Personal Finance Expert
Tyron Jones is a finance expert who has operated within the auto insurance business for more than 10 years. He has written many other finance related articles for a number of prominent publications.
If you're the a owner, you're legally required to have a car insurance policy to drive your car in most parts of the United States. While this can be an expensive reality, it's critical to avoid driving your vehicle without insurance. Not having a policy that covers your car can cost you thousands of dollars – penalties can be extremely severe.
If you're facing an issue of affordability, it can feel like you'll never be able to find a car insurance policy that will fit your budget. Fortunately, almost anyone can afford car insurance if you're willing to do the work to find a policy that's in your price range. The less effort you're willing to put in, the more you'll end up paying for your insurance.
In this guide, we'll be taking a closer look at different ways you can find insurance policies that are within your price range.
Is Your Insurance Rate Above the Industry Average?
Before you can determine if you can afford a different insurance policy, it's important to take a look at the current industry averages. Just because one insurance company is offering you a rate, doesn't mean that you must accept this is the standard. Insurance rates will vary depending on the city that you live in.
Start by looking up the average insurance rates in your area. For example, Michigan has the highest insurance premiums in the country, so you'll have a much better chance of finding affordable insurance in another state. Local regulations and driving habits play a considerable role in how much you will end up paying for your insurance premiums.
Also, make sure when you're exploring average prices that you're looking at the type of insurance that is relevant to you. For example, if you're looking at the average cost of comprehensive insurance, this will vary drastically from the price of liability insurance.
Are You a New Driver or a Current Driver?
The best way to approach finding more affordable insurance will depend if you're already driving a car. If you're someone who already has a car insurance policy, but you suddenly can't afford it, it's a good idea to determine why you can't afford the policy. If your policy has suddenly increased for no reason, make sure to contact your insurance company before you're certain that you can't afford it – they might be able to offer you a deal.
Our Step-by-Step Guide for Drivers That Can't Afford insurance
Once you assess if you're a new driver or current driver, it's time to look for insurance that fits within your budget. If you're a current driver, make sure you know the best rate that your current insurance company is willing to offer you. Call your broker or insurance company and tell them that you can't afford the policy and that you're planning on looking elsewhere – see if they're willing to cut you a deal.
If a deal isn't on the cards, it's time to use our step-by-step guide for seeking lower insurance rates. Check it out below:
Step 1: Start by Looking at Other Insurance Companies
If you're currently in a position where you can't pay for car insurance, the issue might be as simple as choosing the wrong insurance company. While there are tons of insurance companies to choose from online, it's critical to make sure that you partner with a company that offers affordable rates. One of the biggest mistakes we see is drivers that are too loyal to their current insurance companies – don't overpay for insurance purely because you've been with a single insurance company for years.
So, if you're having problems finding an insurance policy that's within your budget, always make sure that you're looking at other competitors on the market. The internet has made it extremely easy to look at different insurance policies online. In most cases, it will only take a matter of minutes to fill out your details and receive a free quote.
Online comparison tools are also extremely useful. You can now look at multiple quotes at the same time by plugging in details about yourself and your car – make sure to provide accurate information if you want to receive an accurate quote.
Step 2: Consider Increasing Your Deductible
If you're someone who has an insurance policy with a low deductible, increasing it can have an immediate impact on your premiums – it's one of the easiest ways to see a marked difference in the amount that you're paying for your insurance premiums.
Your deductible is how much money you're expected to contribute towards an insurance claim. For example, if your deductible is $500, you will need to contribute $500 towards any claim. If you get into an accident that causes $2,000 worth of damage, your insurance provider will only be responsible for covering $1,500 of the claim. Alternatively, if you're in an accident that causes $500 worth of damage, your insurance company won't need to contribute towards the repair costs.
If you're willing to raise this deductible, which means that you'll have to contribute more towards a claim, you can reduce your overall premiums significantly. While this does leave you exposed to higher costs if you get into an accident, it will help you reduce your premiums. Only raise your deductible to a level that you can afford to pay out – you don't want to get stuck owing more money than you can afford if you get into an accident.
