain airbags.

If you are a college or high school student, you might also earn a discount if you maintain a grade point average of 3.0 or higher.

Although finding car insurance coverage with a bad driving record can seem like a challenge, non-standard auto insurance companies can help you obtain insurance coverage, even if you have made past driving mistakes.

Find affordable quotes from these companies with your ZIP code in our FREE comparison tool!

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How to Buy Auto Insurance with a Bad Driving Record

Are you a high-risk driver with accidents on your record and need auto insurance? Don’t worry. Get quotes from at least three different insurance companies online and save up to $859.

  • Your driving record and number of accidents may play a big part in your insurance rates
  • You should compare at least three different companies before making a final decision
  • How you pay your premium may also be a way to reduce your rates

Comparing at least three different companies is a good way to start your search for cheap auto insurance for high-risk drivers.

Companies typically offer a free estimate or even an instant quote so you can easily compare and contrast what they’re offering. You can also focus on ways to reduce your rates.

Click here to shop around for car insurance by entering your ZIP code in our FREE tool.

Ways to Find Affordable Bad Driver Insurance Rates

You have several ways to tweak your insurance plan with the overall aim of reducing your rates even if you have a bad driving record.

While these reduction methods may apply to any driver with any type of record, they can be especially helpful for those who are already paying more due to a bad driving record.

Increasing your deductible for your collision and comprehensive coverage are ideal places to start since you have more say over the type and level of your repairs to your own vehicle than you do for repairing the vehicles of others under your liability coverage.

Washington’s Insurance Department also notes you can pay for smaller claims out of your own pocket, instead of running them through the insurance company.

By not filing claims unless absolutely necessary, your claims history will remain low.

How you pay your premium may also be a way to reduce your rates. Paying for an entire year’s worth of coverage in one lump sum may come out cheaper than paying in monthly installments.

Car insurance companies may offer a discount for paying the entire premium at once and it may also be a way to avoid monthly fees and services charges tacked onto your bill every time you make a payment.

Making sure you are not duplicating insurance coverage can also help you trim some fat off your car insurance bill.

For instance, if your health insurance already covers medical bills if you are in an accident, you can scale back on medical coverage under your car insurance plan.

Types of Bad Driver Auto Insurance Coverage

You may be able to scale back on other types of coverage in a bid to save money on your auto insurance for a bad driving record.

If your car would cost more to insure than it would to replace, you may be able to forget about comprehensive or collision coverage altogether.

Of course, you do want to comply with state law and obtain the minimum amount of car insurance required for the state, but additional coverage is your choice.

Review state minimums and then decide how much additional coverage you would feasibly need. Also, make sure an insurance company is not automatically including coverage you neither want nor need when they are offering a quote or drawing up a policy.

Also, make sure an insurance company is not automatically including coverage you neither want nor need when they are offering a quote or drawing up a policy.

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Make Other Factors Count

Your driving record and number of accidents may play a big part in your insurance rates, but they are not the only factors involved.

You can try to offset the high cost of insurance due to your accident record by making sure other factors on the list get you the lowest rates possible.

While some of the factors are beyond your control, others may be adjusted to keep your rates down.

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Factors Beyond Your Control

Your age and gender are two factors that go into calculating your rates. The highest premiums go to the highest risk group of drivers, which are those under age 25.

Males under age 25 boost the premium even further as they statistically have more accidents than female drivers under age 25 do.

Married couples typically have lower rates than singles, although you may not want to propose just to get an insurance break.

All members of your household are factors that go into calculating your premium.

If you have a job that requires you to use your own vehicle, your rates may be higher than a job that only requires you to drive to and from work.

Living in an area that is known for high crime and car thefts can increase your rates over lower-crime zones.

Congested urban areas typically merit higher rates than sparsely populated rural locations.

Factors You Can Adjust

Even if your driving record is currently trashed, you can keep it as squeaky clean as possible going forward.

That means driving safely, obeying all traffic laws, and paying acute attention to the road should be top priorities.

Other factors you can adjust include:

  • Your annual mileage
  • Type of car you have
  • Your credit record

Lower rates generally come from lower mileage. You can explore taking public transportation, carpooling, or even walking to reduce the mileage on your vehicle.

The make and age of your vehicle are other factors within your control.

Cars that are frequently stolen are on the high end of the insurance cost scale, as are vehicles that cost a lot to repair.

You can ask insurance companies for estimates for insuring a specific type of vehicle before you actually buy that vehicle. They may be able to help guide you toward vehicles that are low-cost on their insurance list.

Your credit record may play a part in your insurance rates.

Like your driving record, you may not be able to fix your credit record in an instant, but you can employ measures to improve it going forward.

Measures include paying your bills on time, paying off as much debt as possible, and not applying for many new accounts at once.

