There are many factors that can cause you to be a high-risk driver. For instance, car insurance companies may deem you high-risk if you have driving violations on your record, have been convicted of a DUI, are under the age of 25 or over 70, or have bad credit (depending on your state). And being classified into a higher risk pool means you'll pay more for car insurance.
To help you get affordable auto insurance coverage as a high-risk driver, we’ve compiled a list of the best high-risk car insurance companies of 2023, highlighting their positives and negatives so that you can make informed decisions.
Our Top Picks for the Best High-Risk Insurance Companies
- Best for Senior Drivers: Progressive
- Best for Financial Strength: Geico
- Best for Bad Credit: Direct Auto
- Best for Teens: Travelers
- Best for DUIs: State Farm
- Best for Tickets: Nationwide
Best High-Risk Drivers Car Insurance Companies Reviews
- Discounts for taking defensive driving courses
- Usage-based programs to help lower rates
- Not all discounts available in every state
Why we chose it: Progressive offers some of the best rates for drivers over 70 and is a renowned leader in the car insurance industry. While it doesn't offer many age-specific discounts, older drivers can obtain several discounts through Progressive, further decreasing their overall car insurance costs.
Progressive offers discounts to support senior drivers that take defensive driving classes approved by AARP. While Progressive doesn't offer other age-based discounts, it will reduce your premium the more years you've been driving without at-fault accidents or traffic violations. In fact, Progressive claims that drivers who haven't had an accident in three years pay up to 31% less on car insurance than those with recent violations.
You can also sign up for Progressive's Snapshot program, which monitors your driving habits — like how fast you drive and break — through a device you install in your vehicle. If the data the device collects suggests you're a safe driver, you will earn discounted rates. If, on the other hand, the data suggests you aren't driving safely, you could end up paying higher premiums.
If you have tickets, accidents, poor credit or DUIs on your record, Progressive will incentivize you to make changes that can help lower your car insurance rates, such as upgrading to a safer vehicle.
When assessing the risks of providing a policy to a senior driver, Progressive considers multiple factors. For example, a 65-year-old male in California with an accident and a speeding ticket on his record would still be eligible for a policy with Progressive. However, the insurer will factor those details into the quote it provides.
- Dozens of outstanding ratings from accredited institutions
- Discounts are available for high-risk drivers
- No gap insurance
- Accident forgiveness not available in select areas
Why we chose it: Geico is a notoriously financially stable car insurance company with a low rate of denying claims for economic reasons. It has over 13,000 customer reviews on its website, with customers giving an average rating of 4.5/5 stars for service.
An insurance company with a high financial strength rating has a great history of paying out claims, and Geico has above-average financial strength ratings from multiple accredited institutions. It has also been rated one of the top 50 financial high-performing insurers by Ward Group for the last 29 years due to its company culture built on safety, performance and consistency.
Geico has an A++ financial strength rating and an AAA issuer credit rating from A.M. Best. These ratings are based on factors such as management stability, earnings quality and diversity, company size, financial position and operations. It also has an Aa1 rating from Moody's and an AA- rating from Fitch.
Online reviews suggest Geico may also offer some of the most affordable premiums to high-risk drivers. And, like other insurers, it also extends vehicle safety and safe driving discounts that can help drivers obtain a better auto insurance rate.
One disadvantage of working with Geico is that it doesn't offer gap insurance, which covers the difference between the current value of your leased car and what you owe on it. If you file a claim for a total loss with Geico, the amount you'll get for repairs will be based on the value of the vehicle at that time.
- Variety of discounts available to high-risk drivers
- High financial strength rating
- Doesn't have accident forgiveness or rideshare insurance
Why we chose it: Direct Auto has an excellent A.M. Best rating of A. That means the company is financially stable and has a low risk of going bankrupt. Direct Auto can also pay you quickly if you need to file an auto insurance claim. In fact, while other providers can take up to three business days to respond to a claim, Direct Auto will have an adjuster contact you as soon as the next business day.
Although Direct Auto runs credit checks, the company won't turn you away based on your credit score. While having bad credit can increase your annual premium by around $1,000, Direct Auto is transparent about the discounts you qualify for as a high-risk driver and will work with you to help you get a fair rate.
Direct Auto offers a variety of discounts for being a good student, military member, senior citizen, homeowner, safe driver or having certain safety equipment installed in your car. Its usage-based program can also help drivers get lower rates for driving safely.
Additionally, you can get lower rates from Direct Auto if you attend a qualifying driving education course. Traffic school can help you reduce your license points if you have a bad driving history.
