Elijah Black is a Greenville, South Carolina native with a B.A. English from Coastal Carolina University. He is a fiction writer and also works as a freelance writer and editor. He’s worked as a Production Assistant for WYFF 4 and has been published in several publications and websites across the United States.

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Rachael Brennan has been working in the insurance industry since 2006 when she began working as a licensed insurance representative for 21st Century Insurance, during which time she earned her Property and Casualty license in all 50 states. After several years she expanded her insurance expertise, earning her license in Health and AD&D insurance as well. She has worked for small health in...

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Reviewed by Rachael Brennan
Licensed Auto Insurance Agent Rachael Brennan

UPDATED: Apr 18, 2022

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Don't Forget These Facts

  • Non-standard auto insurance caters to drivers who do not typically fit the standard criteria of many insurance providers. Such drivers are considered high-risk drivers due to their poor driving records, previous accidents, or traffic points
  • The drivers eligible for non-standard car insurance policies are typically inexperienced, with foreign driving licenses, too many violations on their records, or DUI charges
  • State Farm Insurance, GEICO, Progressive, Acceptance Auto Insurance, and Access are some of the best companies that offer non-standard auto insurance policies

Every car owner should get insurance to protect their vehicle. However, sometimes, you may be in a situation where you may not be eligible for standard auto insurance policies. Several companies offer multiple policies that cover nearly all types of vehicles, and you can get a non-standard auto insurance policy at competitive rates if you do your research right. 

Therefore, it is essential to know all non-standard car insurance policies and their coverage, to understand the insurance policy for which you may be eligible. Let us look at the basics of non-standard auto insurance and see how it compares to standard auto insurance.

What is non-standard auto insurance?

Non-standard auto insurance is an alternative for drivers who do not typically fit the standard criteria of many insurance providers. Such drivers are considered high-risk drivers due to their poor driving records, previous accidents, or traffic points.

Hence, non-standard insurance policies can be different from standard policies. While the types of coverage might be similar, there is often a wide gap between their pricing structure. To understand why the premium rates are different for standard and non-standard auto insurance, let’s look at the difference between the two policies.

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Standard vs. Non-Standard Auto Insurance

The brief distinction between standard auto insurance and non-standard auto insurance mentioned below can help you gain more clarity on non-standard policies.

Standard Auto InsuranceNon-Standard Auto Insurance
One of the well known and preferred types of coverageIt's a coverage that drivers get when they do not qualify for standard insurance
For drivers who possess average-risk profilesFor drivers who possess high-risk profiles
Standard premium ratesHigher premium rates
It's possible to find insurers that provide zero down payment policiesIt's nearly impossible to find insurers that offer zero down payment policies
Wide-ranging and easily availableFewer options and can be difficult to find
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Types of Drivers Needing Non-Standard Car Insurance

The types of drivers who may need non-standard auto insurance policies are mentioned below.

New Drivers

Studies show that new drivers, commonly younger than the age of 25, are more likely to commit driving errors, have accidents, or lose their financial stability to pay insurance amounts. As a result, they can be high risks for insurers and require non-standard policies.

Drivers with a Foreign License

Foreigners or tourists are typically not eligible for car insurance coverage in America and require a non-standard policy to protect their assets while they are in the country.

Drivers with Excessive Traffic Violations or Speeding Tickets

When the drivers have one or two speeding tickets on their records, they may still be considered eligible by standard policy providers. However, if the driver has too many violations or speeding tickets, they pose too serious a risk for standard policies.

Drivers Having Suspended or Revoked Licenses

Drivers whose licenses are either suspended or revoked might need an SR-22 certificate to prove that they have the mandatory auto insurance coverage in their respective states. Such drivers face issues in getting standard coverage and can get a non-standard policy.

Drivers Found Guilty of DUI

People driving under the influence or while intoxicated can face many problems like suspended licenses and hefty penalties. Consequently, they often fail to meet the eligibility criteria of standard insurance policies. In addition, if they have more than one DUI charge, their insurance rates may be further affected.

Senior Citizens

While there are no age-related driving restrictions in the USA, several conditions define the driving regulations for people over the age of 70. People develop eye-sight problems or hearing issues with age, making driving difficult. Hence, senior citizens find it difficult to secure insurance policies from standard providers. 

The drivers who do not match standard insurance criteria are not always below-average drivers. They merely pose a higher risk than usual. If you are looking for non-standard auto insurance, you can choose from several trusted policies that can protect you and your asset.

