If you’ve been convicted of a DUI or have multiple speeding tickets or at-fault accidents on your record, insurance companies might label you as a high-risk driver. High-risk drivers typically pay higher-than-average insurance premiums, as they may be considered riskier to insure than drivers without violations on their records. In more extreme cases, high-risk drivers may not be able to get coverage through a traditional carrier. That may seem scary, but if you’re a high-risk driver in Pennsylvania, you likely still have options for insuring your vehicle.

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Rates for high-risk car insurance in Pennsylvania

Insurance rates are based on several factors, but driving history is typically one of the most important. If you have a DUI, multiple speeding tickets or more than one at-fault accident on your record, it may be harder to find affordable coverage. Below we detail how different events may affect your car insurance rates in Pennsylvania. The rates listed below are for full coverage car insurance, which includes collision and comprehensive coverage.

Rates after a speeding ticket

Shopping around to compare quotes from different carriers may help you find the most affordable rates for your situation. You will find that various insurance carriers weigh speeding ticket convictions differently and may increase auto insurance premiums by different amounts. The rates below are for a driver with a single speeding ticket conviction.

Car insurance company Pennsylvania average annual premium for full coverage before a speeding ticket Pennsylvania average annual premium for full coverage after a speeding ticket % difference
State Farm $1,101 $1,155 5%
Geico $970 $1,191 23%
Progressive $1,519 $1,554 2%

As you can see, your rate increase may vary greatly after a speeding ticket based on the carrier you choose. While the average insurance rate increase in Pennsylvania following a speeding ticket is about 12 percent, all three of the carriers above have average increases below that figure.

Rates after an accident

Car accidents can be expensive, and if you’re the at-fault driver, you might experience a significant insurance premium increase following the incident. Some companies offer accident forgiveness programs for eligible drivers, which could protect you from a rate increase following your first at-fault accident. However, you would need to have this coverage in place before the incident to reap its benefits. These average rates are for drivers with a single at-fault accident on their record.

Car insurance company Pennsylvania average annual premium for full coverage before an accident Pennsylvania average annual premium for full coverage after an accident % difference
State Farm $1,101 $1,426 30%
Geico $970 $1,825 88%
Progressive $1,519 $2,437 60%

Not all carriers treat accidents equally, but some may have steeper rate increases than others. Fortunately, most insurance companies only increase your premium for three to five years following an accident as long as you maintain a clean driving record.

Rates after a DUI

Driving under the influence of alcohol or controlled substances is a serious offense. Besides the risk of causing fatalities, the average DUI might ultimately cost the offender between $10,000 and $25,000 in increased insurance costs, license reinstatement fees and legal expenses.

In some states, though not Pennsylvania, a DUI conviction means you will need to obtain an SR-22, a certificate that your insurer files to state that you meet at least the minimum insurance requirements. Even without an SR-22 requirement, Pennsylvania high-risk drivers can typically expect significant increases in their car insurance following a DUI. The rates below are for a driver with a single DUI conviction.

Car insurance company Pennsylvania average annual premium for full coverage before a DUI Pennsylvania average annual premium for full coverage after a DUI % difference
State Farm $1,101 $1,676 52%
Geico $970 $3,009 210%
Progressive $1,519 $1,849 22%

Some car insurance companies are more willing to work with high-risk drivers than others. As you can see, Progressive may offer a less severe rate increase than Geico, but there is no guarantee that you will be eligible for coverage with a DUI. Keep in mind that multiple offenses will result in even higher increases, and some insurers may opt to nonrenew your coverage.

Rate for teen drivers

It may surprise you to know that even teen drivers with a clean driving record may be considered high-risk. The average crash rate for teen drivers is roughly four times higher than that of other age groups. Lack of experience behind the wheel typically prompts insurance companies to charge higher average rates for teen drivers, even on their parents’ policy.

Car insurance company Average annual premium for full coverage*
State Farm $2,472
Geico $2,270
Progressive $3,315

*Rates are for a 16-year-old on their married parents’ policy

Although teen drivers may experience high average rates, it might be easier to find coverage with a teen driver than it is if you have multiple-driving incidents on your record. If you have a teen driver in your home and are looking to save money on your car insurance, you might consider looking for young driver discounts. These may include discounts for enrolling in a telematics program or maintaining good grades.

Who is considered a high-risk driver?

A high-risk driver is someone who insurance companies believe is more likely to be involved in a costly accident. You may be classified as a high-risk driver by an insurance carrier based on your driving record, but there may be other factors involved, such as age. For our purposes, we calculated the rate increases for high-risk drivers in Pennsylvania based on a clean driving record plus one high-risk factor, such as an at-fault accident or the driver’s age.

Some insurance companies may deny coverage to high-risk drivers or dramatically increase insurance premiums. Also, Pennsylvania may suspend or revoke your driver’s license if you are convicted of reckless driving, driving with a suspended license, a DUI and more. Drivers classified as high-risk drivers may have been:

  • At fault in one or more accidents
  • Convicted of one or more DUIs
  • Cited for one or more speeding tickets

Teen drivers are generally considered high-risk even if they are good drivers, but this is usually only temporary. As drivers age out of their teens and gain more experience behind the wheel, they typically see their rates decreasing accordingly, until their 70s.

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

If you’re a high-risk driver that has experienced a premium increase, there may still be ways to save on your insurance. These strategies may help offset your rate increase:

  • Practice safe driving: In Pennsylvania, points only stay on your license for one year as long as you have no new violations in that time period. Maintaining a safe driving record after a high-risk incident may lead to lower rates over time.
  • Enroll in a telematics program: Telematics programs are available from many insurance companies and might help you save on your premium by tracking your driving habits in real time. Potential savings may be available for safe driving and low mileage.
  • Shop around: As demonstrated above, different carriers weigh factors differently when determining premiums. If you have a high-risk incident on your record or a young driver in your home, you might find a lower rate by comparing quotes from various companies.

Frequently asked questions

    • The cost of high-risk insurance in Pennsylvania will vary based on numerous factors, including your driving record and the insurance company you choose. However, the best way to determine your specific rate is likely speaking with your insurance agent or comparing quotes from other carriers. If you need high-risk insurance, shopping around may help you find the best car insurance company for your needs.
    • In general, yes. Even a teen who drives safely is likely to be considered a high-risk driver by insurers because of their inexperience on the road. Over time, as teens age and gain more experience behind the wheel, they will typically see a decrease in their insurance premium, unless they have had accidents or driving violations on their record.
    • If you’re convicted of a speeding ticket, many insurance providers will consider you a riskier driver to insure. This is because excessive speed is linked to a high proportion of car crashes. Based on the correlation between speeding and accidents, providers may charge you a higher rate to compensate for the risk they take on to insure you after you have been convicted of a speeding ticket.
    • Pennsylvania is one of the few states that does not require you to file an SR-22 before you can legally drive again. However, all drivers in the state are required to have car insurance.

Methodology

Bankrate utilizes Quadrant Information Services to analyze 2022 rates for all ZIP codes and carriers in all 50 states and Washington, D.C. Rates are weighted based on the population density in each geographic region. 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 coverage that meets each state’s requirements. Our base profile drivers own a 2020 Toyota Camry, commute five days a week and drive 12,000 miles annually.

Incidents: 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.

Teens: Rates were determined by adding a 16-year-old teen to a 40-year-old married parent’s policy. The rates displayed reflect the total cost of a driver this age added to their parents’ policy.

These are sample rates and should only be used for comparative purposes.