You may also want to review your credit record to ensure there are no mistakes on the record that could be bringing you down.

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Make Discounts Count

A number of discounts offered by insurance companies may help shave money off your overall insurance premium.

Companies may give you a reduced rate for insuring more than one vehicle with the company or having more than one policy type with it.

You may be able to choose a single company for your house and auto insurance, which could merit a break.

Your vehicle’s safety and security features can net you a discount, with the more the merrier. Security measures include car alarms, tracking devices, wheel locks, and brake locks.

Special Programs

If a driving record is particularly awful, some insurance companies may refuse to offer insurance at all.

However, just because one insurance company denies coverage, don’t assume they all will.

The Texas Department of Insurance points out that each company sets its own rules and one works for one may not be the same for another.

The Texas DUI also notes that the highest costs of insurance may come from some of the more serious traffic violations.

These include:

  • Involuntary manslaughter
  • Criminally negligent driving
  • Driving with a suspended license
  • Driving under the influence

Even companies that refuse to insure high-risk drivers may be associated with other member companies that do.

It never hurts to ask. It also never hurts to look into insurance companies that specialize in insuring high-risk drivers when comparing your options.

One more area to research if you are having trouble finding high-risk insurance would be programs that may be available in your state.

Texas has a state-run insurance program that may insure drivers that cannot obtain it elsewhere.

California also has a plan, known as the California Automobile Assigned Risk Plan. Each insurance company in the state is required to take on CAARP applications, according to the California Department of Insurance.

While the rates may be different than you’d find through a traditional program, all CAARP rates are the same regardless of what company offers the insurance.

If you successfully maintain a good driving record for three years under the CAARP plan, you will be eligible to move from CAARP to a standard insurance policy.

Your state’s department of insurance may be able to guide you in the right direction and let you know if such a program exists for you.

State-run car insurance programs usually have very strict requirements and are one of the last places to look for insurance.

Enter your ZIP code into our FREE tool below and start comparing auto insurance quotes now!

Exclusive Auto Insurance Deals for Good Drivers

You do not have to be a bad driver forever! Remember, just because you have a bad driving record and finding cheap auto insurance is more difficult than if you had a good driving record, that does not have to last forever.

Read on about some of the discounts you can utilize if you take the time to improve your driving record. The average cost of auto insurance in the US is $79.58/month, but you can save upwards of 45% on your bill with discounts for safe and defensive driving.

  • If you are a good driver you are privy to a slew of discounts
  • A good driver is someone who has a clean driving record with no violations in a certain amount of time (this means that there is no time like the present to start improving your driving record!)
  • Having safety devices and anti-theft protection on your vehicle often merits a discount

Good drivers are generally rewarded by many auto insurance companies with exclusive deals. Four of these exclusive deals may include good driver discounts, generous renewal provisions, inclusion in government programs for low-income motorists and even discounts for teen and young adult drivers.

While exact provisions and rewards vary from state to state, the overall message most state governments send is clear. If you are a good driver, you are going to get some breaks on your car insurance.

Enter your zip code above and check out the lowest insurance rates with our FREE tool!

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Traits of a Good Driver

Before you can aim for good driver status, it’s helpful to know the term is defined. Although each state and each insurance company may have slight variations in the definition, a few general specifications usually apply.

In the most general sense, a good driver is someone who has a clean driving record with no violations in a certain amount of time. Some states, such as California, have the definition written into their propositions, as noted by the California Department of Insurance.

California’s Proposition 103 offers a legal definition of a good driver. It says good drivers are motorists who have had a driver’s license for at least three consecutive years and have only one or no points on their driving records.

If a motorist has had a severe violation, such as Driving Under the Influence (DUI), it stays on their record for seven years instead of three.

One more criterion for meeting the good driver definition is not being a driver in an accident in which someone was killed or a car was totaled or had damage of more than $500.

Insurance companies can make slight adjustments to the definition to fit their own reasoning as to what merits the benefits they offer for being a good driver. Some may be more generous than others with the definition as well as the discount, but they typically share the same basic parameters.

Good Driver Discounts

Auto insurance discounts are one of the major rewards for good drivers. They usually come in the form of discounts off your premium. The exact amount depends on your specific insurance plan.

Even if you go into a policy with a less-than-perfect driving record, the discount may be applied at a later date if you maintain a good driving record. The opposite could also apply.

If you go into a policy with a good record and receive a good driver discount, you could lose that discount unless you keep your record free of violations and claims as per the company’s specifications.

Not only may you lose your discount, but you may also see an increase in your premium, according to the Illinois Department of Insurance. Accidents and moving violations may put you in a higher risk category and insurance companies tend to offset risk by increasing rates.

