Auto Insurance for SSI Recipients: Everything You Need to Know

Auto insurance for SSI recipients is the same as for any other driver, and there are no social security disability rules on cars. However, SSI recipients are on a fixed income, which caps at $783/mo, while auto insurance averages $312/mo. The good news is that SSI recipient auto insurance can be lowered by discounts. Before you buy auto insurance for SSI recipients, always compare auto insurance quotes from multiple companies to find the best rate.

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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. He has also been featured on sites like UpJourney.

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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, including home, auto, umbrella, and dwelling fire insurance. He’s also been featured on sites like Reviews.com and Safeco. He reviews content, ensuring that ex...

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Reviewed by Daniel Walker
Licensed Auto Insurance Agent

UPDATED: Oct 8, 2021

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Supplemental Security Income (SSI) Summary
SSI FactsFrom 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 for people who receive SSI benefits can be costly because they are statistically riskier to insure. Cheap car insurance policies may be difficult to find. Insurance for seniors is more expensive than average. However, there are options for SSI recipients to find cheap auto insurance products.

We’ve done some research to help you find affordable auto insurance policies for SSI recipients and discounts for seniors.

As you read through the next few sections, you’ll learn more about your options for auto coverage, ways to lower your rates, what discounts, such as senior discounts, are available for SSI recipients, and factors that may affect your monthly rates for senior car insurance.

If you’re ready to start shopping now, just enter your ZIP code to compare auto insurance quotes for SSI recipients today and see how much you could save.

What Is Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and does it affect auto insurance?

What exactly is SSI, and how does it relate to auto insurance coverage? Many people depend on Supplemental Security Income (SSI) in the United States.

It’s a monthly benefit that helps augment income for qualified individuals (limited income is a requirement for applicants). SSI recipients may 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 SSI 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 living costs. Additionally, if the recipient has some other income (even a small amount), the SSI benefit may be reduced significantly.

Social security disability and driving don’t necessarily go hand in hand.

Can SSI help me get a car?

It’s not likely, but SSI recipients may be referred to car sales that are affordable for SSI recipients.

What insurance do you get with SSI?

Although an SSI recipient won’t receive free car  insurance for being disabled, some drivers are enrolled in the SSI program that qualifies them for other state benefits.

These benefits include Medicaid or food assistance to help supplement their financial situation.

But what about auto insurance for SSI recipients?

We know finding the right policy on a budget can be overwhelming but stick with us. You’ll find important information on your coverage purchasing options as an SSI recipient in the next several sections.

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Will an SSI recipient get a special rate on auto insurance?

It’s a common misconception that vehicle policies are 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, SSI policies for vehicles aren’t much different than the standard policy.

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

Is auto insurance cheaper if you are disabled? 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 by your medical provider. If they have reported it to the state, the insurance companies may consider you a high-risk driver regardless of your driving abilities.

If you’re considered a high-risk driver, this will affect your rates, but you may still have options, including comparing high-risk auto insurance quotes.

One way to make reductions to the perceived risk is to understand the factors insurance providers consider when adjusting your rates and, where possible, change 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 premiums?

There are several factors an insurance carrier considers 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 most significant considerations insurance companies take into account when adjusting your rates.

Who has the most affordable auto insurance? We’ve used data from Quadrant to help illustrate how these factors affect rates.

How important is my driving record?

As you might expect, your driving record can have a significant effect on your insurance premiums. A clean driving record means lower rates.

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 Annual Auto Insurance Rates by Driving Record
Insurance CompaniesAverage Annual Auto Insurance Rates with a Clean RecordAverage Annual Auto Insurance Rates with 1 AccidentAverage Annual Auto Insurance Rates with 1 DUIAverage Annual Auto Insurance Rates with 1 Speeding Violation
USAA$1,933.68$2,516.24$3,506.03$2,193.25
GEICO$2,145.96$3,192.77$4,875.87$2,645.43
American Family$2,693.61$3,722.75$4,330.24$3,025.74
Nationwide$2,746.18$3,396.95$4,543.20$3,113.68
State Farm$2,821.18$3,396.01$3,636.80$3,186.01
Average$3,102.08$4,076.60$4,895.38$3,641.34
Progressive$3,393.09$4,777.04$3,969.65$4,002.28
Travelers$3,447.69$4,289.74$5,741.40$4,260.80
Farmers$3,460.60$4,518.73$4,718.75$4,079.01
Allstate$3,819.90$4,987.68$6,260.73$4,483.51
Liberty Mutual$4,774.30$6,204.78$7,613.48$5,701.26
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While the amounts vary by the insurance company, even one incident on your driving record can significantly affect your rates.

