High-risk drivers can purchase non-owner insurance from Direct Auto and the company will handle filing SR-22s if you need them. The following coverages are available to non-owners:
- Bodily injury liability
- Property damage liability
- Medical payments
- Uninsured/underinsured motorist
Note that non-owners cannot purchase comprehensive or collision coverage because they do not own cars that would need repair. If they get into an accident in a borrowed vehicle, the owner’s insurance will kick in first (including comprehensive and collision coverage). If the limits of the owner’s policy are reached (or the non-owner is explicitly excluded from their policy), the non-owner policy would kick in next.
The reason for your high-risk designation will determine how much more you pay for auto insurance compared to drivers with clean records. For example, a 30-day lapse in coverage may only raise your monthly premiums by $7 or $8, while a DUI could cost you hundreds of dollars per month in added premiums.
Whatever your circumstances, Direct Auto can help you save. The company offers an array of discounts so even if you don’t qualify for some due to your driving history or high-risk designation, you’ll qualify for others.
|Prior coverage (insurance with another company for at least six months with a lapse of fewer than 90 days)
|Active-duty military member
|Renewal (no lapse in prior 12 months and you renew within seven to 10 days of the policy expiration)
|Homeowner (if you garage your car or cars at home)
|Track your driving with the DynamicDrive program (Routely app)
|Vehicle safety and antitheft features
|Defensive driver course
|Full-time student (of any age) with good grades
|Bundle multiple policies
|Preferred payment (automatic, pay in full, or paperless)
|Returning customer (previous Direct Auto policyholder, but not in the last six months)
|55 and older and completed an accident prevention course
|Buy another Direct Auto product (e.g., an emergency protection plan)
|Member of an affinity organization (e.g., church groups, alumni associations, wholesale clubs, government organizations, retiree organizations, etc.)
Emergency Protection Plan
Direct Auto offers a comprehensive emergency protection plan that helps you financially in the event of an accident. The plan helps to pay for unexpected costs which may be useful if you had to dip into your savings to pay for a DUI or at-fault accident. It includes the following benefits:
- Hospital stay benefit: This is in the form of direct cash payments, which you can use however you like for each day of a hospital stay after an accident.
- Accident medical expense reimbursement: The plan offers reimbursement up to $1,000 for out-of-pocket medical expenses, including deductibles, after an accident.
- Accidental death and dismemberment: You’ll get up to $10,000 to ease the financial burden to yourself or your family if you sustain an injury or die in an accident.
- Ambulance assistance: The plan includes up to $100 toward an ambulance ride after an accident.
- Mechanical first aid: This covers up to $25 for a service call in the event of a mechanical breakdown (e.g., a battery jump).
- Auto rental reimbursement and lost personal effects coverage: This includes funds to pay for a rental car (even if you also have rental coverage) and up to $300 for items damaged or stolen from a rental vehicle.
4. Best for First-Time DUI Offenders: National General
Like Direct Auto, National General (or NatGen) specializes in selling policies to high-risk individuals. The company has a special offering for first-time DUI offenders, one of the highest risk designations.
Who It’s Best For
- ✔ First-time DUI offenders
- ✔ Drivers who need rentals if their vehicles are in the shop
- ✔ PPeople who need commercial auto insurance
- ✔Drivers with motorcycles and RVs
Who It’s Not Best For
- ✘ Second and subsequent DUI offenders
- ✘ Customers who want to manage their policies on a mobile app
Second Chances for a First DUI
A DUI will classify you as a high-risk driver. Your rates will increase and standard insurers may turn you down or drop your policy.
In contrast, National General offers special DUI insurance for first-time offenders who complete safe driving and substance abuse therapy programs. Qualifying individuals will receive discounted rates and a National General expert will handle filing the SR-22s. The company claims that first-time offenders who switch to NatGen can save nearly $450 a year.
Most auto insurance providers offer some form of rental coverage, but National General’s offers the extra perk of valet service. If your car needs repair, someone from National General will bring you a rental car and drop your vehicle off at the shop. When repairs are complete, someone will bring you your car and return the rental.
Keep in mind that some high-risk designations can make it more difficult to rent a car. For example, many rental agencies do not rent vehicles to people who have had DUI convictions in the past two to three years. Some agencies may turn down customers for having low credit scores, though rental companies tend to be more concerned with account histories (e.g., late payments or delinquent accounts) than credit scores themselves3.
The good news is that other high-risk designations don’t make it harder to rent a car. For example, senior drivers and new drivers over the age of 25 shouldn’t have a problem. And many companies will even allow you to rent a vehicle if you’re over age 20 or 21, as long as you pay an underage fee (usually around $20 to $40 daily).
Commercial Auto Insurance
If you use a vehicle for business purposes, you likely need a commercial auto insurance policy. Some examples are listed below:
- If you use your vehicle to transport tools or equipment to a worksite
- If you deliver goods in your vehicle
- If you operate a company-owned vehicle
If you’re a high-risk driver, you may find it difficult to find a provider willing to sell you a commercial policy. National General offers commercial policies to high-risk drivers, with coverages designed for small businesses that include the following:
- Tools coverage
- Non-owned auto coverage
- Contractual liability for additional insureds
- Pollution liability
- Accidental death and dismemberment
Even as a high-risk driver, you can save on National General’s commercial auto insurance with the following discounts:
- Bundling multiple policies
- Paying your bill in full
- Setting up automatic payments
- Tracking your driving with the DynamicDrive app
- Being a member of a trade association
5. Best for Low Credit: Acceptance
Founded in 1979, Acceptance is another provider that specializes in selling high-risk insurance. It works with many different types of high-risk drivers and turns few people away. Acceptance has all the standard coverage options, as well as a couple of less common offerings like traffic ticket reimbursement.
Who It’s Best For
- ✔ People without good credit
- ✔ Drivers worried about paying for traffic tickets
- ✔ People who want extra protection for medical bills
- ✔ Non-owners who want or need auto insurance
Who It’s Not Best For
- ✘ People who live outside of the following states:
- South Carolina
- ✘ Customers who want to see available discounts online, as Acceptance’s website is not transparent
Plans for People with Low Credit
Statistically, people with low credit are more likely to file claims, which is why low credit is a high-risk designation. In some cases, an insurance provider might deny your coverage based on your credit score.
In every state except California, Hawaii, Massachusetts, and Michigan, insurance companies can use your credit report as a factor to determine your premiums. People with low credit scores may pay 60 percent more for insurance than people with average scores (on the flip side, a high score can save you around 20 percent).