Best Cheap High-Risk Car Insurance Companies

See If You Qualify for Lower Rates

Auto insurance coverage is required in almost every state. However, even getting the state-required minimum coverage could come with a hefty premium for high-risk drivers. If you have had several at-fault accidents, DUIs, and serious traffic violations, auto insurance providers may consider you a high-risk driver.

Regardless of the provider, your car insurance rate will, unfortunately, be higher if you are a high-risk driver. However, you may be able to snag some savings by requesting a quote through TrySmartly. TrySmartly helps motorists search for high-risk car insurance the smart way to find a plan that fits their coverage and budget needs.

Here are some of the top-rated high-risk auto insurance companies you can consider:

Provider Estimated Full Coverage Premium
USAA $1,389
State Farm $1,769
Geico $1,916
Nationwide $2,031
Allstate $2,119
Progressive $2,183
Farmers $2,280
Travelers $2,568

What is High-Risk Car Insurance?

High-risk coverage is no different than regular car insurance and it doesn’t come with special perks or coverage options. The only difference between regular and high-risk coverage is the motorist’s driving record.

High-risk car insurance is geared toward riskier drivers with a history of at-fault accidents, DUIs, and serious traffic violations like reckless driving, racing, and speeding. Since these motorists have a violation record, car insurance providers charge higher premiums to protect against the likelihood that the driver will file another similar claim.

With TrySmartly’s free online request form, you can search for affordable car insurance for high-risk drivers. We help drivers compare coverage options from industry-leading high-risk insurance companies for free.

Who Is a High-Risk Driver?

A high-risk driver usually have one or more of the following on their driving record:

At-Fault Accidents

The top reason a driver may be considered high-risk is that they have an at-fault accident on their record. This is especially true if they were responsible for multiple accidents. Unfortunately, rates increase by an average of 50% after an at-fault accident but can fluctuate based on the provider, state, and damages. On the bright side, your premium will not immediately increase. Instead, your rates will be affected once you renew your policy. Nevertheless, the at-fault accident will remain on your driving record for three to five years.

If your rates have skyrocketed as a result of an at-fault accident, consider comparing rates from other providers. Especially if you’re struggling to make payments, searching for an alternative using TrySmartly’s free online request form can help you find more reasonable high-risk car insurance plans.

Speeding Tickets

While one speeding ticket likely will not significantly impact your car insurance premium, multiple violations will certainly affect it. In particular, receiving two or more speeding tickets in three years can dramatically increase your car insurance premium.

On average, speeding tickets can cause your premium to increase by 25%. However, as mentioned previously, the amount your rates increase will largely depend on the provider, state, speed, and number of similar violations.

Also, like at-fault accidents, speeding tickets stay on your driving record for roughly three to five years.

Reckless Driving

Most states define reckless driving as dangerous and careless driving that has the potential to cause bodily harm and property damage. As a result, reckless driving tickets are considered major traffic violations that are likely to cause accidents. Therefore, motorists with one or more reckless driving tickets on their record see a significant spike in their car insurance rates. On average, serious traffic violations increase insurance rates by 82%.

In addition to increasing high-risk auto insurance rates, reckless drivers may also be hit with state fines or even a conviction. In some states, reckless driving can result in a misdemeanor or felony conviction and suspension of your license. Depending on the severity and number of the violation(s), the individual may be required to serve time, pay fines, complete community service, or attend driving classes. In some states, a reckless driving charge will remain on your criminal and driving records indefinitely.

Due to the seriousness of this offense and the high potential to cause an accident, many insurance companies significantly increase rates for high-risk motorists with reckless driving violations on their records.


Similar to reckless driving, racing violations are considered highly dangerous and serious offenses. Many of the same consequences for reckless driving also apply to racing, including increased car insurance premiums, misdemeanor or felony convictions, fines, license suspension or revocation, and incarceration.

After receiving a ticket for racing, the average car insurance rate rose by 71% for most high-risk drivers. Again, due to the severity of a racing violation and the risk of accidents, car insurance for high-risk drivers dramatically increases.

