If you’ve been labeled a high risk driver in Florida, you know how challenging it can be to find affordable car insurance. Speeding tickets, at-fault accidents, DUIs, and other violations can cause your rates to skyrocket. But there are still some options to make high risk auto insurance more affordable in the Sunshine State.
What Makes You a High Risk Driver in Florida
Florida uses a point system to determine if you’re considered a high risk driver. Points are assigned for violations like:
- Speeding 15 mph or more over the limit – 6 points
- Reckless driving – 4 points
- At-fault accident – 6 points
- DUI – 12 points
If you accumulate 14 or more points in 18 months, your license will be automatically suspended. With just 12 points, you’ll be labeled a high risk driver.
This label means you’re more likely to file a claim based on your driving history. So regular insurance companies will either refuse coverage, only offer minimum liability insurance, or charge sky-high premiums.
Finding Auto Insurance Quotes as a High Risk Driver
Don’t despair if you’ve been labeled high risk. There are still insurance companies willing to cover you. The key is comparing quotes from as many providers as possible.
Here are some tips to find the most affordable high risk auto insurance in Florida:
- Shop around – Get quotes from national direct insurance providers like GEICO, Progressive, and AAA as well as local Florida insurance companies. Cast a wide net.
- Ask for discounts – Many insurers offer discounts for things like bundling policies, paying in full, good student driver, taking defensive driving courses. Ask providers what discounts you may qualify for.
- Raise deductibles – Choosing higher deductibles like $1000 or $2500 can substantially lower premium costs. Make sure you can afford the out-of-pocket expense if you file a claim.
- Limit your coverage – Dropping comprehensive and collision coverage brings rates way down. But it leaves you unprotected if your car is damaged. Only do this if your vehicle isn’t worth much.
- Improve your driving record – Maintaining a clean driving record for 3-5 years can help you shed the high risk label and qualify for lower rates. Drive safely and avoid violations.
- Enroll in driver improvement programs – Many insurers provide discounts for completing defensive driving, DUI education, or driver improvement programs. This shows you’re committed to safer driving.
- Use a broker – An independent insurance broker has access to many providers and can help you compare and find the best high risk insurance rates.
Top High Risk Auto Insurance Providers in Florida
Certain insurance companies are more friendly to high risk drivers in Florida. Here are some top options to consider:
As one of the largest auto insurers in the U.S., GEICO has very competitive rates for high risk drivers. They offer accident forgiveness, letting drivers have one accident before raising rates. GEICO also doesn’t check motor vehicle reports as often as other companies, which can help keep costs down.
Known for innovative options like Snapshot usage-based insurance, Progressive offers affordable rates for high risk drivers. They provide discounts for defensive driving courses, paying in full, going paperless, and more. Progressive also has accident forgiveness.
Elephant Auto Insurance
Elephant specializes in high risk drivers, with policies available to most applicants regardless of record. They offer accident forgiveness, disappearing deductibles rewards, and usage-based insurance options. Elephant provides free quotes with no obligation.
The General Auto Insurance
Part of the American Family Insurance group, The General caters to high risk drivers who may have been rejected elsewhere. They routinely offer policies to drivers with DUIs, accidents, and serious violations. Rates are very affordable, though you get minimal coverage.
Direct Auto Insurance
With discounted rates and monthly payment plans, Direct Auto makes coverage accessible for high risk motorists. They have flexible underwriting guidelines and won’t reject you based only on credit or driving history. Direct Auto offers accident forgiveness and safe driver discounts.
How to Lower Rates as a High Risk Driver in Florida
The good news is there are many steps you can take to reduce your car insurance costs, even as a high risk driver:
- Improve your credit – Insurers view bad credit as an indicator of irresponsibility and higher claims risk. Work on paying bills on time and reducing balances to boost your credit score.
- Take a defensive driving course – Completing an approved defensive driving class can lower your rates and reduce points on your license. Some courses can be taken online.
- Increase your liability coverage – Buying higher liability limits shows insurers you’re less likely to have unpaid damages if an at-fault accident occurs. It signals responsibility.
- Ask about usage-based insurance – With programs like Progressive’s Snapshot, premiums are based on actual driving habits monitored by a device in your vehicle. Safe driving lowers rates.
