Icon CheckLast updated: September 20, 2022

Auto Insurance for High Risk Drivers

Protection for drivers who may need nonstandard coverage.

In general, high-risk drivers pay more than others for auto insurance, but certain designations are costlier. For example, having a DUI makes it difficult and very expensive to buy insurance, while a lapse in coverage (assuming you didn’t own a car and didn’t need insurance) might only cost you a few dollars. In some cases, an insurer may deny you coverage outright.

Whatever your situation, we’re here to help you find strong coverage at the right price with the best car insurance for high-risk drivers. But keep in mind that your exact price will vary based on your coverage level, i.e minimum or full coverage, zip code, and other factors. To find your best option, call one of our Perfect Policy Connectors.

High-Risk Car Insurance Top Picks

Best Overall: State Farm

State Farm is the largest insurer in the U.S., and it doesn’t shy away from insuring high-risk drivers with excellent auto insurance rates, good coverage, and a strong history of customer service.

Best for Low Mileage: Allstate

Allstate offers a pay-per-mile plan that can save high-risk drivers with low annual mileage money. The company is also a great option for people who want non-usage-based plans, especially those looking for discounts and add-ons.

Comparison of the Best High-Risk Auto Insurance

Provider What it’s best for Discounts States available SR-22 filing Our review & info
State Farm Overall Bundling, multivehicle, track safe driving habits, good driver, good student, driver education, student away at school, defensive driver course, vehicle safety features All Yes State Farm Info
Allstate Low mileage Automatic payment, bundling, new car, good student, paperless, early signing, continuously insured, track safe driving habits, driving history, vehicle safety features All Yes Allstate review
Direct Auto Non-owners Accident-free, bundling, good student, homeowner, affinity, preferred payment, continuously insured, senior citizen, driver education, multivehicle, military, track safe driving habits, returning customer, renewal, vehicle safety features AL, AR, DE, FL, GA, LA, MI, MS, NC, OH, PA, SC, TN, TX VA, WA Yes Direct Auto review
National General First-time DUI offenders Bundling, track safe driving habits, pay in full, low mileage, security device, multivehicle, vehicle safety features, safe driver, paperless All Yes N/A
Acceptance Low credit Bundling, clean record, good student, claims-free, defensive driver course, paperless, multivehicle, low mileage, track safe driving habits, loyalty AL, AZ, CA, FL, GA, IL, IN, MS, MO, OH, PA, SC, TN, TX, VA Yes N/A

Summary of the Best High-Risk Auto Insurance

  • Best High-Risk Auto Insurance Overall: State Farm
  • Best High-Risk Auto Insurance for Low Mileage: Allstate
  • Best High-Risk Auto Insurance for Non-Owners: Direct Auto
  • Best High-Risk Auto Insurance for First-Time DUI Offenders: National General
  • Best High-Risk Auto Insurance for Low Credit: Acceptance

Detailed List of the Best High-Risk Auto Insurance


Allstate Logo

1. Best Overall: State Farm

High-risk drivers pay higher car insurance rates than low-risk drivers, which is why it’s critical to find an affordable provider. State Farm offers consistent low rates, including for high-risk drivers, without compromising on quality.
Who It’s Best For

  • People looking for low premiums
  • Customers who want to apply discounts
  • People planning to bundle insurance policies
  • Classic car owners

Who It’s Not Best For

  • Drivers who live in Massachusetts or Rhode Island
  • People who need gap insurance and didn’t finance with State Farm loans

Affordable Coverage for High-Risk Drivers

State Farm is one of the most affordable providers overall and the company’s low rates apply to high-risk drivers, too. In general, State Farm charges high-risk drivers about 15 to 20 percent less than the competition.

State Farm offers a number of coverage options and policies:

  • Bodily injury and property damage liability
  • Collision and comprehensive
  • Car rental and travel expenses
  • Uninsured/underinsured motorist
  • Medical payments and personal injury protection
  • Emergency roadside assistance
  • Rideshare driver coverage
  • Motorcycle, boat, off-road vehicle, motorhome, and travel trailer insurance

Many Applicable Discounts

High-risk drivers can lower their auto insurance costs by applying State Farm’s discounts:

  • Drive Safe & Save: Save up to 30 percent when you demonstrate good habits by tracking your driving on State Farm’s mobile app.
  • Steer Clear: Drivers under age 25 with clean records for the past three years get a discount of up to 15 percent for completing an app-based driver training program.
  • Defensive driver: When you take a qualifying driver safety course, you lower your premiums.
  • Good driver: Avoid at-fault accidents and moving violations for three years to qualify for this discount.
  • Vehicle safety: Passive restraints, anti-theft technology, and other safety features earn you a discount. If your car doesn’t have these features, consider installing them or trading in for a safer vehicle.
  • Multivehicle: If you insure two or more vehicles in your household on the same policy, you can save up to 20 percent.

