According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), accidents — including car accidents — are the fourth-leading cause of death in Kentucky. In fact, Kentucky ranks third in the entire United States for one of the most accident-prone states in the country. With such a high prevalence of automotive accidents occurring in the state, many Kentucky residents may find themselves on insurance carriers’ high-risk driver list, making it harder for them to obtain car insurance coverage.
Bankrate defines high-risk drivers as those who have either been found at-fault for causing an accident, have at least one speeding ticket, have a DUI conviction or have had a lapse in insurance coverage. Car insurance rates for high-risk drivers in Kentucky can be much higher than for drivers with a clean history; however, there are plenty of affordable options and actions that drivers can take to help reduce their monthly premium.
Rates for high-risk car insurance in Kentucky
If a driver is convicted of a serious traffic violation, the consequences often extend beyond their driving record: Not only will Kentucky drivers face fines and other legal penalties for the driving behavior, but insurance carriers will also typically increase rates. However, premium increase amounts will vary depending on the specific infraction and number of previous violations that appear on the driver’s record.
Rates after a speeding ticket
According to the Kentucky State Police Traffic Collision 2019 Report, more than 4,000 car accidents involving speeding occurred in 2019 alone. Just one speeding ticket can significantly increase your monthly premium, depending on your insurance carrier. The table below highlights what high-risk drivers in Kentucky can expect to pay annually for full coverage car insurance coverage following a speeding ticket:
|Car insurance company||Kentucky average annual premium for full coverage before a speeding ticket||Kentucky average annual premium for full coverage after a speeding ticket||% difference|
|State Auto Insurance||$2,015||$2,270||13%|
A single ticket on your record in Kentucky can result in an increase of nearly 20% or more; if you end up with multiple speeding tickets on your record, your rates will likely increase even more.
Rates after an accident
Drivers found at-fault for causing an accident can face serious penalties. Driver inattention is one of the leading causes of auto accidents in Kentucky resulting in nearly 50,000 collisions in 2019. Accidents, which can often be fatal, are a far more serious offense than speeding, even in the eyes of insurers. This is typically reflected in the premium increases that high-risk drivers can expect to pay, if they are found at-fault in an accident:
|Car insurance company||Kentucky average annual premium for full coverage before an accident||Kentucky average annual premium for full coverage after an accident||% difference|
Depending on your insurance carrier, you may be able to enroll in accident forgiveness programs at the outset of your policy, allowing you to have up to one at-fault accident occur on your record without being penalized with a higher premium. However, this option does not help if you did not opt in prior to an accident. Those with an accident on their record who are looking to switch providers may have to leverage discounts or other savings opportunities to offset higher rates.
Rates after a DUI
Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol is a serious offense that will remain on your record for a long period of time, often years. Not only will drivers see significant rate increases for their car insurance, but they may also face fines, license suspension or revocation, and even incarceration time. In some states, drivers may be required to hold an SR-22 certification that shows they hold the minimum state required car insurance coverage. However, Kentucky does not have an SR-22 or other form of requirement for drivers following a DUI conviction. That said, the following illustrates how much more expensive car insurance becomes for high-risk drivers in Kentucky following a first-time DUI offense:
|Car insurance company||Kentucky average annual premium for full coverage before a DUI||Kentucky average annual premium for full coverage after a DUI||% difference|
Of all high-risk driving behaviors, DUI convictions have the most significant impact to rates. In Kentucky, there is a 10-year washout period for DUI offenses, meaning convictions will remain on your record for a decade. Drivers with a DUI conviction may see rates affected for the duration of this period.
Rates for teen drivers
Teenage drivers in Kentucky were involved in more than 19,000 car accidents in 2019. According to the CDC, drivers aged 16 – 19 are at the highest risk for motor vehicle crash when compared to every other age group. Due to their inexperience and increased risk, teenage drivers generally pay far more for their car insurance coverage than adult drivers in their 30s or 40s. Even if a teen is on their parents’ policy, the impact is usually significant. The following rates reflect the additional cost for a 16-year-old teen when added to their parents’ full coverage policy in Kentucky:
|Car insurance company||Average annual premium for full coverage|
|Kentucky Farm Bureau||$2,918|
*16-year-old on their parent’s policy
By provider, rates vary widely. However, as teen drivers gain experience, rates typically trend down. In the meantime, teens can take advantage of available good student and safe driver discounts offered by many providers to help reduce premiums.
