Auto Insurance for an SSI Recipient

Auto insurance for SSI Recipients is available in NJ with their Special Automobile Insurance Policy (SAIP). Modifying your vehicle for your disability and you could also receive lower rates.

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Mathew B. Sims is Editor-in-Chief and has authored, edited, and contributed to several books. He has been working in the insurance industry ensuring content is accurate for consumers who are searching for the best policies and rates...

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Dan Walker graduated with a BS in Administrative Management in 2005 and has been working in his family’s insurance agency, FCI Agency, for 15 years (BBB A+). He is licensed as an agent to write property and casualty insurance...

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Reviewed byDaniel Walker
Licensed Insurance Agent

UPDATED: May 2, 2020

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Things to Remember
Summary DetailsFrom Experts...
SSI offers a benefit to those who qualify of no more than $783 per monthSocial Security Administration
SSI is available to qualified applicants who are disabled, blind, and/or over the age of 65Social Security Administration
There are ways to obtain additional supplemental income through programs like the Ticket to Work ProgramSocial Security Administration
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Auto insurance is required for drivers in nearly every state across the country. What is the minimum auto insurance coverage? But what happens if you can’t afford it? Drivers living on Supplemental Security Income (SSI) may face this very difficultly. So are there auto insurance for SSI recipient options?

We’ve done some research to help you out if you are on a limited income and don’t think you can afford auto insurance. Read through the next few sections to find out more on what your options are for affordable insurance, ways to lower your rates, factors that may affect those rates, and more.

Why not start by using your ZIP code to compare auto insurance quotes today and see how much you could save!

SSI and Auto Insurance

What exactly is SSI and how does it relate to auto insurance coverage? Take a few minutes to read through the following sections to answer that question, as well as learn more about factors affecting auto insurance premium quotes, and ways you may be able to decrease those rates.

What is SSI and how does it relate to auto insurance?

Many people depend on Supplemental Security Income (SSI) in the United States. It is a monthly benefit that helps augment income for those who are qualified (limited income is a requirement for applicants). Individuals who receive SSI can include:

  • Those who are disabled
  • Those who are blind
  • Those who are over the age of 65

While it may act as a supplement to some, others depend on it solely. According to the Social Security Administration, the most an individual can receive through this program in a month is $783.

In today’s economy, $783 doesn’t go very far, especially when considering the cost of living. Additionally, if the recipient has some other source of income (even a small amount), the SSI benefit may be reduced significantly.

Those who are enrolled in the SSI program often qualify for other state benefits such as Medicaid and food assistance to help supplement their financial situation.

But what about car insurance for ssi recipients? We know finding budget auto insurance can be overwhelming, but stick with us. You’ll find important information on your auto insurance purchasing options as an SSI recipient in the next several sections.

How can an SSI recipient get an affordable rate on auto insurance?

It is a common misconception that auto insurance is always expensive for those who are disabled or elderly. While this may be true in some cases, particularly if either factor affects your eyesight, mobility, or reaction time, it is not necessarily the case.

While some disabilities may put you in a higher risk category, not all disabilities  are categorized in the same way, from a risk perspective.

As someone who is disabled or elderly and with a limited income, you have to take extra care when searching for rates. There are a few things that insurance companies will look kindly upon when considering your rates, including:

Find out if your disability has been reported as a driving hazard from your medical provider. If they have reported it to the state, then the insurance companies may consider you a high-risk driver. If you’re considered a high-risk driver, this will have an affect on your rates, but you may still have options, including comparing high-risk auto insurance quotes.

One way to decrease perceived risk is to understand the factors insurance companies consider when adjusting your rates, and where possible, adjust behavior and choices to reduce your risk. We’ll take a look at some of those factors next.

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What factors can affect my insurance rates?

There are a number of factors insurance companies consider when adjusting your rates, nearly all of which come down to risk. While you may not be able to change all of these factors, there are things you can do to reduce your perceived risk in the eyes of your insurer, which may decrease your rates.

