Can I find affordable auto insurance with my high-risk driving record?

Even if you have a few accidents or tickets on your driving record, you can find affordable auto insurance with a high-risk driving record. Simple steps like limiting coverage and increasing deductibles can help lower auto insurance rates.

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Leslie Kasperowicz holds a BA in Social Sciences from the University of Winnipeg. She spent several years as a Farmers Insurance CSR, gaining a solid understanding of insurance products including home, life, auto, and commercial and working directly with insurance customers to understand their needs. She has since used that knowledge in her more than ten years as a writer, largely in the insuranc...

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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 and Safeco. He reviews content, ensuring that ex...

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Reviewed by Daniel Walker
Licensed Auto Insurance Agent

UPDATED: Dec 7, 2021

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Things to Remember...

  • High-risk auto insurance is considered a type of non-standard car insurance coverage
  • Drivers who have had multiple traffic violations, claims, and DUIs are considered high-risk
  • Some auto insurance companies specialize in offering high-risk auto insurance policies for different driver types

Auto insurance companies look at a person’s driving record as a prime indicator of whether this person is likely to file claims in the future.

As auto insurance companies specialize in insuring people against possible future losses, risk management is a central practice within the insurance industry.

Not surprisingly, drivers considered high-risk may find it difficult to purchase affordable rates if a car has auto insurance coverage.

Fortunately, there are steps a person can take to find affordable high-risk coverage.

Enter your ZIP code into our FREE car insurance comparison tool to find affordable rates from a variety of companies.

High-Risk Auto Insurance


Drivers assigned a high-risk status may have multiple traffic violations on record, multiple accidents, multiple claim filings in general or any combination of checkmarks on their records.

Drivers who have a DUI or DWI on their records also fall within the high-risk category.

And while different auto insurance companies may base a driver status on different factors, the most commonly used factors for determining a driver’s risk status include:

  • Driving history
  • The type of car
  • Car usage rates

Of the three main areas considered, driving history tends to carry the most weight in the eyes of an insurer.

Another area where high-risk status comes into play has to do with lapses in insurance coverage. If a driver has gaps in coverage for lengthy periods of time, he becomes a high-risk candidate.

From the insurer’s standpoint, the person may have been driving without insurance, which indicates the person may be prone to risk-taking behaviors in general.

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Differences in Company Rating Practices


As a group, insurance companies examine factors and probability rates to predict future business losses as well as future business profits.

While many companies prefer to work with drivers who fall in the standard risk category, there are a number of companies who specialize in working with drivers classified as high risk.

A high-risk insurance company is better positioned financially to offer competitive and affordable rates to people in the market for high-risk coverage.

High-risk insurance companies may also use different rating and risk factors when determining how high a premium rate to charge.

In some instances, the companies capable of taking on these types of risks are affiliated with larger companies that have ample assets on hand.

With the differences between how high-risk insurers calculate risk and rating factors, a driver with a high-risk status can find affordable coverage by comparing rates between different companies.

By shopping around online, a driver with a sketchy driving record has a good chance of finding affordable high-risk insurance coverage.


Company Comparisons

Each auto insurance company works within its own business model in terms of managing loss ratios, the amount of return it earns on its investments and its own position within the marketplace.

These differences enable high-risk auto insurances to compete in different areas that can benefit a driver in need of affordable insurance coverage.

Some companies can offer lower premium rates to high-risk drivers while others may be able to offer better coverage options.

So, a driver looking for affordable premium rates and minimal coverage can still find a good deal.

Another driver looking for more comprehensive coverage options can also find an affordable price for the amount of coverage included.

Unfortunately, many people who fall in the high-risk category settle for high insurance rates because they don’t realize how competitive the auto insurance market can be.

Many high-risk auto insurers offer special programs that can help policyholders offset coverage costs through special payment arrangements or discount incentives.

By doing company comparisons, drivers have a better chance of finding an insurer that offers the types of coverages needed at affordable prices.

Lowering Auto Insurance Costs


Drivers who have a record of multiple accident claims or moving violations can expect these incidents to mark them as high-risk drivers for at least three years depending on state laws.

There are certain steps drivers can take to ensure they qualify for standard coverage rates after this three year period while reducing coverage costs in the interim.

Once a person finds an affordable high-risk insurance company, limiting the types of coverage options purchased can help reduce premium rate costs.

If someone is driving an older model car with no car payments, purchasing the state’s minimum coverage requirements, such as liability coverage can significantly reduce the amount paid out in premium costs.

When setting up a policy plan, drivers can choose how high a deductible they will pay in the event an accident claim is filed. In effect, insurers are placing some of the risk back on the policyholder by requiring a deductible payment.

By selecting the highest possible deductible amount, policyholders end up paying considerably less in premium payments through the year.

Drivers may also want to consider signing up for driver-education courses that award a certificate upon completion. Having a driver-education certificate in hand can make it easier to qualify for standard insurance coverage once a driver’s record has cleared.

Enter your ZIP code into our FREE comparison feature to find the most affordable auto insurance available!



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Enter your ZIP code below to view companies that have cheap auto insurance rates.

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