Save by Bundling

State Farm offers other types of insurance policies. You’ll save when you combine all your insurance needs in one place. Here are some examples:

  • Home and condo: State Farm claims that customers can save over $1,100 by insuring homes or condos along with vehicles.
  • Renters: State Farm offers low-cost renters insurance and says customers may save over $700 when they combine renters and auto insurance policies.
  • Life: Customers can save up to 17 percent by adding life insurance policies to their auto insurance policies.

Allstate Logo

2. Best for Low Mileage: Allstate

Allstate is an especially good choice for drivers who are high-risk due to their young ages.
Who It’s Best For

  • People who drive fewer than 10,000 miles per year
  • Young drivers and families with students
  • People who want to purchase accident forgiveness
  • Customers seeking add-ons like safe driving bonuses and options to reduce deductibles

Who It’s Not Best For

  • People looking for the absolute cheapest insurance
  • Drivers over age 25

Pay-Per-Mile Option

Even if you drive your car infrequently, you need auto insurance. If you’re a high-risk driver, you might not want to pay higher rates just to get groceries or run an occasional errand.

Low-mileage drivers can save by enrolling in Allstate’s pay-per-mile insurance option, Milewise. Instead of paying a monthly premium, they’ll pay a daily and per-mile rate. Here’s an example:

Daily rate Per-mile rate Miles driven Total cost per day
$1.75 $0.08 10 $2.55
$1.75 $0.08 15 $2.95
$1.75 $0.08 20 $3.35

This is a good option for many drivers, including high-risk ones. Examples of high-risk drivers include the following:

  • New drivers who prefer public transportation when available
  • College students who mainly drive to and from class
  • DUI offenders who are staying off the road
  • Stay-at-home parents, remote workers, and people with short commutes

DID YOU KNOW?

On average, Americans drive about 13,500 miles per year, but drivers under age 20 and over age 65 only drive about 7,600 miles, in part because they don’t have to commute to work as often as other adults1.

Flexible Student Discount

Insurance companies consider young drivers high-risk for several reasons:

  • They are inexperienced behind the wheel.
  • They may have little or no driving history.
  • Statistically, they’re more likely to get into accidents.2

As a result, the cost of auto insurance for teens and other young drivers is higher than for older drivers.

Allstate offers several ways for young drivers to earn its student discount even if they’re not in school full time. Drivers who are under 25 and unmarried can qualify for Allstate’s student discount as long as they meet one of the following criteria:

  • They are a full-time student with a minimum of a B- average or a 2.7 GPA.
  • They complete the teenSMART driver education program.
  • They attend school at least 100 miles away from where their family garages the car

Accident Forgiveness

Causing an accident will often increase your insurance costs by 50 percent or more. If you already have an at-fault accident on your record or you’re designated high-risk for another reason, you’ll want to avoid any further increases in your premiums.

Many insurance providers require you to have a clean record to qualify for accident forgiveness, but Allstate offers this coverage option to all of its customers.

If you purchase accident forgiveness coverage, your premiums won’t increase if you’re at fault for an accident. Depending on the coverage you choose, you can have one accident forgiven every three years or pay more for an unlimited number of accidents. Keep in mind that even if you purchase accident forgiveness, Allstate can drop your coverage if it determines your driving habits are reckless.


Direct Auto Logo

3. Best High-Risk Auto Insurance for Non-Owners: Direct Auto

Unlike State Farm and Allstate, Direct Auto specializes in insurance policies for high-risk drivers. Because Direct Auto is unlikely to turn you away from coverage, it’s a good choice for high-risk drivers — in particular, those who need non-owner insurance.
Who It’s Best For

  • People who don’t own cars
  • Customers looking for discounts
  • People who want to purchase financial protection in case of an emergency
  • Military members, who get a 25 percent discount

Who It’s Not Best For

  • People living outside of the following states:
    • Alabama
    • Arkansas
    • Delaware
    • Florida
    • Georgia
    • Louisiana
    • Michigan
    • Mississippi
    • North Carolina
    • Ohio
    • Pennsylvania
    • South Carolina
    • Tennessee
    • Texas
    • Virginia
    • Washington
  • Customers who want a company with a long history, as Direct Auto has only been in business since 1991.