The following list of factors is not exhaustive, but covers some of the major considerations insurance companies use when adjusting your rates. We’ve used data from Quadrant to help illustrate how these factors affect rates.

Driving Record

As you might expect, your driving record can have a significant affect on your insurance rates. A clean driving record means lower rates. Take a look at this table to see average rates for a clean driving record versus one with a speeding ticket, an accident, and a DUI.

Average Auto Insurance Rates by Driving Record
Insurance CompanyClean recordWith 1 accidentWith 1 DUIWith 1 speeding violation
American Family$2,693.61$3,722.75$4,330.24$3,025.74
State Farm$2,821.18$3,396.01$3,636.80$3,186.01
Liberty Mutual$4,774.30$6,204.78$7,613.48$5,701.26
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As you can see, while the amounts vary by insurance company; even one incident on your driving record can have a significant affect on your rates.

Happily for you, this is something over which you have some control. Following all traffic laws and driving safely and defensively is one of the simplest things you can do to keep your insurance rates lower (and in some cases, even qualify for additional discounts).


Many insurance companies adjust rates based on age, gender, and marital status.

In general, the younger you are, the higher your insurance rates will be, males often pay more for insurance than females (though gender-based insurance adjustments are illegal in a number of states, including California, Hawaii, and New Jersey), and married couples are often perceived as lower risk, so they may receive lower rates. 

Take a look at this table for a summary of average insurance rates based on all three demographic factors.

Average Auto Insurance Rates by Age, Gender, and Marital Status
Insurance CompanySingle 17-year old femaleSingle 17-year old maleSingle 25-year old femaleSingle 25-year old maleMarried 35-year old femaleMarried 35-year old maleMarried 60-year old femaleMarried 60-year old male
State Farm$5,953.88$7,324.34$2,335.96$2,554.56$2,081.72$2,081.72$1,873.89$1,873.89
American Family$5,996.50$8,130.50$2,288.65$2,694.72$2,202.70$2,224.31$1,992.92$2,014.38
Liberty Mutual$11,621.01$13,718.69$3,959.67$4,503.13$3,802.77$3,856.84$3,445.00$3,680.53
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If you qualify for SSI based on age, the data in this table should be good news for you. Drivers age 60 and older get the best rates, across the nearly all of the major insurers. But who has the cheapest auto insurance for seniors? Based on the data in this table, USAA and State Farm offer the cheapest rates.

Credit History

Auto insurance and credit score doesn’t have to be a mystery. The better credit you have, the more responsible you appear to insurance companies, which they take to mean that you’ll be a low risk driver. Look at this table to see average rates based on credit score.

Average Auto Insurance Rate by Credit Score
Insurance CompanyGoodFairPoor
State Farm$2,174.26$2,853.00$4,951.20
American Family$2,691.74$3,169.53$4,467.98
Liberty Mutual$4,388.18$5,604.24$8,802.22
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As the data indicates, higher credit scores mean lower rates. In fact, on average, drivers with poor credit will pay about 66 percent more for insurance than drivers with good credit. 


Commute distance can also affect your rates. Why? Because the more time you spend on the road, the higher your chances of being in an accident. Thus, shorter average commutes can mean lower rates.

Average Rates by Commute Distance
Insurance Company10 miles commute. 6000 annual mileage.25 miles commute. 12000 annual mileage.
State Farm$3,175.98$3,344.01
American Family$3,401.30$3,484.88
Liberty Mutual$5,995.27$6,151.63
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While your commute distance may not have a significant affect on rates (the average rate increase between a 10 and 25 mile commute is about 2.29 percent), every little bit counts, so if there is a way to decrease your average commute, you may save on rates.

Coverage Level

As you might expect, the more coverage you purchase, the higher your rates may be. Take a look at this table to see how low, medium, and high levels of coverage may affect rates.

