How to Get Car Insurance With a Bad Driving Record

Ways to Save Money on High-Risk Auto Insurance

Ride a Bike

Maskot/Getty Images

Bad driving records are not all that uncommon. It is not always easy to abide by traffic laws 100 percent of the time, and the police are constantly on the lookout. Car insurance becomes a little bit trickier with a bad record and by trickier, we mean more expensive. It can also be tough to find an insurance carrier willing to insure you depending on how bad your bad driving record is really.

Begin by Shopping for Car Insurance

Most of the time, if you recently received a major traffic violation or your third minor violation, it is time to start shopping. Your old carrier is probably either going to jack up your rates sky high or possibly non-renew your policy effectively terminating your relationship.

Start at the high-risk agencies who deal with non-standard auto policies. They will have a few options for you when it comes to deciding on the right carrier. Hopefully, you will be treated with respect no matter which agency you go to, but sometimes going to an agent that deals with high-risk drivers on a daily basis will be your best bet for good service. A high-risk agent is going to be very familiar with SR 22 filings if you need one and obtaining your new policy should be easy.

Be forthcoming with your driving record. Some insurance agents manually put in your driving record based on the information you give them. They do not run the actual driving record until you agree to purchase the policy. It is becoming standard procedure because more and more often the agents are paying the cost of running a driving record if a policy is not purchased. Therefore, if you want an accurate quote, you need to provide accurate information.

Think About Reducing Coverage

Comprehensive and collision rates soar when a driver has a bad driving record. Removing comprehensive and collision can reduce your overall costs significantly. Is your car too nice to drive without full coverage? Unfortunately, it might be time to sell your fancy vehicle and get something more affordable. Stick with a used mid-sized vehicle with good safety features, preferably one that you feel comfortable driving without comprehensive and collision coverage. 

Discounts for High-Risk Drivers

Even high-risk insurance agencies offer discounts. Check for a financial stability discount, homeowner discount, multi-policy discount, and prior proof of insurance discount just to name a few. Ask your insurance agent what you are missing, so you can verify whether or not you should be receiving the discount.

Select the Best Payment Plan

Did you know you can save money based on which payment plan you select? Make sure you let the insurance agent know if you can pay in full because that usually gets you a discounted rate. Even selecting to pay with automatic withdraw from your bank account or credit card can save you significantly versus paying through the mail.

Stay Positive and Insured

High-risk drivers often find it difficult to stay insured. Whether you think it's not fair or you think you are going to be high risk forever, that mentality is going to keep you high risk. Letting your car insurance lapse is one of the most common ways people stay high risk for extended periods of time. Your points will drop off, but if you do not keep your car insurance active, you are likely to keep paying high-risk rates for a very long time.