Affordable Car Insurance for Drivers with a Recent Ticket, Accident, or DUI
For drivers with incidents on their record, car insurance can be tricky. Insurance companies tend to group drivers with tickets, accidents, or DUIs on record as being “high-risk,” which in turn means that these drivers are often charged more for coverage. This doesn’t necessarily have to be the case, though. If you’re hoping to avoid some of these extra costs, one good place to start is shopping for a new policy altogether.
Drivers with tickets and accidents will likely find the application and quotes process to be the same as it is for any driver trying to change policies, with the added caveat that any incidents be disclosed. For drivers with a DUI, however, there are some extra steps.
Get the Best Quotes for Drivers with Accidents, Tickets, or DUIs:
Car Insurance After a DUI: The SR-22 Form
In most states, drivers convicted of a DUI must ask their insurance companies to file an SR-22 on their behalf in order to have their license reinstated. How many years the form must be valid for depends on the state in question, but most states require it for three years. In general, an SR-22 includes a one-time filing of $25, which your insurance company will add to your statement, though some will file it for free.
Once an SR-22 is filed, it is important that you do not let your insurance coverage lapse. By law, if you stop purchasing insurance or your insurance goes below the state minimum, your insurance company must contact the state and your license may be revoked. If you cannot find a company that will file the form for you, some states will work with you. They will partner with certain carriers and have them file the form for you. However, these policies are often expensive, making them better to avoid when possible.
States that do not require an FR-22: Delaware, Kentucky, Minnesota, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Virginia (FR-44), and Florida (FR-44)
What Is the FR-44 Form?
The FR-44 is the equivalent of the SR-22 used in Virginia and Florida. In Virginia, drivers convicted of getting into a DUI accident that injured another party, driving with a previously revoked license, or violating the DUI laws of another state are required to file an FR-44. In Florida, any driver who gets a DUI must do so. In both Virginia and Florida, drivers who have had to file a FR-44 are also required to purchase more than the usual state minimum liability insurance.
How Can High-Risk Drivers Save on Car Insurance?
Even if you are considered a high-risk driver by most insurance companies, you don’t have to resign yourself to paying for overpriced insurance indefinitely. Here are the some of the best ways you can still save on car insurance:
- Shop around: Sticking to the first company you get a quote from will likely leave you paying too much. Rates vary wildly between insurers and taking the time to regularly compare quotes has high potential to find you lower rates. Keep in mind that different companies have different focuses -- there are even companies that prefer to insure drivers with incidents on record, and they may offer lower prices and easier SR-22 processes for those that need it.
- Look for discounts: Even if you have a ticket, accident, or DUI on record, some companies will allow you to take advantage of their discounts. These can include discounts for taking a defensive driving course, bundling or for having multiple vehicles on one policy.
- Improve your credit score: Though this won’t be an immediate change, improving your credit score over time can lead to savings on your insurance because most companies consider it a major factor when deciding on your rates. As you continue to pay your bills on time and notice your score improving, make sure to start comparing quotes from multiple providers so you can start saving.
- Change cars: Driving a reliable car with good safety features can save you money, as opposed to driving an older car or an expensive sports car.
- Drive carefully: While you can’t take back the past, ensuring that your current driving record is clean can only help your rates. By driving carefully and not getting any new tickets, accidents, or DUIs added to your record, you will eventually become eligible for the lower rates that a safe driver might pay, which can mean significant savings.
- Non-owner policy: One option for those with a DUI to consider is purchasing a non-owner SR-22 policy. This type of policy is typically far less expensive than one that insures you to drive a car you own, as it only allows you to use cars owned by other people, who have their own insurance policies as well. Of course this means you cannot drive a car you own under this policy, but the savings may be worth it depending on your lifestyle.
Improving Your Driving Habits for Future Savings
While risk factors involving your basic demographics cannot be changed, factors related to your driving record should be a focus of improvement if you hope to see your rates lowered.
Making the effort to improve your driving habits will lead to fewer incidents and better car insurance prices in the future. Though it is difficult to change how you’ve done something for years, the savings and the added safety are worth it. Taking a defensive driving course can both suggest to your insurance company that you are serious about changing your driving habits and give you a different perspective on driving.
Even if you currently have a ticket, accident, or DUI on your driving record, don’t lose hope. There are still several ways to save on car insurance, both immediate and gradual, and over time you may even be able to take yourself out of high-risk category altogether.
Even if you have tickets, accidents, or a DUI, Compare-Auto-Insurance-Quotes.com can help you save. We will match you to the best quotes from companies that specialize in your driver type. Start now!