Average Rates by Coverage Level
Insurance CompanyHigh CoverageLow CoverageMedium Coverage
American Family$3,416.40$3,368.49$3,544.37
State Farm$3,454.80$3,055.40$3,269.80
Liberty Mutual$6,356.04$5,805.75$6,058.57
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Low coverage typically costs the least, and on average you’ll see a 5 percent increase from low to medium coverage and additional 5 percent increase from medium to high coverage. 

Ultimately, you’ll need to work with a licensed insurance agent to determine the right combination of insurance coverage for your needs and lifestyle, while taking into consideration what you can afford.

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How to Pay for Auto Insurance While on SSI

In addition to lowering your monthly auto insurance payment, there may be other options available to help you pay for auto insurance while on a limited income, including alternative forms of income, discounts, and state programs (when available).  Read through the next few sections to learn more.

Are there other income options available?

If you are able to work, currently an SSI recipient, and between the ages of 16 and 64, one option you can consider is applying for the Ticket to Work Program, designed to help those who are on SSI find a job that is able to accommodate their disability. Take a look at this video for more information on the program.

The extra money (even if it is just a few hundred dollars a month) can help you pay for auto insurance. Additionally, long term, it can help you improve your financial situation by putting you on the path to a career. 

Are there government programs available to help me pay for auto insurance?

So can you get help with auto insurance costs? Some states offer programs to assist low-income drivers in the purchase of auto insurance coverage. Once example of government auto insurance for low income drivers is the Special Automobile Insurance Policy (SAIP), offered by the state of New Jersey.

In order to obtain SAIP in New jersey, you’ll need to qualify for Medicaid (among other requirements). The program, also known as “dollar-a-day insurance,” allows qualifying drivers to purchase a certain amount of coverage (set by the state program) for literally a dollar each day (resulting in $365 per year for coverage).

Here, we’ve compared this $365 per year rate to average minimum liability rates in New Jersey, in order to better understand the cost difference offered by programs like the SAIP.

SAIP vs Liability Rates
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As you can see, the SAIP insurance coverage will cost you about 58 percent less than minimum liability coverage in New Jersey. 

This type of state-funded auto insurance program is specifically geared to help those who can’t necessarily afford traditional auto insurance on a limited income. The cost is very inexpensive and provides emergency treatment in an accident as well as a death benefit.

There are only three states in the country that currently offer programs to assist low income drivers in purchasing auto insurance: California, Hawaii, and New Jersey. This means there is not a low income auto insurance program in Kentucky, for example.

While these government auto insurance assistance programs are not specifically targeted at a particular age group, if the necessary qualifications are met, these programs do provide low income auto insurance for seniors as well as auto insurance assistance for single moms.

Ultimately, you should make sure you understand exactly what state programs like this cover, as they often provide only a very limited amount of financial protection in the event of an accident.

Be sure to check with your state to see if they offer a similar program.

Are there any auto insurance discounts that can lower my rates?

Most of the major insurance companies offer a variety of discounts to their insureds, some of which you may qualify for. In the below table, we’ve provided a summary of discounts from a number of large insurers across the country. Chances are, you’ll qualify for at least a few, which have the potential to significantly decrease your insurance rates.

