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, largely in the insurance...

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UPDATED: Jul 14, 2021

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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 national 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 requirements, each state also maintains an auto insurance assigned risk plan. Under these plans, no driver may be denied auto insurance, therefore coverage is guaranteed.

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 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 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 to Find Lists in Each State

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.

High Risk Auto Insurance Categories

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 the youngest and least experienced drivers who are known to have the most accidents and other auto mishaps can be expensive.

Older drivers, those over 70 years of age, are also known to be more prone to cause accidents than their younger counterparts. 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.

Drivers who have been uninsured for a period of time or those whose insurance has lapsed for non-payment could also be placed in a high risk category and will pay significantly more for insurance for at least a period of time.

Other high risk drivers include those with bad credit, 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.

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.

Most and Least Affordable 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.

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