Who is a high-risk driver?
To calculate the impact to average annual quoted premiums, Bankrate defines a high-risk driver as a person whose driving record meets at least one of the following criteria:
- One at-fault accident;
- One speeding ticket;
- One DUI conviction; or
- Lapse in coverage
Insurance carriers use the standard definition of high-risk drivers when determining premium rates. According to the Department of Motor Vehicles, a high-risk driver is one that illustrates an increased likelihood of filing a claim with their insurance carrier when compared to the average driver. Drivers may be considered high-risk if they:
- Have been convicted of a DUI
- Received a speeding ticket or were involved in illegal street racing
- Were caught driving without a license
- Habitually drive recklessly
- Caused a fatality or serious accident
- Are between the ages of 16 and 19
- Have a poor driving history
- Own a high-risk vehicle, including sports cars, supercars, exotic cars, or collectible cars
- Have had a lapse in insurance coverage
- Are 70 years old or older
If you have concerns about being labeled a high-risk driver in Kentucky, consult with your car insurance provider to learn about your current standing and actions you can take to reduce your perceived risk and lower your premium.
How to lower your rate if you are a high-risk driver
While high-risk drivers will typically pay more for car insurance, there are ways in which you can lower your rates. From seeking out available discounts to conducting thorough research, many options are available to high-risk drivers in Kentucky to reduce or find lower-cost premiums:
- Shop around for the lowest rates: Each insurance carrier assesses risk differently and offers different rates. Be sure to shop around and compare providers to find the lowest rate in your region.
- Work to improve your credit score: While your driving record is the most important thing that insurance agents consider when setting your rate, they also look at your credit score. Working to increase your credit rating can help lower your car insurance rates.
- Increased your deductible: If you are financially prepared in the event of a claim to pay a higher amount for repairs out of pocket, increasing your deductible will often help lower your premium. The higher your deductible, the less your insurance rates will be, but it is important to be financially prepared in the event of a claim if you choose this option.
- Get Discounts: Many discounts are available to high-risk drivers in Kentucky that are beneficial, even beyond savings they provide. Such discounts may include those for good students, discounts for drivers who enroll in and complete an approved driver’s education course, discounts for taking specific defensive driving courses and those associated with telematics that track positive driving habits.
The most important thing high-risk drivers can do to lower their premium is to work to improve their driving record. By committing to safer driving behaviors, you can work towards a clean driving history and likely see declining rates each time your policy is up for renewal.
Frequently asked questions
What is the best car insurance company for high-risk drivers?
The best car insurance company for high-risk drivers largely depends on your age, geographic location, previous driving record and other unique variables. Drivers may prefer car insurance that’s affordable, but may also want a carrier that offers great customer service, plenty of available discounts, robust coverage options or reputable financial strength. Comparing providers based on these factors will likely give you a good place to start in your comparison-shopping.
How long does it take for insurance rates to go down for high-risk drivers?
It depends on the type of traffic violation that you committed. Many infractions are removed from your risk profile after three to five years. If the infraction stays on your record longer than 5 years, it may help to know that some insurance companies may only evaluate the past five years of your driving history when determining your premium.
How long am I considered a high-risk driver in Kentucky?
This also depends on the type of infraction you committed. A speeding ticket in Kentucky remains on your record for five years, for example, while a DUI conviction remains on your record for 10 years.
Bankrate utilizes Quadrant Information Services to analyze 2021 rates for all ZIP codes and carriers in all 50 states and Washington, D.C. Quoted rates are based on a 40-year-old male and female driver with a clean driving record, good credit and the following full coverage limits:
- $100,000 bodily injury liability per person
- $300,000 bodily injury liability per accident
- $50,000 property damage liability per accident
- $100,000 uninsured motorist bodily injury per person
- $300,000 uninsured motorist bodily injury per accident
- $500 collision deductible
- $500 comprehensive deductible
To determine minimum coverage limits, Bankrate used minimum coverages that meet each state’s requirements. Our base profile drivers own a 2019 Toyota Camry, commute five days a week and drive 12,000 miles annually. These are sample rates and should only be used for comparative purposes.
Incident: Rates were calculated by evaluating our base profile with the following incidents applied: clean record (base), at-fault accident, single speeding ticket, single DUI conviction and lapse in coverage.