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Car Insurance for Bad Drivers With Tickets or Accidents

Get cheap car insurance for bad drivers with accidents or speeding tickets on their driving record by comparing quotes online.

bad driver getting ticket

It's no secret that drivers with perfect driving records get the best insurance rates. So, what can you do if you're one of the millions of Americans with accidents, moving violation tickets or both on your driving record? Insurance agents realize that accidents happen, and that not every ticket is a sign of a high-risk driver.

Whether you’re facing a rate increase due to an at fault accident or having trouble finding coverage after multiple accidents, you have insurance options. Some insurance companies specialize in providing inexpensive coverage to high-risk drivers with accidents, tickets, or both. Others offer accident forgiveness.

Are you facing a rate increase due to a ticket or accident? It’s important to shop around and get car insurance quotes from top insurance companies.

Did a Speeding Ticket, Car Accident, or Traffic Violation Raise Your Insurance Rate?

If your insurer recently raised your rates because of an accident or moving violation ticket, look elsewhere for coverage. Car insurance customers can and should shop around Especially if they’re considered a high-risk driver based on a bad driving record.  Unlike cable and wireless phone service companies, auto insurance carriers don’t require a contract. So you’re not locked in and can change insurance companies at any time.

Additionally, contact your state’s Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) agency and request a copy of your driving record.  Just like reviewing your credit history, it’s important to periodically review your driving record. If you find citations on your driving record that shouldn’t be there, request to have them removed from your record. Depending on your state, first time offenders that complete driving safety programs after an infraction can get the infraction removed.

At QuoteWizard, we'll review your driving history and connect you with an agent that's a good fit. Don't assume you're going to get the same high rates with every company just because of multiple tickets or accidents. Each auto insurance company has a unique way of determining risk—it's not an exact science. We can help you find the best car insurance for bad driving records.

Every company has their own equations to calculate your rates. Some insurance companies care more about accidents and violations than others. Some even offer accident forgiveness. That’s why shopping around is so important.

Best Insurance Companies for Accident Forgiveness

To find which companies have the lowest rate increases after an accident or violation, QuoteWizard analyzed insurance rate data from Quadrant Information Services. We compared insurance rates for people with a clean driving record to drivers with a recent incident, like a ticket or accident.

The data shows that, on average, insurance rates increase by 26 percent after a single incident! Whether it’s a speeding ticket, running a red light, or causing an accident, one thing is certain – your insurance rates will suffer.

But not every company treats these incidents equally. Quadrant data shows that these companies have the lowest average rate increases after a ticket or accident:

Companies With Lowest Rate Increase After an Incident
Company Rate Increase
Nationwide 10 percent
Progressive 12 percent
Safeco 12 percent
Travelers 16 percent
American Family 18 percent
Note: Average rate increases are based on non-binding estimates provided by Quadrant Information Services. Your rates may vary.

Have You Been Dropped from Your Auto Insurance Carrier Due to Multiple Car Accidents or Tickets?

Some drivers will have their insurance cancelled or non-renewed by their insurance company. This is most likely due to multiple accidents, tickets or a bad driving record. If this happens to you, we suggest contacting several auto insurance companies for quotes. Some states have programs that offer car insurance for bad drivers who lose their insurance. This allows them to continue driving a vehicle while maintaining the minimum insurance requirements. Oklahoma is an example of one state that has such a program.

Drivers with really bad driving records may have to find insurance through a high-risk/non-preferred insurer. These high-risk car insurance companies are required by most state DMVs to have an SR-22.  This is sometimes referred to as a certificate of financial responsibility insurance. An SR-22 enables drivers to reinstate their driving privileges following loss of insurance, an uninsured car accident or other traffic-related offense.

Best Car Insurance Companies for High-Risk Drivers

It'd be nice to have a perfect driving record—or a flawless SAT scores and perfect teeth. But not everyone does. Don't let a few minor slip-ups keep you from cheap auto insurance. There are insurance companies for every kind of driving record.

In fact, some insurance companies specialize in covering high-risk drivers.


If you’re a high-risk driver, Acceptance has you covered. Take a hint from their name – they accept drivers of all kind, no matter how bad their driving record is. Be aware that Acceptance only sells policies in 17 states.