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

How do your age, gender, and marital status affect your rates?

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

The younger you are, the higher your premiums will be.

Males often pay more for coverage than females (though gender-based price adjustments are illegal in several 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, which summarizes average costs based on all three demographic factors.

Average Annual Auto Insurance Rates by Marital Status, Age, & Gender
CompaniesAverage Annual Auto Insurance Rates for a
Married 60-Year-Old Female
Average Annual Auto Insurance Rates for a
Married 60-Year-Old Male
Average Annual Auto Insurance Rates for a
Married 35-Year-Old Female
Average Annual Auto Insurance Rates for a
Married 35-Year-Old Male
Average Annual Auto Insurance Rates for a
Single 25-Year-Old Female
Average Annual Auto Insurance Rates for a
Single 25-Year-Old Male
Average Annual Auto Insurance Rates for a
Single 17-Year-Old Female
Average Annual Auto Insurance Rates for a
Single 17-Year-Old Male
USAA$1,449.85$1,448.98$1,551.43$1,540.32$1,988.52$2,126.14$4,807.54$5,385.61
State Farm$1,873.89$1,873.89$2,081.72$2,081.72$2,335.96$2,554.56$5,953.88$7,324.34
Progressive$1,991.49$2,048.63$2,296.90$2,175.27$2,697.73$2,758.66$8,689.95$9,625.49
American Family$1,992.92$2,014.38$2,202.70$2,224.31$2,288.65$2,694.72$5,996.50$8,130.50
Travelers$2,051.98$2,074.41$2,178.66$2,199.51$2,325.25$2,491.21$9,307.32$12,850.91
Nationwide$2,130.26$2,214.62$2,360.49$2,387.43$2,686.48$2,889.04$5,756.37$7,175.31
GEICO$2,247.06$2,283.45$2,302.89$2,312.38$2,378.89$2,262.87$5,653.55$6,278.96
Average $2,256.77$2,321.85$2,463.17$2,455.52$2,728.82$2,897.33$7,490.91$8,816.41
Farmers$2,336.80$2,448.39$2,556.98$2,557.75$2,946.80$3,041.44$8,521.97$9,144.04
Allstate$2,913.37$2,990.64$3,156.09$3,123.01$3,424.87$3,570.93$9,282.19$10,642.53
Liberty Mutual$3,445.00$3,680.53$3,802.77$3,856.84$3,959.67$4,503.13$11,621.01$13,718.69
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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 nearly all of the major insurers.

But who has the cheapest auto insurance for seniors? Based on the data in this table, USAA, State Farm, and Progressive offer the most affordable rates. Keep in mind that USAA serves only military members and veterans.

Let’s continue reviewing auto insurance discounts for disabled and other qualified drivers.

Do insurers check my credit history?

What about auto insurance and your credit score? It’s simple – the better credit you have, the more responsible you appear to insurers, which they take to mean you’ll be a low-risk driver. Look at this table to see average rates based on credit score.

Average Annual Auto Insurance Rates by Credit Score
Insurance CompananiesAverage Annual Auto Insurance Rates with Good CreditAverage Annual Auto Insurance Rates with Fair CreditAverage Annual Auto Insurance Rates with Poor Credit
USAA$1,821.20$2,219.83$3,690.73
State Farm$2,174.26$2,853.00$4,951.20
GEICO$2,434.82$2,986.79$4,259.50
American Family$2,691.74$3,169.53$4,467.98
Nationwide$2,925.94$3,254.83$4,083.29
Progressive$3,628.85$3,956.31$4,737.64
Farmers$3,677.12$3,899.41$4,864.14
Allstate$3,859.66$4,581.16$6,490.65
Travelers$4,058.97$4,344.10$5,160.22
Liberty Mutual$4,388.18$5,604.24$8,802.22
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As the data shows, higher credit scores mean lower rates. In fact, on average, drivers with poor credit will pay about 66% more for insurance than drivers with good credit.