Non-Owner Insurance

Non-owner insurance is for people who don’t own cars but still need auto insurance. The high-risk and non-owner categories often overlap for a number of reasons. Here are some examples:

  • New drivers who got their licenses to drive rental cars or Zipcars, or to establish in-state residencies.
  • People who received DUIs or moving violations, or caused accidents in borrowed cars.
  • Drivers who sold their cars after incidents and need SR-22s.

FYI

After a DUI or another serious moving violation, you may need to file an SR-22 (or an FR-44 in Florida), which certifies that you hold your state’s minimum coverage. Additionally, you may need an SR-22 if you’re caught driving without insurance, which is a serious violation in every state except New Hampshire and Virginia.

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.

Many Discounts

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.

Discount Possible savings
Prior coverage (insurance with another company for at least six months with a lapse of fewer than 90 days) 25%
Active-duty military member 25%
Multivehicle 25%
Renewal (no lapse in prior 12 months and you renew within seven to 10 days of the policy expiration) 20%
Homeowner (if you garage your car or cars at home) 15%
Track your driving with the DynamicDrive program (Routely app) 10%
Vehicle safety and antitheft features 10%
Defensive driver course 10%
Full-time student (of any age) with good grades 10%
Bundle multiple policies 10%
Preferred payment (automatic, pay in full, or paperless) 9%
Returning customer (previous Direct Auto policyholder, but not in the last six months) 6%
55 and older and completed an accident prevention course 5%
Buy another Direct Auto product (e.g., an emergency protection plan) 5%
Member of an affinity organization (e.g., church groups, alumni associations, wholesale clubs, government organizations, retiree organizations, etc.) 5%

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.

National General Logo

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.

Valet Rental

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

Acceptance Logo

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:
    • Alabama
    • Arizona
    • California
    • Florida
    • Georgia
    • Illinois
    • Indiana
    • Mississippi
    • Missouri
    • Ohio
    • Pennsylvania
    • South Carolina
    • Tennessee
    • Texas
    • Virginia
  • 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).

FYI

Insurance companies may require people with low credit to purchase coverage beyond the minimum requirements

Acceptance has discounts that can help you save on premiums, even if you have low credit:

  • Multipolicy: Bundle your auto insurance policy with another policy type, like homeowners, renters, commercial, pet, or life insurance to save money.
  • Drive safely: Like most other providers, Acceptance will lower your bills if you allow it to track your driving behavior and display good habits (e.g., following speed limits).
  • Paperless: Knock a few dollars off your premiums by opting to receive your bills electronically rather than by mail.
  • Loyalty: If you renew your policy with Acceptance, you’ll receive a discount.

Unique Roadside Assistance

Like most auto insurance providers, Acceptance offers the option to purchase roadside assistance. And because Acceptance’s offering comes in the form of a membership plan, you won’t pay extra for it even if you’re in a high-risk category.

If your car breaks down or experiences mechanical issues, you can call Acceptance’s roadside services for the following:

  • Jumpstarts
  • Tows (up to 25 miles)
  • Lockouts (no cost limit)
  • Tire change (must have spare)
  • Gas, oil, and coolant delivery (materials at your expense)

Acceptance offers two plans: Towbusters and Towbusters Plus. Unlike most other insurer’s plans, Towbusters Plus includes reimbursement for traffic tickets.

Plan Towbusters TowbustersPlus
Standard roadside assistance services Included Yes
Claims per year 5 5
Claims per 72 hours 1 1
Traffic ticket reimbursement Not included $100 per ticket, up to twice yearly
Reimbursement if DMV requires you attend traffic school Not included $250
Traffic court legal fees Not included $200
Rental reimbursement Not included 10 days at $25 per day
Other perks, including 10% off auto service and maintenance chains. Not included Included
Monthly cost $13 $15
Yearly cost $156 $180

Keep in mind that if you receive a serious moving violation, your premiums can still rise even if Acceptance reimburses the ticket.

