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Ava Lynch

Insurance Analyst

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Ava joined The Zebra as a writer and licensed insurance agent in 2016. She now works as a senior insurance contributor, providing insights and data a…

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Renata Balasco

Senior Content Strategist

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Renata joined The Zebra in 2020 as a Customer Experience Agent. Since 2021, she has worked as licensed insurance professional and content strategist.…

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Beth Swanson

SEO Content Strategist

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Beth joined The Zebra in 2022 as an Associate Content Strategist. She is a licensed insurance agent whose goal is to make insurance content easy to r…

Can I get car insurance with no insurance history?

Obtaining a car insurance quote if you haven't previously had an auto insurance policy is possible — but your rates might be more expensive than average (which is about $880 for a six-month policy, as of 2024). The typical difference in premium between an auto insurance policy for a previously uninsured driver and a currently insured driver is 6% (about $53) more per six-month policy period. 

The good news is that once you've had continual coverage for a few years, you'll likely see the price go down as long as you keep your policy in good standing and continue safe driving habits.

Let's look at some of the most affordable options for car insurance if you've been previously uninsured, as well as some methods to help save you money on your policy. 

car insurance

How to get car insurance with no insurance history


Read on or use these links to jump to each section:

  • Step 1: Explore companies that offer affordable rates for drivers with no previous coverage.
  • Step 2: Find more ways to save with our helpful tips.
  • Step 3: Still can't find coverage? Try a non-owners policy for a while.

Cheap car insurance companies for a previously uninsured driver

We tracked down the cheapest providers for a previously uninsured (and often new) driver and found reputable names offering policies that could fit your needs as a newly insured driver. We've compiled a list below that will help you get started as you shop for car insurance.

medal
Most affordable
1. USAA

USAA offers the most affordable rates when it comes to standard coverage from a well-known name in insurance. USAA’s average premium is a relatively cheap $741 per six-month policy for those who qualify. The caveat: USAA coverage is only available to military members and their families.

2. Travelers

For drivers who aren't military members (or aren't related to one) a policy with Travelers is only about $40 more than a USAA policy. Travelers rates average $781 for a six-month policy.

3. State Farm

Offering similar rates to Travelers, State Farm comes in third place with car insurance rates of around $785 for a six-month policy

Glance at the companies below for average rates on policies without insurance history (broken down by six-month costs as well as the monthly rate). Of course, there are other rating factors involved, and not all of these companies may write policies in your area. A few of these names, such as Bristol West and Infinity, offer non-standard policies that can work for drivers who've had trouble finding coverage elsewhere. 

 

Average rates for previously uninsured drivers, by company

Here are some companies that offer options to previously uninsured drivers, although individual rates and eligibility may vary, it gives you a place to start if you're beginning the shopping process.

Company Avg. 6 Mo. Premium Avg. Monthly Premium
USAA $741 $124
Travelers $781 $130
State Farm $785 $131
GEICO $838 $140
Nationwide $877 $146
Infinity $885 $148
Progressive $1,023 $171
Farmers $1,139 $190
Safe Auto $1,641 $273
Bristol West $1,980 $330

The Zebra’s Dynamic Insurance Rating Tool data methodology

The Zebra’s Dynamic Insurance Rating Tool for home and auto insurance rates utilizes the latest ZIP code-level rate filings from across the U.S., sourced from Quadrant Information Services and S&P Global. These filings, typically updated annually or biennially by insurers, are verified through Quadrant’s QA process and then integrated into The Zebra’s estimator.

The displayed rates are based on a dynamic home and auto profile designed to reflect the content of the page. This profile is tailored to match specific factors such as age, location, and coverage level, which are adjusted based on the page content to show how these variables can impact premiums.

For a comprehensive understanding, see our detailed methodology.

Although drivers without insurance history pay more upfront, their rates may decrease every six months as long as they avoid a lapse in coverage. The average difference in premiums between a driver with no insurance history and three years of prior insurance coverage is $86 per six-month period (or $14 per month), according to our research and methodology. Jump to average rates by length of continuous coverage.


Weigh your options and get the best value from your next insurance policy.

