High Risk Car Insurance Companies

The term may suggest that only handful of people would fall into this category. However, 30 – 40% of drivers can be included depending on who is defining it. In the same way, people may think that only few obscure and unknown companies offer coverage. You would be surprised to find out how different reality is in terms of non-standard market.

What Is High Risk Car Insurance

Perhaps we should start with defining things. There are 5 key categories that are agreed upon and they are; Preferred, Standard, High, Non Standard and Assigned Risk.

Preferred risk profile defines the drivers with long and spotless history. Such group would have no problem to have their pick. Standard profile is probably the largest group that hasn’t got a perfect record but there isn’t any real concern for underwriters. Assigned risk describes a group who are the least desired and they may be declined by almost all sources. This leaves us with two groups.

High Risk Insurance is more to do with who is covered than type of a policy. If a particular driver (or car) would increase the likelihood of claims they are categorized as perilous and charged more.

Risky Driver Profiles

Most consider below undesirable and therefore quote more expensive.

   1. Youngsters
Teenagers are the most dangerous group even though they haven’t done anything yet to deserve this categorization. The reason for their classification is the lack of personal history and negative statistical data against them. They are 4 times more likely to get involved in a fatal car crash and that is why they are charged nearly 3 times more than average.

   2. Drivers with DUI Offences
auto insurance with bad driving historyOnce you are convicted with Driving Under the Influence you will most likely need SR22 insurance before you can get your license back. SR22 is a proof of coverage that needs to be filed with DMV. SR22 is the worst exposure an insurer can carry and you may need to file it for 5 – 7 years until DUI comes off record. So, you should expect one DUI affect rates for at least 5 years.

   3. Motorists with Speeding and Reckless Driving Tickets
Speeding and recklessness tickets are the next group of tickets that affect rates the most. They usually stay in records for 3 years and result in expensive premiums during this time.

   4. Motorists with Recent at Fault Accident Claims
At fault accident or relating liability claims affect rates more than any other claims. Since you are found to be at fault there is no excuse left to offer.

   5. Newly Licensed 
No matter how old you are being new will put you in the expensive category without a question. However, it is easier to get cheap insurance for first time drivers over the age of 25, in comparison to teenagers.

   6. No Recent History
Most treat lapse in coverage unfavorably, regardless of the reasons behind the lapse. They don’t like policyholders who are likely to cancel on them.

   7. People with Poor Credit
Having bad credit record can mean 25% higher premium with some companies since they consider people with money problems to be highly likely to make a claim.

   8. Seniors
They may start seeing price increases on their traditional policies after the age of 75 that indicates their skills are deteriorating.

   9. Foreign Licenses
Not many firms would cover someone with International Permits and Mexican Licenses. They will charge a lot more even they do. So, nonconforming licenses are not favored.

   10. People with Accident Prone Cars
Exotic, sports, fast, modified or powerful vehicles are charged more, especially if you are under the age of 25 yet.

What Is Non Standard Auto Insurance

Some terms seem to be used to mean the same thing. This is not necessarily true. Teenager may be dangerous but nothing atypical about them. And owners who are looking for liability only policies may be considered financially undesirable but they are not necessarily dangerous on the roads.

Non standard insurance covers drivers that fall outside the normal risk category and therefore considered high risk. They may have confirmed issues like DUI or they may be assumed hazardous because of issues with their licenses, credits, backgrounds or other details.

For example, people with a Mexican license or an International Driving Permit (IDP) would need to look into nonstandard market. This can be a large number in some states like Texas, California and Florida. And some carriers would consider people who want only the state minimum coverage undesirable and most wouldn’t entertain them. So, they may not be bad but they are not regular either.

Usually nonstandard car insurance companies would cover applicants that are turned down by most others. However, a bad risk policies can be sold by them or one of the best in the US depending on the group. For example, youngsters are considered too dangerous but most firms would offer quotes for them.

How Much Does High-Risk Auto Insurance Cost?

In general, attentive road users with no complications gets the best rates. Widely accepted view is that policyholders who claimed and likely to claim should pay more in order to prevent these claims to increase rates for careful ones who are low maintenance.

According to a ValuePenguin study, youngsters pay more than any other group. On average, they are likely to pay 3 – 5 times more than average depending on the state they live in. The next most expensive category is people with DUI and they are likely to pay 2 – 3 times more than the average. Others with various issues pay between 20 – 100% more than safe ones depending on the levels, carriers and zip code.

List of High Risk Automobile Insurance Companies

As mentioned above, you may be expecting an obscure firms here and we will get to that further down. However, it is worth mentioning that there are a few good providers here as well. According to the same ValuePenguin study and other sources, here are some of the best that offer affordable policies for perilous drivers.

  1. GEICO
  2. Allstate
  3. Nationwide
  4. Progressive

This highlights the need to check with traditional insurers before moving on to specialists because the latter is usually more expensive.

It is true that you will not have as many or as good options as a preferred or regular applicants. Nonetheless, the list of carriers that can help you will grow or shrink depending on why you are considered perilous. For example, teens can find coverage from most while someone with DUI or foreign license may have to find a dedicated firm.

Do Typical Insurers Cover Abnormal and Unsafe Motorists?

Years ago this market was much less scientific about calculating premiums. Now underwriters have much better assessment tools that can separate good from bad pretty efficiently. That is mainly because they use a few more factors when they are offering quotations.

