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However, not all states have a low-income program for car insurance. If not, then you’ll need to shop around for the best deal.
State Low Income Car Insurance Programs
All states require that drivers assume responsibility to pay for any damages, either to other vehicles or other drivers that they cause during an accident. All but one of the states requires that be done by buying a certain amount of liability insurance. Some states also require uninsured motorist coverage and some sort of medical coverage.
That cost can be substantial, especially in certain parts of the country. Therefore, some states have established programs to help good drivers who meet income requirements to afford car insurance.
Check with the department of insurance in your state to see if your state has such a program.
For example, California has such a program that can provide car insurance for as low as $400 per year. You must have a good driving record, have had a driver’s license for at least three years, be at least 19, and have a car worth less than $20,000. You must also meet the income requirements.
Problems with Low-Income Programs
While $400 per year sounds great for car insurance, remember that there are some drawbacks. These programs usually only provide the minimum amount of coverage you need to drive legally in your state. However, this might not be enough insurance to protect you financially. If you total someone’s $40,000 car and only carry $20,000 in liability, then they might sue for the remainder.
Also, remember that this policy doesn’t usually carry optional coverage like medical payments, personal injury protection, or comprehensive and collision. If you have a car loan, you’ll be required to have comp and collision. You’ll need to add that to the policy which will increase the cost of the premium.
In California, there’s also a surcharge added to premiums for men under the age of 25. This is because men in this age range are at the highest risk of being in a car accident. So make sure you read all of the fine print about these programs before signing up.
Other Ways to Save on Car Insurance
For those who live in states that don’t have a low-income car insurance program, there are still many ways you can cut the costs of your car insurance. By spending some time calling around or searching online combined with some smart shopping skills, anyone can save money on their car insurance.
If you can at all scrape the money together, pay the six-month premium in advance. Most insurance companies give a significant discount if the premium is paid in full rather than spaced out monthly. Then each month for the next six months, set aside one-sixth of the premium, so that in six months, when the next premium is due, you’ll have the money ready to pay.
Also, ask about other discounts. Don’t assume that the company is giving you every discount you are eligible for. Sometimes they don’t give it to you until you ask about it. You might be eligible for multi-car discounts if you own more than one car all insured on the same policy. If you use public transit and don’t use your car for regular commuting, be sure to tell them that as well.
If you are a student or have one on the policy who makes good grades, a good student discount can help lower rates as well. Also, try to get your car insurance and homeowners or renters insurance from the same company. Doing this will save you money on both types of policies. Also, ask for a good driver discount if it’s been at least three years since your last ticket or accident.
One of the best things you can do to save money is to shop around.
Not all companies charge the same for the same cars or for the same people. By getting quotes from different companies, you will have a better shot at finding a lower premium on the coverage you need. For more tips on saving money on car insurance, watch this podcast from the Insurance Information Institute.
Start your search for low-cost insurance now by typing your ZIP code into the FREE box!