Insurance companies consider several factors in determining which drivers are “high risk”. Bankrate looks at some of these factors — car accidents, speeding tickets, a DUI and teenagers — in classifying high-risk drivers.
High-risk drivers are more likely to generate claims through accidents and injuries, including fatalities. South Dakota experienced 88 fatal car accidents in 2019, which resulted in 104 deaths. This meant that 11.5 out of 100,000 people were killed in car accidents in South Dakota that year. This was just slightly higher than the total number in the U.S. of 11 deaths per 100,000 population.
Rates for high-risk car insurance in South Dakota
If you are a high-risk driver in South Dakota, you may want to carefully research the best companies in the state that may be willing to insure you even with high-risk factors on your profile. In this article, we look at the factors which will likely have the most impact on your coverage and premium options. These factors include one or more speeding tickets or a DUI, an accident or series of them and whether your rates will be impacted by your age, specifically being a teenager.
Rates after a speeding ticket
If you are ticketed for speeding in South Dakota, your average annual auto insurance premiums will likely increase. As reflected in the chart below, this increase can vary significantly depending on the carrier. The average premium with a State Farm car insurance policy, for example, only increases 4% following a single speeding ticket. With American Family, on the other hand, you may see your annual average premium increase 68%.
Of course, you can expect average premiums to increase more dramatically depending on the severity of the speeding infraction or with a series of speeding tickets. There are two forms of speeding violations in South Dakota. If you drive above the posted speed limit, you can be ticketed for an “Absolute Limits” violation. If you drive too fast for conditions no matter the posted limit, you may be cited for “Basic Speeding”. Depending on the severity of the violations, fines can range from $87.50 to $220.50 but these amounts are doubled if you are ticketed in a construction zone.
|Car insurance company||South Dakota average annual premium for full coverage before a speeding ticket||South Dakota average annual premium for full coverage after a speeding ticket||% increase|
|Farmers Mutual of Nebraska||$1,086||$1,217||12%|
|Iowa Farm Bureau||$1,933||$2,334||21%|
|North Star Mutual||$1,775||$2,217||25%|
Rates after an accident
A history of accidents can also place a driver in the high-risk category in the eyes of car insurance companies. Accidents also have different degrees of impact on premiums depending on the carrier.
South Dakota is a comparative negligence state for purposes of allocating responsibility among drivers involved in an accident. This means that, according to South Dakota law, responsibility will be based upon the degree of fault of each party. You will receive some compensation in court from the other drivers even if you were slightly at fault yourself though the amount you receive will be reduced. Insurance company premiums typically increase more with a more serious accident or a series of accidents.
|Car insurance company||South Dakota average annual premium for full coverage before an accident||South Dakota average annual premium for full coverage after an accident||% increase|
|Farmers Mutual of Nebraska||$1,086||$1,444||35%|
|Iowa Farm Bureau||$1,933||$2,752||45%|
|North Star Mutual||$1,775||$2,495||43%|
Rates after a DUI
A DUI will typically have a substantial impact on car insurance premiums. As shown on the chart below, rates can triple with at least one carrier, North Star Mutual. Although other carriers below show much more modest premium increases, depending on the seriousness of the charge and whether or not there have been a series of convictions, DUI’s will change your car insurance prospects for some period of time.
Some insurance companies will not renew policies when they learn the driver has a DUI conviction although in some states it is unlawful to cancel a policy outright in these circumstances. DUI convictions also have additional consequences in South Dakota. A driver convicted of a DUI and other serious offenses leading to a license suspension is required to show proof of financial responsibility by having their car insurance company file a form SR22 with the state. This is true in most states though in some, like Virginia, the required form is an SR44.
|Car insurance company||South Dakota average annual premium for full coverage before a DUI||South Dakota average annual premium for full coverage after a DUI||% increase|
|Farmers Mutual of Nebraska||$1,086||$2,207||103%|
|Iowa Farm Bureau||$1,933||$3,932||103%|
|North Star Mutual||$1,775||$6,031||240%|
Rate for teen drivers
Teenage drivers are treated as “high risk” by most car insurance companies because of the belief that less driving experience leads to more accidents. Statistics support this conclusion as teen drivers are involved in a disproportionate share of fatal accidents.
To address this higher risk, premiums for drivers under 20 are typically high. Often, parents are able to place drivers under 18 on their policies and though it increases the cost of those policies, it avoids the very high cost of teens insuring themselves. The highest premiums are paid by 18 and 19 year olds. Premiums do generally decrease after that and begin to level off when a driver has reached 25.
|Car insurance company||Average annual premium for full coverage|
Who is a high-risk driver?
There are differing definitions of a high-risk driver, and insurance companies weigh factors differently. Insurers typically include a wide range of factors beyond the specific driving histories of applicants. For example, insurance carriers will also look at the insured vehicle for safety features and reviews as well as the area where the car is located to determine the risk of crime. In addition, some insurers will review a driver’s credit history to help assess a pattern of responsibility.
In this article, we have exclusively focused on characteristics of drivers, such as age, and specific events in a driving history. Speeding tickets, accidents and DUI’s will universally have an impact on coverage and premiums.
How to lower your rate if you are a high-risk driver
It is certainly possible to take steps to improve your driving record in the eyes of car insurance companies and may eventually help move out of a high-risk classification. For example, these practices can move you in the right direction:
- Above all, do not make things worse by violating any additional traffic laws.
- Practice defensive driving.
- Talk to your insurer and determine if there are driving courses which you can complete which will improve your options.
- Consider trading in your vehicle for one with added safety features.
Frequently asked questions
What is the best insurance company for high-risk drivers?
Most insurance companies will cover high-risk drivers though in some cases, the cost can be prohibitively high. To find the best company to address your high-risk needs, obtain quotes from several car insurers known for working with high risk drivers. Then compare in order to determine which company’s policy best meets your needs.
How long am I considered a high-risk driver?
This will depend upon the specific factors that put you in the high-risk category in the first place as well as differing carrier practices. However, it is possible to remove the classification in a relatively short period if your infractions have been minor. On the other hand, repeated serious traffic violations or coverage lapses can extend the high-risk period indefinitely.
At what age does car insurance get cheaper?
Drivers under 20 are by far the most expensive drivers to insure. Because statistics bear out that driving habits improve with experience, premiums start to decrease after teen years and level out around age 25. Typically, rates continue to decrease slightly until drivers are much older, 70 and above, at which time rates again increase.
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.