Car Insurance for a Bad Driving Record 

Insurance for bad drivers is going to cost more than for standard drivers. You may wonder if it is even possible to get affordable car insurance with a bad driving record. The answer is yes! Do a little comparison shopping and take advantage of every possible way to cut costs. Run the numbers, and you may find yourself pleasantly surprised. 

Once you have found affordable car insurance with a bad driving record, work hard to make that bad driving record a thing of the past. Take care to obey the rules of the road and keep your car in good working order. Once your violations are no longer part of your record, which usually takes three years, you likely qualify for lower rates. 

Bad Driving Record – Violations & Accidents

How much more you will pay depends on the types of violations on your driving record. Traffic tickets usually stay on record for three years, but it could be longer depending on your insurer and your state. A speeding conviction can mean paying thousands more in premiums, depending on where you live. Reckless driving violations could potentially double your premium in some areas.

Arguably the most serious charge, and the one raising insurance premiums the most, is a conviction for driving under the influence. Your state may require that a DUI remain on your record for a decade or more.

Any accident for which you were at fault will raise premiums. Even minor accidents will result in higher payments.  

Any of these violations can place you in the high-risk driver category. The good news is that insurance carriers vary in how much weight they give to any particular violation (based partially on state laws). If you have a history of traffic tickets (or for not showing up in traffic court), you may find that some insurers charge much less in premiums for these offenses than other insurers. This makes selecting the right car insurance carrier especially important. Search for affordable car insurance with your individual driving violations or prior accidents top of mind.

Always know the status of your driving violations. Once the violation drops off your driving record, reach out to your insurance company right away and make sure they are no longer considering that violation when setting your rate.

Woman in a white vehicle being pulled over by a police officer. She may need bad driving record insurance.

Cost Cutting on Car Insurance

While drivers with bad records can expect to pay more for insurance, there are many ways to attempt to lower your premiums. 

If you own your car outright rather than lease it or owe payments, and if it makes sense in your particular situation, you could consider reducing costs by cutting your comprehensive and collision coverage. (This isn’t usually an option for leaseholders or those with car loans, as lenders typically require comprehensive and collision coverage.) Cutting comprehensive and collision coverage can be a way to cut car insurance expenses if your vehicle is older with high mileage.

If you have a newer vehicle with low miles, think about whether you really need a car that costs a lot to insure. You might save money by trading that vehicle in for a smaller, less expensive vehicle that doesn’t cost as much to insure or to maintain.

Raising your deductible can also help keep your insurance premium low. You will have to pay more out-of-pocket with a higher deductible if there is an accident, but if you remain collision-free, you’ve saved money on your insurance.

However, a high deductible is not the best option for everyone. If you can’t afford to pay more out-of-pocket if your car does need repairs, stick with the lower deductible. You don’t want to get yourself into a situation where the car is not usable because repairs are too expensive. The General’s® award-winning mobile app lets you decide the right deductible for your needs. 

Boost Your Credit Score

A good credit score assists you in so many ways. You can qualify for lower interest rates on all kinds of loans and pay less in credit card fees. Improving your credit score will also lower your auto insurance premiums! Insurers consider drivers with poor credit far riskier than those with higher scores, and those with lower scores end up paying more money for insurance coverage. 

How do you raise your credit score? It’s important to pay all of your bills on time, always. Pay down balances on credit card debt and avoid opening new credit card accounts. Credit reporting bureaus rely heavily on credit utilization ratios (CRUs) when it comes to scoring. A CRU is an amount of credit you have versus the amount you actually use. For example, if you have a credit card with a $5,000 limit and you owe $2,500, your CRU is 50 percent. Insurers like to see a CRU of around 30 percent.

Check your credit score online and find out which of the factors in the credit score determination are keeping you from getting a better score. When you know exactly which issues are primarily responsible for keeping your score low, you can get to work on fixing them. 

Person checking their credit score on a laptop to save on bad driving record car insurance.

Comparison Shopping 

The best way to find insurance for bad drivers is by comparison shopping. If you know what cost-cutting measures to pursue, you could find that your high-risk auto insurance doesn’t cost a lot more than a standard policy. 

Get a minimum of three car insurance quotes for comparison’s sake. Always give correct information when applying for online quotes, since the insurance company checks your driving history and will learn if you were not forthcoming. The quotes you receive when you leave out information aren’t valid. 

Usually, the three quotes are in the same ballpark. Differences exist, but if one company is a lot cheaper than the other two, find out why before buying the coverage. It’s important to compare apples to apples. Understand the kind of coverage you need as an individual and what the policy offers. 

Keeping Car Insurance Affordable

As we know, life happens. That’s why there are so many drivers out there seeking cheap car insurance for bad driving records. One way to keep rates affordable is by paying out-of-pocket for certain minor collisions. Most insurance do companies require drivers to report all accidents involving other vehicles and failure to do this can jeopardize coverage if the failure to report is discovered. 

However, there are circumstances in which it may make more sense not to report the accident, pay for the damage yourself, and not worry about increasing your premiums. If you hit an object on your own property, such as a mailbox or tree, take your car to the repair shop and receive an estimate. Look online to see how much such a collision would raise insurance premiums in your state, on average. Calculate the repair costs minus your deductible, and figure out by how much your premiums will go up. You will be able to determine quickly if paying for the repairs yourself is the cheaper option.

Note that this alternative is only possible when you damage your car on your own property and whatever you hit also belongs to you. In other words, there is no other party involved. If you have a similar collision but hit your neighbor’s mailbox, you must report the accident to your insurer if required by your policy, since another party, your neighbor, is now involved. Check your policy to know what is required by your insurer should you get into an accident.

Insurance for Bad Drivers

Not every company offers insurance for bad drivers. That’s why you should go with a company specializing in covering high-risk drivers. Since 1965, The General® has provided cheap car insurance for bad driving records. Our reputation for helping those with bad driving records obtain coverage is second to none. We’re one of the best-known insurance companies in the industry.

Drivers must trust that their insurance company has their back when an accident occurs, and The General® is always there for you. 

The General® Can Help

If you have a less than stellar driving record and seek car insurance for bad drivers, you’ve come to the right place. At The General®, in most states, we can file your SR22 certificate, while helping you buy an affordable car insurance policy. Since this filing fee is included in your insurance quote, there are no hidden charges. Just make sure to let us know you need an SR-22 filing when you go online for your free quote. 

We offer our high-risk customers the same flexible payment options as standard drivers. You can pay via debit or credit card or in cash, and when it comes to car insurance, we want to make the entire process as quick, easy, and affordable as possible, and we succeed.