Step 3: Assess Your Coverage
Another element to consider is the amount of coverage that you have. In most states, you'll only need liability coverage to legally drive on the road, which means that comprehensive insurance might not be necessary for you. Considering that comprehensive insurance is extremely expensive, it can be a good idea to reduce your coverage levels if you want to avoid premiums that are too expensive.
For example, if you don't need extensive windshield coverage or any other similar benefits that cost extra money, it might be worth it to go without them. While all of these additional benefits sound like good value, they often add an extreme amount of money to your premiums, despite the fact that you likely won't use them.
Take a look at your coverage and speak to your insurance provider about ways you can remove features to reduce the cost of your policy. In some cases, this might not be possible. For example, if you're someone who has a car that's been purchased using an auto loan, your lender might have certain stipulations about the amount of coverage that you require.
Step 4: Unlock Discounts
If you're not having any luck with the initial steps in our guide, you can still rely on various discounts to help you reduce the cost of your insurance policy. There are plenty of different discounts now available at many of the largest insurance companies in the country. Check which ones you're eligible for and try and take advantage of the serious savings available:
Low Mileage Discounts
One of the best ways to access savings on your insurance policy is to use a low mileage discount. If you're someone that doesn't use your car for long journeys, you might be able to access a low mileage discount that provides a reduced rate if you're able to keep your annual car mileage under a certain level.
The less you drive, the fewer opportunities you'll have to get into an accident. Insurance companies recognize this and provide low mileage discounts for drivers that are willing to keep miles to a minimum. Just make sure that you're able to keep your mileage low if you're going to sign up for this type of discount.
Good Grade Discounts
If you're a college or high school student, you might be able to reduce your insurance rates by getting good grades. Some insurance companies will offer reduced premiums to clients that can prove they've achieved certain grades. If you're young, this can be an excellent way to reduce your insurance premiums – younger drivers typically must pay more to insure their cars.
Another common discount that can help you reduce your insurance costs is an affiliation discount. Whether it be your employer or an organization that you volunteer for, there are sometimes insurance company affiliations that can help you access extra discounts. For example, your employer might have a partnership with an insurance company that gives you a specific discount.
Safety Feature Discounts
If you're willing to install safety features on your vehicle, you might be able to reduce the cost of your insurance. Anti-theft systems and other safety features that can protect the value of your car might be eligible for additional discounts. Ask your insurance company if this is a possibility.
By combining your auto insurance with other forms of insurance, you can reduce the cost of your premium. For example, some insurance companies will allow you to add homeowners' insurance and other forms of insurance to your auto insurance premium – this can help you unlock discounts.
While the above examples are some of the most popular discounts on the market, there are also plenty of other options that you can take advantage of. Most insurance companies will have a list of their various discounts posted on their website – make sure to explore this if you want to unlock extra savings.
Step 5: Improve Your Credit Score
While this might not be what you want to hear, improving your credit score can go a long way in helping you access more affordable car insurance. Many auto insurance companies look at credit scores to determine your level of responsibility. The better your credit is, the more likely you are to be offered a premium within your budget.
If you're able to pay down credit card debt, remove mistakes from your credit report, or reduce your credit utilization, you might be able to see improvements in your credit in as little as a few weeks. If you're planning on applying for a new policy in the near future, it's always a good idea to get your credit score in as good of shape as possible before you seek insurance quotes.
What Influences My Car Insurance Premiums?
If you're wondering why your car insurance premiums aren't affordable, it might be because there are several factors influencing the prices that you're offered. Your credit score, driving record, car type, neighborhood, safety features, and a host of other components will all influence the cost of your insurance premium.
Make sure that you understand why your insurance is high before you decide how to approach finding cheaper insurance. For example, if you have multiple accidents and speeding tickets on your record, it will be much harder to find an insurance company willing to give you cheap insurance.
