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

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Reviewed by Daniel Walker
Licensed Auto Insurance Agent

UPDATED: Mar 10, 2020

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It’s all about you. We want to help you make the right coverage choices.

Advertiser Disclosure: We strive to help you make confident insurance decisions. Comparison shopping should be easy. We partner with top insurance providers. This doesn’t influence our content. Our opinions are our own.

Editorial Guidelines: We are a free online resource for anyone interested in learning more about auto insurance. Our goal is to be an objective, third-party resource for everything auto insurance related. We update our site regularly, and all content is reviewed by auto insurance experts.

Things to Remember...

  • When it comes to auto insurance, finding a quality policy at an affordable price is at the top of every consumer’s list
  • Certain factors influence your rates including, age, make and model of vehicle, ZIP code, driving history, etc
  • One method to keep insurance premiums low when adding comprehensive coverage is to maintain a high deductible
  • When searching for affordable insurance for different driver types, whether by phone or online, just remember that not every company deals with high-risk drivers

When it comes to auto insurance, finding a quality policy at an affordable price is at the top of every consumer’s list. However, high-risk drivers are among a demographic that has notoriously high premiums.

To make matters worse, obtaining comprehensive coverage on a vehicle can be extremely pricey. There are a few tips and avenues you can use to find the perfect coverage.

To find great quotes on auto insurance, enter your ZIP code into the FREE box located on this page!

If you are familiar with an SR-22 form, have multiple traffic violations on your driving record, or are a new driver, you probably fall into the high-risk category.

Thankfully, there are some ways to help find comprehensive coverage and liability coverage at a decent price. The key is educating yourself on why you are categorized as a high-risk driver and shopping around for the best insurance quote out there.

Defining a High-Risk Driver


Insurance companies base their rates for consumers on whether a potential customer is a low or high risk.

Each company has their own set of parameters that dictate their rate, but there are a few common factors between people labeled as high risk.

For example, if you happen to be younger than 25, a male, and drive a new sports car, you can bet you will be labeled a high risk to insure.

Certain characteristics, like age and gender, tend to move people into the high-risk category. Sadly, there is not much you can do about your age or gender.
Another example is where you live. Many people do not have much control determining where they live. If you happen to be located in an area where there is a lot of crime, you will probably receive rates that are more expensive.

Insurance companies factor in location, solely based on the number of thefts and vandalism cases in that ZIP code. Again, there really is not much you can do about where you live.

On the other hand, most insurance companies will use the type of vehicle as a measurement of risk. If you are currently shopping for a new car, consider the make and model, as well as the year.

This will give you a good idea as to how risky the vehicle would look to an insurance company. Basically, if it is new and expensive to repair, as well as fast, the vehicle will cause you to receive a high-risk classification.

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Other Methods for Defining High-Risk Drivers

Outside of factors that you cannot control, there are some that you can control. In addition to the vehicle that you choose to drive, many drivers also get that classification because of their driving history.

Many insurance companies see a bunch of traffic violations and at-fault accidents as evidence of a poor driver.

Whether you are truly a poor driver or not, if you have a few tickets and accidents on your record, you will probably be labeled as high risk.

To avoid this, or to at least become aware of your current situation, think about obtaining a copy of your driving record.

Almost every state department of motor vehicles, or DMV, will offer online services to obtain your record.

It usually costs a small fee and you can be sure what your record is and how an insurance company will use it to dictate your premium.

Being labeled a high-risk can also be impacted by your credit history. Surprisingly, if you have a low credit score many insurance companies see that as irresponsibility. Thus, they label this as a potential risk.

Paying your bills on time and staying out of credit card debt are great starters for keeping your credit score high. A good credit history is a great way to control being labeled high-risk.

Another factor that you can control is lapsing on insurance. Many drivers obtain this classification because at some point they were driving without insurance.

If in the past, you ever accidentally lapsed on coverage that will show up on your record.

Once an insurance company sees the lapse, you are immediately placed in a high-risk category. Be sure to stay current on your auto insurance at all times.

Finally, alcohol-related incidents are a surefire way to place you in the high-risk category, and rightfully so.

If you have a DUI or DWI, or any other alcohol-related offense, you will be deemed a high risk.

