Protection for drivers who may need nonstandard coverage.
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.
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.
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.
|Provider||What it’s best for||Discounts||States available||SR-22 filing||Our review|
|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 review|
|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|
Best Overall: State Farm
Best for Low Mileage: Allstate
Best High-Risk Auto Insurance for Non-Owners: Direct Auto
Best for First-Time DUI Offenders: National General
Best for Low Credit: Acceptance Insurance
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.
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:
High-risk drivers can lower their auto insurance costs by applying State Farm’s discounts:
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:
Allstate is an especially good choice for drivers who are high-risk due to their young ages.
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|
This is a good option for many drivers, including high-risk ones. Examples of high-risk drivers include the following:
Insurance companies consider young drivers high-risk for several reasons:
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:
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.
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.
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:
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:
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)||25%|
|Active-duty military member||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%|
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:
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.
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 themselves.3
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).
If you use a vehicle for business purposes, you likely need a commercial auto insurance policy. Some examples are listed below:
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:
Even as a high-risk driver, you can save on National General’s commercial auto insurance with the following discounts:
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.
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).
Acceptance has discounts that can help you save on premiums, even if you have low credit:
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:
Acceptance offers two plans: Towbusters and Towbusters Plus. Unlike most other insurer’s plans, Towbusters Plus includes reimbursement for traffic tickets.
|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|
Keep in mind that if you receive a serious moving violation, your premiums can still rise even if Acceptance reimburses the ticket.
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 service.4 On average, an emergency room visit after an accident is $3,300, and if you’re admitted, the average in-patient hospitalization costs over $55,000.5
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:
|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:
We used a three-pronged strategy to find the best companies that sell policies to high-risk drivers:
State Farm, Allstate, USAA, and Travelers offer some of the best insurance for drivers with multiple accidents.
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.
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.
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 second-chance DUI rates, with less than 40 percent average increases.
Average Annual Miles per Driver by Age Group. U.S. Department of Transportation.
What if I can’t find auto coverage? III. (2022).
Is a Credit Check Required to Rent a Car? Experian. (2019).
Ground Ambulance Services in the United States. FAIR Health. (2022).
WHAT IS THE AVERAGE COST OF HOSPITAL BILLS FOLLOWING A CAR ACCIDENT? Brown and Crouppen. (2022).