Based on our research, Direct Auto could be more affordable than other larger insurers for drivers that have had accidents or driving violations in recent years.
- Provides lower rates if your teen drives a car that's easy to fix
- Will help you choose a safe vehicle for your teen to save on rates
- Unavailable in Hawaii, Michigan, North Dakota, South Dakota, Alaska and West Virginia
Why we chose it: While insurance for drivers under 25 is usually costly, Travelers offers a variety of discounts that can help young drivers lower their monthly premiums. In fact, Travelers has more student discounts than any other company on this list.
Travelers offers discounts on vehicles that you or your teen use only occasionally (Student Away at School discount). And you could further lower your rates if your teen has good grades, takes a driver training course, or drives a car with good vehicle safety ratings or that is easy to repair or replace after an accident.
Parents of teen drivers can also bundle their home or renter's insurance with auto for additional savings. Bundling not only locks in discounts for the life of your policy, but also makes it easier for you to keep track of payments, as you pay for multiple types of coverage simultaneously.
- Issues SR-22 certificates
- Get lower rates if you maintain clean driving record for over three years
- Strong financial strength rating from A.M. Best
- Usage-based program not available in major markets (Massachusetts, Rhode Island, California)
Why we chose it: Not only does State Farm insure people who have been convicted of a DUI, but it also issues SR-22 forms, which are required after DUI convictions. State Farm is also a popular insurance company with an A++ rating from A.M. Best, and has been on the list of America's Most Trusted Brands since 2010.
If you have a DUI on your record, your car insurance rate will be high regardless of which insurance provider you choose. State Farm, however, can be one of the best options for those with a DUI. It insures drivers with violations on their records and issues SR-22 certificates. Drivers may need this type of certificate if they have:
- Had their license suspended or revoked
- Failed to maintain adequate insurance coverage
- Been convicted of a DUI/DWI
- Been involved in an accident while driving uninsured or while driving someone else's vehicle without permission
Note, however, that State Farm may deny you coverage if you have multiple DUI convictions or have other characteristics that further increase your risk of being in an accident.
With State Farm, you can get discounts for taking a defensive driving course, going three years without a ticket, having an alarm system or a tracking device installed in your car, and insuring two or more vehicles under one policy.
- Issues SR-22 and FR-44 forms
- Competitive rates for drivers with speeding tickets or who drive sports cars
- Cash bonuses for purchasing a safer vehicle
- Does not have accident forgiveness for all states
Why we chose it: Nationwide offers competitive rates and may be a viable option for drivers with speeding tickets. By offering a range of discounts, the company can help you save on your insurance, even if you have tickets on your record.
Unsurprisingly, drivers with driving violations on their records tend to pay more for car insurance than those without citations. But if you only have speeding tickets and no accidents, Nationwide can offer you affordable rates than many other providers on this list. However, drivers with a lengthy accident record may want to look elsewhere, as we were denied coverage when requesting quotes as a driver with more than one accident.
With Nationwide's SmartRide program, you'll get a 10% discount just for signing up and can get an additional 40% off premiums for driving safely. You can also get discounts for setting up automatic payments, insuring multiple vehicles, bundling a qualifying auto policy with homeowner's insurance, being accident-free for five or more years and keeping a low mileage.
Other companies we considered
- Issues SR-22 forms
- Its claims process can take longer than average
The General is another insurer that issues SR-22 certificates, which verify that you have the minimum liability coverage required by your state.
Besides SR-22 "insurance," the General also provides rental car reimbursement and 24/7 roadside assistance. Nevertheless, The General's customers report a lengthy claims process, and the company hasn't received any accolades for customer service.
- Website is available in Spanish
- Specializes in high-risk driver coverage
- Only offers coverage in California
- High number of customer complaints
Infinity Insurance is another company willing to insure high-risk drivers. While it offers essentially the same coverage options as other companies on this list, it caters to customers who drive less than 5,000 miles yearly.
- Provides free roadside assistance
- Doesn't offer many discounts
Unlike other companies on this list, 21st Century only offers four discounts, including Good Driver, Superior Driver, Good Student and Mature Driver. Other companies have upwards of four or five driver discounts you can be eligible for at once.
- Unique features and discounts
- Lower financial strength rating than other companies on our list
- Coverage is limited to 13 states
Acceptance Insurance offers a couple of unique options that could benefit high-risk drivers. Two such options are hospital indemnity, which helps pay for hospital stays if you are injured in an accident, and ticket reimbursement, which helps cover fines and legal fees for minor traffic violations. Acceptance offers coverage only in select states, however.