The General

Though you might associate The General with their military-inspired mascot or famous spokesman Shaquille O’Neal, they also offer great high-risk insurance. According to their website, “The General specializes in providing auto insurance for drivers who fall into that high-risk category.” They state that they cover all kinds of high-risk drivers:

  • Under the age 20
  • Over the age of 70
  • With a history of tickets or accidents

Safe Auto

If you need high-risk insurance, Safe Auto is a good bet. They sell all standard insurance, and they specialize in SR-22 and minimum coverage policies. Unlike other high-risk companies, Safe Auto customers benefit from multiple discounts. That includes defensive driving courses, multi vehicle, and home owner discounts.

When Does it Make Sense to Switch to a High-Risk Insurance Company?

Unfortunately, this decision is usually made for you. In other words, you should only switch to a high-risk insurance company once you become high-risk.

How do you know if you’re considered a high-risk driver? If you’ve racked up multiple moving violations or at-fault accidents in the last three to five years, you’re probably a high-risk driver. Another way to tell is if your insurance company raises your rates astronomically, or if they decide to cancel your coverage.

If your regular insurance company drops you or raises your rate through the roof, you have options. Get a quote from a high-risk insurance company to see how much you can save.

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Bad Driving Record Insurance Q & A

Q: How long do tickets/accidents points stay on your driving record?

A: It depends on which state you live in. Generally, it depends on the severity of the infraction. Most moving violations remain on your record for 3-5 years. More severe violations like reckless driving can remain on your record for 10-15 years. For more information specific to you, we recommend reaching out to your state’s Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV).

Q: How Many accidents or tickets does it take to be considered a high-risk driver?

A: It depends on the state you live in and how many points are on your driving record.  There isn’t a “one size fits all” evaluation that put a driver into a “high risk” status. Some insurance companies will consider you high risk and raise your premiums or drop you from their policy from just one accident.  Others will allow more depending on differing circumstances.

Q: How much does high risk auto insurance cost?

A: The short answer is, it depends.  Not all high-risk car insurance is the same and it’s not possible to lump them together in one group.  There are several factors that go into the pricing of car insurance for bad drivers:

  • Driving record
  • State and zip code you live in
  • Type of car you’re driving
  • Coverage
  • Credit score
  • Age
  • Marital status

We’ve seen high risk car insurance premiums range from hundreds to thousands of dollars.  That’s why it’s important to do your homework and shop around. We recommend getting quotes from at least three different insurance companies. Once you’ve had auto insurance for at least six months, get quotes again. Be sure to say you’ve had continuous insurance for the past 6 months and they’ll most likely provide better prices.

Q: How Much Does Insurance Go Up After an Accident?

A: It depends on whether you were at fault. It also depends on the size of the claim resulting from the accident. If the accident involves gross negligence (think DWI), you could be dropped by your car insurance company. This means you’ll pay a lot more for insurance. That's because you’ll be considered “high risk” and need high risk auto insurance.

Keep in mind that auto insurance companies can’t change premiums in the middle of your policy’s term for any reason. Rate increases can only occur during policy renewals. So, say your accident happened in January and your policy doesn’t renew until July. Several months will pass before you receive any related rate increase.

This is important because it gives you time to get quotes from several auto insurance carriers.  Of course, they’ll see your accident and rate you accordingly. However, the chances are good you’ll be able to find cheaper car insurance.

Q: Where can I find the cheapest quote online for high risk auto insurance?

A: Why, at QuoteWizard of course!

Q: What causes an auto insurance company to be classified high risk/non-preferred?

A: Car insurance companies aren’t high risk, the drivers they insure are.  Insurance companies that cater to high risk drivers are generally willing to:

  • File an SR22 with the state you live in
  • Write an operator exclusion form
  • Insure drivers that have a DUI, more than two at fault accidents in three years or more than three moving violations
  • Cover drivers with no prior insurance coverage or a lapse in coverage of more than 30 days
  • Insure drivers under 20, over 70 or have a low credit score (usually below 550, but that number can vary)

Preferred car insurance companies won’t do any of the above listed items. And once you move to a high risk/non-preferred car insurance company, it’s difficult to move to a company that offered preferred or super preferred rates. You'll have to have a standard policy with a preferred auto insurance carrier for one year. At least, before they'll move you to preferred or super preferred rates.

Q: Can you get insurance with a suspended license?

A: Yes, however, it depends on which state you live in.  Most states offer some kind of program for high risk or suspended license drivers. Contact your states Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) for specific details related to where you live. These programs work with car insurance companies that specialize in insuring high-risk drivers. Their rates will differ among the various companies and could be very high. That’s why it’s so important to shop around and get at least three different quotes.

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