If you have a racing violation on your record and your insurance rates have skyrocketed, you may be looking to switch to a cheaper high-risk insurance plan. With TrySmartly, you can request insurance for high-risk drivers online.

Driving Under the Influence or Driving While Intoxicated (DUI or DWI)

Another reason you may be considered a high-risk driver is if you have one or more DUIs on your record. This is because DWIs result in the most accidents, bodily injuries, property damages, and deaths. In fact, 30% of accidents that resulted in fatalities in 2020 resulted from alcohol-impaired driving.

The national average for full coverage car insurance after a DUI is around $3,421. This is $1,650 more than the national average compared to drivers with a clean driving record.

In addition to the increase in your high-risk auto insurance rate, you may also face legal ramifications for a DUI. Consequences include misdemeanor or felony convictions, incarceration, fines, license suspension or revocation, and community service.

If you have been convicted of a DUI, you may be required to file an SR-22 with the DMV. Some states mandate the SR-22 after a serious traffic violation, such as a DUI, to prove that you have minimum car insurance coverage. However, in some cases, the coverage requirement may exceed the state’s required minimum.

While most states require an SR-22 following a DUI, Delaware, Kentucky, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oklahoma, and Pennsylvania do not. Instead of filing an SR-22, Florida, and Virginia require an FR-44.

Also, if your license has been suspended, you must have an SR-22 or FR-44 filed before the DMV reinstate your license.

You will likely need to maintain your SR-22 and FR-44 filing for several years. However, if you maintain a clean record, the DMV may no longer require you to file either.

If the DMV requires an SR-22 or FR-44, you must contact your insurance provider. Unfortunately, not all insurance companies file SR-22s or FR-44s. If this is the case, you can check your quotes for high-risk car insurance using TrySmartly’s free submission form.

Factors Affecting High-Risk Driver Classification

Other factors that could classify you as a high-risk driver include the following:

Bad Credit

Auto insurance for bad credit drivers will typically be higher because studies show that individuals with lower credit scores are more likely to file auto insurance claims. As a result, insurance companies usually charge a higher premium to lower credit drivers to protect themselves from increased potential risk.

Car insurance for bad credit motorists is 93% more on average compared to excellent credit drivers.

Due to the correlation between lower credit and higher claims, insurance companies commonly use a driver’s credit score to provide high-risk auto insurance quotes. Factors that can lead to a low credit score and higher insurance rates include the following:

Outstanding debt

Length of credit history

Credit mix, which reflects the types of debt you have

Payment history

Credit inquiries

While most states allow insurance companies to use your credit score to determine rates, some states have deemed the practice discriminatory. As a result, California, Massachusetts, Hawaii, and Michigan outlawed the use of credit scores when determining car insurance rates for bad credit drivers.


Your age may also qualify you as a high-risk driver, resulting in increased rates. Unfortunately, rates will be higher for new drivers, young motorists, and older drivers. Specifically, rates will be highest for drivers between 18 and 25, whereas prices will spike for motorists above 70.

Unsurprisingly, 18-year-old drivers pay the most in car insurance, with males paying almost $6,000 and females around $5,000 annually.

However, similar to credit score, some states have banned age as a determining factor in car insurance rates. Currently, Hawaii and Massachusetts are the only states prohibiting insurance companies from using age to determine high-risk car insurance rates.

If you don’t have any major violations or accidents on your driving record, your rate should drop beginning in your mid-20s. Moreover, as you maintain a good driving record, your rates should continue to decrease into your 50s.

If you’re searching for high-risk car insurance as a young, new, or older driver, TrySmartly’s comparison free online request form can help. Our free online quote request can help connect you with one of the best high-risk insurance companies.


Residents of certain states may also be regarded as high-risk due to the area they live in. In fact, car insurance rates are regulated at the state level. This means that each state sets its own premiums based on state-specific factors. For instance, car insurance rates tend to be more expensive in states and cities with:

High traffic density

Adverse weather conditions like natural disasters

Increased percentage of uninsured drivers

High cost of living

Increased percentage of at-fault claims

For example, drivers insured in states with high incidents of natural disasters, such as flooding, fires, and hurricanes, will typically pay more for high-risk car insurance.

