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How to Get Car Insurance with a Bad Driving Record

Having a hard time getting auto insurance because of your poor driving record? Read on to learn how you can find an affordable policy.

skid marks on road from bad driver

If you have violations on your driving record, like speeding tickets, DUIs or accidents, you may be considered a high-risk driver. Drivers with bad driving records typically pay more for car insurance. We found that State Farm policies have the smallest rate increase for drivers with a bad record, jumping 37% after a single accident. In general, though, we found that a driver’s policy price can increase up to 95%, depending on the severity of the traffic violation or accident.

If you need to get car insurance but have a bad driving record, there are plenty of options to consider. This article analyzes the cheapest car insurance companies for bad drivers and how to get auto insurance if you have a bad driving record, including:

Car insurance companies with the cheapest policies for bad drivers

According to our data, State Farm has the lowest rate increase after a single accident, compared to other major insurance companies. Our data shows that State Farm policies increase by about 37% after an accident, whereas other companies increase their rates 54% to 55%.

Insurance company Rate increase after one accident
GEICO 55%
Allstate 54%
State Farm 37%
Progressive 54%
Note: Average rate increases are based on non-binding estimates provided by Quadrant Information Services. Your rates may vary.1

We broke down how much each company raises their rates after a traffic violation based on the type of citation or accident. This is how a traffic violation (or several) may impact your rates, depending on your insurer:

GEICO

Type of accident or violation Average annual insurance premium
No accidents $1,670
One speeding ticket $1,939
One accident $2,590
Two accidents $3,424
Note: Average rate increases are based on non-binding estimates provided by Quadrant Information Services. Your rates may vary.1

Allstate

Type of accident or violation Average annual insurance premium
No accidents $2,113
One speeding ticket $2,584
One accident $3,248
Two accidents $4,466
Note: Average rate increases are based on non-binding estimates provided by Quadrant Information Services. Your rates may vary.1

State Farm

Type of accident or violation Average annual insurance premium
No accidents $1,608
One speeding ticket $1,971
One accident $2,197
Two accidents $3,145
Note: Average rate increases are based on non-binding estimates provided by Quadrant Information Services. Your rates may vary.1

Progressive

Type of accident or violation Average annual insurance premium
No accidents $2,000
One speeding ticket $2,278
One accident $3,076
Two accidents $3,086
Note: Average rate increases are based on non-binding estimates provided by Quadrant Information Services. Your rates may vary.1

How much does bad driving increase your rates? How much should you expect your rates to increase after an accident or speeding ticket? We looked at several types of accidents and violations, then compared how much rates increased based on these citations. According to our data, premiums can increase anywhere from 3% to 95% after a traffic accident or violation, depending on the severity.

Type of accident or violation Average percent increase
One not at-fault accident 3%
One speeding ticket $18%
One accident with $3,000 in property damage costs 44%
One accident with $3,000 in bodily injury costs 55%
Two accidents with $3,000 in property damage costs each 81%
Two accident with $3,000 in bodily injury costs each 95%
Note: Average rate increases are based on non-binding estimates provided by Quadrant Information Services. Your rates may vary.1

 

According to our data, being in an accident you weren’t at fault for may cause your rates to increase by 3% on average. That’s the smallest increase you’ll see for the traffic violations we analyzed. The largest increase resulted from two accidents, each with $3,000 in bodily injury costs. Being involved in accidents of that severity may increase your rates 95%.

How to get car insurance if you’re considered a bad driver

If you’re having a hard time finding a car insurance company that will accept you after a traffic violation, there are steps you can take to increase your chances of getting a policy.

Review your driving record

The first step to finding affordable auto insurance with a bad driving record is to look into what caused your rates to spike or your policy to be dropped.

That will go a long way toward helping you figure out how your driving record may affect your rates down the road and how you may be able to compensate for it.

Motor vehicle report

When you're ticketed or arrested for a traffic offense, your state’s Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) adds that information to your motor vehicle report (MVR), or driving record.

Most states’ DMVs use a point system that adds points to a person’s driving record for different moving violations. Luckily, not all violations are equal in the eyes of the state. Some “earn” you more points than others.

In other words, if the police cite you for having tinted windows or parking illegally, you’ll most likely just have to pay a fine. But anything more than that could put points on your record.

For example, in California, speeding, an illegal U-turn or crossing a double-yellow line can get you one point. Offenses like reckless driving and hit-and-run collisions can get you two points. Other violations, like DUI or driving without insurance, can result in an automatic suspension of your license.

If you receive too many of these points in a short amount of time, your license may be restricted or suspended.

Determine the coverage you need

Another thing you can do to find affordable auto insurance with a bad driving record is to re-evaluate your coverage.

Many people with traffic infractions buy the bare minimum of car insurance. Why? Because it’s the cheapest option. But being a high-risk driver means just that — there’s an increased risk you could get into another accident or get another ticket.

To compensate for that increased risk, you may need to buy high-risk auto insurance, and there are ways to do so without breaking the bank.

On top of liability coverage, you may purchase other kinds of car insurance coverage, too, like collision and comprehensive coverages. Also consider medical payments, personal injury protection (PIP), and uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage. They aren’t as expensive as typically advertised. You just need to shop around for the best price.

Compare companies

Probably the most straightforward and efficient way to find affordable auto insurance is to shop around. Yes, a tainted driving record will likely raise your rates and, yes, some insurers may deny you coverage because of it. But you’ll never know what else is out there if you don’t compare auto insurance rates from different companies.

Methodology

1The driver profile we analyzed owns a 2014 Honda Accord and selects the minimum liability coverage required auto policy. The profile was a 30-year-old single man with a clean driving history. The driver travels 15,000 miles annually in the vehicle.

We sampled all ZIP codes in California, New York, Texas, Illinois and Pennsylvania. When we analyzed rates by insurance company, we excluded rates from Texas. Average rates are based on non-binding estimates provided by Quadrant Information Services. Your rates may vary.

These are the six different scenarios we analyzed:

  • The driver is involved in, but is not at fault for, one accident.
  • The driver causes one at-fault accident with $3,000 in property damage.
  • The driver causes two at-fault accidents with $3,000 in property damage for each accident.
  • The driver causes one at-fault accident with $3,000 in bodily injury.
  • The driver causes two at-fault accidents with $3,000 in bodily injury for each accident.
  • The driver is found speeding six to 10 miles per hour above the speed limit.

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