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High-Risk Auto Insurance Explained

High-risk auto insurance is measured by insurance carriers in a variety of ways and they then charge you accordingly. Vehicle crashes, traffic violations, DUIs, all label you as a risk. But then other factors such as age, credit, or lapse with your insurance coverage do as well.

The companies who want to work with you is going to be decided by the amount of risk that you present. There are no two companies who share the same types of guidelines when it comes to their risk policies nor are there two that will charge you the same rates. It’s important that you shop the companies and compare premiums in order that you ensure that you get the rates that are best for your unique situation.

How To Tell If You’re High Risk

There are a variety of different reasons that an insurance company may put you under the high-risk category from marks on your driving record to simply your age factor. Let’s check them out.


If you have less than ten years of driving experience this could deem you as a high-risk driver. Most of the insurance carriers are going to place a surcharge for inexperience that will slowly decrease as each year goes by.


Car insurance for teenagers is among the highest for all drivers as they are considered to have the majority of accidents on the roads. Most of that is due to their inexperience. Each carrier is going to bundle the ages for the insureds in a different way marking them the highest risk with some going with 21 and under as the most expensive group.


If you have any marks on your driving record from having multiple traffic violations, serious reckless driving charges, or DUI convictions as well as at-fault car accidents, this is going to make you a high-risk driver. The SR-22 being required is not making you a high-risk but the root cause does, meaning that you will need SR-22 insurance.

Not insured

If you currently carry a driving license but have no auto insurance, the providers are going to believe that you are driving with no insurance which deems you as a risk.


Insurance carriers do check credit to determine an insurance score and if your score is poor, the provider will assume that you will be filing more insurance claims than a traditional insured and consider you to be a higher risk.

High-Risk Auto Insurance Providers

Being a higher risk driver will make you unable to buy insurance plans at the same premiums as those drivers with traditional policies who are deemed to be ‘standard’ or ‘preferred’ risks. These drivers have proven themselves to be lesser risk based around the fact that they have fewer marks on their driving records, are known to file minimal claims, show good credit scores along with insurance history. Preferred drivers are generally those that are of more mature age who are typically married with homes that they own. They are the drivers who usually pay the least expensive rates and receive the most discounts with their plans.

As a higher risk driver, it is possible for you to buy a standard auto insurance plan but at a much higher range from a traditional auto insurance carrier or you can buy from a ‘non-standard’ carrier where there will be limitations on who will be able to drive your car and how much coverage will be on the plan.

The Cost

When you are a higher risk driver, you will be paying more for your auto insurance plans. Analysis of rates that had been done using gave the following approximate results on how much more a driver with higher risk will pay in the following different scenarios:

  • DUI convictions – 76% higher
  • Bad credit – 66% higher
  • Speeding ticket – 36% higher
  • At-fault accident – 29% higher

You will be able to save a few dollars by doing research and comparing the different carriers because each one is going to have a different set of policies as far as their high-risk drivers and the non standard carriers’ guidelines will vary from carrier to carrier.

How To Get Back To Standard Coverage

It is possible to move from high-risk back to a traditional standard plan and decrease your rates back down to more normal premiums over a period of time and given a clean driving record.

  • Record. Most insurance carriers will look back at your driving record for approximately three to five years for any type of marks. The more time that has passed the lower your rates will be able to fall.
  • Uninsured. Having one term of insurance coverage is going to eliminate the status of being uninsured and then you can consider shopping for better insurance once the renewal date comes back around.
  • Credit. Carriers can reconfigure your rates with each renewal period if you feel your credit has improved enough to change the current premium rates that you have. It can be expensive to carry insurance with bad credit but there are carriers that will be more favorable to you than others will. It’s good to shop.

If you’re a high-risk driver who is being rejected for policies, don’t let that prevent you from gathering a few different quotes before you choose which will be the best carrier. Always reevaluate your options each year that you drive without any marks on your record. You’ll be surprised what you can save by driving safely or improving your credit.