Auto Insurance Discounts
Discounts21st CenturyAAAAllstateAmerican FamilyAmeripriseAmicaCountry FinancialEsuranceFarmersGeicoLiberty MutualMetLifeNationwideProgressiveSafe AutoSafecoState FarmThe GeneralThe HanoverThe HartfordTravelersUSAA
Adaptive Cruise Controlxxxx
Adaptive Headlightsxxxxxxxx
Anti-lock Brakesxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Claim Freexxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Continuous Coveragexxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Daytime Running Lightsxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Defensive Driverxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Distant Studentxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Driver's Edxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Driving Device/Appxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Early Signingxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Electronic Stability Controlxxxxxxxxx
Emergency Deploymentx
Engaged Couplex
Family Legacyxxxxxx
Family Planxxxxx
Farm Vehiclexxxx
Fast 5x
Federal Employeexxxx
Forward Collision Warningxxxxxxx
Full Paymentxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Further Educationxxxxxxxxx
Good Creditxxxx
Good Studentxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Green Vehiclexxxxxxx
Lane Departure Warningxxxx
Life Insurancexx
Low Mileagexxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Military Garagingx
Multiple Driversxx
Multiple Policiesxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Multiple Vehiclesxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
New Addressx
New Customer/New Planxxx
New Graduatex
Newer Vehiclexxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Newly Licensedx
Occasional Operatorx
On Time Paymentsxxxx
Online Shopperxx
Paperless Documentsxxxxxxxx
Paperless/Auto Billingxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Passive Restraintxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Recent Retireesxx
Roadside Assistancexx
Safe Driverxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Seat Belt Usex
Senior Driverxxxxxxxxx
Stable Residencexxxx
Students & Alumnixxxxxx
Switching Providerxxxxxxxxxxx
Utility Vehiclexxxx
Vehicle Recoveryxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
VIN Etchingxxxxxxxxxx
Young Driverxxxxxx
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As you can see, there are a number of available options, and you should speak to your insurance agent to find out what you qualify for. For example, if you’ve been traffic incident free for between three and five years, you may qualify for a good driver discount, so not only will your rates be lower due to your clean driving record, but you may also be rewarded with additional discounts. 

Some discounts are available based on where you work. For example, if you are a military or government employee, some auto insurance companies will automatically offer you discounts.

However, this does not mean the government agency you work for offers assistance in paying for auto insurance. For example, if you work for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), you may ask yourself, “does DHS help with auto insurance?” and the answer is no (though by working there you may qualify for a discount from your insurer).

In addition, multi-policy/vehicle discounts are a good option to consider if they are available to you. One way to do this is by being added to another family member’s policy. It is almost always cheaper to insure your vehicle on a family plan than by taking out your own individual policy.

This does typically require that you live in the same house as your family member, but some insurance companies differ on this stance, so you should speak with your insurance agent to find out whether or not you qualify.

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The Bottom Line

These days a car is almost a necessity, especially if you don’t have access to readily-available public transportation or family who can take you wherever you need to go. You shouldn’t have to go without a car just because you can’t afford auto insurance. As an SSI recipient, you have options to get more affordable rates, including:

  • Shopping around
  • Working with a licensed insurance agent to find out if there are any government assistance programs available
  • Working with a licensed insurance agent to find out what discounts you qualify for

You can also supplement your income to help offset the cost of auto insurance through programs like Ticket to Work.


Still have questions about auto insurance as an SSI recipient? Read through these frequently asked questions for more information.

What is the minimum auto insurance requirement in my state?

Nearly every state in the country has a requirement for the minimum amount of insurance coverage you must carry in order to be able to legally drive. These requirements vary from state-to-state. Take a look at this table, in which we’ve summarized data from the Insurance Information Institute, on the minimum requirements per state.