- Savings for those that don't drive often
- Premiums can be high, even with discounts
National General Insurance is one of the leading auto insurers in the country, but you may not have heard of it. That's because National General does something most other insurers don't — it specializes in auto insurance for low-mileage drivers. If you don't drive your car often but still want coverage for when you do, National General may be what you're looking for.
Best High-Risk Car Insurance Companies Guide
Here's everything you need to know about high-risk car insurance, from what it is to how to get it.
What is high-risk car insurance?
Car insurance companies don't have specific policies for high-risk drivers. Instead, your insurance company may deem you high-risk based on various factors such as:
- Age: Drivers under the age of 25 and over the age of 70 are more likely to be involved in an accident, so their premiums reflect that risk.
- Driving record: Past tickets, accidents and DUIs could indicate you are more likely to be involved in accidents in the future. This could cause you to pay up to $1,000 more on premiums than drivers with a clean record.
- Credit history: Statistics suggest that drivers with poor credit are more likely to be involved in accidents. However, California, Hawaii and Massachusetts prohibit insurers from using credit data to assess risk.
- Vehicle: Driving an exotic car that's more likely to be stolen or more expensive to repair will cause you to pay higher premiums. Similarly, driving a vehicle with poor safety ratings and few or no safety features will increase your rates.
- Zip code: Residing in a densely populated area where you are more likely to have an accident will increase your car insurance premiums. This is also true if you live in an area with high crime rates where you are more likely to be the target of vehicle theft.
If any of these apply to you, you may have difficulty finding coverage at an affordable rate.
How does high-risk car insurance work?
Again, your car insurer will consider your age, vehicle and driving history when determining your premiums. Drivers considered high-risk typically pay up to 84% more on premiums than safe drivers.
When purchasing car insurance as a high-risk driver, you'll first have to go through the quote process with different insurers to determine whether one or several of them would be willing to work with you. Many of the best car insurance companies work with drivers who have been involved in accidents or have received driving violations.
Just keep in mind that qualifying for coverage doesn't mean you'll get the lowest rates. You'll still pay more for car insurance if you're deemed high-risk, but since all insurers price risk differently, some may offer you much more affordable premiums than others.
How to pick high-risk car insurance
If you need high-risk car insurance but your budget won’t allow it, there are some steps you can take to keep your car insurance rates from skyrocketing.
Lower your risk profile
Here are some of the key actions you can take to lower your risk profile:
- Work on improving your credit
- Move to an area with low crime rates or away from city centers
- Drive safely and responsibly to maintain a clean driving record
- Consider upgrading to a vehicle with better safety features and ratings
- Evaluate your needs and drop unnecessary coverage from your policy
- Upgrade your vehicle's safety features
Since insurers price risk differently, some companies can offer high-risk drivers more affordable rates. Discounts also vary by company and location, so getting insurance quotes from different companies and comparing offers will ensure you get the best possible deal on the coverage you need.
To get a quote from a high-risk car insurance provider you must:
- Go to the company's website and click the button to get a quote. Not all insurers offer this option, though. Some companies require prospective customers to speak to a local agent to get a quote.
- Provide your name, date of birth and address. You'll also likely be asked to provide your email and/or phone number.
- You'll then be asked to provide your vehicle ID number (VIN) or list its make, model and year, along with your average annual mileage and the details of any other drivers who use the vehicle.
- During the quote process, you'll also be asked questions to determine whether you qualify for discounts.
If you've found a better deal on car insurance with a different provider, check out our guide on how to switch car insurance for a more in-depth look into this topic.
Read online reviews
Take a few minutes to read online reviews by other drivers in your situation. You can find reviews from sources like the Better Business Bureau, Google and Yelp, where you'll see what people have liked and disliked about their dealings with a company.
Best of High-Risk Car Insurance FAQ
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How We Chose the Best High-Risk Car Insurance
Based on the following criteria, we created this list of the best car insurance companies for high-risk drivers for 2023.
- Coverage options: We picked companies that offer different options that can benefit high-risk drivers, including SR-22 certificates, accident forgiveness and discounts for safe driving.
- Financial strength: A.M. Best rates the financial strength and stability of insurance companies on a scale of A++ to F. We chose companies that have superior A.M. Best ratings.
- Accidents: All of the car insurance companies on this list offer policies to high-risk drivers, meaning those who have been involved in accidents or have driving violations on their records. We shopped around and gathered quotes ourselves to make sure each company offered these drivers competitive premiums and a variety of discounts.