Does my commute distance matter?

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

Average Annual Auto Insurance Rates by Commute Distance
Insurance CompaniesAverage Annual Auto Insurance Rates for a
10 Miles Commute
6000 Annual Mileage
Average Annual Auto Insurance Rates for a
25 Miles Commute
12000 Annual Mileage
USAA$2,482.69$2,591.91
GEICO$3,162.64$3,267.37
State Farm$3,175.98$3,344.01
American Family$3,401.30$3,484.88
Nationwide$3,437.33$3,462.67
Progressive$4,030.02$4,041.01
Farmers$4,179.32$4,209.22
Travelers$4,399.85$4,469.96
Allstate$4,841.71$4,934.20
Liberty Mutual$5,995.27$6,151.63
Average$3,884.36$3,973.33
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While your commute distance may not have a significant effect on rates (the average rate increase between a 10- and 25-mile commute is about 2.29%), every little bit counts, so if there’s a way to decrease your average commute, you may save on rates.

What coverage level should I choose?

As you might expect, the more coverage you purchase, the higher your rates may be. Look at this table to see how low, medium, and high coverage levels compare.

Average Annual Auto Insurance Rates by Coverage Level
CompaniesAverage Annual Auto Insurance Rates for High CoverageAverage Annual Auto Insurance Rates for Low CoverageAverage Annual Auto Insurance Rates for Medium Coverage
USAA$2,667.92$2,404.11$2,539.87
American Family$3,416.40$3,368.49$3,544.37
GEICO$3,429.14$3,001.91$3,213.97
State Farm$3,454.80$3,055.40$3,269.80
Nationwide$3,505.37$3,394.83$3,449.80
Progressive$4,350.96$3,737.13$4,018.46
Farmers$4,494.13$3,922.47$4,166.22
Travelers$4,619.07$4,223.63$4,462.02
Allstate$5,139.02$4,628.03$4,896.81
Liberty Mutual$6,356.04$5,805.75$6,058.57
Average$4,131.28$3,723.28$3,931.99
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Low coverage typically costs the least, and on average you’ll see a 5% increase from low to medium coverage and an additional 5% increase from medium to high coverage.

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

What are some ways to save money on auto insurance while on SSI?

In addition to lowering your monthly car insurance payment, there may be other options available to help you pay for auto coverage 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 can work, you’re currently an SSI recipient, and you’re 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 can accommodate their disability.

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 or discounts available to help me pay for auto insurance?

o can you get help with auto premiums? Some states offer programs to assist low-income drivers in the purchase of auto insurance coverage. There is no free auto insurance for disabled individuals, but you can get help.

One example of government auto insurance for low-income drivers is the Special Automobile Insurance Policy (SAIP), offered by the state of New Jersey. It’s also known as Dollar-A-Day Car Insurance.

To obtain the SAIP for Dollar-A-Day Car Insurance in New Jersey, you’ll need to qualify for Medicaid (among other requirements).

The “dollar-a-day insurance” program 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 to better understand the cost difference offered by programs like the SAIP.

Average Annual Rates: SAIP vs Liability Auto Insurance Rates
Average Annual SAIP Rates in New JerseyAverage Annual Liability Rates in New Jersey
$365$869.57
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As you can see, the SAIP insurance coverage will cost you about 58% 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 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 for families.

Government auto coverage for low-income drivers is only available in three states in the country. California, Hawaii, and New Jersey currently offer programs to assist low-income drivers in purchasing auto policies.

