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...

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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.

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Reviewed by Chris Harrigan
Former Auto Insurance Claims Manager

UPDATED: Sep 14, 2020

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Key takeaways...

  • Drivers with multiple moving violations are considered high risk
  • Car insurance is mandatory in every state
  • Defensive driving courses can lower your monthly premium

Car insurance premiums are based on risk and car insurance companies are not obligated to provide coverage for all drivers.

Many times drivers who are classified as “high risk” are either offered coverage with extremely high premiums or forced to find coverage from only high-risk insurers who offer less coverage with high premiums or simply denied auto insurance coverage.

Today you not only need car insurance for the financial safety of your family but also to comply with state laws simply to operate a private passenger vehicle.

Find affordable car insurance now! Enter your zip code above to get started for FREE!

What is high-risk car insurance?

Since car insurance is mandatory every state also has plans, programs or departments set up to assist drivers with obtaining auto insurance if they are denied coverage in the voluntary marketplace.

For example, California has the California Automobile Assigned Risk Plan and Massachusetts has the Massachusetts Automobile Insurance Plan (MAIP).

While most of these programs do not actually provide coverage they are state funded and, upon eligibility, force an auto insurer to provide coverage.

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High-risk car insurance is essentially car insurance coverage for drivers who show a high risk of filing a future claim or operating a vehicle in a dangerous manner.

Some examples of why a driver would need high-risk car insurance are:

  • Very Poor Driving Record
  • Reckless Driving conviction
  • DUI or DWI conviction
  • Multiple Prior Claims history

While these are the most common ways for a driver to fall into the “high-risk car insurance” category remember that car insurers calculate premiums and risk on many factors so even living in a certain zip code can subject you to higher rates.

High-risk insurance is often used to label only those drivers who are the highest risk rather than generalizing to every driver since we all have a little bit of risk in a profile.

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How do I find high-risk car insurance programs?

Luckily most state-approved high-risk car insurance programs are offered by all local insurance agents so if you have been denied coverage it’s very easy to learn and apply for assistance obtaining car insurance.

Many times people find the car insurance company who initially refused coverage will now be forced to insure the same driver

Yes, it can seem like a rat race, however, your goal is to obtain car insurance coverage in order to comply with state law and have the financial protection to you need so hang in there and speak to a car insurance agent about all your options.

In the event of not being able to locate someone who understands high-risk car insurance or car insurance assistance programs simply contact your local State Department of Insurance or Department of Motor Vehicles.

Ready to start comparing? Enter your zip code below to get started for FREE!


  1. https://www.acceptanceinsurance.com/our-products/auto-insurance/high-risk-auto-insurance/
  2. https://www.geico.com/
  3. https://www.aipso.com/Plan-Sites/California-ARP
  4. https://www.statefarm.com/insurance/auto/resources/high-risk-auto-insurance
  5. https://www.verywellmind.com/dui-vs-dwi-what-is-the-difference-67214