- Drop collision and comprehensive coverage – You likely need liability insurance, but can go without collision and comprehensive to save money if your car isn’t worth much.
- Buy an older model car – Insurers classify vehicles by “insurance groups” based on repair costs, theft rates, and safety ratings. Insuring an older economy model can save substantially.
- Increase your deductible – Choosing a higher deductible like $1000 or $2500 means you pay more out-of-pocket if you file a claim. But it lowers your premiums.
- Bundle multiple policies – Insure your home or condo with the same provider as your car to save up to 15% or more in discounts.
Finding the Best High Risk Auto Insurance Rates in Florida
As a high risk driver in Florida, the key is persistence and patience. Compare as many quotes as possible, including both major insurers and smaller local companies. Consider different deductibles, coverages, and limits to find an ideal rate.
Ask each provider what discounts are available to optimize cost savings. And concentrate on improving your driving record over the next several years. Maintaining clean history is the #1 way to eventually shed the high risk label and qualify for better insurance rates. With some diligence, you can find affordable high risk auto coverage in Florida.
Maintaining Coverage as a High Risk Driver
Once you secure an affordable high-risk auto insurance policy, it’s important to maintain continuous coverage. Here are some tips:
- Make payments on time – Set up autopay or payment reminders to avoid missed payments that could lapse your policy. Nonpayment cancellations further damage your insurance record.
- Provide proof of insurance – Keep current insurance ID cards in your vehicle. You’ll need to provide proof of insurance if pulled over. Let your agent know if you change vehicles.
- Inform agent of changes – Updates like moving, adding teen drivers, or getting married can affect your rates. Keep your insurer updated to avoid cancellation.
- Take advantage of policy reviews – Many insurers allow adjustments to deductibles, coverages, and limits at policy renewal. Review to see if changes could lower your premium.
- Combine with homeowners or renters insurance – Insure your home and car with the same provider for additional multi-policy discounts. But make sure the bundling actually saves money.
- Practice safe driving – Maintaining a clean record for 3+ years helps shed the high-risk label faster. Drive defensively, obey speed limits, and avoid distractions.
- Consider usage-based insurance – Programs like Progressive’s Snapshot can help lower premiums by monitoring actual driving habits. Safe, low-mileage drivers reap the most rewards.
- Ask about accident forgiveness – Some insurers won’t raise rates after one at-fault accident. This protects you from a premium spike if a mishap occurs.
- Take advantage of policy discounts – Discounts like multi-policy, good student, defensive driving, and full pay can help lower premium costs over time.
When to Reevaluate High Risk Car Insurance
You’ll want to shop around for better auto insurance rates once your high-risk status starts to improve. Here’s when to reevaluate your options:
- After 3 years of clean driving – Most states “forgive” infractions after 3 years, so shopping around can net lower quotes.
- After completing defensive driving – Taking an approved course earns insurance discounts right away.
- After improving your credit score – Better credit can unlock lower rates from mainstream insurers.
- After getting married – Having a spouse with a clean record and stable job can mean better rates.
- After adding a teen to your policy – Oddly enough, some insurers offer better family rates.
- After moving residences – Insurance rates can vary widely by zip code. Check quotes after relocating.
- After buying a different car – Each vehicle has an insurance group rating that impacts premiums.
- After turning 25 years old – Rates often decrease around this milestone birthday.
- After taking usage-based insurance – Safe driving habits demonstrated via telematics programs can mean cheaper rates.
Finding the Best Deals on High Risk Insurance
Here are some final tips for getting the lowest rates possible on high-risk auto insurance:
- Compare quotes from at least 10 providers, including major insurers and smaller regional companies
- Ask every agent for all available discounts and ways to optimize savings
- Consider including your teen or spouse on the policy if they have a clean record or good student status
- Drop optional coverages like rental reimbursement or roadside assistance if budget is tight
- See if bundles like home + auto can offer savings over separate policies
- Increase deductibles and drop collision/comprehensive for older vehicles
- Explore usage-based insurance programs that leverage telematics for potential discounts
- Take a defensive driving class for automatic rate reductions
- Sign up for electronic billing and autopay to avoid lapses in coverage
With some diligence, Florida’s high risk drivers can find affordable coverage options. Just be sure to reevaluate your options regularly as your record improves. Maintaining insurance responsibly helps shed the high risk label over time.