Unfortunately, regardless of your pristine driving record, you may still pay more for car insurance if you live in a higher-risk state or city. Nevertheless, you can utilize TrySmartly’s free online request form to search for affordable high-risk auto insurance rates in your state.

Gaps in Coverage

Almost every state requires to have minimum car insurance coverage. Failing to maintain your coverage can result in higher premiums. This is because lapses in auto insurance are a red flag to insurers that you may not be reliable. In fact, drivers with lapses in their plan pay an average of $200 more for full coverage annually.

Lapses in coverage can occur:

If your insurer cancels your coverage

If you fail to make payments

If you switch between policies and cancel your existing coverage before the new one begins

Regardless of how long the lapse is, it could result in increased high-risk car insurance rates. In extreme cases, insurance providers may refuse to insure drivers who have had a lapse in coverage for over six months.

If you have had a minor lapse in coverage, you can contact your provider to check if they offer a grace period. If they do, your rate might not increase if you can verify you have made a payment or secured coverage with another company. If they don’t offer a grace period, there may still be hope. In most cases, your rate will drop after you maintain at least six months of coverage.

Vehicle Use

The more you drive, the more likely you are to be in an accident and file a claim. As a result, long commutes could make you a high-risk driver in the eyes of insurance companies. When quoting your rates, most insurance companies will consider your vehicle’s current mileage and your estimated daily use.

As a point of reference, driving less than 10,000 miles annually is typically considered low vehicle use. Conversely, driving more than 15,000 miles annually is considered high use. As a result, if the insured vehicle is used for commercial or ride-share purposes, rates for high-risk car insurance will likely be higher.

To compare high-risk auto insurance companies, submit a quote request through TrySmartly. You may be able to find a cheaper insurance option for your coverage needs.

Vehicle Type

Similar to tracking how often you use your car, insurance companies will also consider your vehicle’s make and model when estimating rates. The following factors will likely increase your high-risk car insurance rate:

Newer cars – however, exceptions are made for vintage and antique cars

Additional features, such as sound systems, leather interiors, convertibles, and sport trims

Size of the vehicle – large cars cause more damage, and small cars sustain more damage

Luxury or foreign vehicles

For instance, newer foreign sports cars typically cost more to insure due to several factors. Primarily, providers consider sports car drivers high-risk because they may exhibit more risky driving behaviors, such as speeding, that can result in more claims filed. Additionally, due to the smaller size of these cars, they likely sustain more damage during accidents. Also, luxury foreign cars often require specialty parts and service during repairs, resulting in higher costs to insurance companies. Finally, the newer the car is, the less time it has had to depreciate. As a result, the cost to replace a new vehicle will be much more, costing the insurance company more when a claim is filed.

Shop car insurance the smarter way. Submit a free online quote request.

How to Find High-Risk Car Insurance

While it is undoubtedly more difficult to find car insurance for high-risk drivers, you can take the following steps to shop and compare car insurance rates:

Collect Information

Before searching for a quote, make sure you have the proper documents and information ready. Insurance companies and comparison sites will require preliminary financial and personal information in order to provide you with an accurate high-risk insurance quote.

For instance, you will likely be asked to provide your driver’s license information, address, and Social Security number. You will also be asked to disclose any negative violations on your driving record, which can include past at-fault accidents, major tickets, or DUIs.

Next, you will be asked to disclose vehicle-specific information, including your previous or current policy information, mileage, and make of the car.

Choose the Coverage Level

Once you have provided your financial and personal information, you will need to pick your coverage level. Keep in mind that you will be required to obtain an insurance plan that fulfills your state’s minimum requirement. In most states, minimum coverage includes bodily and property liability coverage. However, some states may require more comprehensive coverage. You can check your state’s minimum coverage requirements by checking the Department of Motor Vehicles website.

You are also free to customize your policy by obtaining more coverage than your state’s minimum requirement. This can include collision protection, comprehensive coverage, or medical coverage.

Get Quotes

With your information and coverage information, you can compare quotes from different high-risk auto insurance companies. One way you can shop around is by submitting a request on each provider’s website. Another time-saving option is to search for rates on car insurance comparison sites.

