Car insurance for high-risk drivers in North Carolina

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High-risk drivers are drivers who are either young and new to driving, have low credit scores, lapses in coverage or have multiple violations on their driving record. These include such things as multiple accidents, multiple speeding tickets or a DUI.

In 2019, North Carolina had a death rate of 14.02 persons per 100,000 people, which is higher than the national average. Of those deaths, 18.8% were attributed to distracted driving, 25% to drinking and driving and 27% to speeding. To an insurance company, that is a lot of risky habits that warrant higher premiums.

Rates for high-risk car insurance in North Carolina

Though there are many reasons a driver may be classified as a high-risk, certain reasons have more of an impact on your premium than others. A DUI, for example, is more of a red flag than having a low credit score.

For every risk-factor listed below, take note of the premium before and after the violation. You will notice some companies are more forgiving than others. Finding the best high-risk auto insurance in North Carolina takes a bit of sleuthing.

Rates after a speeding ticket

You will likely see a jump in your premium after a speeding ticket, but the severity of the speeding ticket and your past driving history are going to play important roles. The numbers below only represent the average increase. You may pay more or less.

Car insurance company North Carolina average annual premium for full coverage before a speeding ticket North Carolina average annual premium for full coverage after a speeding ticket % difference
Erie $1,125 $1,320 17%
Geico $835 $1,681 101%
North Carolina Farm Bureau $1,107 $1,652 49%

While companies like Geico may offer lower rates to new drivers, they appear to compensate by charging risky-drivers more for car insurance. While rate shopping, consider your past driving history before choosing a company.

Rates after an accident

After an accident, insurance companies charge at-fault drivers more because it suggests they may have to pay for other claims in the future. Of course, a small fender bender is unlikely to hike a premium as much as an accident resulting in severe property damage and medical injuries.

Car insurance company North Carolina average annual premium for full coverage before an accident North Carolina average annual premium for full coverage after an accident % difference
Erie $1,125 $1,453 29%
Geico $835 $2,032 143%
North Carolina Farm Bureau $1,107 $1,512 36%

Here again, notice the percentage difference from the before and after scenarios. Companies that are typically cheaper appear to be less forgiving after an accident, whereas more expensive ones are.

Rates after a DUI

Some companies do not allow their drivers to renew after a DUI conviction and may drop them once their term is over. In addition to paying more car insurance, you may also be expected to file an SR-22 or FR-44 with your DMV. A common misconception is these are a special type of insurance, but this is inaccurate. SR-22s and FR-44s are merely proof to the state from your insurance company that you are properly insured.

Car insurance company North Carolina average annual premium for full coverage before a DUI North Carolina average annual premium for full coverage after a DUI % difference
Erie $1,125 $2,152 91%
Progressive $1,630 $2,067 26%
State Farm $958 $2,481 158%

Keep in mind that the percentage differences shown above are not a guarantee that those companies will continue to insure you if you are convicted of a DUI. If you have multiple other violations on your record, as well as a previous DUI, the increase may be a lot more.

Rate for teen drivers

Teens are considered risky regardless of their personalities or driving skills because they have less experience on the road. In 2019, IIHS found that 7% of all roadway deaths revolved around teenagers and 57% of teenage deaths happened while another teenager was driving.

Car insurance company Average annual premium for full coverage
AmTrust Financial $1,240
Erie $1,411
State Farm $1,024

*16-year-old on their parent’s policy

Unfortunately, there’s not much parents and teenagers can do to lower their premium but shop around and compare discounts.

Who is a high-risk driver?

A high-risk driver is someone who is likely to file a claim in the future. Factors that label a driver “risky” include:

  • Multiple speeding tickets
  • At-fault accidents
  • Low credit score
  • DUI convictions
  • Lapses in coverage
  • Living or working in high-risk areas
  • Needing an SR-22 or FR-44

The industry definition of a high-risk driver is simply someone who is unable to get coverage through their preferred carrier. While this may be true, it is not the complete picture. You may indeed continue to get coverage but pay significantly more.

How to lower your rate if you are a high-risk driver

High-risk drivers may pay more for insurance, but there are ways you may be able to save:

  • Increase your deductible: A higher deductible will decrease the amount of money you will receive after a claim, but will also decrease the amount you pay each month, so there are risks involved. Most insurance companies offer multiple deductible options, but make sure you understand the impact it will have if you file a claim.
  • Drive an older car: Older cars cost less to insure because they cost less to replace. If you want to truly save money, replace your new car with a reliable used one that has a high safety rating.
  • Compare providers: As you saw above, some companies are more forgiving than others. Don’t assume you will pay the same amount for a policy with every provider.
  • Compare discounts: You can save some serious cash with discounts, but the trick is finding the company that offers the most savings. Many companies offer the same discounts. but some offer more savings with their discounts than others.

Frequently asked questions

Do sports cars cost more to insure?

Yes, for a few reasons:

  • They cost a lot to replace and repair
  • They are more likely to be stolen
  • Drivers of these cars tend to speed and get into accidents

Simply put, the likelihood a driver of a sports car will file a claim is pretty high, which is why a driver with a clean record may have to shop around for high-risk car insurance in North Carolina.

What kinds of cars are cheap to insure?

You want a car that has a high safety rating and that isn’t commonly stolen. Per IIHS, sedans and hatchbacks are good choices.

Methodology

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.

High-risk drivers
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.

Written by
Lauren Ward
Insurance Contributor
Lauren Ward has nearly 10 years of experience in writing for insurance domains such as Bankrate, The Simple Dollar, and Reviews.com. She covers auto, homeowners, and life insurance, as well other topics in the personal finance industry.