Don't Get Complacent!
Even if you're able to find an insurance policy that is affordable for your current budget, this doesn't mean that you should get complacent with your policy. One of the biggest mistakes we see with drivers is that they get comfortable with what they're paying for insurance. While it's excellent that you can currently afford your insurance policy, it's critical to seek a good deal at all times – it will free up money for you to pay for future premiums if your policy price increases.
For this reason, constantly seeking new quotes is an excellent way to ensure you're getting policy prices that are appropriate for current industry offerings. Every year, when it comes time to renew your policy, make sure to shop around for a bit to double check that you're still getting a good deal.
Verdict: Don't Give Up
If you're having trouble affording car insurance, but you need to use your car to get to work or take care of your family, don't give up. With so many auto insurance companies to choose from, there are plenty of different price points available to drivers who are willing to get creative in the search for affordable rates.
The internet allows drivers to compare rates, find discounts, and access a range of other cost-cutting opportunities.
If you can't afford health insurance, you probably have a range of different questions. We've compiled a list of various questions that we receive about car insurance and how to afford it. Let's check it out below.
General Car Insurance Questions
Here are the general car insurance FAQs that we receive. Check them out below:
How can I make enough money to afford my car insurance without working full time?
If you don't want to work full time, you might want to look at freelance work that can help you afford your car insurance. You may need to work full time until you can get your freelance career off the ground enough to afford your insurance.
How to get help to pay my car insurance?
If you need help paying your car insurance, it's best to get another job or side gig that can help you cover the costs – especially if you must drive your car. Alternatively, you can ask your insurance company if there are any discounts you can take advantage of.
How to afford insurance on a modified car?
If you want to afford insurance on a modified car, it's a good idea to look at quotes from multiple insurance providers. You might be able to find much cheaper rates if you're willing to shop around a bit.
Is it possible to cancel car insurance when not afford?
This will depend on your policy and whether or not you pay monthly, yearly, or according to another schedule. Make sure to speak to your car insurance company so you can find a solution that won't cost you extra money.
I can't afford to make my car payments when can I cancel the insurance?
This will depend on your loan and a host of other factors. It's best to speak to your lender and your car insurance provider to try and work out something that won't damage your credit score or put you in a bad financial position.
What happens if you can't pay your car insurance deductible?
If you can't pay your deductible, your mechanic might not give you your car back. This being said, if you know your mechanic well, you might be able to ask them to waive your deductible. Otherwise, you may need to get a loan.
What if I can't afford car insurance?
If you can't afford car insurance, it's best to see if you can find an insurance quote that offers a more affordable price point. Fortunately, online comparison tools make it extremely easy to compare multiple quotes at the same time.
How to afford car insurance for a teenager?
It can be expensive to pay for car insurance as a teenager. Fortunately, if you combine with other family members' policies, you can save money. You might also be able to get cheaper insurance if you have good grades.
How much car insurance can I afford?
This will depend on your income and individual budget. Make sure not to stress yourself financially if you want to ensure that you can pay for your entire policy. Don't commit to a long-term policy that you can afford – sit down and make a budget before you make any decisions. Related: How much is liability vs full coverage auto insurance?
Why can't you use a credit card to pay for auto insurance?
You actually can use a credit card to pay for auto insurance, depending on which auto insurance company that you use. If your current insurance provider doesn't let you use a credit card, it might be worth changing to a different provider.
What organizations help pay for car insurance?
While there doesn't appear to be any specific organizations that help you pay for car insurance, you might be able to seek assistance through a charity or other organization if you're eligible. If you need help paying your bill, it's worth asking your insurance company if you can do anything to get a discount.
What happens if I can't afford auto insurance on my financed car?
This will depend on your finance provider. You need to check your loan agreement or call your lender. In many cases, they will require you to pay for insurance to help protect them from the financial costs of an accident. Related: What is the typical car insurance lapse grace period?
What accessories help lower car insurance?
