A former insurance producer, Laura understands that education is key when it comes to buying insurance. She has happily dedicated many hours to helping her clients understand how the insurance marketplace works so they can find the best car, home, and life insurance products for their needs.

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Leslie Kasperowicz holds a BA in Social Sciences from the University of Winnipeg. She spent several years as a Farmers Insurance CSR, gaining a solid understanding of insurance products, including home, life, auto, and commercial, and working directly with insurance customers to understand their needs. She has since used that knowledge in her more than ten years as a writer, mainly in the insuranc...

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Reviewed by Leslie Kasperowicz
Farmers Insurance CSR 4 Years Leslie Kasperowicz

UPDATED: Apr 29, 2022

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High-risk or non-standard auto insurance policies are written by approximately 400 insurance provider specialists across the U.S. These companies belong to about 60 major insurance groups. Major insurance companies such as Geico, Progressive, and Allstate have high risk programs in place and are popular choices for drivers in need of such coverage.

Whatever your risk level, you’ll find the best car insurance coverage when you put your ZIP code in the FREE box on this page!

Each state has laws that state all drivers of a motor vehicle must have at least the required minimum liability insurance coverage. Because of these minimum coverage requirements, each state also maintains an auto insurance assigned risk plan. Under these plans, high-risk drivers are guaranteed coverage.

What is an assigned risk plan?

Drivers who only qualify for auto coverage in the assigned risk category can expect to pay premiums that are several times higher than the national average.

If high-risk drivers are unable to find auto insurance through a regular carrier that offers non-standard policies, they will be assigned to their state’s assigned risk plan.

The assigned risk plan, also known as the state risk pool, is a general insurance fund set aside for the specific purpose of providing at least minimum liability coverage for those motorists who cannot find insurance through more conventional insurance sources.

Remember, while private insurance companies are not required by law to offer you car insurance, the state in which you reside must provide you with auto insurance coverage if you are able to pay the premiums they charge. Of course, this also takes for granted that a high risk insurance applicant is duly licensed and has the legal right to own and operate a motor vehicle.

Those drivers, who have forfeited their driver’s licenses or are otherwise legally barred from driving or even owning a motor vehicle, will not be able to lawfully purchase auto insurance even through the assigned risk plan.

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Where can you find a non-standard insurance company?

Information about the automobile insurance assigned risk plan is available through the DMV, the Department of Motor Vehicles, in each state. The DMV may also have a list of non-standard auto insurers licensed to do business in each state. Contacting the State Insurance Department can also be helpful.

The National Association of Insurance Commissioners website provides a listing of state insurance department websites.

What is high-risk auto insurance?

High risk insurance policies are expensive, running two to three times the cost of regular auto coverage. Drivers may be placed in a high risk insurance category for a number of reasons. Risk factors include age. Car insurance for teen drivers and others who are inexperienced can be expensive, as these drivers are expected to have more auto accidents and other mishaps.

Older drivers, those over 70 years of age, are also known to be more prone to cause accidents than their younger counterparts. A single traffic violation will not get you placed in the high-risk pool, but drivers who have had numerous traffic violations and citations and individuals who have been convicted of alcohol or drug related offenses will also be included among the highest risks for auto coverage. The same goes for those who have been cited for reckless driving.

Drivers who have been uninsured for a period of time or those who have a lapse in coverage because of non-payment could also be placed in a high risk category and will pay a significantly higher insurance premium for at least a period of time.

Other high-risk drivers include those with a bad credit score, and those with certain medical conditions that could affect their driving ability. In general, the highest risk drivers are males under the age of 25. The lowest risk drivers are middle-aged, non-smoking females. This demographic will have the easiest time finding affordable coverage.

Even where you live is considered when assessing your risk level for determining auto insurance premiums. If you live in a high crime area or you drive an expensive sports car or other luxury vehicle, you can expect to pay higher insurance premiums for the privilege.

How can you save money on auto insurance?

If you don’t have a clean driving record, it can be difficult to find an affordable rate for auto insurance. To save money, you can raise your deductibles and drop unnecessary coverages from your auto policy. You can also ask your auto insurance provider if there are any discounts available that you’re not currently receiving. Common auto insurance discounts include:

  • Good student discount
  • Vehicle safety features discount
  • Defensive driving course discount
  • Multi-vehicle discount
  • Multi-policy discount

High-risk car insurance is expensive, so it’s important to talk to your auto insurance company and make sure you’re taking advantage of all savings opportunities you’re entitled to.

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What are the most and least expensive states for auto insurance?

USA Today, surveyed insurance rates across the U.S. and found that, out of all the 50 states, Massachusetts has the most affordable car insurance rates in the nation.

At the other end of the scale, Louisiana was found to be the least affordable area in the country for car insurance. Affordability was determined by comparing the median income in each area with the average cost of a car insurance policy.

While it may be impractical to move to another state just to save on auto insurance, just avoiding the problems and issues listed above will help motorists save on insurance premiums and avoid being placed in a high risk category.

What’s the bottom line?

You should be able to find non-standard car insurance by getting in touch with your local Department of Motor Vehicles or state insurance department.

If you qualify for a standard policy, it’s important to get auto insurance quotes from multiple insurance carriers and ask about any discounts you might be entitled to.

If you have a poor driving history, you can always turn things around. Focus on improving your driving habits and you’ll be able to reduce your insurance costs over time.

Place your ZIP code in the FREE box provided to find some great car insurance rates in your area!