Hospital Indemnity Plan

Depending on your high-risk designation and your circumstances, you might already be stretching your budget to pay for car insurance. And even if you have auto and health insurance, a car accident can burden you with medical bills.

Deductibles, copays, and ambulance rides are out-of-pocket expenses that add up. The average ambulance ride costs nearly $1,300, and that number can skyrocket depending on the ambulance service4. On average, an emergency room visit after an accident is $3,300, and if you’re admitted, the average in-patient hospitalization costs over $55,0005.

Acceptance offers hospital indemnity protection, which it calls a “help in case” plan. While the plan is not a form of insurance, it can reduce injury costs if you or a family member is in an accident. It pays for bills that medical payments coverage and health insurance don’t always cover completely, including the following

  • Copays and deductibles
  • Hospital stays
  • Nurses
  • Ambulances
  • Lost wages
Event Coverage
Medical expense (including an ambulance ride) Up to $1,000
Hospital stay $125 each day for up to one year
Accidental death or dismemberment Up to $10,000 in direct payment

The plan costs $8 per month or $96 per year. It includes the following perks:

  • Prescription savings card
  • Discounts on rental cars, hotels, and attractions
  • Special deals on computers, clothes, and other retail products

Methodology

We used a three-pronged strategy to find the best companies that sell policies to high-risk drivers:

  • Company information: We gather all the information we can find on a company’s coverages, average cost, and discounts. We prioritized companies that sell insurance to high-risk drivers. We also rely on information from independent, third-party sources to determine customer service quality, financial solidity, and claims satisfaction. We draw on data from J.D. Power, the Better Business Bureau (BBB), the S&P Global Ratings, the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC), and AM Best.
  • Data analysis: Over the course of 20 years of helping customers find best-fit policies, we’ve gathered millions of customer transaction data points. We analyze the data to identify which companies will offer the best deals to specific customers. For this guide, we focused on car insurance companies that offer the most affordable coverage to drivers in high-risk categories.
  • Institutional knowledge: With decades of experience covering auto insurance, our team is deeply familiar with what each auto insurance provider has to offer. In addition, we consult with Paul Ford, an expert with nearly three decades of industry experience. Paul is president of insurance at Centerfield, AutoInsurance.com’s parent company. His past tenures include time at Capital One Insurance Services, InsLogic, Bankrate, NetQuote, Canadian Access, and Datalot.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best insurance for drivers with multiple accidents?

State Farm, Allstate, USAA, and Travelers offer some of the best insurance for drivers with multiple accidents.

What is the cheapest insurance for high-risk drivers?

State Farm and Allstate have some of the cheapest insurance rates for high-risk drivers. In addition, GEICO, Progressive, National General, and Direct Auto offer good rates.

Are there insurance companies that don’t check your driving record?

No, all insurance companies check your driving record before selling you a policy or renewing your existing one. Most companies check your driving record over the past three years, although some may go as far as seven to ten years back, depending on your state’s laws.

What are the best car insurance companies for a second chance?

State Farm is one of the best car insurance companies for second chances after violations. After traffic violations, State Farm only increases rates by about 25 percent on average. Progressive has the best second-chance offering, with an average rate increase of roughly 25 percent. State Farm also offers good se

Citations

  1. Average Annual Miles per Driver by Age Group. U.S. Department of Transportation.
    https://www.fhwa.dot.gov/ohim/onh00/bar8.htm

  2. What if I can’t find auto coverage? III. (2022).
    https://www.iii.org/article/what-if-i-cant-find-auto-coverage

  3. Is a Credit Check Required to Rent a Car? Experian. (2019).
    https://www.experian.com/blogs/ask-experian/is-a-credit-check-required-to-rent-a-car/

  4. Ground Ambulance Services in the United States. FAIR Health. (2022).
    https://s3.amazonaws.com/media2.fairhealth.org/whitepaper/asset/Ground%20Ambulance%20Services%20in%20the%20United%20States%20-%20A%20FAIR%20Health%20White%20Paper.pdf

  5. WHAT IS THE AVERAGE COST OF HOSPITAL BILLS FOLLOWING A CAR ACCIDENT? Brown and Crouppen. (2022).
    https://www.brownandcrouppen.com/blog/what-is-the-average-cost-of-hospital-bills-following-a-car-accident/