This will depend on your insurance provider, but it's typically anti-theft systems and safety features that can help you source discounts on car insurance. For example, you might be able to access a discount for installing an alarm.
Why can't you pay for someone else's car insurance?
This will depend on the insurance provider, but you can always transfer someone money to help them pay for it – if this is something that you want to do.
What if you can't pay your auto insurance for 1 month?
If you can't pay for your car insurance for a month, you might lose your coverage, which can make it illegal to drive. That's why it's always a good idea to speak to your auto insurance company to ensure what their policies are.
Why is it illegal to not have car insurance?
You need car insurance to ensure you can cover the costs of another person if you get into an accident. Without insurance, other people on the road are in danger if you get into an accident with them – they would have to pay their own costs, which would be unfair if you're at fault for the accident.
What are four factors that can help you cut your auto-insurance costs?
There are more than just four factors. Depending on your insurance company, there can be a range of different factors that influence your rates – credit score, driving history, grades, age, car type, and safety features are a few of the top factors.
What percentage of people can afford car insurance?
There is no concrete information on how many people can afford insurance, as it can vary on a state-by-state basis. If you're looking for more affordable insurance, make sure to compare different companies.
What can help you end up paying less on car insurance?
If you want to pay less for car insurance, make sure to compare rates and consider requesting discounts. You can access discounts, such as low mileage discounts, which can reduce your overall insurance costs.
What is the nicest car I can afford while still affording the insurance?
This will depend on a range of different factors, including your age, driving record, neighborhood, and more. If you want to get the best rate possible, it's always a good idea to compare multiple quotes before deciding if you can afford it.
How much does credit score help car insurance rates?
This changes depending on which car insurance company you're using. In some cases, a good credit score can help a lot – it shows you're a responsible person.
How does statistics help in car insurance quotes?
Car insurance companies use statistics to calculate the risk and reward of offering you a policy. They use advanced models to determine risk factors – it's how they determine how much to charge you for a policy.
Age-Based Car Insurance Questions
If you're a certain age, you might have specific questions about affording car insurance. Here are some of the most popular ones below:
How to afford car insurance at 18?
If you're 18 years old, you should see if you can bundle into the policy of a family member. This can help you save money. Otherwise, you might be able to access a discount for having good grades.
How to afford car insurance when you're below 26?
If you're below the age of 26, you'll typically pay more money for car insurance than other drivers. You might be able to access discounts for good grades and low mileage. Alternatively, bundling your insurance with a family member's can help, too.
What happens if my 19-year-old son cannot afford high risk auto insurance?
If your 19-year-old son can't afford high-risk auto insurance, you might want to add them onto your own policy. If you're able to group policies together, you can often save money on your insurance costs.
Location-Based Car Insurance Questions
If you're looking for car insurance in a specific location, the questions below are for you:
What can you do if you can't afford auto insurance in VA?
If you can't afford insurance in VA, it's a good idea to head online and begin comparing multiple lenders. Alternatively, you can always seek discounts or no-claims bonuses. You can also increase your deductible.
What can you do if you can't pay for your car insurance in Texas?
If you can't pay for your car insurance, you need to speak to your car insurance company as quickly as possible – they might be able to work out a deal. You must also speak to your lender if you have an auto loan.
What do you do if you cannot afford car insurance in Michigan?
Michigan has some of the highest rates in the country, so it's no surprise you might not be able to afford insurance in the state. Make sure to ask your auto insurance company for a discount, or consider raising your deducible. If you can, looking at other insurance companies is also a good option.
I can't afford car insurance what should I do NJ?
If you can't afford car insurance, make sure you don't drive illegally. Next, it's time to start looking at other insurance companies and potential discounts that you can access. Raising your deductible is one of the best ways to access better insurance rates.
What to do can't afford car insurance in PA?
If you think car insurance is too expensive in PA, you might be making the mistake of staying with an insurance company that's making you pay too much money. Always look at other insurance companies if you want to see if you're paying too much.
I live in KY. and I can't afford car insurance what can I do?