On a comparison site like TrySmartly, you will only need to submit your information once to receive on-screen quotes in minutes, helping you save valuable time. Additionally, the process is free and does not impact your credit score.

Check Ratings

Finally, before choosing a high-risk car insurance provider, check online consumer ratings. With the help of a third-party consumer reporting website, you can compare providers based on customer satisfaction ratings, claim satisfaction, and the number of complaints.

Check these websites for more information:

J.D. Power offers customer and claims satisfaction ratings.

NAIC records and indexes customer complaints, allowing potential policyholders the ability to search by the insurance company, type of filed complaint, and complaint status.

AM Best provides a financial stability report regarding the insurance company’s ability to cover claims.

How to Save Money on High-Risk Insurance

Being deemed a high-risk driver can make it more difficult to search for competitive and low car insurance rates. However, there may be steps you can take to save money on high-risk insurance, depending on your circumstances.

Check for Discounts

The top way to lower your high-risk car insurance rate is to see if you qualify for discounts. Check out some of the discount options below to see if you are eligible for savings:

Students must maintain a minimum B average or 3.0 GPA to be eligible for savings.

Active and reserve military personnel, veterans, and some qualified family members can save up to 15%

Healthcare workers and teachers can save on high-risk insurance depending on the industry they work in.

Drivers with low mileage or minimal daily commute could qualify for savings if they drive less than 10,000 miles annually.

Policyholders who bundle their homeowners’ or renters’ insurance with their auto policy can save up to 13%.

Change Your Deductible

If you don’t qualify for discounts or want to find additional savings, consider adjusting your high-risk car insurance deductible. Car insurance premiums and deductibles have an inverse relationship. This means that if your deductible is high, your premium is likely low, and vice versa.

Your deductible is your out-of-pocket cost in the event of an accident. You will be required to pay up to your deductible limit before your car insurance company covers the rest of the cost. For example, if you are in an at-fault accident amounting to $1,500 in damages and your deductible is $1,000, you will be required to pay the first $1,000. Once you cover your deductible, your car insurance company will pay the remaining $500.

While this option can save you on your monthly payments, it comes at a cost. Should you get into an accident, you’ll be on the hook to pay a larger out-of-pocket amount for the damages.

Complete a Safe Driving Course

The reason rates are significantly more for high-risk drivers is because insurance companies consider them risky motorists who are more likely to file claims. Therefore, one way to lower your rate is to complete a safe driving course. This can demonstrate to the insurance company that you are responsible and reliable.

If you have received a traffic violation, such as a speeding ticket, you may be able to take a driving course and avoid having the ticket added to your record. However, keep in mind that this option is not offered in every circumstance and will likely not be an option for repeat offenders.

Many insurance companies offer their own driving courses that teach motorists safe driving habits. Drivers who complete this course could see up to 5% in savings.

Improve Your Credit Score

As mentioned, one of the factors that makes you a high-risk driver is a low credit score. A way to lower the cost of your insurance rate is to improve your credit score. Unfortunately, this isn’t a quick fix, but it can help to decrease your future bad credit car insurance rates.

To improve your credit rating, you can:

Paying bills on time
Reducing debts by paying more than the minimum amount
Keeping credit utilization below 30%
Avoiding hard credit inquiries
Reporting inaccuracies on your credit report

Lease or Buy a Car with Safety Features

Another way to demonstrate your responsibility as a driver is to drive a car with added safety features. These can include anti-theft devices or systems that help prevent collisions.

Safety features that could save you money on high-risk car insurance include the following:

Collision warning and preparation systems

Lane departure warnings

Blind spot warnings

Parking assistance

Rear-view camera

Anti-theft tracking devices

Alarm systems

Anti-theft active and passive disabling devices

For instance, newer foreign sports cars typically cost more to insure due to several factors. Primarily, providers consider sports car drivers high-risk because they may exhibit more risky driving behaviors, such as speeding, that can result in more claims filed. Additionally, due to the smaller size of these cars, they likely sustain more damage during accidents. Also, luxury foreign cars often require specialty parts and service during repairs, resulting in higher costs to insurance companies. Finally, the newer the car is, the less time it has had to depreciate. As a result, the cost to replace a new vehicle will be much more, costing the insurance company more when a claim is filed.