Premium calculation algorithms have improved, and most importantly rate tiering is more prominent now than it’s ever been. Larger firms feel justified to invest in technology that allows them to break the groups into so many layers. As a result they can predict who is likely to make a claim much better and accept more of the tricky cases with recent accidents, traffic tickets and convictions.

Now top insurers can more adequately price atypical proposal and “cherry-pick” or take only the ones that meet their underwriting guidelines. Therefore larger ones will feature more and more in this market scraping the top of the barrel. Other providers dig into this market too. In other words, you really need to have pretty bad record if you have to look outside the usual suspects.

Non-Standard Auto Insurance Companies List

Below rankings are compiled by NerdWallet and are based on average complaints each firm has been receiving in recent years. The “complain index” numbers are reached by dividing each share of total complaints by their market share. An index number of 1 is the industry median. But every one on this list has higher than 1 complain index. Financial strength ratings reflect their ability to pay claims. A.M. Best considers the ones with B ratings and below to be “vulnerable”.

Rank by Avg.
Complaint Index
A.M. Best Financial
Strength Rating
1Geico Casualty1.2A++ (Superior)
2Dairyland2.0A+ (Superior)
3Titan12.0A+ (Superior)
4Safe Auto2.1A+ (Superior)
5Gainsco2.2B++ (Good)
6Victoria12.2A+ (Superior)
7Bristol West22.3A (Excellent)
8Infinity3.4A (Excellent)
9Affirmative3.6Not rated
10The General33.6A- (Excellent)
11Alliance United4.1Not rated
12Direct General4.3B (Fair)
13United Automobile5.7C (Weak)
14Access8.0Not rated

1 Subsidiaries of Nationwide Ins.
2 Subsidiary of Farmers Ins.
3 Subsidiary of American Family Ins.

Sources: Complaint data from the NAIC, A.M. Best ratings as of Sept. 5, 2015.

The market is highly concentrated geographically. Texas, California and Florida account for 59% of all direct premiums written in 2013, according to A.M. Best. The remaining 40% of business is spread more evenly throughout the US, with no other state having more than 5%. None of them writes more than 10% of the market and most have market shares of less than 2%.

Some drivers are so dangerous that they can’t qualify for even expensive policies. The“last resort” for these people is to turn to state plans designed to for them.

Things to Know about Pure High Risk Vehicle Insurance Companies

There are a few things to be mindful of when you have a checkered history, according to various sources including InsuranceJournal.

  1. Specialized carriers are usually more expensive than traditional ones. That is why you should exhaust all options by getting as many quotes as you can from typical source before you consider costlier providers.
  2. Profiles can improve in time that categorization is usually a temporary label for most. When this happens you can switch to a traditional one.
  3. At times, you may actually be getting less protection even though you are paying more with some providers.
  4. These may have high number of cancellations, reinstating and switching. This may be because large number of these policyholders may come from low-income background and simply may not have the money. That may be why some of them would consider people who want minimum liability only to be out of ordinary since it is easy to associate this behaviour with having money problems.
  5. In other words, your financial situation can quickly make you an abnormal exposure in the eyes of underwriters if you don’t watch out.
  6. Larger companies may handle these better and therefore can quote competitive premiums.
  7. A.M. Best considers firms with financial strength ratings of B and below to be “vulnerable”.
  8. Several of the specialized ones are subsidiaries of large insurers. For example, you can guess who owns Geico Casualty Co.. The General is subsidiary of American Family Ins.. Nationwide owns Titan and Victoria, and Farmers owns Bristol West.
  9. They usually get more complaints from their customers for denial of claims, unsatisfactory and delayed settlements. These policyholders may feel they were trapped due to lack of choice and this feeling may account for some of the complaints.
  10. This market sees high number of acquisitions and larger ones buy smaller firms.

Things to Remember for the Best Possible Premium

   1. Always Compare Quotations
As discussed in detail above, you never know which one comes up with the best rates for you. You may be a difficult case and already declined by several but you should keep looking for more quotes until it is clear that you run out of options and need to make a decision. Remember nonconforming underwriters aren’t always expensive. A motorist with checkered history can find a decent coverage from one of the top providers.

Luckily, online quotes and comparison websites like this one makes it a breeze. You can probably get around 10 quotes in just over an hour. When you start with a high price even a little discount can mean a lot of dollars.

   2. You Can Probably Rectify Your Status
A recent at fault accident or DUI conviction will affect rates several years. However, their affect will be less and less every year and one day they will drop from records. So, you shouldn’t despair but look ahead and avoid further aggravations. Also, you should try to overcome other issues that may make it difficult to get an ordinary policy. For example, you can try to pass state’s license tests if you have an International Permit. Or you can try to improve credit score if that is the problem.

   3. There Are Other Ways to Lower your Rate
These days there are so many ways of getting discounts. So you should check here to find out how to save money. There are a few ways outlined in that post that can help anyone to find a lower price. Discounts are offered for various reasons other than records or experience. For example, you may be able to get discounts for being a member of certain automobile associations or clubs. Another option may be to make adjustments to habits like reducing mileage to qualify for low mileage discount. Another option is pay as you go that may show you are not as bad as it looks.

   4. You May Need to Be Extra Mindful when Buying a Car
It may be over-optimistic to expect cheap full coverage with bad records. When you need to pay 4 – 5 times more you may have to look for every saving opportunity including buying only the essential. You can comfortably drop Collision and Comprehensive when you own an automobile you can afford to lose. So, it may be a good strategy to buy a cheap but reliable first car for teenager and go liability only for the first couple of years. This is just an idea and worth considering before you get too excited and end up buying any car.