If you can't afford car insurance in KY, it's time to get creative. Start by looking at other insurance companies, but you can also ask insurance companies for specific discounts if you can't afford their rates.
What does Florida offer for help with car insurance?
While you might not be able to access any help with car insurance from the government in Florida, you can try and reduce the amount you pay by searching for insurance from other providers.
Other Car Insurance
If you have any other car insurance companies, make sure to check out the questions below:
How technology can help trim auto insurance?
If you install technological safety features, you can sometimes reduce your car insurance bill. For example, if you buy an auto theft system or alarm, you can reduce the amount you have to pay insurers.
I bought a car but can't afford insurance. how long can the car sit without insurance?
If you're not driving the car, you might not need insurance, but this will depend on your state regulations. Make sure to check with your DMV if you want to make sure you're okay to not have insurance on your car.
What to do if you lose your job and can't pay car insurance?
If you lose your job and can't pay car insurance, consider contacting your insurance company to check if you're able to make some sort of agreement. Otherwise, you might have to reduce your coverage or raise your deductible.
What option to buy with auto insurance to help reduce premium?
If you want to reduce your premiums, one of the best things you can do is increase your deductible. The higher your deductible, the lower your premiums will be – make sure to explore other discounts as well.
Defensive driving course 6-hour class how does it help with car insurance?
If you take a defensive driving course, you might be able to reduce your car insurance. This is because your car insurance company may view it as an asset to help you stay safer on the roads. Ask your insurer before your sign up for a course.
What is an app that can help you lower your car insurance costs?
There are various comparison apps that you can now use to compare different car insurance quotes and rates. For example, comparethemarket.com has an app you can use to compare different insurance policies.
Can't afford car insurance, how do I plate my car?
If you can't afford car insurance, you might not be able to get a new license plate. Contact your local DMV to discuss your options or look for a cheaper insurance policy.
How would car insurance help clients who need help with their duties?
This would depend on the type of duties that your clients need to perform. You should ask them about their duties before you decide if car insurance is a good idea. Still, in most cases, anyone driving on US roads will need car insurance (depending on your state). Don't drive without insurance.
What happens if I can't afford my Geico auto insurance and payment is a week late?
If you can't afford your insurance at Geico, make sure to notify them in advance. You don't want to end up with a lapse in coverage, so you should always speak to them if you can.
Why am I fined for being too poor to afford car insurance?
Car insurance is in place to keep other drivers on the road safe. It helps protect people against the cost of accidents and injuries. Don’t drive without insurance.
How does a young girl afford car insurance?
A young girl might have to access discounts on their car insurance. For example, if you're still in school, you might be able to get a ‘good grades' discount that can reduce your insurance costs.
What do to do if you can't pay your car insurance in full?
If you can't pay your car insurance in full, make sure to contact your insurance company straight away and request assistance or a payment break. See if they're willing to work with you.
What if you can't afford car insurance in a state that requires it?
If you can't afford insurance in a state that requires it, make sure that you don't drive illegally. Start comparing quotes online to see if there's anything you can afford – there are often cheap options available if you're willing to look.
How to afford car insurance with minimum wage?
Car insurance on minimum wage can be hard to afford, regardless of where you live. If you want to lower your insurance costs, consider asking for a discount or raising your deducible. If you have too much coverage, it might be blowing apart your budget.
How to afford auto insurance if you've had tickets?
If you've had tickets, it can drastically impact your auto insurance rates. Consider raising your deductible or shopping around at other insurance companies if you want to access cheaper insurance.
What happens if I can't pay my car insurance on time?
If you can't pay your car insurance on time, you might lose your coverage. This being said, there is normally a grace period, so make sure to contact your insurance company to ask about the repercussions.
Will you get extra money when you almost pay off your car loan?
While you might not get extra money when you ‘almost pay off your car loan,' you might have extra money when you've paid the whole thing off. Once your car loan is paid back, you'll have much more freedom to choose cheaper insurance.