Some states may offer car insurance assistance for people who meet specific low-income requirements. You can also shop insurance carriers that specialize in offering coverage plans for people who can afford to meet only the minimum coverage requirements.
Contact Your State Insurance Commission
Get in touch with your state’s insurance commission to find out what minimum insurance coverage requirements are and whether you qualify for any low-income programs. The type of insurance you’ll need may vary based on the age of your vehicle and whether you carry a loan on the car. Have this information on hand when you make your inquiry.
Call Local Social Services
Call your county’s department of social services and ask about low-income car insurance programs or about referrals to local agencies or reputable insurance carriers that specialize in policy coverage for those with minimal resources. You may have to apply for social services before you’re eligible for any programs. This usually involves providing information about household size, employment status and earnings, typically by providing pay stubs, tax returns and Social Security information.
Contact the BBB
Contact your local Better Business Bureau for names of reputable insurance carriers that offer low-cost, low-income coverage options. The BBB can provide you with information about the reputation of the companies and whether they have complaints against them.
Request Coverage Rates
Contact at least three car insurance providers and ask for a coverage quote that meets your state’s basic minimum requirements as well as fulfills the requirements of your lender, if you have one. You may be required to consent to a credit check and provide information about your driving history and income. Bare-bones, low-cost policies usually have high deductibles, so while you may meet coverage basics, you’ll likely have to contribute heavily out-of-pocket if you file a claim.
Pick a Plan
Compare your rate quotes and select a plan that meets your coverage needs and has a premium payment you can manage on your income. You may be able to negotiate a better price by paying your premiums annually rather than monthly. Ask about additional discounts for safe driving records. Review your coverage every year and comparison shop before renewing a plan to be sure you’re always getting the best option for your money.
Drive an Older Car
A new car with a high-dollar auto loan will always cost more to insure than an older model vehicle that’s fully paid for. If you’re have a tough time making ends meet on your low income, consider downsizing to a used car with low or no payments. That will reduce your monthly budget obligations and likely give you less expensive insurance coverage options.
Lisa McQuerrey has been an award-winning writer and author for more than 25 years. She specializes in business, finance, workplace/career and education. Publications she’s written for include Southwest Exchange and InBusiness Las Vegas.