Car insurance assistance for low income
- Why aren’t there more car insurance programs for low-income families?
- What will happen if I decide to just drive without car insurance?
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- Okay, I need car insurance, but I still can’t afford it. What can I do?
- How do I know what is required by law?
- Free Car Insurance Comparison
- How do I find the best rates for minimum coverage?
- How do I find the best policy for my low-income family?
- Low Income Car Insurance Options to Consider
- There isn’t a comprehensive list of insurance companies that cater specifically to low-income families
- You can choose the barest amount of insurance to ensure that you are compliant with state laws
- Driving without valid car insurance is illegal. The consequences of this vary from state to state
Unfortunately, there isn’t a comprehensive list of insurance companies that cater specifically to low-income families. The reason for this is that insurance companies don’t position themselves to provide services for low-income families, although some are certainly cheaper than others.
This doesn’t mean that you can’t find affordable or low-income coverage for car insurance –on the contrary! When you shop around and compare car insurance quotes, you will find that many companies are simply less expensive than others.
In addition, there is at least one state that has its own car insurance programs for low-income families. You can find information about this on the California Department of Insurance website. The cost of this insurance can be as low as $254 a year.
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Why aren’t there more car insurance programs for low-income families?
This is a tough question to answer, mainly because most people won’t like the answer. The bottom line is that driving is considered to be a privilege, not a right.
Owning a car is a choice, not a necessity.
In every state, there is some kind of health insurance program in place for low-income families. The reason for this is that the government has decided that every person has the right to adequate healthcare.
After all, you cannot control everything that happens around and to your body.
When it comes to driving, however, you have complete control. No one is making you buy a car and no one is forcing you to drive to work, school etc. Simply put, there are other ways of getting around that aren’t as expensive as driving a car.
Now, this isn’t meant to imply that you don’t need a car. Truthfully, there are many different geographic areas that have no form of public transportation, although that is changing rapidly, and in those places having a car is necessary.
The problem is that the government just doesn’t see it that way.
What will happen if I decide to just drive without car insurance?
Driving without valid car insurance is illegal. The consequences of this vary from state to state, ranging from fees and suspended drivers licenses to impounding your vehicle and putting you in jail.
Driving without car insurance can be risky. You might not be caught right away, but it will eventually catch up to you.
According to the Insurance Research Council, about 14 percent of people in the U.S. drive without car insurance.
This may not seem like a huge number to you, but there are more than 200,000,000 licensed drivers in the United States. Fourteen percent of that is 20,400,000 people.
The Insurance Research Council says that there is a direct correlation between the amount of people who don’t carry insurance and the unemployment rate. Now, what happens to you if you have a car accident?
If you already think that you can’t afford car insurance and you’ve already determined that you need your car, if you have an accident without car insurance, where does that leave you?
What’s more, with more than 20 million people on the road without car insurance as well, there is always the possibility that you will get into an accident with another uninsured person.
If they are the cause of the accident and are uninsured, then you are still left with a vehicle that is damaged or unusable, depending on the severity of the accident.
The bottom line is that carrying insurance is most certainly a protection for other people against the possibility of you being careless when you drive. However, if an uninsured driver hits you, then your insurance, if you have uninsured motorist coverage, protects you as well.
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Okay, I need car insurance, but I still can’t afford it. What can I do?
Okay, there is often a disconnect with people about what they can and cannot afford. Now, there are those people who really can’t afford it, as their money goes to food, rent, and utilities and they don’t have another dime to spend on anything else.
Then, there is a second group of people. These people feel like they can’t afford it after they have paid all of their other bills, such as credit cards, cable, car payment, Internet, Netflix payment, and so on.
If you fall into this second category, then it is time for you to separate want from need. The bottom line is that some of the things that most people take for granted as a way of life aren’t necessary.
You may need to seriously address what you are spending your money on before you say you can’t afford your car insurance.
If you are someone who lives paycheck to paycheck paying just the minimum bills, there is no easy solution. You can choose the barest amount of insurance to ensure that you are compliant with state laws. In addition, you may want to talk to a co-worker about carpooling so that you can forgo the need of using a car.
In addition, you may want to talk to a co-worker about carpooling so that you can forgo the need of using a car.
Sometimes there is no answer to the dilemma of not having enough money. However, before you decide you can’t afford car insurance, you need to compare the cost of car insurance between three or more companies and check their rates.
It’s never a good idea to go without car insurance coverage.
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- Before choosing an insurance carrier, you must first decide on your family’s needs and your budget
- It is a good idea to carry more than your state’s minimum requirement for car insurance
- Never drive a vehicle without insurance
You must assess what you can honestly afford, what your family’s needs are, and how important certain car insurance features are to you.
The decision is not one that can be made lightly. It requires research, comparison shopping, and a thoughtful assessment of needs.
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The fact that most car insurance companies claim to have the best low-cost insurance makes it difficult to decide which company is best.
Often, people don’t understand how car insurance works—or what is required legally—and are susceptible to believing whatever claims an insurance agency throws at them.
