Tickets and accidents listed on driving records can be costly and impact auto insurance premiums for a period of 3 to 5 years. Even a traffic violation, such as speeding, can cause a surge of approximately 23% in rates, while an at-fault accident recorded can elevate premiums by an average of 42%. Nevertheless, being aware of companies like State Farm, which provides rates approximately 40% lower than the industry average for individuals with poor driving records, can assist in mitigating the premium hikes faced with your current insurance provider.
It is important to appreciate that every company has their own risk assessment methods and premium calculations. Once you realize this fact, you don’t give up the search to find cheap car insurance with bad driving history. For example, even drivers with Driving while Intoxicated (DUI) convictions on record can get 28% cheaper rates with Progressive in comparison to average rates from other providers, according to a ValuePenguin study.
What makes a driving record bad?
People can pick a few tickets pretty quickly. Speeding is one of the main reasons, but wrong turns, holding the traffic by going too slow, not stopping at a traffic light can get you a ticket that will go on your DMV file.
More serious offences like a DUI makes it much harder to get decent automobile insurance rates. You may also have to deal with license suspensions and SR-22 insurance to get it back.
Accidents show up on your driving history as well and at-fault accidents increase premiums much more than no-fault incidents you are involved in.
Tips to Find the Best Rates with Bad Driving History
When you are deemed to be high risk you will discover quickly that you need to work harder to find the most affordable quotes. So, paying attention to below tips to get the best vehicle insurance rates possible with bad driving history can help you mitigate some or all of the negative effects that raise your premiums.
1. Focus on your other qualities
They are fairly large but good driver and accident free discounts aren’t the only saving opportunities on car insurance. For example, premium differences between a policyholder with a bad and good credit score can be on average 52% according to a fool.com study. You can save 56% with State Farm if you have an excellent credit score in comparison to a standard rate they offer and it is more than the possible premium increase for having an at-fault accident on your driving history. Savings for good credit with GEICO and Progressive are around 33%, Nationwide and Farmers are around 25%. So, try to make sure you get the maximum vehicle insurance discounts for other qualities you may have.
2. Get quotes the moment a ticket comes off record
The good news is that most tickets drop off driving history after 3 years. DUIs stay on for 7 – 10 years depending on which state you live in. Get alternative automobile insurance quotes the moment a ticket drops from record or 3 year passes after an accident. Also, remember companies like State Farm and Progressive are known to look back only three years of driving and accident history while a few other insurers check five years of records. Keep that in mind.
3. Look for easy to qualify discounts
There are so many saving opportunities to worry about the two you cannot get. For example, if you have a vehicle less than 3 years old, you can get a new car discount with GEICO. You can get around 9% reduced rates when you pay the premium in full with many companies including Progressive and State Farm. You can also save if you purchase your policy 7 – 14 days in advance with some companies. You can sign up for AAA, Costco or AARP memberships if you can get cheaper auto insurance with the carriers they work with.
4. Take an approved defensive driving course
You could see if you can get some of the points on your license removed. For example, taking a defensive driving course can give you credit against the points on your license. Furthermore, many vehicle insurance companies offer discounts when you complete an approved defensive driving course. The rules and eligibility varies depending on state and company so you need to check which courses are approved and if you can get discounts.
5. Consider usage-based programs
Usage-based insurance programs uses telematics devices to monitor your driving habits and mileage. If you feel like you are normally a good driver but had one or two unfortunate accidents and tickets recently, this programs may be for you. If you can demonstrate responsible driving patterns and low mileage, your rates may come down based on the feed back from the telematics device. However, if you are really a bad driver and it shows, you may actually pay higher premiums with telematics auto insurance.
Surveys suggest that some people’s driving may improve as they get conscious of monitoring and watch their driving. So, telematics may help you improve as a driver. Also, some companies like State Farm may offer up to 10% discount for just joining their telematics programs.
6. Review coverage and deductibles
While it is generally not advisable to simply give up or diminish your coverage, individuals with a poor driving history might encounter challenges in finding affordable vehicle insurance. In such circumstances, it may be worth reviewing your policy to determine if there are certain coverages that can be temporarily foregone to reduce costs. Another option is to consider raising your deductibles. By assuming a greater portion of the risk through higher deductibles, you may be able to lower your car insurance premiums. However, it is important to exercise caution and avoid setting deductibles that you cannot comfortably afford, as you would be responsible for paying them in the event of a claim.
7. Shop harder for the best prices
There are a few companies you can go to and still expect to get affordable quotes. Finding the best one could save you hundreds of dollars. State Farm, Progressive, GEICO, Nationwide, Farmers and American Family are some of the well-known auto insurers offering cheaper rates for people with bad driving records. The General and Acceptance are the two high-risk car insurance companies that are cheaper than others.
While having a ticket or accident on your driving record is undoubtedly undesirable, it doesn’t mean that you should simply accept high insurance rates without exploring other options. In fact, it becomes even more crucial to actively seek out competitive rates in such situations. Instead of the usual practice of obtaining five vehicle insurance quotes, it is advisable to double that number and obtain ten quotes since some of them may just be too high or no quote.
There are several other solutions like downsizing to a cheaper to insure vehicle so that you can benefit from the low rates it gets while waiting for your own risk rating to improve. Adding a better driver to your policy may work as their good fortune rubs on you. In short, keep looking for ways of getting the best car insurance rates even with bad driving history. There are many solutions.