Millions of drivers across America have bad driving records. Maybe you’ve had a string of unlucky accidents on the road. Or maybe you’re just a really bad driver.
Whatever the situation may be, you need a car insurance quote despite your bad driving record. Today, we’re explaining everything you need to know about getting car insurance quotes with a bad driving record.
Yes, Bad Drivers Can Get Car Insurance Quotes Too
The goal of any insurance company is to analyze a driver based on certain characteristics – like your age, experience, driving history, and credit score. The insurance company uses this information to calculate your risk. If you’re deemed to be a higher risk, then the insurance company believes you’re more likely to make a claim on your insurance policy. That’s why higher risk drivers end up paying more for car insurance.
Understandably, driving history plays an enormous role in your custom car insurance quote. Drivers with even a single at-fault collision can end up paying hundreds more for their policy than drivers with a clean record.
Meanwhile, drivers with “bad” driving records can pay substantially more.
What’s Considered a Bad Driving Record?
Different insurance companies define a bad driving record in different ways.
Some insurance companies consider you to be a bad driver if you have just a single at-fault collision on your record, for example. Others will offer forgiveness for one incident, but could charge significantly higher rates for any further incidents.
In general, drivers with multiple speeding tickets, at-fault collisions, and other claims are considered to have a bad driving record. Some drivers might pay sharply higher insurance rates after a single serious traffic offense – like one DUI or DWI – despite a lack of any other claims.
If you’ve been in multiple collisions, then you can expect to pay higher rates due to your bad driving record.
Fortunately, even drivers with atrocious driving records can qualify for auto insurance. You’re always free to compare quotes among different insurers. However, you may also qualify for something called SR-22 insurance, which is a type of car insurance specifically for drivers with bad driving records.
What Is SR-22 Insurance?
SR-22 insurance is a type of auto insurance specifically designed for drivers who have been involved in certain traffic offenses. It’s designed for drivers who meet one or more of the following conditions:
- You were caught driving uninsured
- You were involved in an accident with no proof of insurance
- You have DUI or DWI convictions
- You’ve been charged with driving recklessly
- You’ve had your driver’s license revoked or suspended
SR-22 insurance is a unique type of insurance used only in rare cases. You’ll be told by a court order that you need to purchase SR-22 car insurance. SR-22 insurance is also known as a certificate of financial responsibility insurance.
SR-22 insurance allows drivers to reinstate their driving privileges following loss of insurance, an uninsured car accident, or other traffic-related offenses.
Once you’re found to be eligible for SR-22 insurance, you’re able to shop around with different SR-22 insurance carriers. Sometimes, insurance companies will specifically offer SR-22 insurance. In other cases, insurance companies will offer SR-22 insurance as part of a broader range of available auto insurance policies.
If you find yourself in need of SR-22 insurance, then it’s likely that your current insurance company has raised your rates substantially – or even canceled your policy.
When shopping for SR-22 insurance, you’ll notice that rates are substantially higher than they are with conventional auto insurance providers. That’s because you’re joining a pool of some of the highest risk drivers on the roads – which is why premiums are going to be high.
How to Shop for Cheap Auto Insurance with a Bad Driving Record
Most drivers with a bad driving record will not be ordered to get SR-22 insurance. Instead, you’ll be allowed to shop for auto insurance policies through any insurance company – just like a normal driver. The main difference is that you’ll pay significantly higher rates on vehicle insurance.
Of course, there are literally hundreds of ways to lower your insurance costs – even if you have an atrocious driving record. Here are some of the strategies individuals with bad driving records use to get cheaper insurance prices:
Register as a Secondary Driver
Sometimes, insurance is so prohibitively expensive that it’s not worth it to have your own vehicle. In this situation, you may wish to register as a secondary driver on a vehicle within your household – say, a vehicle where the primary driver is a partner or family member. This can save a considerable amount of money.
Drive an Older Vehicle
If you have a bad driving record, then you may be able to save a considerable amount of money by driving an older vehicle. Older vehicles have less replacement value. If your car is damaged or totaled in a collision, then your insurance company is required to pay less money.
Drop Collision and Comprehensive Coverage
You only need basic liability coverage to legally drive on roads in the United States. Many drivers choose to add collision and comprehensive coverage for additional protection, but it’s not required. Liability coverage covers damages you incur to other people and vehicles on the road. Some states require just $10,000 of coverage. If you want to pay cheap car insurance prices, then barebones liability insurance plans are a great way to save money.
Some insurance companies categorize bad drivers in different ways. Be sure to contact several local auto insurance companies for quotes. Apply for quotes online and compare prices from major insurance companies. The differences can be significant – especially for those with poor driving records.
If you’re a driver with a bad driving history, then you still have several options for affordable car insurance.
Most bad drivers will be able to shop around for car insurance quotes from multiple insurance companies to find the ideal quote for their needs. A bad driving history rarely disqualifies you from getting insurance, but it does force you to pay higher prices on insurance. Using certain money saving strategies, you can still get affordable car insurance as a driver with a bad driving history.
Alternatively, some drivers have such a bad driving history that they’ve been told, via court order, that they need something called SR-22 insurance, which is a special type of vehicle insurance specifically for high-risk drivers – including drivers charged with DUI or DWI, reckless driving, and multiple traffic offenses. SR-22 insurance is available through certain niche insurers and is significantly higher than ordinary car insurance – but it still allows you to legally drive on the road.
Compare auto insurance quotes online today and discover why many people with bad driving records can still save a considerable amount of money on car insurance.