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Best Car Insurance for High-Risk Drivers

Updated
Christy Bieber

Our Insurance Expert

Eric McWhinnie
Many or all of the products here are from our partners that compensate us. It’s how we make money. But our editorial integrity ensures our experts’ opinions aren’t influenced by compensation. Terms may apply to offers listed on this page.

Insurance companies price policies based on risk. As a result, the best car insurance for high-risk drivers can be expensive. Insurance premiums can vary by violation, as well as by insurer. It's important to shop carefully to find the best car insurance for high-risk drivers.

This guide can help drivers with DUIs, accidents, speeding tickets, and poor credit find the coverage that's right for them.

Best Insurance for High Risk Drivers: Our Picks

The Picks
Offer Best For Next Steps
Graphic of Progressive
Progressive
Rating image, 4.00 out of 5 stars.
4.00/5 Circle with letter I in it. Our ratings are based on a 5 star scale. 5 stars equals Best. 4 stars equals Excellent. 3 stars equals Good. 2 stars equals Fair. 1 star equals Poor. We want your money to work harder for you. Which is why our ratings are biased toward offers that deliver versatility while cutting out-of-pocket costs.
= Best
= Excellent
= Good
= Fair
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Great For: Best for DUI coverage
Graphic of Travelers
Travelers
Rating image, 3.00 out of 5 stars.
3.00/5 Circle with letter I in it. Our ratings are based on a 5 star scale. 5 stars equals Best. 4 stars equals Excellent. 3 stars equals Good. 2 stars equals Fair. 1 star equals Poor. We want your money to work harder for you. Which is why our ratings are biased toward offers that deliver versatility while cutting out-of-pocket costs.
= Best
= Excellent
= Good
= Fair
= Poor
Great For: Best for prior accidents coverage
Graphic of Geico
Geico
Rating image, 4.50 out of 5 stars.
4.50/5 Circle with letter I in it. Our ratings are based on a 5 star scale. 5 stars equals Best. 4 stars equals Excellent. 3 stars equals Good. 2 stars equals Fair. 1 star equals Poor. We want your money to work harder for you. Which is why our ratings are biased toward offers that deliver versatility while cutting out-of-pocket costs.
= Best
= Excellent
= Good
= Fair
= Poor
Great For: Best for speeding tickets and poor credit

Jump to a section:

How to choose the best high-risk insurance

The best high-risk insurance comes at an affordable cost while still providing comprehensive coverage. To find the right policy, drivers should take the following steps:

Best car insurance for DUI

Award Icon 2024 Award Winner
Logo for Progressive
Best for DUI coverageProgressive
Rating image, 4.00 out of 5 stars.
4.00/5 Circle with letter I in it. Our ratings are based on a 5 star scale. 5 stars equals Best. 4 stars equals Excellent. 3 stars equals Good. 2 stars equals Fair. 1 star equals Poor. We want your money to work harder for you. Which is why our ratings are biased toward offers that deliver versatility while cutting out-of-pocket costs.
= Best
= Excellent
= Good
= Fair
= Poor
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Why we recommend Progressive for drivers with a DUI

Progressive's average rates for coverage after a DUI are among the lowest of any major insurance company and are well below the national average. Progressive also offers an SR-22 form for new and existing customers, which is sometimes required after a DUI and which not all insurers provide.

Pros

  • Affordable coverage with premiums below the national average
  • SR-22 forms are available quickly
  • Large agent network across the country for in-person support

Cons

  • Above average number of NAIC complaints
  • Below average customer service reviews in multiple markets on J.D. Power's Customer Satisfaction survey

How much does car insurance with a DUI cost?

Drivers with a DUI pay average premiums of $4,380 compared with a national average premium of $3,017 among all drivers. Here's how different companies stack up with costs:

Insurer Average annual premium
Progressive $2,535
State Farm $3,296
Geico $3,688
Allstate $4,220
National Average $4,380
Data source: The Ascent's analysis of standardized personas
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How to lower rates for car insurance with a DUI

Here are some actions drivers with a DUI can take to qualify for lower insurance premiums:

  • Explore eligibility for ARD programs: In some states, drivers can complete ARD programs to have DUIs removed from their record.
  • Demonstrate safe driving: Drivers can sign up for tools like SnapShot from Progressive, which offers a discount for exhibiting safe behaviors after allowing the company to monitor their driving.

While Progressive's prices are affordable for most drivers with a DUI, there are other benefits and disadvantages to consider. Drivers should learn more about Progressive and get quotes to see personalized costs before buying coverage.

Jump to another section:

Best car insurance with an accident

Logo for Travelers
Best for prior accidents coverageTravelers
Rating image, 3.00 out of 5 stars.
3.00/5 Circle with letter I in it. Our ratings are based on a 5 star scale. 5 stars equals Best. 4 stars equals Excellent. 3 stars equals Good. 2 stars equals Fair. 1 star equals Poor. We want your money to work harder for you. Which is why our ratings are biased toward offers that deliver versatility while cutting out-of-pocket costs.
= Best
= Excellent
= Good
= Fair
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Get a Quote

Why we recommend Travelers for drivers with accidents

Travelers provides some protections competitors don't, including:

  • New car replacement coverage for the first five years of vehicle ownership
  • Accident forgiveness
  • Minor violation forgiveness

Drivers may have peace of mind of knowing their new car is covered for several years, in addition to benefiting from violation forgiveness. While Travelers isn't the cheapest option for drivers with an accident history, its rates are well below the national average and below what most competitors charge.

