Car insurance rates in California are traditionally calculated based on a driver’s age, auto make and model, driving history and other personal information. However, for high-risk drivers in California, car insurance rates may be higher due to their increased risk to an insurance company.
High-risk drivers include those who have two or more traffic violations, at-fault accidents, DUIs, poor credit scores or no prior car insurance coverage.
We have created this guide to make your search for car insurance for high-risk drivers hassle-free. It provides details on how auto insurance rates change based on infractions like speeding tickets, at-fault accidents and DUI convictions. It also reveals the cheapest car insurance companies for high-risk drivers based on driving profiles in California.
- Who is a high-risk driver in California?
- Car insurance rates for high-risk drivers by driving profile in California
- Speeding tickets
- DUI offense
- At-fault accident
- Reckless driving
- Cheapest car insurance options for high-risk drivers in California
- How to lower your car insurance rate if you are a high-risk driver
- Resources & Methodology
Who is a high-risk driver in California?
Drivers of all age groups, those with or without experience, can be categorized as high-risk drivers by car insurance companies in California if they have minor violations like speeding tickets or major violations like DUI convictions or lapses in insurance coverage.
Car insurance rates for high-risk drivers by driving profile in California
The experts at CarInsurance.com have analyzed the rates for high-risk drivers based on driving profile for drivers with – speeding tickets, DUI offenses and at-fault accidents.
Here’s how each of the violations affect car insurance rates in California.
In California, car insurance rates increase based on the speeding limits you violate. For example, a driver who drives 1-10 MPH over the speed limit will pay 44% more for auto insurance than before having a speeding ticket.
California drivers with speeding ticket violations for driving 11-29 mph over the limit pay 42% higher rates than drivers without speeding tickets. Whereas California drivers with speed violations of more than 30 mph will pay 42% higher rates than drivers without speeding tickets.
Find out how much car insurance rates increase after a speeding ticket violation in California.
|Violation||Rates after speeding ticket||Rates before speeding ticket||$ Difference||% Increase|
|Speeding ticket 1-10 MPH over limit||$3,167||$2,206||$961||44%|
|Speeding ticket 11-29 MPH over limit||$3,135||$2,206||$930||42%|
|Speeding 30+ over limit||$3,135||$2,206||$930||42%|
Learn more: How much your insurance goes up after a speeding ticket
Cheapest car insurance companies in California for drivers with speeding tickets
In California, Mercury offers the cheapest car insurance for drivers with speeding tickets at $2,335 annually. The car insurance rates offered by Mercury increase by $566 after a speeding ticket violation.
|Company||Rates before speeding ticket||Rates after speeding ticket||$ Difference||% Difference|
|Auto Club Entreprises||$2,259||$3,145||$886||39%|
If you are convicted of driving under the influence (DUI) or DWI (driving while intoxicated) or OUI (operating under the influence) in California, you can expect your car insurance rates to increase by 177% on an average, according to 2023 CarInsurance.com data.
|Violation||Rates after a DUI||Rates without a DUI||$ Difference||% Diffrence|
|DUI/DWI first offense||$6,111||$2,206||$3,905||177%|
|DUI/DWI second offense||$9,984||$2,206||$7,778||353%|
Here’s how much your insurance goes up after a DUI
Cheapest car insurance companies in California for drivers with a DUI
Mercury offers the cheapest car insurance rates for drivers with a DUI at $2,920 per year, in California. The rate increases by $1,151 after getting a DUI offense on your driving history.
The second cheapest car insurance for high-risk drivers with DUI is offered by Progressive at $3,559 a year.
See below for the auto insurance premiums offered by companies in California for drivers with a DUI.
|Company||Rates before DUI offense||Rates after 1st DUI offense||Rates after 2nd DUI offense|
|Auto Club Entreprises||$2,259||$6,668||$8,338|
After an at-fault collision, your car insurance premiums could spike in California – unless you’ve added endorsements like accident forgiveness to your coverage.
According to a 2023 rate analysis by CarInsurance.com, on average, after an at-fault accident, car insurance rates increase by 67%.
However, there are states where car insurance companies provide coverage to the policyholder regardless of who was responsible for the collision or cover the medical expenses of the other driver. They are referred to as no-fault states and tort states.
Learn more: How much does car insurance go up after an accident?
Cheapest car insurance companies in California for drivers with at-fault accidents
If you are looking for the cheapest car insurance for drivers with an at-fault accident, Auto-Owners is your best bet. It offers insurance at $2,603 per year.
|Company||Rates before an at-fault accident||Rates after an at-fault accident|
|Auto Club Entreprises||$2,259||$3,384|
Reckless driving is a grave offense with serious consequences. Unlike other traffic violations, it is usually classified as a misdemeanor. It carries severe penalties such as hefty fines or even imprisonment, depending on the state laws, according to Findlaw, an online legal information resource.
Compare the car insurance rates for drivers with and without a reckless driving violation in California.
|Violation||Rates after a reckless driving||Rates before a reckless driving||$ Difference||% Increase|
Cheapest car insurance companies in California for reckless driving violation
|Company||Rates before a reckless driving violation||Rates after a reckless driving violation|
|Auto Club Entreprises||$2,259||$6,668|
Cheapest car insurance options for high-risk drivers in California
Use the calculator below to see the cheapest companies for high-risk drivers in California by violation.
Select your state and risk factor below to see the insurance company and its
average annual full coverage rates.
|Company Name||Insurance Rates|
|Auto Club Entreprises||$3,595|
How to lower your car insurance rate if you are a high-risk driver
There are ways to lower car insurance rates even if you are a high-risk driver.
- Shopping around: Comparing the quotes from multiple carriers to find the cheapest car insurance company for high-risk drivers.
- Increase your deductible: You can lower your car insurance premiums even if you are a high-risk driver if you increase your deductible.
- Make use of all the available discounts: Ensure you ask about available discounts you may qualify for in California.
Resources & Methodology
Findlaw. “Reckless driving laws by state.” Accessed January 2023.
Data is sourced from the Auto Problems Report 2022. Rates are based on the driving profile of a 40-year-old male driver who drives a Honda Accord LX and opts for a full-coverage policy with coverage limits of 100/300/100 and a $500 comprehensive and collision deductible across around 1500 ZIP codes with 50,00,736 records from 27 companies.
Note: In most states, USAA is the cheapest company for drivers with traffic violations, but it is only available to military members, veterans, and their immediate families.