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How to save on car insurance if you lack insurance history

If you're currently uninsured, we suggest getting coverage as soon as possible so you can begin to have a record of car insurance. There’s not much you can do to change your history, but there are ways to help save you money on your new policy. Let’s break down some cost-cutting solutions.

Important car insurance terms to know

If you're a new driver, or if you've never handled your own auto insurance purchase before, there will be terms that could be unclear. One important tip is to familiarize yourself with car insurance lingo. Here are a few important terms you'll see as you shop for car insurance.

  • Collision refers to coverage if your car physically collides with something (like another vehicle, your neighbor's fence, a tree, etc.).
  • comprehensive claim is for anything that isn't a collision and is outside of the driver's control, such as a natural disaster or vandalism. Often, these two types of coverage are lumped together under the term "full coverage."
  • Liability coverage is there to help cover damage to another person (if they are injured and you're at fault) or someone else's property (such as that hypothetical fence we mentioned). 
  • Your deductible is the amount you'll pay before your insurance kicks in to help. This one is something you can adjust to help save money, too; the higher the deductible you have, the lower your monthly payment will be, and vice-versa.
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method one
Method 1: Compare insurance rates

You've likely heard that you should shop around for car insurance, and this will be the best way to save on coverage for several reasons. As soon as you have been insured for six months, you should expect your premium to decrease. But your current provider might not lower your rate by as much as another provider might. Considerable differences exist between insurance companies' premiums. Compare car insurance options carefully to find the one best suited to your price and coverage needs.

method two
Method 2: Bundle your insurance policies

In order to earn a multi-policy discount, bundle any insurance policy you have with your auto policy (or vice-versa). A multi-policy discount will allow you to save on your home or renters policy and auto insurance. 

If you don't have a renters or home insurance policy, consider acquiring one. They're relatively inexpensive and offer protection for your assets in the event of a major loss, or if you are found legally responsible for damages on your property.

method three
Method 3: Carry the correct coverage and avoid lapses

Vehicles depreciate rapidly, so if you own a vehicle worth less than $4,000, you might not need collision and comprehensive coverage — which can save you a lot of money! These coverage options are designed to protect your vehicle from property damage. However, if your vehicle isn’t worth much, you might be paying for coverage you do not need.

Use Kelley Blue Book and NADA online as resources to determine the value of your vehicle. If you determine you still need comprehensive and collision, consider raising your deductible. By raising your deductible, you can lower your premium.

The key point here, though, is to have consistent coverage. If you’re going to sell your vehicle, you should consider buying a non-owners policy. A non-owner car insurance policy only provides liability coverage for drivers who do not own a car but want to maintain their insurance coverage. This will not only keep you continuously insured but offer you additional liability insurance when you’re driving.

method four
Method 4:  Be smart with your claims

Unless you have accident forgiveness, every car insurance company will raise your rates after you file a claim. Most insurance companies will keep up-charging your premium for three years following an accident. This will cause the overall rate increase for one at-fault accident to equal well over your original premium.

If you’re involved in a collision-type accident, follow our steps to see if it is cheaper to pay out-of-pocket.

  1. Get an estimate of the damage prior to speaking with your insurance company. This is what you would pay out of pocket.
  2. Consult our State of Insurance to see how much at-fault accidents increased rates in your state.
  3. Multiply the rate of increase by three (for the years during which you will be charged). Add this to your deductible.
  4. Compare the costs and choose the least expensive option.

For more information on the claims process, check out our article on when and how to file a claim.

method five
Method 5: Check for available discounts

Although discounts can be helpful for lowering your premium, they will not drastically affect your rate.

You should not stay with your company simply because they offer you a discount. Make sure you consider the overall rate. However, these discounts can be helpful.

 

telematics
What are telematics?

Telematics are in-car devices that monitor the way you drive to price your insurance policy. In theory, the safer of a driver you are, the lower your car insurance rates will be. 

Safe driving habits include:

  • Slow braking
  • Slow acceleration
  • Daylight driving
  • Slow overall speeds
Potential discounts for telematics devices
Company Estimated Savings
Progressive SnapShot Average of $130
Allstate DriveWise Average of 10-25%
State Farm Drive Safe and Save Up to 15%
Esurance DriveSense Varies
Nationwide SmartRide Up to 40%
Liberty Mutual RightTrack Average of 5-30%
Root Car insurance Varies
Metromile Varies
GEICO DriveEasy Varies

What if I can't find car insurance?