Pros

  • Fewer complaints than average on J.D. Power's Customer Satisfaction survey
  • Offers both accident forgiveness and minor violation forgiveness
  • New car replacement coverage is good for up to five years

Cons

  • Below average J.D. Power Customer Satisfaction ratings in most markets
  • While premiums are competitive, some cheaper options exist
  • Low ratings on the Better Business Bureau website

How much does car insurance with an accident cost?

Car insurance with an accident costs an average of $3,370 compared with the $3,017 overall average premium among all drivers. The table shows what different companies charge motorists with an accident history.

Insurer Average annual premium
Geico $2,381
Travelers $2,450
State Farm $2,874
Progressive $3,140
National Average $3,370
Data source: The Ascent's analysis of standardized personas.
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How to lower rates for car insurance with an accident

These options can help drivers lower car insurance rates after an accident:

  • Complete a defensive driving course: Defensive driving discounts are available from most insurers and can help those with an accident history to save.
  • Shop around to find forgiving insurers: Some insurers impose a bigger premium penalty for accidents than others. Getting at least five quotes will allow drivers with an accident history to find insurers who are the most forgiving of past incidents.

While Travelers has a lot to offer drivers with an accident history, it's important to consider all the details about coverage and customer service. It's also beneficial for drivers to get personalized quotes to see how much coverage would cost them.

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Best car insurance with a speeding ticket

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Logo for Geico
Best for speeding tickets and poor creditGeico
Rating image, 4.50 out of 5 stars.
4.50/5 Circle with letter I in it. Our ratings are based on a 5 star scale. 5 stars equals Best. 4 stars equals Excellent. 3 stars equals Good. 2 stars equals Fair. 1 star equals Poor. We want your money to work harder for you. Which is why our ratings are biased toward offers that deliver versatility while cutting out-of-pocket costs.
= Best
= Excellent
= Good
= Fair
= Poor
Get a Quote

Why we recommend Geico for drivers with tickets

Geico doesn't penalize drivers with a speeding ticket as much as many other insurers do, which means premiums post-ticket are lower. Geico also offers many discount opportunities to reduce premiums. While Geico's customer service ratings are mixed, motorists with a ticket seeking low-priced coverage may find the insurer is a good option.

Pros

  • Low rates for drivers with speeding tickets
  • More opportunities to earn discounts than some competitors
  • Surcharge for speeding tickets is lower than some competitors

Cons

  • Mixed reviews on J.D. Power's Overall Customer Satisfaction rankings
  • More complaints with the National Association of Insurance Commissioners than average
  • Poor customer reviews on the Better Business Bureau site

How much does car insurance with a speeding ticket cost?

The average cost of car insurance for drivers with a speeding ticket on their record is $3,032, slightly above the overall national average premium of $3,017 for all drivers. Check out the table below to show how much different insurers might charge after a ticket.

Insurer Average annual premium
Geico $2,061
Progressive $2,576
State Farm $2,768
Allstate $2,917
National Average $3,032
Data source: The Ascent's analysis of standardized personas.
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How to lower rates for car insurance with a speeding ticket

To reduce the impact of a speeding ticket on insurance premiums, drivers can take a number of steps including the following:

  • Fighting the ticket: Avoiding conviction on a speeding citation can help keep insurance premiums low.
  • Attending traffic school: Sometimes, motorists can attend traffic school to avoid points on a driver's license. Additionally, some insurers offer discounts for drivers who complete specific safe driving programs.

While Geico is a top choice for many drivers with a speeding ticket, many factors can impact which coverage is right for each individual motorist. Take the time to learn more about each insurer before buying.

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Best car insurance with poor credit

Award Icon 2024 Award Winner
Logo for Geico
Best for speeding tickets and poor creditGeico
Rating image, 4.50 out of 5 stars.
4.50/5 Circle with letter I in it. Our ratings are based on a 5 star scale. 5 stars equals Best. 4 stars equals Excellent. 3 stars equals Good. 2 stars equals Fair. 1 star equals Poor. We want your money to work harder for you. Which is why our ratings are biased toward offers that deliver versatility while cutting out-of-pocket costs.
= Best
= Excellent
= Good
= Fair
= Poor
Get a Quote

Why we recommend Geico for drivers with poor credit

Geico's average premiums for drivers with low credit scores are well below many competitors, making coverage much more affordable.

Geico also offers many additional discounts to further reduce premiums, including multi-vehicle and multi-policy discounts. And its top-rated mobile app makes it easy to manage the policy, including paying bills on time and submitting claims in the event of a collision.

