By

John Davey

Updated

August 16, 2023

Edited By

Fausto Bucheli Jr

Introduction

Finding affordable car insurance can be challenging for drivers with a bad record. Whether you have a history of accidents, tickets, or a poor credit score, insurance companies often consider you high risk and charge higher premiums. However, with the right knowledge and strategies, you can still find affordable coverage. In this comprehensive guide, we will delve into the world of car insurance for bad drivers, providing valuable insights and expert tips to help you secure the best rates and coverage options available.

truck accident in snow

Understanding Car Insurance for Bad Drivers

Car insurance for bad drivers is specifically designed to provide coverage for individuals with less-than-ideal driving records. This includes drivers with at-fault accidents, multiple traffic violations, DUIs, or poor credit history. These factors make insurers perceive them as higher risks to insure. While it may seem challenging, finding insurance for bad drivers is not impossible.

DID YOU KNOW?

CheapInsurance.com began as¬†Cheap Insurance Agency¬†in California in 1974. The guiding belief in the company’s founding was to help find the most affordable car insurance for Unlucky Drivers. Way back in in the 20th Century, advocating for drivers with bad driving records – who we labeled “Unlucky Drivers” – was not a common approach by insurance brokers or companies. The genesis of CheapInsurance.com was to help all drivers find the best possible insurance for the least possible money, and that remains our goal today.

High-Risk Auto Insurance

High-risk auto insurance is a specialized policy offered by certain insurers to drivers with less-than-stellar driving records. Not all insurance companies offer this type of coverage, so it’s crucial to find the ones that do. High-risk drivers typically face increased premiums, ranging from 35% to 69% higher than those with a clean driving record. Factors such as DUI convictions, multiple speeding tickets or accidents, and poor credit can significantly impact insurance costs. Bad driving records can also result in the need for¬†SR-22 Insurance, an¬†FR-44 Certificate¬†for¬†Florida¬†and¬†Virginia¬†drivers, or an¬†FR-19 certificate for Maryland motorists.

Factors to Consider When Choosing an Insurance Company for a High-Risk Policy

  1. Quality of Coverage: High-risk auto insurance often requires more extensive coverage than a standard policy. Review the coverage details to ensure you have the necessary protection in case of an accident or claim.
  2. Customer Service and Reputation: Opt for an insurance company with a track record of excellent customer service and a strong reputation. Look for insurers that prioritize customer needs, especially for high-risk drivers.
  3. Your Own Driving History: Be upfront about your driving history when applying for insurance. Understanding your record will help you set realistic expectations and provide accurate information to insurers.
  4. Your Budget: Affordability is crucial, so obtain quotes from multiple insurers to find the best rates. Compare premiums and coverage options to ensure they fit within your budget.
  5. There are several additional factors that affect your car insurance rate that you should consider when shopping

How to Shop for Affordable Car Insurance with a Bad Driving Record

Having a bad driving record can significantly impact your car insurance premiums, making it crucial to find affordable coverage that fits your budget. While being labeled a high-risk driver might lead to higher rates, there are strategies you can employ to secure more budget-friendly car insurance. In this section, we’ll delve into effective ways to shop for affordable car insurance if you have a less-than-perfect driving history.

1. Compare Multiple Quotes

One of the most important steps in finding affordable car insurance is to compare quotes from different insurance providers. Each company uses its own algorithm to assess risk and determine premiums, which means rates can vary significantly from one insurer to another. Don’t settle for the first quote you receive; instead, take advantage of online comparison tools or work with an independent insurance agent to gather quotes from multiple companies. This way, you can identify the options that best suit your needs and budget.

2. Consider Higher Deductibles

A deductible is the amount you pay out of pocket before your insurance coverage kicks in after an accident. Opting for a higher deductible can lower your insurance premium, making your coverage more affordable. However, keep in mind that you should choose a deductible amount that you can comfortably afford to pay in the event of an accident. It’s a balancing act between saving on premiums and ensuring you can cover potential costs if you need to make a claim.

3. Utilize Available Discounts

Insurance companies offer various discounts that can help offset the higher costs associated with a bad driving record. Make sure to inquire about all the discounts you might qualify for, such as:

  • Safe Driving Discounts: Some insurers offer discounts to drivers who maintain a clean driving record for a certain period.
  • Defensive Driving Courses: Taking a defensive driving course can not only improve your driving skills but also earn you a discount with some insurance providers.
  • Bundle Discounts: If you have multiple insurance policies (e.g., car and home insurance) with the same provider, you might be eligible for a bundle discount.
  • Good Student Discounts: If you’re a student with good grades, you might qualify for a discount from certain insurers.
  • Anti-Theft Device Discounts: Installing anti-theft devices in your car can lead to lower premiums due to decreased theft risk.