Seeking the advice of trained individuals whom you trust can be invaluable in deciding on the best car insurance.
How do I know what is required by law?
Regardless of your household income, it is required in every state for drivers to have minimum amounts of liability coverage.
Most states require that such insurance is provided by an insurance company licensed to do business in their state.
A small number of states allow drivers to be self-insured if they can prove that they can afford to do so.
Such proof involves documentation indicating they have the financial resources to cover any claims made against them.
State minimum requirements usually fall under three categories:
- bodily injury
- property damage
- uninsured/underinsured drivers
These basic coverages are designed to protect victims of car crashes deemed to be someone else’s fault.
They pay claims based on medical costs, repair costs of private property, and pain and suffering.
Minimum coverage will not cover the cost of repairing your car after an accident. It will also not cover the loss of your vehicle due to fire, theft, or natural disasters.
Your car insurance provider knows what the minimum requirements are in your state. Feel free to ask while you’re shopping around for rates.
In the end, any company you choose will be required to meet those minimums.
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How do I find the best rates for minimum coverage?
Finding the best rates for car insurance is simply a matter of comparing different quotes. You can do this online, over the phone, or in person.
However, understand that you won’t see much variation in rates for minimum liability coverage.
Because the state where you live requires minimum liability, rates among different companies will not be all that different unless you’re in a high-risk driver pool.
The real differences usually come into play when you’re talking about additional coverage options.
Full collision coverage, for example, is one of those additional coverage options that can change the price of your insurance substantially.
How much your insurance company charges for collision will depend on the model and make of your car, its current street value, and your record of accidents and violations.
There is often a good amount of variance in premiums from one insurance carrier to the next, so bargaining for favorable collision rates is always possible.
Additional coverage options will also carry different price tags.
The point of comparison shopping is to see insurance quotes side-by-side. You want to look at exactly what is covered, your deductible, and what your annual premium would be.
Only through this type of comparison can you truly evaluate the cost-to-benefit ratio of different insurance policies.
How do I find the best policy for my low-income family?
Ultimately, the only way to determine the best auto policy for your family is to know your needs.
For example, if you have small children and no medical insurance, it’s almost a necessity that you include PIP (personal injury protection) or med pay coverage in your auto policy.
Though such coverage won’t cover all your medical costs, it could be a big factor if one of your children is injured in an accident.
You must also weigh family budgetary issues as well. If a limited income means that your car insurance will be limited to minimum liability, that just maybe an uncomfortable fact of life.
However, under no circumstances should you drive without car insurance.
Doing so not only opens you up to the possibility of litigation in the event of an accident, it is also illegal.
And driving illegally has far more serious consequences that could cause severe financial problems for your family in the future.
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Low Income Car Insurance Options to Consider
Not everyone can afford the conventional car insurance policies that are used to protect a vehicle investment, but for those with less cash to put up each month, there are low income auto insurance options available from insurance companies across America. Here are some of the strategies for lowering auto insurance bills and getting the cheapest solutions from providers that will help get you legally covered in case of accidents.
Basic Liability Policies
Those who have less income are probably driving vehicles with less Blue Book value. One way to drastically reduce auto insurance rates is to decline the categories of comprehensive and collision coverage. Comprehensive coverage insures your vehicle against theft, vandalism, flooding and a host of other issues. Collision coverage provides for claim payments for your car’s value in the case of a total wreck. If your car doesn’t have much value left in it, it may not be worth insuring against these contingencies. Drivers who choose to take their chances will pay much lower premiums.
Buying auto insurance in longer time frames, such as a year, may lead to more savings for monthly payments. The cost of temporary auto insurance policies can be much higher than your standard annual term policy. Look at ways to save with up front payments, long-term signing and other concessions to your auto insurance company.
Adding Safety Gear
Proving that you have taken precautions in adding safety and security equipment to your vehicle can also get you some dollars off of an auto insurance policy. Items like air bags and antilock brakes, or simple aftermarket additions like a steering wheel lock or security system, can save you money on insurance by lowering the risks for the company.
Skip the Extra Services
Items like roadside assistance and rental cost coverage may just be padding your monthly premiums. If you can get along without them, this can be another way to bring down the total cost of auto insurance for low income policyholders.
Auto insurance companies have started to offer another big option for those who don’t have a lot of money to pay in order to keep their vehicle legally on the road. If you are not commuting a long distance, or otherwise not putting very many miles on a vehicle, choosing a pay as you drive insurance policy could save you a lot of money. Insurers calculate these policies differently according to the actual mileage. They require drivers to prove that the mileage used was less than the stated maximum.
Use State Programs
Some states, like California, have some specific programs for low income drivers to get affordable car insurance. Drivers often have to meet specific eligibility guidelines and sign up for programs to help them manage their costs of auto insurance.
All of the above are ways consumers can manage the cost of auto insurance. This necessary part of a household budget can get extremely high, and it’s critical for families and individuals to look at specific ways they can bring costs down without resorting to dropping their insurance policies, which leaves drivers open to suspension of licenses and other negative consequences.
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