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Reviewed by Daniel Walker
Licensed Auto Insurance Agent Daniel Walker

UPDATED: Feb 15, 2022

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The Lowdown

  • Drivers with DUIs and lapses in their auto insurance may need to purchase non-standard auto insurance
  • Auto insurance companies also categorize newer drivers as high-risk
  • Most major insurance companies offer standard auto insurance policies, and some offer non-standard insurance policies

What’s the difference between standard vs. non-standard auto insurance? Standard and non-standard policies may offer many of the same auto insurance coverages, but the main difference between the two is cost.

If you need a non-standard auto insurance policy, it’s because you are deemed high-risk — at least for the time being. And while auto insurance companies consider you a high risk, you will likely pay higher auto insurance rates.

The good news is that you could reduce your risk. However, that takes time, usually years.

Read on to know more about standard vs. non-standard auto insurance and view our list of non-standard insurance companies. If you’d like to see rates from top auto insurance companies in your area right now, enter your ZIP code into our free quote tool above.

What is non-standard auto insurance, and how does it differ from a standard auto insurance policy?

Standard auto insurance is available for most drivers. Non-standard auto insurance is for high-risk drivers. Usually, companies will steer some drivers toward non-standard auto insurance policies for the following reasons:

  • A lapse in coverage. There is a good chance these policyholders drove without auto insurance for a period. Also, these drivers may have lost coverage due to their driving records or nonpayment.
  • A bad driving record. Such a record can include speeding tickets, DUIs, and other moving violations.
  • SR-22 requirements. You will need to file an SR-22 if your driver’s license gets suspended for any reason.

Auto insurance companies may also consider newer drivers high-risk.

  • Newer drivers have no established driving record.
  • Younger drivers (those under 25 years old) are especially at high risk of car accidents. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety determined that teen drivers are three times more likely to be involved in fatal accidents than drivers aged at least 20 years old.
  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention notes that teenagers are less likely to use seat belts and are more likely to engage in distracted driving, among other risky behaviors.

Like newer drivers, foreign drivers are considered high-risk. Visitors or temporary residents have not established a good driving record in the U.S., and they may not be aware of state driving laws. As a result, the risk of them getting into accidents is higher.

Older drivers might be high-risk, as well.

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What are the pros and cons of standard vs. non-standard auto insurance?

Here are the advantages of having standard auto insurance:

  • Most major auto insurance companies offer standard policies.
  • Most standard auto insurance policies are generally affordable.
  • Standard auto insurance policies often include more discounts, including safe-driving discounts.

One disadvantage of having a standard auto insurance policy is that your credit affects your rates.

On the flip side, these are the advantages of having a non-standard auto insurance policy:

  • A non-standard auto insurance company will likely not look at your credit history.
  • Some non-standard auto insurance companies do not require you to have past auto insurance coverage.
  • Companies that offer non-standard auto insurance will file an SR-22 or FR-44 for you.

One disadvantage of a non-standard auto insurance policy is that it tends to be more expensive than standard auto insurance due to the added risk. You will pay higher rates and likely have a higher deductible.

Which companies offer non-standard auto insurance?

Where can you find non-standard auto insurance near you, and how much does non-standard auto insurance cost?

Below is a list of companies that offer non-standard auto insurance policies, and most are non-standard insurance companies. We have also included average rates based on driving records.

Rates from Non-Standard Auto Insurance Companies

CompanyStandard RatesOne AccidentOne TicketDUI/DWI
21st Century$118.67$139.29$154.95$194.50
Bristol West$256.65$163.49$335.11$420.64
Direct Auto Insurance$174.98$205.38$228.47$286.79
Freeway Insurance$133.33$156.49$174.09$218.52
National General$269.44$316.25$351.81$441.61
Safe Auto$161.42$189.46$210.77$264.56
The General$233.50$274.06$304.88$382.70
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Of course, you will see the steepest increase in rates for DUIs.

Founders Insurance is a non-standard auto insurance company. Unfortunately, it is hard to find rates from the company, and it is only available in four states.

What about age-based auto insurance rates?

For example, how much is auto insurance for a 16-year-old? Take a look:

How much is auto insurance for a 16-year-old? Auto Insurance Rates by State

State16-Year-Old Male16-Year-Old Female
District of Columbia$3,901.91$3,352.71
New Hampshire$2,545.50$2,242.80
New Jersey$3,208.38$2,794.14
New Mexico$3,094.71$2,756.25
New York$3,535.78$3,118.55
North Carolina$4,255.70$3,792.50
North Dakota$2,776.68$2,166.59
Rhode Island$5,012.67$4,267.20
South Carolina$2,931.65$2,634.48
South Dakota$3,117.70$2,631.93
West Virginia$3,098.54$2,608.94
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Rates for newer drivers can be 100 times higher than standard rates for experienced drivers. However, parents can lower teens’ monthly rates by adding teen drivers to their standard insurance policies.

Rates drop considerably once a driver turns 25.

Average Annual Auto Insurance Rates Based on Age, Gender, and Marital Status
CompanyAverage annual rates single 17-year-old femaleAverage annual rates single 17-year-old maleAverage annual rates single 25-year-old femaleAverage annual rates single 25-year-old maleAverage annual rates married 35-year-old femaleAverage annual rates married 35-year-old maleAverage annual rates married 60-year-old femaleAverage annual rates married 60-year-old male
American Family$5,996.50$8,130.50$2,288.65$2,694.72$2,202.70$2,224.31$1,992.92$2,014.38
Liberty Mutual$11,621.01$13,718.69$3,959.67$4,503.13$3,802.77$3,856.84$3,445.00$3,680.53
State Farm$5,953.88$7,324.34$2,335.96$2,554.56$2,081.72$2,081.72$1,873.89$1,873.89
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Of course, seniors in their early to mid-60s tend to have the lowest auto insurance rates.

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How can you lower your auto insurance rates after being deemed a high-risk driver?

You may be eligible for standard auto insurance again if:

  • Your state takes a major driving violation off your record.
  • You have continuous auto insurance coverage for six months or longer.
  • You maintain a good driving record for at least a year or however long your SR-22 period lasts.

Note that auto insurance companies have different forgiveness periods. Most companies will reevaluate their policyholders after three years. Some companies, like State Farm, have long forgiveness periods.

We hope we have answered all your questions about standard vs. non-standard auto insurance. If you’re ready to compare quotes, you can enter your ZIP code into our free quote tool below to see rates from top auto insurance companies in your area.