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 what state programs like this cover, as they often provide only a minimal 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 table below, we’ve provided a summary of discounts from some large insurers across the country. Chances are, you’ll be eligible 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
Anti-Theftxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
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
Garaging/Storingxxxxxx
Good Creditxxxx
Good Studentxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Green Vehiclexxxxxxx
Homeownerxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Lane Departure Warningxxxx
Life Insurancexx
Low Mileagexxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Loyaltyxxxxxxxxxxxx
Marriedxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Membership/Groupxxxxxxxxxxx
Militaryxxxxxxxxxxx
Military Garagingx
Multiple Driversxx
Multiple Policiesxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Multiple Vehiclesxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
New Addressx
New Customer/New Planxxx
New Graduatex
Newer Vehiclexxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Newly Licensedx
Newlywedsx
Non-Smoker/Non-Drinkerx
Occasional Operatorx
Occupationxxxxxxxxxxxx
On Time Paymentsxxxx
Online Shopperxx
Paperless Documentsxxxxxxxx
Paperless/Auto Billingxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Passive Restraintxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Recent Retireesxx
Renterxxx
Roadside Assistancexx
Safe Driverxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Seat Belt Usex
Senior Driverxxxxxxxxx
Stable Residencexxxx
Students & Alumnixxxxxx
Switching Providerxxxxxxxxxxx
Utility Vehiclexxxx
Vehicle Recoveryxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
VIN Etchingxxxxxxxxxx
Volunteerx
Young Driverxxxxxx
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As you can see, there are quite a few available options, and you should speak to your agent to find out what you qualify for.

If you’ve been traffic incident-free for between three and five years, you may qualify for a good driver discount. 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 policyholders discounts.

However, this doesn’t mean the government agency you work for offers assistance in paying for auto coverage.

If you work for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), you may ask yourself, “does DHS help with auto insurance?” The answer is no, not directly, but your employment there may make you eligible for a discount from your insurer.

Also, multi-policy/vehicle discounts are an excellent 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’s almost always cheaper to insure your vehicle on a family plan rather than taking out your own policy.

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

Should I let my auto insurance lapse?

Although it might be tempting to let your auto coverage lapse when money is tight, it can wind up costing you more in the long run.

If you still drive without proof of insurance, you can face huge penalties as an uninsured driver. You can be fined, have your driver’s license suspended for months, and even face jail time. Being an uninsured driver can ultimately cost more than liability insurance with the minimum requirements from even the most expensive insurance company.

Also, if you show a period of time without auto insurance coverage, your rates can actually be higher when you decide to reinstate your policy.

If you don’t plan to drive your vehicle for a while, speak with your insurance company about lowering your coverage to the smallest amount possible or switching to a pay-per-mile program. This will save you money and not penalize you.

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Auto Insurance For SSI Recipients: What’s 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 members 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 auto insurance costs through programs like Ticket to Work.

You can compare rates for SSI recipients right now by entering your ZIP code in the free online quote tool below.

Frequently Asked Questions: Auto Insurance For SSI Recipients

Do you still have questions about auto insurance as an SSI recipient, or do you still wonder which auto insurance company for SSI recipients is best for you? Read through these frequently asked questions for more information.

#1 – How can I get super cheap SSI recipient auto insurance?

As we’ve already noted, you have options like the government assistance programs offered in California, Hawaii, and New Jersey.

Low-cost SSI recipient auto insurance may not be available. It’s pretty unlikely you’ll be able to get a $19/month rate for auto insurance.

If you shop around, compare rates, and find out what discounts are available to you, you’ll still be able to find affordable rates for SSI recipients.

#2 – Is auto insurance cheaper if you are disabled?

It depends on the company. Disabled drivers tend to be high-risk drivers, so their auto insurance can be expensive. However, the right discounts and factors that determine insurance can lower auto insurance rates.

#3 – How much savings can an SSI recipient have?

An SSI recipient can have $2,000 in their savings. A couple that receives SSI benefits is allowed $3,000 in their savings.

#4 – Can SSI help me get a car?

You can own as many cars as you want with SSI, but the benefits do not extend to helping you obtain a vehicle.

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