Can I Get Auto Insurance If I Have a Criminal Record?
Last Updated on October 21, 2020
If you have a criminal record in the United States, then you face many unique challenges – from employment to auto insurance.
Yes, you can get auto insurance if you have a criminal record. Approximately 1 in 3 Americans have a criminal record – if drivers with a criminal record could not obtain car insurance, then millions would drive without insurance.
In fact, most people with criminal records pay the exact same rates for car insurance as people without a criminal record. If you have a driving-related conviction, then you could pay higher premiums, but many people with a criminal record pay the same rates for car insurance.
By following certain strategies, Americans with a criminal record can pay cheaper rates for car insurance than Americans without a criminal record.
Today, we’re explaining everything you need to know about getting auto insurance if you have a criminal record.
How a Criminal Record Affects Car Insurance
Criminal records can impact car insurance premiums. However, most criminal records do not raise or lower insurance premiums.
Driving-related criminal convictions will impact car insurance. If you were convicted of driving under the influence, for example, then you will face higher car insurance rates. Your car insurance application may even be denied.
If your criminal conviction was not related to your driving habits, then your criminal record may not impact car insurance whatsoever. However, if you were criminally convicted of driving under the influence, reckless driving, speeding, or similar crimes, then you will face higher auto insurance penalties.
If you received a DUI, reckless driving, or speeding charge, then you are considered a high-risk driver. You have a history of engaging in dangerous driving behavior, and you have been criminally convicted of that behavior. Statistically, you’re a riskier driver for your insurer to insure, and your insurer will charge higher premiums.
Minor Driving Infractions Can Impact Car Insurance Premiums
You don’t have to have a criminal conviction to pay higher car insurance premiums. In fact, many people see higher car insurance premiums after a single speeding ticket or a minor infraction.
Some insurance companies ignore a single speeding ticket, especially if you were caught only a few miles over the speed limit. Many insurance companies, however, will charge higher premiums after one or two speeding tickets – especially if you were caught driving at high speeds.
Can Car Insurance Companies See My Criminal Record?
Insurance companies check your motor vehicle report when you apply for car insurance. This motor vehicle report comes from the DMV (or any other similar state organization).
Your motor vehicle report is different from your criminal record. However, it may display criminal convictions related to your driving habits.
Some of the things insurers can see on your motor vehicle report include:
- License suspensions
- Criminal convictions
States treat convictions differently. Some states allow insurance companies to view this information dating back 12 years, while other states prevent insurers from tracking information beyond 3 or 5 years.
How Long Does It Take for Criminal Convictions to Disappear from my Driving Record?
Depending on your state, most insurance companies can view this information dating back 5 to 7 years.
Certain states track serious convictions over a longer period of time. Many states track DUIs over the last 8 to 12 years, for example. If you were convicted of a DUI, then you might pay higher insurance premiums for over a decade.
It’s important to note the difference between a driving record and a criminal record. A DUI (and any other serious conviction) generally stays on your criminal record for life, although it may disappear from your driving record within a few years.
Types of Felonies
All types of crimes can impact insurance rates – from minor speeding tickets to DUIs that caused multiple fatalities.
Generally, a minor speeding ticket impacts insurance premiums less than a DUI. And a DUI without fatalities or injuries impacts car insurance premiums less than a DUI with multiple fatalities or injuries.
Similarly, some people are arrested for a crime but never convicted. Generally, arrests without convictions are expunged from your driving record, and your insurer cannot view this information.
Crimes that Impact Car Insurance Rates
Anything from a speeding ticket to a multi-fatality DUI accident can impact car insurance premiums. Some of the crimes that impact car insurance rates include:
- Vehicular homicide or manslaughter
- DUIs or DWIs
- Reckless driving
- Driving without a license
- Hit and run offenses
- Insurance fraud
- Speeding tickets and other moving violations
Whether it’s a minor ticket or a criminal conviction, your history could impact future car insurance premiums.
How Much More Will I Pay for Car Insurance with a Criminal Record?
As a driver with a criminal record, you could pay significantly higher rates for car insurance than a driver with a clean record.
Statistically, here’s approximately how much you can expect to pay for car insurance with and without a criminal record:
- Clean Record: $1,400
- DUI: $2,600
- Reckless Driving or Racing Violations: $2,500
- Driving with a Suspended License: $2,000
- Speeding Ticket: $1,600
- Non-Driving Felonies: $1,400 (insurance rates unaffected)
All premiums are calculated per year. A driver with a clean record will pay around $1,400 per year for car insurance, while a driver with DUIs or reckless driving convictions will pay $2,500.
These prices vary widely depending on your state, your insurance company, and your driving record. An insurance company might overlook a single speeding ticket if you have an otherwise clean record, for example, but the insurance company will not overlook a DUI that occurred 9 years ago.
Best Car Insurance Company for Drivers with a Criminal Record
Certain car insurance companies are better for drivers with a criminal record than others. Some companies are known for welcoming drivers with a criminal record, while other companies avoid their business.
Some of the best car insurance companies for drivers with a criminal record include:
- State Farm
Other companies are relatively harsh towards drivers with a criminal record. Allstate, GEICO, and Liberty Mutual, for example, might double or triple insurance premiums after a criminal conviction or DUI.
As with all car insurance queries in the United States, rates vary widely based on your state and company. GEICO is harsh towards drivers with a criminal record in some states but not others, for example, while USAA is relatively harsh towards drivers with a DUI in other states.
Check Quotes from Multiple Insurance Companies
Statistically, drivers with criminal records are riskier to insure than drivers without criminal records.
Some insurance companies are particularly harsh towards drivers with a criminal record, while other insurance companies are not. Some insurance companies charge you twice as much for having a criminal record, while other insurance companies only charge 10% more.
Based on your type of conviction, you could also pay vastly different rates between insurance companies. One insurance company might charge 100% higher premiums for a DUI, for example, while another insurance company ignores your first speeding ticket.
For all of these reasons, it’s crucial to compare as many car insurance quotes as possible – especially with a criminal record.
Final Word – Auto Insurance With a Criminal Record
Yes, you can get car insurance if you have a criminal record. In fact, you should not pay higher rates for car insurance with a criminal record – as long as the criminal convicted was not related to driving.
If you are convicted of driving under the influence, speeding, or reckless driving, then you will pay higher rates for car insurance. However, for other crimes unrelated to driving, you may pay the same rates for car insurance regardless of your crime.
Compare car insurance quotes today to find the best car insurance provider for your area and criminal history.