Sign Up for a Telematics Program

In addition to the discounts mentioned above, some drivers can sign up for a telematics program for additional savings. A telematics program tracks your driving habits and rewards you with discounts when you engage in safe practices.

To qualify for a telematics program, you must not be involved in an at-fault accident for at least one year. Additionally, you must not have any serious traffic violations on your driving record. Motorists who sign up for a safe driving program could save up to 40%.

If you have a damaged driving record, providers will deem you a high-risk driver and increase your insurance rates accordingly. However, the rates may lower over several months or years. If you’d rather not wait around for your rates to drop, you can shop coverage options from high-risk car insurance companies using TrySmartly.

At TrySmartly, we believe that the more informed you are, the better insurance decisions you can make. So use our online request to check high-risk carinsurance options for free.

High-Risk Car Insurance FAQ

For more information about high-risk car insurance, check these common questions:

How Long Will I Be Considered a High-Risk Driver?

If you have multiple accidents or serious driving violations like racing and DUIs, you will likely be considered a high-risk driver for three to five years. During this time, the offense will remain on your driving record, and your rates will stay relatively high.

Conversely, if you had a minor lapse in your coverage, your rates may stay the same if your insurance company offers a grace period, or they may go up for a few months. For minor lapses, your coverage typically lowers after you maintain six months of continuous coverage.

The length of time you are considered a high-risk driver depends on why you were initially deemed one and the severity of the situation. Of course, the more serious the reason, the longer you will be considered a high-risk driver.

What If I Can’t Find High-Risk Auto Insurance?

If you’re having difficulty finding insurance, there are steps you can take. First, request a quote from several providers. Typically, it is encouraged to seek quotes from three to five companies. A comparison site like TrySmartly makes this process easier as it can help you find quotes from multiple providers.

If you’re still having trouble finding insurance, you can search for a residual market plan. The residual market is a segment of the auto insurance industry that serves high-risk drivers who are denied coverage by traditional providers. You can contact the Automobile Insurance Plan Service Office to search its database for coverage options in your state.

What Information Do I Need to Compare Car Insurance Rates?

Car insurance companies and comparison sites will require some financial and personal information to offer you a high-risk car insurance quote. This information may include the following:

Driver’s license


Social Security number

Previous claims or violations on your driving record

Insurance history

Your vehicle’s model, registration, VIN, and mileage

What Kind of Coverage Do I Need?

Depending on the state you are insured in, you will need to obtain coverage that meets the minimum requirement. However, if you want added protection as a high-risk driver, you can opt for added optional coverage.

Most states require you to obtain the following:

Bodily injury liability to cover the other party’s medical bills if you are in an at-fault accident. This type of coverage does not cover your medical bills or bodily injuries

Property damage liability to cover the other party’s vehicle damages if you are in an at-fault accident. This type of coverage does not cover damage to your car.

Uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage covers the cost of your medical bills and property damage if you are in an accident with a driver who does not have enough coverage or coverage at all.

Optional coverage options include the following:

Collision coverage covers property damage to your car regardless of who is at fault for the accident.

PComprehensive coverage covers vehicle damage resulting from circumstances other

Medical payments coverage covers your passengers’ medical bills regardless of who is at fault for the accident. This coverage option may also protect you as a pedestrian if a driver hits you.

New car replacement covers the cost of getting a new car if your vehicle is totaled under a certain mileage or age limit.

Do All High-Risk Auto Insurance Companies Offer The Same Coverage Options & Discounts?

Unfortunately, not. While the top high-risk auto insurance companies offer many of the same discount options, eligibility requirements can vary. Before signing up with a provider, check their website to browse available discount options and check qualifications. Conversely, you can use TrySmartly’s online form to receive a high-risk car insurance quote.

If you’ve received a quote from the insurance provider, your eligible discounts should be included in the quote. If you already have a policy, you can check your discounts on the declarations page.

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