If you want to remain a low-risk driver, stay away from alcohol and driving. Outside of potentially harming yourself and others on the road, you will also receive the highest rates on auto insurance. Do not drink and drive.

There are many resources available to further define whether you fall into this category.

The American Institute of CPAs offers a website focused on educating folks about auto insurance. This specific article deals directly with definitions regarding drivers who are considered a risk.

Comprehensive Coverage


Another element of auto insurance is the variety of coverage available to consumers. One type of coverage that many people opt for is comprehensive coverage.

If your vehicle is damaged because of theft, weather-related events, fire, or animal happenings, having comprehensive coverage will help pay for those damages.

If you own a vehicle that is new and expensive to repair, purchasing comprehensive coverage is a smart move.

If you own a vehicle that is new and expensive to repair, purchasing comprehensive coverage is a smart move.

The problem for many high-risk drivers is that adding comprehensive coverage to a policy can be expensive. One method to keep insurance premiums low when adding comprehensive coverage is to maintain a high deductible.

Many comprehensive coverage plans offer $100 to $300 deductibles. To make sure you have a lower premium, offer to increase that deductible.

In addition, shopping around for quotes is a great way to keep premiums low.

Many insurance companies will have varying prices on comprehensive coverage, as it is based on the price of the vehicle being insured.

Because of this, comprehensive coverage prices vary greatly from company to company. Shop around to find the lowest rates out there.

If You Are Denied Coverage

Many drivers are denied coverage because of driving history or a variety of other factors. If you need comprehensive coverage and cannot find a company to offer you a policy, you may be out of luck.

Many state departments of insurance offer programs for drivers who cannot find insurance.Obtaining auto insurance is the law and the state departments want every driver to be insured.

The issue with state programs is that they typically only offer the minimum liability coverage as dictated by state law.

Because of this, comprehensive coverage may not be an option.

If you own a newer vehicle that requires comprehensive coverage, you may want to think about trading the vehicle in for an older model.

Older cars usually do not require comprehensive coverage.

If you have the availability to forego comprehensive coverage, contact your state department of insurance to find out about any programs offered for drivers that cannot find insurance. For example, the Texas Department of Insurance

For example, the Texas Department of Insurance provides a detailed article about a variety of insurance-related information and offers information about their state program for finding insurance.

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Other Options for High-Risk Drivers


If you absolutely need comprehensive coverage, one final option is to get quotes from insurance companies that specialize in high-risk insurance. Quite a few companies offer great rates for

Quite a few companies offer great rates for drivers that fall into this category. By shopping around and locating a company like that, you can guarantee a low rate and quality coverage.

In fact, many companies that deal specifically with this type of driver also offer affordable comprehensive coverage as well.

Just keep in mind that, you will still be paying more for insurance than someone classified as low-risk will.

Many of these companies are great resources for good insurance at an affordable and competitive rate.

When searching for affordable insurance, whether by phone or online, just remember that not every company deals with high-risk drivers.

A great resource for finding companies that specialize in insuring these drivers is your state’s department of insurance.

For further information, visit your state department’s primary web page.

Educational Resources

Finding affordable insurance should be available to any type of driver, even a high-risk consumer. Thankfully, there are great resources available to any consumer.

Educating yourself on the basics of insurance, the types of coverage available, and how insurance premiums are calculated should be your first step before shopping for a policy.

The Insurance Information Institute offers a fantastic article detailing the basics of a typical insurance policy.

III also offers a variety of helpful articles about filing claims, purchasing insurance, and how insurance companies dictate premium rates. It is an invaluable resource for anyone shopping for insurance.

The California Department of Insurance is another great resource for finding out more about the basics of auto insurance.

Each state handles policies a bit differently, so make sure to check with your local department of insurance. Most state departments have a database of information pertinent to local issues.

Educating yourself on auto insurance, shopping for rates and comparing quotes, and controlling elements of your own driving history are three easy ways to help find affordable auto insurance for high-risk drivers that also are looking for comprehensive coverage.

Diligence and commitment are great ways to save money.

To start comparing quotes on auto insurance now, simply enter your ZIP code into the FREE box!