Other Auto Insurance Discounts

While the good driver discount is on the topmost on many insurance companies’ lists, you may also have a host of other discounts for which you may be eligible.

Discounts pointed out by the Illinois DOI include mature driver credit, discounts for having low annual mileage, and money off if you carpool.

Having safety devices and anti-theft protection on your vehicle often merits a discount.

You may also enjoy reduced rates for insuring more than one vehicle with a single company or having more than one type of policy. If you insure both your home and car with the same firm, for instance, many of those firms offer discounts and other benefits.

Good Driver Rate Reduction

Most insurance companies offer lower rates to good drivers than they do to non-good drivers. This usually applies even before you get to the good driver discounts.

Insurance companies in California must offer lower rates to good drivers, thanks once again to Proposition 103.

The proposition dictates each insurance company must offer good drivers a rate that is 20 percent lower than the rates it would offer to others who are not good drivers.

Of course, California car insurance companies are free to reduce the rates even further, but they need to offer at least a 20 percent reduction.

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Other Ways to Reduce Rates

Another way good drivers can reduce their rates even further is to look at the factors that go into calculating your car insurance rates.

Part of the equation includes your age, gender, and marital status, although others are things you can change more easily to receive better rates.

These factors include how frequently you drive and how many auto insurance claims you have filed in the past. Your credit record may play a part, as does your location and type of vehicle you drive.

Good Driver New Policy and Renewal Provisions

Good drivers typically get the edge when searching for insurance, as certain states go as far as to dictate good drivers cannot be turned down for auto insurance. California stands out once again with its Proposition 103.

The proposition says every car insurance company licensed in the state has no choice but to offer coverage to those who fit the good driver definition.

If you fit the definition and are turned down by any company, the state DOI urges you to contact them with the issue.

Not every state may have a similar proposition in place, but insurance companies are typically eager to offer coverage for good drivers. Just as bad drivers increase the risk and cost more to insure, good drivers, reduce risk and cost less.

When it comes to renewing your auto insurance, good drivers may get another break. Companies typically
review your driving record over the past year, and, if it’s good, they may choose to automatically renew your policy with no rate increases.

Renewal time may also be the point where good drivers receive their discounts.

California’s Proposition 103 once again comes into play as an example, with renewal specifications spelled out. It states that auto insurance companies must renew your policy once they issue it, with only three reasons as exceptions.

Your policy may not be renewed, and may even be canceled if you:

  • Increase the amount of hazard insurance against you with bad driving
  • Don’t pay your premium
  • Are found guilty of fraud or misrepresentation

Good drivers are also generally less prone to policy cancellation unless they do not pay their premiums or otherwise violate the contract.

Good Driver Low Auto Insurance Programs

Being a good driver may help you out regardless of your financial standing, and it can play a huge part in obtaining insurance even if you are hard-pressed for affording insurance.

Because auto insurance is a requirement in all states, certain states make it easier for those with lower income to obtain it if they have good driving records.

California once again serves as an example with its low-cost auto insurance program. The overall goal of the program is to decrease the number of uninsured drivers in the state. It does that by helping to make auto insurance as affordable as possible.

Other factors that make you qualified for the program include your household income and the value of your vehicle when you bought it. You must also live in a county that participates in the program.

Good drivers usually don’t rely on luck alone to stay safe and keep their driving records clean. Skill, experience, and safe driving practices are part of the mix.

Defensive driving courses and other driver education classes can be helpful for enhancing your driving skills. As an added bonus, they often merit yet another discount from many insurance companies.

A major bad habit of a bad driver has become distractions, according to Distraction.gov, the official government website for distracted driving.

Distractions include texting, using a cell phone, talking to passengers, and playing around with the radio, CD player, or navigation system.

Others include watching videos, looking at maps, reading anything, grooming yourself, or eating and drinking while driving. A good driver has his or her eyes as well as their mind on the road. Distractions can be especially deadly for inexperienced drivers who are at a disadvantage to being with.

There are ways you can cut down on distractions while driving. You also have ways to improve your driving skills and driving record so you, too, can enjoy the exclusive deals good drivers can often get on auto insurance.

Compare plenty of great deals on auto insurance by entering your zip code in our FREE tool below!

References:

  1. https://www.acceptanceinsurance.com/our-products/auto-insurance/non-standard-auto-insurance/
  2. https://www.thebalance.com/g00/how-to-get-your-driving-record-527249?i10c.referrer=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.google.com%2F
  3. https://www.progressive.com/auto/
  4. https://www.geico.com/information/sr22-details/
  5. https://www.nationwide.com/personal-injury-protection.jsp
  6. http://www.mdinsurance.state.md.us/sa/docs/documents/consumer/consumeradvisory-savingmoney06-11.pdf
  7. http://dlr.sd.gov/insurance/consumers/auto.aspx