Rachael Brennan has been working in the insurance industry since 2006 when she began working as a licensed insurance representative for 21st Century Insurance, during which time she earned her Property and Casualty license in all 50 states. After several years she expanded her insurance expertise, earning her license in Health and AD&D insurance as well. She has worked for small health insuran...

Full Bio →

Written by

Chris Harrigan has an economic degree from Limestone College and an MBA from Clemson University. He previously managed auto insurance claims for Enterprise Rent-A-Car. Currently, he is using his business and insurance expertise to provide insurance data analysis and visualizations to enhance the user experience.

Full Bio →

Reviewed by Chris Harrigan
Former Auto Insurance Claims Manager Chris Harrigan

UPDATED: Apr 13, 2022

Advertiser Disclosure

It’s all about you. We want to help you make the right car insurance coverage choices.

Advertiser Disclosure: We strive to help you make confident car insurance decisions. Comparison shopping should be easy. We are not affiliated with any one car insurance company and cannot guarantee quotes from any single company.

Our car insurance industry partnerships don’t influence our content. Our opinions are our own. To compare quotes from many different car insurance companies please enter your ZIP code on this page to use the free quote tool. The more quotes you compare, the more chances to save.

Editorial Guidelines: We are a free online resource for anyone interested in learning more about auto insurance. Our goal is to be an objective, third-party resource for everything auto insurance related. We update our site regularly, and all content is reviewed by auto insurance experts.

Key takeaways...

  • A number of situations can negatively affect your car insurance needs such as driving violations and accidents
  • Getting affordable auto insurance is a bit more difficult for high-risk drivers
  • As much as no one ever plans on engaging in an auto accident, they still do happen
  • High-risk drivers have higher insurance premiums; some risk non-renewal of their coverage
  • Even as high-risk driver, you can still get affordable auto insurance

As we all know, drinking and driving present a huge safety threat. What many people do not know, however, is that impaired driving can have a severe impact on auto insurance rates.

Your likelihood to have a car accident greatly determines how much you pay for your auto insurance.

According to research, individuals with 0.09 percent and above of blood alcohol concentration are 11 times more probable of being involved in a fatal accident than drivers who are completely sober.

To your insurer, this means, an impaired driving sentence is a warning signal for dangerous driving as well as possible car accidents.

Compare many car insurance companies side-by-side to make sure you’re getting the best rate possible for the coverage you need.

How does impaired driving affect your auto insurance premium?


An impaired driver is considered a high-risk driver, and as such, their car insurance rates are high.

With the typical policy of one car/one driver, the average premium usually increases by over than 100 percent, making this impaired driving one of the most detrimental risks determining your auto insurance rates.

Also, high-risk drivers are likely not to receive renewal by their respective insurance companies if additional risk factors are laminated into their already existing risky driving history, for instance, another ticket.

When the insurer reviews your documents for renewal, they may feel that the dangers of insuring you are too high for them, and they will give you notice that they will not renew your policy. At this point, you will have to look for other alternatives.

Compare Car Insurance Companies

Compare quotes from the top car insurance companies and save

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

Compare quotes from the top car insurance companies and save

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

Insurance Options for High-Risk Drivers

Several factors can categorize a driver as high-risk. Some of them include:

  • Reckless driving
  • Illegal street racing
  • Excessive speeding
  • Traffic violations that result in fatality
  • Driving without a license
  • Driving high-risk vehicles such as exotic cars, supercars, collectible cars
  • Committing a series of accidents

It is normal for typical insurance companies to decline to offer car insurance policies to high-risk drivers. As an alternative to a standard policy, a high-risk driver can opt to seek coverage from specialty auto insurance companies.

Today, high-risk drivers have more options to obtain their car insurance coverage than before. Various insurance companies have come up to fill this gap and assist these drivers to go back to the road.

High-risk insurance companies aim to help you go back to being a low-risk driver; therefore qualify for standard insurance coverage once more.

This means that they will cover you as you work on improving your driving record. Keep in mind that just because one insurer has categorized you as high-risk does not mean all the other insurance companies will.

Keep looking for the one that will accept you!

Correcting Your Driving Record


Your personal driving record including impaired driving convictions, repeated accidents, and license suspensions are available to insurance companies. Each of these incidences has a specified duration to remain on the record.

Some citations could remain on the driver’s records for even 10 years, and this means you will be considered a risky driver for a very long time. Also, getting your auto insurance back to normal and at affordable rates will be a tedious exercise, to say the least.

However, it is possible to improve your driving record by observing good operating practices as well as keeping your insurance premiums up-to-date. Other actions that can be taken by a high-risk driver to reduce insurance liability include:

  • Applying aftermarket safety equipment
  • Driving a car of lesser value
  • Taking driver education classes
  • Staying on top of the driving record and ensure that all accidents and tickets that are no longer chargeable are removed at the appropriate times

Saving on High-Risk Auto Insurance

The fact that high-risk insurance costs a bit more than the standard policy does not mean that you cannot save on insurance if you are considered a high-risk driver; although it’s a little more difficult.

To save money as a high-risk driver, the first step would be to shop around and get as many auto insurance quotes as possible. Compare their rates and choose the most competitive option.

There are many high-risk car insurance providers available on the market today, so this should not be a problem.

However, whenever you can, get quotes from standard auto insurance providers as they offer better rates, spread their risks, and typically insure more people.

Penalties for drunk driving could include losing your license, fines, suspensions, or even jail time. When you are sentenced for impaired driving your auto insurance company may cancel your coverage or drastically heighten the price.

As a high-risk driver, it is important to focus on becoming a safer driver so that you can go back to your low-risk status. Drive carefully to evade any type of accident or infraction while on the high-risk policy.

To see your insurance rates drop, do yourself a favor by staying sober and safe behind that wheel. Also, do a comparison search to find the best company with the best rate for your insurance needs.


  1. https://www.esurance.ca/info/car-insights/impaired-driving-in-canada
  2. https://www.transport.govt.nz/research/roadcrashstatistics/highriskdriversstatistics/
  3. https://humberviewinsurance.ca/dui-car-insurance-in-ontario-an-expensive-mix/
  4. https://www.dol.wa.gov/driverslicense/drivingrecfaq.html
  5. https://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/dui-or-dwi-punishments-penalties-30321.html