Skip to Main Content
Confused young man working at home
pixelfit/Getty Images
Bankrate logo

Why you can trust Bankrate

At Bankrate we strive to help you make smarter financial decisions. While we adhere to strict , this post may contain references to products from our partners. Here's an explanation for . Our content is backed by Coverage.com, LLC, a licensed entity (NPN: 19966249). For more information, please see our .

Car insurance companies use many rating factors to calculate a premium, and your driving record is among the most significant. Statistics show that drivers with past offenses or accidents are more likely to be involved in another accident in the future. And, if you have multiple issues on your driving record, or a lapse in coverage or a severe offense, your car insurance company could place you with a non-standard policy and charge higher premiums to compensate for the increased risk. Here’s what you should know about non-standard car insurance, along with some tips on how to save if your insurer deems you a high-risk driver.

Compare rates and save on auto insurance today!

Close X
Advertising Disclosure
This advertisement is powered by Coverage.com, LLC, a licensed insurance producer (NPN: 19966249) and a corporate affiliate of Bankrate. The offers and links that appear on this advertisement are from companies that compensate Coverage.com in different ways. The compensation received and other factors, such as your location, may impact what offers and links appear, and how, where and in what order they appear. While we seek to provide a wide range of offers, we do not include every product or service that may be available. Our goal is to keep information accurate and timely, but some information may not be current. Your actual offer from an advertiser may be different from the offer on this advertisement. All offers are subject to additional terms and conditions.

Compare auto insurance rates

Answer a few questions to see personalized rates from top carriers.
Caret DownCaret Up
Please select age
Location-Icon Created with Sketch.

Save on auto insurance with quotes from trusted providers like:

Progressive

Drivers switch & save an average of $750+/year

Liberty Mutual

Are you overpaying for auto insurance?

Allstate

Safe drivers choose Allstate®

Powered by Coverage.com (NPN: 19966249)
Insurance Disclosure

Coverage.com, LLC is a licensed insurance producer (NPN: 19966249). Coverage.com services are only available in states where it is licensed. Coverage.com may not offer insurance coverage in all states or scenarios. All insurance products are governed by the terms in the applicable insurance policy, and all related decisions (such as approval for coverage, premiums, commissions and fees) and policy obligations are the sole responsibility of the underwriting insurer. The information on this site does not modify any insurance policy terms in any way.

See more providers in
Choose from insurers in

What is non-standard auto insurance?

To make things simple, you can think of a non-standard policy as an auto insurance policy for high-risk drivers. On a fundamental level, not much will change if your insurance company places you on a non-standard policy, but you should expect higher premiums. The average cost of car insurance for a full coverage policy is $1,771 per year, but you will likely pay more than the average if you have non-standard car insurance.

Regarding coverage, standard and non-standard car insurance work in the same way, but your coverage options may be limited. These coverage limitations may be placed by your insurance company, the DMV or both.

Suppose you were convicted of a DUI. As a result, the DMV required you to carry an FR44 and liability coverage limits of 100/300/50. After the DUI, your insurance company placed you on a non-standard policy. Some insurance companies place a cap on the liability coverage that a policyholder can carry on a non-standard policy; in this hypothetical scenario, that cap is 100/300/50. If that were the case, you’d have no choice but to carry 100/300/50. Anything lower won’t meet DMV requirements, but you also can’t carry anything higher due to your company’s coverage restriction on non-standard auto policies.

Why would someone need non-standard car insurance?

If you’ve had enough traffic violations, your insurance company might place you on non-standard insurance. In a broad sense, this classification is for drivers who are risky to insure, primarily due to more serious traffic or insurance violations, such as:

  • DUI
  • Numerous tickets
  • Driving without insurance
  • Suspended license
  • Reckless driving

These types of offenses, especially when there are numerous occurrences, make a driver a greater financial risk for the insurance company. For instance, someone who speeds a lot or has had multiple DUIs is more likely to get into a serious accident.

How do you get a non-standard car insurance policy?

Many of the larger car insurance companies offer non-standard insurance options, so you may not even need to switch carriers. However, shopping around may be a good idea. Some auto insurers specialize in risky drivers and may offer more competitive rates to those customers as a result.

Before you shop,  you might want to also look into the average cost of auto insurance in your state to establish a baseline for reasonable premiums in your area.

When in doubt, find a licensed insurance agent to talk to about your insurance needs when comparing quotes. A licensed expert can help you navigate all the different options available.

How do you save money if you have higher premiums because of a non-standard policy?

The increased rates that go with non-standard auto insurance policies can be a pain, but there may be ways to lower costs, including:

  • Shop around: Requesting quotes from the cheapest car insurance companies may help ensure you’re getting the most competitive rate possible.
  • Review your discount opportunities: It may benefit you to make sure that you are taking advantage of all available discounts, even those that might require a bit of extra work. For instance, some companies may offer you a discount on your car insurance if you complete a defensive driver course.
  • Consider bundling: Many insurance companies offer a bundling discount if you carry your auto and property policies under the same roof.
  • Improve your driving record: Although improving your driving record isn’t a quick fix, it may result in car insurance savings over the long term.
  • Work on your credit: Like your driving record, improving your credit score isn’t something that happens overnight. If you live in a state that allows car insurance companies to use a credit-based insurance score, a bump in your credit score may mean a dip in your premium.

Frequently asked questions