I can’t afford my auto insurance, what should I do?



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Having auto insurance can be expensive, but it’s legally required for most drivers. Due to the potentially high cost, many people find themselves in a situation where they wonder, “I can’t afford my auto insurance, what should I do?” This guide will discuss your choices if you can’t afford your auto insurance policy.

Our team of experts have carefully reviewed all the major auto insurance providers and then identified the best companies in the industry for cheap auto insurance. Use our quote tool below to get free auto insurance quotes just by entering your zip code.

If I can’t pay for my auto insurance, what should I do?

It can be incredibly difficult to determine where to start when trying to lower your auto insurance costs. The following dos and don’ts should get you started if you’re wondering about your next steps when you can’t afford insurance.

Things to do

  • Examine your coverage to see if you can drop anything from full coverage auto insurance. If necessary, consider lowering your coverage limits to meet but not exceed your state’s minimum. Keep in mind that you want to feel comfortable with your coverage in the event of an accident.
  • Look for auto insurance discounts that you may have skipped when you first signed up. There may be discounts for having a good driving record or a good credit rating, for taking a defensive driving course or for having home insurance. You can also find a good student discount or reduced fares for being a safe driver.
  • Shop around and look at auto insurance rates from several providers.
  • Consider taking a higher deductible to reduce your monthly payments.
  • Consider if you can stop driving altogether. If you don’t drive, you won’t need auto insurance.
  • Take a closer look at the different areas of your budget. See if you can cut other expenses to free up disposable income to pay your auto insurance bill.

Things not to do

  • When reducing the cover, don’t drop it completely. This is crucial because your state likely requires all drivers to have auto insurance and imposes hefty penalties for driving without it. Penalties can include fines or the suspension of your license and registration. Depending on your state, you can even serve a prison sentence if you drive without insurance.
  • Never lie to your insurer. This could potentially lower your monthly rate, but if your provider finds out, you could have serious legal issues.
  • Do not increase your deductible to an amount that you cannot afford in a car accident.

When can you give up insurance coverage?

One of the most tempting ways to get auto insurance is to cut some of your coverage. Only do this with the types of auto insurance that your state does not legally require.

The most popular option is to give up collision coverage or comprehensive insurance. The caveat here is that you should only drop them off if your car has lost the majority of its value, usually when it is at least 10 years old.

Comprehensive coverage protects against types of property damage such as vandalism, accidents with animals, fire, theft, hail and similar issues. Collision insurance helps provide funds for the repair or replacement of your car in the event of a car accident. You can probably give them up if your car isn’t worth a lot because you might start paying more insurance premiums than your car is worth. At the very least, the amount of money that insurance saves you drastically decreases over time. Dropping coverage wouldn’t make financial sense for a new car, but it works well with cheaper cars.

To decide whether it is a good idea to abandon accident and damage insurance coverage:

  1. Look at the value of your car according to your insurer.
  2. Compare that with your deductible and your monthly auto insurance premium.
  3. Decide if your car is worth enough to continue paying for coverage.

If you are in dire financial straits, you can give up comprehensive insurance or collision insurance to meet your condition’s minimum. Remember, you can’t get by without auto insurance. All states except New Hampshire and Virginia legally require it, and you can face fines or other penalties if you don’t. Some states require uninsured motorist insurance for each new policy in addition to liability coverage.

It should also be noted that if you are leasing your car or still paying it off, your lender may require you to purchase other types of insurance. Some lenders, for example, require collision insurance.

Are there any federal low income insurance programs?

There is no federal auto insurance program for low-income people for one simple reason: the government does not consider motor vehicle ownership a requirement. Remember that auto insurance standards are only set at the state level.

California, Hawaii, and New Jersey have public auto insurance programs which are also known as government auto insurance. These are generally great solutions for low income families because they offer cheap auto insurance. The programs generally have upper limits on annual income, but provide a great solution for those who qualify.

California has the Low-Cost Automobile Program (CLCA). This program only provides assistance with the purchase of the minimum coverage required by the state, which is liability insurance.

In Hawaii, those who receive public assistance can benefit from free no-fault insurance.

Residents of New Jersey can take advantage of the Special Auto Insurance Policy (SAIP). If you qualify for this program, you can pay only $ 365 per year for limited insurance. To qualify for this program, insureds must be receiving federal Medicaid benefits that include hospitalization. This policy covers emergency care following a collision.

Our recommendations for auto insurance

As mentioned, one of the steps to take if you are wondering, “I can’t afford my auto insurance, what should I do?” Is to compare the offers of the best auto insurance providers. To make it easier for you, we’ve put together our top recommendations for auto insurance companies.

We also encourage you to use the citation box below. You can find cheap rates when you compare auto insurance quotes from several providers, and you can immediately start finding auto insurance rates by zip code.

GEICO: 9.1 out of 10.0

GEICO is our top insurance recommendation, whether you want to save money or get comprehensive coverage. While it is particularly useful for students and the military, anyone can benefit from the company’s great rates.

In addition to an overall rating of 9.1 out of 10.0, our experts gave GEICO stellar ratings for its industry rating, coverage, average cost, and customer service standards.

USAA: 8.9 out of 10.0

USAA is a unique auto insurance option that is only available to military personnel and their families. If you do qualify, however, the provider is worth considering. In our expert review, the insurance company scored 9.0 out of 10.0 for industry reputation, costs and customer experience, with a score of just under 8.5 out of 10, 0 for coverage.

State Farm: 8.5 out of 10.0

With an overall score of 8.5 out of 10.0, State Farm stands out as a good option for everyone, with particularly strong choices for students and teens. Our team gave State Farm a 9.5 out of 10.0 rating for its reputation in the industry, 8.5 out of 10.0 for coverage, and a consistently respectable rating of 8.0 out of 10, 0 for cost and customer experience.


The Detroit Bureau collects data from each major auto insurance provider to formulate rankings of the best insurers. Our in-depth rating system takes into account market share, coverage, pricing, customer satisfaction, and industry expert ratings. Each insurer is assigned a weighted score in four categories, as well as an overall score out of 10.0.

We recommend auto insurance companies based on these rankings, but we also encourage you to do your own research and compare quotes to find the best coverage.


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