Question: I was caught driving without auto insurance (and other smaller offenses) in 2010. I am now planning on buying a new car and getting insurance again, but I am scared because of my past history that my auto insurance premium will be high. What can I do to get decent rates?
Answer: Convictions for multiple moving violations and driving without insurance will affect your rates for a while; there is no getting around that. It doesn't help that you've had a lapse in auto insurance since 2010.
This doesn't mean there isn't any hope in getting affordable auto insurance; just that you won't be getting the cheapest or best auto insurance rates right now.
Even with those strikes against you, some car insurance companies will charge you less than others will. The main thing you need to do is comparison shop with several car insurance companies, finding the one that is giving the best rates for someone with your risk factors. (See “ The best way to save on car insurance”)Your rates will be expensive at first but should fall as you establish a clean driving history and a track record with the insurance company. For example, when getting a policy after a gap of a few years, don't be surprised if you are required to pay in full at first. This requirement should go away with subsequent renewals of your car insurance policy. It's also important to keep a clean record from here on out. An insurance company will look back anywhere from three to seven years. Once the driving without insurance offense and other traffic offenses fall off your driving record, your premiums should drop lower as well. Getting insurance on a new car may be pricey, since you will need not only liability coverage but also collision and comprehensive coverage. (See “ How to insure a new car”) However, many car insurance companies offer discounts for insuring a new cars and items associated with newer vehicles, such as airbags and other safety features and anti-theft devices. Review our guide to car insurance discounts to look for other discounts that you may be eligible for, and can ask insurers about, to lower your car insurance rates with certain carriers. If your state is requiring you to file an SR-22 (due to your driving without insurance conviction), then this may limit your choices in car insurance companies because not all insurers will file this form for you. This means it's even more important to shop around for the company that will give you the best car insurance rates. If you need an SR-22 with your policy, we can help you if you contact our call center toll-free at 1-855-430-7658 to buy over the phone. We work with Direct General, Esurance, Infinity, Progressive and QBE to help fulfill drivers' SR-22 needs. (Not all insurance companies do business in all states.)