Pros

  • Lower premiums than many competitors for drivers with poor credit
  • Many discount opportunities to keep premium costs affordable
  • Top-rate mobile app

Cons

  • Below average J.D. Power Customer Satisfaction ratings in some markets
  • Above average number of complaints with the National Association of Insurance Commissioners
  • Lacking certain types of coverage like gap insurance

How much does car insurance with poor credit cost?

Drivers pay much more with poor credit. Average premiums are $4,145 compared with $3,017 for all drivers. However, the penalty for an imperfect credit score varies based on company, as the table below shows.

Insurer Average annual premium
Geico $2,814
Progressive $3,538
National Average $4,145
State Farm $4,327
Allstate $4,633
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How to lower rates for car insurance with poor credit

Drivers with poor credit have some options for trying to reduce their rate:

  • Consider a no-credit-check auto insurer: Some regional insurers will insure drivers without checking credit history.
  • Take simple steps to improve credit: Drivers can improve their credit score by becoming an authorized user on someone else's credit card, requesting a higher credit card limit for their existing credit cards, and negotiating with creditors to remove negative information from a credit report. For those financially able, paying down debt can also raise a driver's credit score.

Drivers with low credit scores may decide Geico is their best option because it tends to provide more affordable premiums than many other competitors. But getting personalized quotes is always a good idea before committing to coverage.

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Who is a high-risk driver?

A high-risk driver is a motorist who insurance companies believe has a higher-than-average risk of making a claim. Insurance companies evaluate many factors during an underwriting process designed to assess risk. Motorists with an accident on their record or other driving violations such as a speeding ticket or DUI present a higher risk because there is a link between these behaviors and an increase in auto accident claims.

How much does high-risk car insurance cost?

High-risk car insurance costs depend on the factors that make a driver high risk. Here are the national average premiums for different types of drivers:

  • Speeding ticket: $3,032
  • Accident: $3,370
  • Poor credit: $4,145
  • DUI: $4,380

These rates are significantly higher than the national average premium of $3,017 among all drivers.

How to lower rates for high-risk car insurance

The best way to lower rates for high-risk car insurance is to shop around. Some insurers impose much bigger surcharges for specific risk factors than others. Motorists should also consider options like attending traffic school or participating in an ADR program, depending on the type of violation that qualifies them as high-risk.

Auto Insurance Ratings Methodology

The data found on this page is a combination of publicly available quote data obtained directly from the carrier as well as insurance rate data from Quadrant Information Services. These rates were publicly sourced from the top ten (10) to fifteen (15) carrier markets, within each state, based on annual written premium and should be used for comparative purposes only -- your own quotes may be different.

FAQs

  • Nonstandard auto insurance is another name for high-risk car insurance. It's a special tier of insurance coverage. It's meant for motorists whose driving records suggest there's a greater risk that they'll make a claim. While coverage options are typically the same as standard auto insurance, premiums are much higher because of the added risk insurers take. 

    A lack of driving experience, a history of moving violations, and a DUI are among the reasons someone might need nonstandard auto insurance.

  • A person's driving record will impact their auto insurance for their entire life. Insurers always look at a person's driving history to determine how risky it is to provide someone with coverage. However, black marks on a driving record won't stay there forever.

    If you get a speeding ticket, for example, it usually remains on your driving record for about 36 months. A DUI conviction, on the other hand, is on your record for three to five years in most states. Motorists pay more for high-risk auto insurance as long as these problems remain on their driving records. However, the impact lessens as time passes.

  • Insurance companies generally don't cancel an insurance policy in the middle of a coverage term. That's true no matter how many accidents a person has. Instead, if a driver is at fault for causing multiple crashes, their insurer may decline to renew their insurance policy. 

    There's no specific number of accidents that will trigger this action. It depends on the insurer and the nature of the accidents. If they were minor fender-benders, an insurer is much less likely to decline to renew coverage than if a motorist causes a serious crash. 

    Still, in most cases, insurers simply raise premiums instead of declining to renew coverage. If that happens, shop around to see if you can find a more affordable policy.

  • If a policyholder lets their auto insurance coverage lapse, insurers will consider them a high-risk driver. That's because it's illegal to drive without coverage. Insurers treat a lapse in coverage almost like a moving violation. That means the motorist will be relegated to high-risk auto insurance.

    Most insurance companies still provide coverage. However, people can expect to pay higher premiums. The surcharge a person will pay for going without insurance varies from one company to the next. Shop carefully to find cheap car insurance for a bad driving record.

  • If a driver's car insurance is canceled due to nonpayment, insurers must provide notice before ending coverage. A person typically receives notice around 30 days before coverage is officially canceled. Act quickly when this happens. Try to work out a plan with the insurer or shop for more affordable coverage.

    People aren't allowed to legally drive without insurance. If an insurance policy is canceled, a motorist will have to apply for a new policy. People can shop around with other insurers or try to reapply with the company they were covered by before.

    A motorist can expect to pay higher premiums for new coverage if their insurance was canceled for nonpayment. Insurers will view someone who doesn't pay as riskier to insure. They'll raise that person's costs as a result. Also, an insurer could send someone who doesn't pay to collections, and their credit score could be damaged.