This is a challenging situation, and we understand how frustrating it can be. One of our knowledgeable insurance advisors here at The Zebra, Hunter Black, gave us the scoop on why you might be struggling to find car insurance. Here's what they had to say: 

Hunter Black
Agent Insight

"If you are viewed as un-insurable it may be more than not having any insurance history. It may be your driving record, credit score, etc. It also depends on your location, some zip codes are more expensive. If you can't find insurance on your own, try getting a non-owner policy which will be less expensive, or go onto a roommate's or relative's policy. The most important thing is to build that insurance history to at least 6 months of continuous coverage, so at renewal, you'll have that discount on your future rate."

Hunter Black, Sales Manager at The Zebra


Why is insurance history used as a rating factor?

Multiple rating factors are used to calculate car insurance premiums, some of which aren't tied directly to a driver's history of tickets or accidents. Credit score, age, homeownership, and insurance history are not tied directly to driving history. Car insurance companies see these characteristics as reliable predictors of risk.

In the opinion of an insurance company, a driver who has been licensed without insurance may have been driving uninsured — a potential signifier of risk. Like a bad credit score or poor driving history, a spotty insurance history may lead to more expensive insurance premiums. But if you aren't insured yet, you're not alone — about 33% of our customers are currently without insurance and 20% visited The Zebra because they need insurance ASAP. 

 

Average rates based on length of continuous insurance history

The longer you've had continuous car insurance coverage, the better this looks to insurance companies. Here is a rundown of what drivers might pay based on how long they've had auto coverage.

Insurance History Avg. 6 Mo. Premium Avg. Monthly Premium
None $967 $161
6 Months $902 $150
1 Year $897 $149
3 Years $880 $147
5 Years $871 $145

Frequently asked questions: car insurance with no history

Insurance companies rate individuals based on the risk they pose. For example, if a driver has had numerous tickets, a DUI, or gaps in insurance coverage, the insurer may decide not to offer coverage to this individual. Some companies focus on high-risk auto insurance (or, non-standard) and they may be willing to insure a driver who is having trouble finding auto insurance elsewhere.

Yes, your credit can affect whether or not you're eligible for insurance coverage as well as how much you'll pay for coverage. This is the case in most states, but not all (such as California). Lower credit scores have been shown to correlate with higher-risk drivers, so this is one of the factors that insurance companies take into consideration when calculating rates. Bad credit doesn't necessarily mean you aren't insurable, but you'll likely pay much more if you have less-than-ideal credit.

A lapse in coverage is when a policy is no longer active - as in, you do not currently have insurance coverage. It might only be one day, or it could be a few weeks or months. This can happen for a variety of reasons (often a payment is late or missed) and often by accident, and can have serious repercussions if you don't fix the issue immediately. Some companies have a grace period if you miss a payment, but it's important to talk to your company or agent to see what if any, flexibility you have on late insurance payments. Having a lapse in coverage won't be a good thing when insurance companies evaluate your risk in the future, so do your best to avoid any lapse in coverage.

Finding coverage can be tricky if you don't have prior coverage. However some companies specifically work with high-risk drivers, and although you will likely pay more, it will help you establish coverage for the future. Some companies you might consider are GEICO, Progressive, Kemper, Dairyland, Direct Auto, and Assurance America, to name a few.

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About The Zebra

The Zebra is not an insurance company. We publish data-backed, expert-reviewed resources to help consumers make more informed insurance decisions.

  • The Zebra’s insurance content is written and reviewed for accuracy by licensed insurance agents.
  • The Zebra’s insurance editorial content is not subject to review or alteration by insurance companies or partners.
  • The Zebra’s editorial team operates independently of the company’s partnerships and commercialization interests, publishing unbiased information for consumer benefit.
  • The auto insurance rates published on The Zebra’s pages are based on a comprehensive analysis of car insurance pricing data, evaluating more than 83 million insurance rates from across the United States.