Car Insurance for Bad Drivers

How to find affordable car insurance rates with a bad driving record.

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Is car insurance more expensive for bad drivers?

Car insurance is a double-edged sword: the more you use it, the more you pay for it. Regardless of your reason for filing a claim, frequent payouts or lots of driving violations result in your being seen as a risky, i.e., "bad" driver, by insurance companies. If an insurance company sees you as a risky customer, it will cushion limit its risk exposure by charging higher premiums.

If you’re seen as a bad driver, your premium will be higher as a result. But not all insurance companies will charge you the same premiums after certain violations. Let’s explore how companies evaluate “bad” driving records and review some tips on how to find car insurance with violations or claims on your record.

  1. Driving violations and tickets
  2. DUI
  3. Reckless driving
  4. At-fault accidents
  5. How to save

 

Car insurance for bad drivers: violation types

Speeding, reckless driving, or racing can seriously impact your auto insurance rates. Depending on your violation-type and your state, you can be charged the next three to ten after a citation. On average, a reckless driving charge can increase your six-month policy premium by $598. Let’s breakdown the most common violations and tickets and their associated premium hikes.


Tickets

Most tickets remain chargeable on insurance premiums for three years. Depending on the insurance company, the rate increase after a speeding ticket can vary greatly. The Zebra's data shows auto insurance premiums increase by between and $61 and $2,000 per six-month policy after a speeding ticket.

6-month premium: no violationPremium after speeding: 11 - 15 MPH > limit
Allstate - $779$860
GEICO - $760$2,909
Farmers - $717$1,163
Liberty Mutual - $756$2,003
Nationwide - $660$1,608
Progressive - $746$2,274
State Farm - $757$1,620

See our in-depth guide to finding affordable car insurance with speeding tickets


DUIs

A DUI or DWI is a major violation. On average, a DUI can raise your rates 74% annually. In states like North Carolina and Hawaii, your insurance rates could increase by as much as 350% and 200%, respectively.

Outside of a hit and run charge, a DUI is the costliest violation you can receive as a driver. For the insurance providers sampled by The Zebra, the average rate increase after a DUI was $625 — $1,249 per year.

6-month premium: no violationPremium with DUI
Allstate - $779$1,371
GEICO - $760$1,731
Farmers - $717$1,316
Liberty Mutual - $756$1,124
Nationwide - $660$1,340
Progressive - $746$1,450
State Farm - $757$1,239


If you’re in the market for car insurance after a DUI, Liberty Mutual might be the cheapest insurer for you. 


Reckless driving

A reckless driving charge means you were driving with blatant disregard for the rules of the road. On average, this charge can increase your premium by as much as 70%! Looking at the data below, the average increase for the insurers we surveyed was $587 for a six-month premium, or $1,195 per year.

6-month premium no violationPremium at Reckless Driving
Allstate - $779$1,348
GEICO - $760$1,841
Farmers - $717$1,129
Liberty Mutual - $756$1,152
Nationwide - $660$1,111
Progressive - $746$1,415
State Farm - $757$1,227


If you're looking for car insurance after a reckless driving charge, consider Farmers, Liberty Mutual, or Nationwide.

 

At-fault accidents and claims

Anytime your provider pays out a claim — even a small one — you should expect your insurance premium to increase. On average, an at-fault accident claim raised premiums by $617 per six-month term in 2018 — over 40%. Among the insurers sampled by The Zebra, this average increase was even larger — after an accident with more than $2,000 in damages, the average increase was $390 per six months.

6-month premium: no incidentsPremium with at-fault accident
Allstate - $779$1,161
GEICO - $760$1,141
Farmers - $717$1,077
Liberty Mutual - $756$1,109
Nationwide - $660$993
Progressive - $746$1,120
State Farm - $757$1,117

For more information related to car insurance with an accident history, see here.

 

Finding cheap car insurance with a bad driving history

Let’s outline some ways to find affordable car insurance with a less-than-perfect driving history.


Be smart about filing claims

Before you file a claim, you should do a little math. For example, you collide with a pole and cause $1,500 worth of damage to your own vehicle. The average collision claim raised premiums $617 in 2018. That $617 will stay on your premium as a chargeable claim for at least three years — meaning it will actually cost you $1,851.

If your collision deductible is $500, the total monetary impact of this claim increases to $2,351. Compared to the out of pocket damage of $1,500, you can save yourself nearly $1,000 by paying for your damage out of pocket.

Bear in mind, there are a lot of times you won’t be able to do this. If you’ve damaged another person’s vehicle, they have every right to go through your insurance coverage rather than pay out of pocket. For more information regarding this procedure, see here.


Bundle when possible

If you have a renters or homeowners policy, get a quote for a home-and-auto bundle! This will not only lower your auto insurance policy but your homeowners policy costs as well.


Government insurance programs

For some insurance companies, the risk of a guaranteed claim payout on their end is too high to insure. Still, state governments recognize that the legal requirement of car insurance puts these high-risk drivers on the verge of driving without insurance. So, each state goes through their DMV and groups these high-risk drivers together in a pool and assigns a certain number of these individuals to insurance companies — otherwise known as Assigned Risk Insurance.

Insurance companies are required to insure these drivers, although they will usually charge quite high for them and have different conditions for them as well. In order to be considered in this “pool,” you have to apply and prove you have no other option for car insurance, i.e., you keep getting denied coverage.


Wait for the violations to fall off your driving record

Again, this is pretty obvious but it is still worth noting. In most states and for most violations, you will be rated (charged) for three years. So, by maintaining insurance either with a standard or non-standard company for three years, you can expect your insurance rate to drop if you don’t have any further traffic violations or claims.


Chose a non-standard insurance company

The difference between an assigned risk pool program and a non-standard company is basically the involvement in your government. Non-standard companies are not assigned any clients but they still specialize in high-risk drivers. Here at The Zebra, we specialize in standard and non-standard companies to get you insured. Enter your zip code below to get started.

 

Find an affordable policy today!

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Recent Questions:

Cheap Car Insurance for Bad Drivers

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Additional Resources:

Cheap Car Insurance for Bad Drivers

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