Car insurance for high-risk drivers in Texas

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High-risk drivers in the Lone Star State may have trouble finding affordable vehicle coverage. Most carriers classify a driver as higher-risk based on incidents on their driving record, such as one or more tickets, accidents or driving under the influence (DUI). These drivers are typically considered riskier to insure since they are more likely to cause a serious or fatal crash. Of the 24,666 DUI crashes reported in 2019 in Texas, 2,152 people were seriously injured, and 900 died.

Rates for high-risk car insurance in Texas

Insurance rates for Texas drivers who are considered high-risk vary, depending on the infraction and carrier. Some carriers specialize in high-risk auto insurance and still provide affordable coverage for drivers with multiple violations or convictions. Bankrate collected data from the top high-risk auto insurance carriers in Texas to compare how rates can change based on certain high-risk factors.

In addition to rate increases, drivers with six or more points on their record have to pay at least $100 each year as a DMV surcharge and face potentially losing coverage for being classified as high-risk by their car insurance company.

Rates after a speeding ticket

Car insurance rates typically increase after just a single speeding ticket, sometimes as much as 20 percent or more. The good news is, premiums will usually go down once the speeding ticket falls off your driving record. The bad news is, Texas keeps points on your record for a somewhat long three years.

Car insurance company Texas average annual premium for full coverage before a speeding ticket Texas average annual premium for full coverage after a speeding ticket % difference
Delek $1,553 $1,716 9%
Geico $1,339 $1,681 20%
State Farm $1,411 $1,719 18%

Not all carriers treat speeding equally; Delek increases the average premium by just 9% for a speeding ticket, while other carriers we looked at were closer to a 20% increase. It’s always a good idea to shop around and compare carriers, and you might want to ask your current carrier what their policy is on speeding tickets.

Rates after an accident

If you are in an accident, your premiums will likely go up unless you have accident forgiveness on your policy and haven’t had an accident in a while. If you are at fault for the accident, premiums are even more likely to increase, as your carrier will likely have to pay out for the other party’s injuries or property damage.

Car insurance company Texas average annual premium for full coverage before an accident Texas average annual premium for full coverage after an accident % difference
Delek $1,553 $1,595 3%
State Farm $1,411 $1,834 23%
White Mountains $1,533 $1,965 22%

If you have car insurance with one of the larger companies such as State Farm, your premiums will likely go up by upwards of 20 percent after an accident. State Farm does offer accident forgiveness, but only to customers who have been with them and accident-free for nine years, which is a more stringent requirement than some other carriers.

Rates after a DUI

A DUI is usually a more serious and expensive infraction, which will be reflected in your premium increase. Some insurance companies do not allow you to renew a policy if you have a DUI conviction. Texas drivers convicted of a DUI will also need to file an SR-22.

Car insurance company Texas average annual premium for full coverage before a DUI Texas average annual premium for full coverage after a DUI % difference
Delek $1,553 $2,077 25%
Mercury $1,722 $2,209 22%
MetLife $2,375 $5,176 54%

MetLife has one of the more significant average increases in premiums after a DUI, while lesser-known carriers Mercury and Delek’s average increases are closer to those you might see with a speeding ticket. When you stack up the likelihood of a hefty premium increase along with all the other fines and fees associated with a DUI, it’s a very expensive infraction. Multiple DUIs are likely to result in you losing coverage altogether.

Rate for teen drivers

Even teen drivers with no accidents or citations on their record typically have more expensive car insurance premiums than other age groups. Teens are considered higher-risk because they lack driving experience and tend to take more risks than older drivers. Take a closer look at average insurance rates after you add a 16-year-old to a parental vehicle policy.

Car insurance company Average annual premium for full coverage*
Geico $1,815
State Farm $1,902
White Mountains $1,771

*16-year-old on their parent’s policy

Car insurance rates typically decrease each year for young drivers as long as they drive safely and keep their driving records clean. Also, some carriers offer an insurance discount for teens that pass a driving safety course or maintain good grades.

Who is a high-risk driver?

Insurance carriers typically flag drivers as high-risk if they:

  • Have one or more DUI convictions
  • Multiple moving violations, such as speeding tickets or failure to stop at a red light
  • Were at fault in more than one car accident in the last one to three years

Bankrate based example rate increases (other than teen drivers) on a driver with a clean record and one instance of speeding or an accident or DUI.

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

High-risk drivers typically pay more for insurance than a driver with a clean record. However, there are a few ways to save money on car insurance premiums:

  • Enroll in an approved defensive driving course to improve your driving habits and earn a discount on your car insurance.
  • Choose a carrier that offers accident forgiveness for one accident every three years.
  • After a moving violation ticket, sign up for traffic school to avoid the points that raise your car insurance premiums. You can take one approved course per year.
  • Enroll in your car insurance company’s telematics program. You will need to download an app that tracks your driving, such as miles traveled and speed. The safer you drive, the bigger your premium discount will be.

Texas assigns you points for each moving violation. The points fall off your record after three years. If you can avoid any new citations during that period, your status will likely change from high-risk to a safe driver, and your premiums will typically decrease.

Frequently asked questions

Is SR-22 car insurance?

An SR-22 is a certificate of financial responsibility and does not replace car insurance. Instead, it informs the state that you have the minimum amounts of coverage required. Some states, including Texas, mandate that drivers get these certificates to prove they are covered.

What is a high-risk driver?

A high-risk driver is typically classified as someone who has a DUI conviction or one or more speeding tickets or at-fault accidents in the last three years. High-risk drivers generally pay more for car insurance and can even have their car insurance canceled because they are more likely to cause serious accidents.

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
Cynthia Paez Bowman
Personal Finance Contributor
Cynthia Paez Bowman is a finance and business journalist who has been featured in Bankrate, Business Jet Traveler, MSN, CheatSheet.com, Freshome.com and TheSimpleDollar.com. She regularly travels to Africa and the Middle East to consult with women’s NGOs about small business development and works with select startups and women-owned businesses to provide growth and visibility.