Getting Auto Insurance for High-Risk Drivers

How to Get Car Insurance if You Have a Bad Driving Record

Having multiple speeding tickets or being at fault in an accident can put you at high risk of having your auto insurance rates increased. If your driving record includes a DUI, driving recklessly, or driving with a suspended license, your insurance company could drop you. This can put you in a tough spot since you need auto insurance to register a car. California requires minimum liability coverage, and most bank lenders require full coverage if you still have a car loan.

Nonstandard Insurance Coverage 

If your insurer considers you high-risk and cancels your policy, getting insurance with a mainstream company offering the best rates can be challenging. California mandates that high-risk drivers have access to nonstandard insurance policies to continue to get from point A to point B, regardless of their driving record. However, it will cost a lot more. How much more will depend on your gender, age, type of car, and the severity of your wrongdoing.

The nonstandard insurance policies for high-risk drivers are called “assigned risk” or “residual market” policies. According to recent data from the Consumer Federation of America (CFA), about 7 percent of U.S. drivers are covered by a nonstandard insurance policy.

Recommended Car Insurance Companies

If you are dropped from your car insurance company, you could still get a policy from another carrier. Check out this list of recommended car insurance companies from Consumer Reports. The companies have their own guidelines regarding who they will insure. Those with a bad driving record will most likely have to pay higher rates for coverage, so it is essential to shop around and be more diligent.

California Low-Cost Automobile Insurance Program

If you strike out with all the mainstream car insurance companies, California has several programs to ensure you can still get coverage. One of the programs is the California Low-Cost Automobile Insurance Program. It was implemented in 2000 by the California Legislature to address uninsured motorists in the state. This program aims to provide affordable auto insurance to drivers with financial needs.

The requirements include liability limits of:

  • $10,000 for bodily injury or death per person
  • $20,000 for bodily injury for each accident
  • $3,000 for property damage for each accident

Optional coverages consist of:

  • Medical Payments Coverage at $1,000 per person
  • Uninsured Motorist Bodily Injury at $10,000/$20,000

The cost of this insurance is based on the county where you live.

Improve Your Standing with an Insurance Company

Insurance companies will eventually put the past behind them, but how long that takes is up to the specific insurance carrier. However, there are some steps you can take to get into good graces with the insurance company.

  • Drive More Defensively – Heeding speed limits and traffic rules can lower car insurance rates. It’s also wise to avoid other types of aggressive driving that can lead to a ticket, such as running red lights, failing to yield the right of way, and driving under the influence.
  • Don’t Drive Distracted – Resisting the temptation to use your phone while driving will reduce your likelihood of getting into an accident. Some insurance companies offer a discount if you participate in a program that allows them to track your driving habits.
  • Take a Driving Course – A defensive driving course can help lower your insurance rates. However, any remaining points on your record can still have an impact. Many courses are offered online, but make sure the one you choose is accepted by the DMV. Searching the DMV website can help identify the right course and if it is available in your county. Those with a good driving record can save about 10 percent by taking a 6-hour online course.

Watch the YouTube video below to learn how to get affordable car insurance with a bad driving record.

Personal Injury Lawyer in Sacramento

I’m Ed Smith, a Personal Injury Attorney. If you’ve been seriously injured in an accident, seeking legal advice as soon as possible is essential. Our team of experienced injury lawyers is here to help you navigate the legal process and get the compensation you deserve. We offer free, friendly advice to all our clients and will work tirelessly to protect your rights. Don’t wait to get the help you need. Call us today at (916) 921-6400 or (800) 404-5400 to schedule your free consultation.

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