State Minimum Liability Insurance Requirements
StateRequired CoverageMinimum Liability Limits
AlabamaBI & PD Liab25/50/25
AlaskaBI & PD Liab50/100/25
ArizonaBI & PD Liab15/30/10
ArkansasBI & PD Liab, PIP25/50/25
CaliforniaBI & PD Liab15/30/5
ColoradoBI & PD Liab25/50/15
ConnecticutBI & PD Liab, UM, UIM25/50/20
DelawareBI & PD Liab, PIP25/50/10
District of ColumbiaBI & PD Liab, UM25/50/10
FloridaPD Liab, PIP10/20/10
GeorgiaBI & PD Liab25/50/25
HawaiiBI & PD Liab, PIP20/40/10
IdahoBI & PD Liab25/50/15
IllinoisBI & PD Liab, UM, UIM25/50/20
IndianaBI & PD Liab25/50/25
IowaBI & PD Liab20/40/15
KansasBI & PD Liab, PIP25/50/25
KentuckyBI & PD Liab, PIP, UM, UIM25/50/25
LouisanaBI & PD Liab15/30/25
MaineBI & PD Liab, UM, UIM, Medpay50/100/25
MarylandBI & PD Liab, PIP, UM, UIM30/60/15
MassachusettsBI & PD Liab, PIP20/40/5
MichiganBI & PD Liab, PIP20/40/10
MinnesotaBI & PD Liab, PIP, UM, UIM30/60/10
MississippiBI & PD Liab25/50/25
MissouriBI & PD Liab, UM25/50/25
MontanaBI & PD Liab25/50/20
NebraskaBI & PD Liab, UM, UIM25/50/25
NevadaBI & PD Liab25/50/20
New HampshireFR only25/50/25
New JerseyBI & PD Liab, PIP, UM, UIM15/30/5
New MexicoBI & PD Liab25/50/10
New YorkBI & PD Liab, PIP, UM, UIM25/50/10
North CarolinaBI & PD Liab, UM, UIM30/60/25
North DakotaBI & PD Liab, PIP, UM, UIM25/50/25
OhioBI & PD Liab25/50/25
OklahomaBI & PD Liab25/50/25
OregonBI & PD Liab, PIP, UM, UIM25/50/20
PennsylvaniaBI & PD Liab, PIP15/30/5
Rhode IslandBI & PD Liab25/50/25
South CarolinaBI & PD Liab, UM, UIM25/50/25
South DakotaBI & PD Liab, UM, UIM25/50/25
TennesseeBI & PD Liab25/50/15
TexasBI & PD Liab, PIP30/60/25
UtahBI & PD Liab, PIP25/65/15
VermontBI & PD Liab, UM, UIM25/50/10
VirginiaBI & PD Liab, UM, UIM25/50/20
WashingtonBI & PD Liab25/50/10
West VirginiaBI & PD Liab, UM, UIM25/50/25
WisconsinBI & PD Liab, UM, Medpay25/50/10
WyomingBI & PD Liab25/50/20
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For reference in looking at the table,

  • BD – bodily injury liability
  • PD – property damage liability
  • UM – uninsured motorist
  • UIM – underinsured motorist
  • PIP – personal injury protection

Who has the most affordable auto insurance?

As we’ve already discussed, auto insurance rates vary by state and a number of personal factors like those we mentioned earlier. However, to give you an idea of where you might find the most affordable auto insurance rates, we again used data from Quadrant Information Services to build a table with the average rages for the top ten insurance companies in the country.

Average Auto Insurance Rates
Insurance CompanyNational Average
American Family$1,282.72
State Farm$3,260.00
Liberty Mutual$5,120.76
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American Family offers the most affordable rates, but it’s important to remember that the best way for you to find affordable rates is to shop around, compare rates, and look at available discounts.

How can I get super cheap auto insurance?

As we’ve already noted, you have options like the government assistance programs offered in California, Hawaii, and New Jersey. If you don’t qualify for one of these options, or you want more coverage than is offered through these programs, you may be considering clicking on one of those ads that indicates $19 auto insurance rates.

Those rates sound great, but may not be available. Keep in mind most of these ads use the phrase “as low as” before the $19 per month rate. And to get a quote, you’ll need to provide a significant amount of personal information, so you’ll need to make sure you’re working through a reputable site.

It’s pretty unlikely you’ll be able to actually get a $19/month rate for auto insurance, but if you shop around, compare rates, and, and find out what discounts are available to you, you’ll still be able to find affordable rates for your needs and lifestyle.

What is the difference between minimum liability coverage and full coverage?

Minimum liability coverage, which is typically defined by the state in which you live (recall the table in the previous section), only covers the costs for damages and injuries of the other driver, if you’re at fault in an accident. Any damages or injuries you experience as a result of the accident will not be covered. Take a look at this video for more information.

By contrast, core coverage is a combination of liability, collision, and comprehensive coverage.

Collision coverage protects drivers when they’re in a collision (with a vehicle or object). This video provides a brief overview of collision coverage. Take a look.

Comprehensive coverage provides financial protection when your vehicle is damaged in anything other than a collision (which is why this from of coverage is often also referred to as “other-than-collision”). Watch this video for more on comprehensive coverage.

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