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

48 out of 50 states have minimum liability requirements that all drivers must meet. Lower your auto insurance rates by comparing quotes and finding hidden discounts.

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Leslie Kasperowicz holds a BA in Social Sciences from the University of Winnipeg. She spent several years as a Farmers Insurance CSR, gaining a solid understanding of insurance products including home, life, auto, and commercial and working directly with insurance customers to understand their needs. She has since used that knowledge in her more than ten years as a writer, largely in the insuranc...

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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: Jul 18, 2021

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It’s all about you. We want to help you make the right coverage choices.

Advertiser Disclosure: We strive to help you make confident auto insurance decisions. Comparison shopping should be easy. We are not affiliated with any one auto insurance provider and cannot guarantee quotes from any single provider. Our partnerships don’t influence our content. Our opinions are our own. To compare quotes from many different companies please enter your ZIP code on this page to use the free quote tool. The more quotes you compare, the more chances to save.

Editorial Guidelines: We are a free online resource for anyone interested in learning more about auto insurance. Our goal is to be an objective, third-party resource for everything auto insurance related. We update our site regularly, and all content is reviewed by auto insurance experts.

Things to Remember...

  • There are no alternatives for people who cannot afford auto insurance other than to stop driving
  • Something that many people rarely consider when struggling to pay their insurance bill is reducing some of their other costs in an effort to pay it, ie too much auto coverage, cable, Netflix etc
  • Your minimum requirement from your state is liability only

If you can’t afford your auto insurance you will need to find a car that is cheaper to insure, obtain auto insurance discounts, decrease your deductible or change the optional insurance covers you are paying.

There are no alternatives for people who cannot afford auto insurance other than to stop driving.

The bottom line is that it’s the state law, in all states except New Hampshire, to carry auto insurance and there are no exceptions to this rule.

When you look online for the solution to your problem of being able to afford your insurance, you will find a lot information about why you can’t afford to be without auto insurance.

There really isn’t any good information about what to do if you simply don’t make enough money to make those monthly payments.

The reason for this is simple, there is no solution; at least not in the sense of government help or reduced cost plans for people in lower income brackets.

That, however, doesn’t mean that you can’t do some things for yourself, the question is, are you willing to go the extra mile to be able to afford some sort of insurance.

Enter your zip code below to find the lowest auto insurance quotes for your area!

Why isn’t there federal coverage for auto insurance for people in a low-income bracket?

The bottom line is that the government doesn’t consider car ownership a requirement, which means that they don’t consider paying for auto insurance as part of a federal or local government responsibly.

What it boils down to is that driving a car is not a life or death choice, unlike health care, which means that they aren’t going to provide a helping hand in terms of paying those bills.

In the eyes of the government, if you can’t afford the fiscal responsibilities that come with owning a car, then you need to consider other transportation options.

The first thing that you need to consider is the car that you are driving.

It may seem untenable to you, but if you are driving a new car that requires full coverage, because of your lender, then you may need to give up that car in lieu of something that you own outright.

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When is it OK to drop coverage options?

When you buy a car that you have to finance, your lender will require you to purchase comprehensive and collision coverage for your vehicle in order to protect that investment. However, your minimum requirement from your state is liability only.

While your lending company is within their legal rights to require you to carry more expensive insurance, if you own your car and don’t owe any money to a bank, then you can forgo this additional coverage.

If buying a car outright is out of the question, then buying a used older car may be the solution. Even if you get a loan, your obligation for insurance will be lower because the value of the vehicle is lower.

For example, a 2002 Dodge Caravan with 100K miles on it and middle of the line comprehensive, collision and liability coverage is only $52 a month for a middle aged driver with a clean driving record, in some states.

Liability only for this vehicle drops to $29 a month, a very affordable rate.

What else can I do to reduce my costs?

Something that many people rarely consider when struggling to pay their insurance bill is reducing some of their other costs in an effort to pay it.

For example, cut back on some wants like cable or out-to-eat expenses. It’s better to carry auto insurance and not be liable for an accident or be penalized.

If you have to have comprehensive and collision coverage, don’t forget to choose a higher deductible. This will go a long way towards keeping your rates down as well.

I’ve Trimmed My Budget All I Can

You should never underestimate the power of shopping around for your auto insurance needs.

You have probably seen dozens of different commercials about how one auto insurance company or another has saved their customers hundreds of dollars a year; the truth is that these are valid claims.

The problem is a company that has low rates for one person may not have low rates for another. By shopping around, you can find the company that can offer you the lowest rates.

Enter your zip code below and start comparing rates with your free online auto insurance quotes right now!

Free Auto Insurance Comparison

Enter your ZIP code below to view companies that have cheap auto insurance rates.

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