4. Explore Accident Forgiveness Programs

Some insurance companies offer accident forgiveness programs, which means your rates won’t automatically increase after your first at-fault accident. This can be especially beneficial for drivers with a bad driving record. If you’re prone to accidents or have a history of them, consider insurers that offer accident forgiveness as part of their policies.

5. Improve Your Credit Score

If your bad driving record is combined with a poor credit score, you might be facing even higher insurance premiums. Improving your credit score over time can lead to lower rates. Pay your bills on time, reduce your debt, and regularly check your credit report for errors that could be negatively affecting your score.

6. Drive Less

Some insurance providers offer discounts to drivers who don’t rack up high mileage. If you can reduce your driving habits or find alternative modes of transportation for certain trips, you might be eligible for a low mileage discount.

7. Consider Telematics or Usage-Based Insurance

Telematics or usage-based insurance involves installing a device in your car that monitors your driving habits. If you drive responsibly and avoid risky behaviors, you could earn discounts based on your actual driving data. This type of insurance can be particularly beneficial for drivers with a history of speeding tickets or other violations.

8. Seek Out Insurers that Specialize in High-Risk Drivers

Some insurance companies specialize in providing coverage for high-risk drivers. These insurers understand the challenges you might face and offer tailored policies to accommodate your situation. While their rates might still be higher than average, they could be more affordable than those from traditional insurers that penalize high-risk drivers heavily.

Finding affordable car insurance with a bad driving record requires research, comparison, and exploring various strategies to mitigate the impact of your driving history. By being proactive, taking advantage of discounts, and considering specialized insurers, you can secure coverage that fits your budget without compromising on essential protection. Remember, your driving habits can also improve over time, allowing you to eventually qualify for lower premiums as you demonstrate responsible driving behavior

Car Insurance Costs for High-Risk Drivers Based on Driver Profile

Driver profiles play a significant role in determining car insurance costs for high-risk drivers. Factors such as age, driving experience, credit score, and type of vehicle can impact premiums. Let’s explore a few scenarios:

  • Young Drivers: Young drivers or those who have recently received their license are considered high risk due to their lack of experience. On average, insurance premiums for 18-year-old drivers can be as high as $3,956 per year, compared to $1,220 for 40-year-old drivers. It may benefit you to explore¬†what age does car insurance go down.
  • Drivers with Poor Credit: Insurers associate poor credit history with a higher likelihood of filing claims. Drivers with bad credit scores can pay up to $2,260 more in car insurance premiums annually compared to those with good credit.
  • Drivers with Sports Cars: Sports cars are often associated with higher insurance premiums due to increased theft risks and potential for greater damage in accidents. For example, insuring a 2010 Ford Mustang may cost $204 more on average than insuring a Toyota Camry of the same model year.

The Cheapest Insurance for Bad Drivers

  • GEICO: GEICO offers affordable insurance options for drivers with at-fault accidents on their record. Their accident forgiveness program can help mitigate rate increases after the first at-fault accident, and they offer various discounts for safe driving and qualifying memberships.
  • State Farm: State Farm is known for offering low rates to drivers with DUI or DWI convictions. Their Drive Safe & Save app can help you practice good driving habits and potentially earn discounts.
  • Travelers: Travelers is an excellent option for drivers with speeding tickets. They offer Responsible Driver Plans, which provide optional features like accident and minor violation forgiveness. They also offer various discounts for policyholders.

Top Car Insurance Companies for Drivers With Bad Records

Insurance CompanyAverage Monthly Quote: Liability OnlyAverage Monthly Quote: Full Coverage
USAA$139$199
Erie$140$173
State Farm$164$229
GEICO$164$233
Travelers$172$225
Allstate$191$278
Kemper$198$385
American Family$207$297
Progressive$211$312
Nationwide$218$238
Dairyland$242$463
Liberty Mutual$259$371
The Hartford$270$324
Farmers$285$414
Bristol West$313$491
CSAA$348$496
Top Car Insurance Companies for Drivers With Bad Records
source: Insurify analysis of estimates based on data from Quadrant Information Service

Conclusion

Finding affordable car insurance for bad drivers may require extra effort, but it is possible. By understanding high-risk auto insurance, considering important factors when choosing an insurance company, and exploring available options, you can secure affordable coverage that meets your needs. Remember to compare quotes, review coverage details, and take advantage of discounts offered by insurers to get lower car insurance rates. With the right approach, you can find the best rates and coverage to protect yourself on the road, even with a less-than-perfect driving record.