Non-Standard Auto Insurance Deductibles

A deductible is an amount that the driver has to pay out of pocket before their insurance company clears any claim. These deductibles are typically pre-determined after assessing the risks that the driver may pose. 

The primary purpose of a deductible is that insurance companies do not want to pay extravagant amounts to cover non-standard drivers for their mistakes. Hence, high-risk drivers often tend to pay higher amounts of deductibles. Alternatively, the companies that charge low deductibles might charge higher premiums. Some deductibles can be so over-the-top expensive that they nullify any savings made on low premiums.

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Factors That Determine Non-Standard Car Insurance Costs

Non-standard policies carry higher risks for the insurers, so the premiums can be slightly higher than average. The factors that fundamentally determine non-standard auto insurance premium rates are:

Age

Age typically has the most significant impact on the insurance rates for non-standard policies. For instance, teenage drivers pay higher insurance rates than those with DUI charges in many states. In California, the average standard insurance rate is $1,830. For a speeding violation (non-standard policy), it is $3,060, and for a young driver, it is $6,177.

Credit History

The way drivers handle their finances and pay for their premiums is a crucial determining factor. While a driver’s credit history might not significantly impact the rates, it could lead to a high-cost down payment. 

Location

Location is a defining factor for any auto insurance policy. The premium may increase substantially at locations where the crime rate is higher, and the cars are at a greater risk. Depending on other state rules and location-specific price trends, insurance rates may also differ. For instance, the annual premium paid by non-standard drivers with a DUI charge or accidents in New Jersey is nearly $6,576, whereas in Texas, it is $2,298.

Mileage

The possibility of meeting with an accident or damaging the car is higher when you drive more. Hence, people who drive more than the average are a high risk for insurance providers. Studies show that the average number of miles driven by people in a year is between 7,500 and 15,000. So, if you drive more than 15,000 miles per year, you may be looking at a much higher rate, while if you drive less than 7,000 miles per year, you are likely to get a discount on your non-standard policy.

Insurance companies use these common factors as evaluation tools to offer the most suitable non-standard insurance policy. Having said that, there may be other factors that come into the picture, depending on your particular situation.

Companies That Offer Non-Standard Insurance Policies

When looking for a non-standard policy, you might not find as many options as you would for a standard policy. Nevertheless, some companies offer good non-standard policies that are often custom-made. These include:

  • State Farm Insurance 
  • GEICO
  • Progressive
  • Acceptance Auto Insurance
  • Access
  • Affirmative
  • Alliance United
  • Bristol West
  • Dairyland
  • Direct General
  • Gainsco
  • Infinity
  • Mercury
  • The General
  • Titan
  • United Automobile
  • Victoria
  • Safe Auto 

We suggest you look at the coverage offered by each company and their rates and reach out to the respective company agents to check if the policy meets your requirements.

Average Cost of Non-Standard Insurance

While the average car insurance amount for a standard policy is approximately $138 per month, for a non-standard policy, that can range from nearly $165 onwards. The average cost depends specifically on the type of non-standard policy the driver requires. 

For instance, for a driver with speeding tickets, the average monthly insurance in California is approximately $255, whereas, for DUI or accidents, it is $649. 

Here is the list of state-wise monthly premiums for non-standard policies:

StateAverage Monthly Premiums Depending on Speeding Tickets, DUI, or Age
Florida$202-$357
Illinois$167-$524
New Jersey$371-$754
Pennsylvania $169-$851
Texas$104-$339
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Whether you live in a state like New Jersey, where the rates for non-standard policies are sky-scraping, or in Texas, where the rates are relatively affordable, you should compare local policy rates to find the best solution.

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How to Shift From a Non-Standard Car Insurance Policy to a Standard Policy?

Even though the time required to go back to standard car insurance depends on your state laws, there are ways in which you can improve the situation. Here are some ways that have helped drivers make a shift from a non-standard to a standard policy sooner:

  • Getting an SR-22 Insurance
  • Taking Defensive Driving courses
  • Improving your credit score 

If you qualify for a non-standard insurance policy, you might require an SR-22 certificate to prove your eligibility and get the best insurance policy trouble-free. To know if you need an operator’s certificate, an owner’s certificate, or an operator owner’s certificate, and to get the right SR-22 insurance soon, we recommend you navigate the process thoroughly. 

The process of filing an SR-22 might seem complicated at first. However, once you know the ins and outs of the system, it becomes straightforward. To learn more about non-standard auto insurance policies and know when you can get back behind the wheel, enter your ZIP code and compare quotes now.