Low-Income Families Car Insurance

For Low-income families, car insurance considerations should include knowing your budget and the state minimum car insurance requirements.

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Zaneta Wood, Ed.S. has over 15 years of experience in research and technical writing bringing a keen understanding of data analysis and information synthesis to reach a wide variety of audiences. She studied adult education and instructional technology at Appalachian State University as well as technical and professional communication at East Carolina University. Zaneta has prepared technical p...

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Joel Ohman is the CEO of a private equity backed digital media company. He is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™, author, angel investor, and serial entrepreneur who loves creating new things, whether books or businesses. He has also previously served as the founder and resident CFP® of a national insurance agency, Real Time Health Quotes. He has an MBA from the University of South Florida. Jo...

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Reviewed by Joel Ohman
Founder & CFP®

UPDATED: Sep 15, 2020

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Here's what you need to know...

  • Before choosing an insurance carrier, you must first decide on your family’s needs and your budget
  • It is a good idea to carry more than your state’s minimum requirement for car insurance
  • Never drive a vehicle without insurance

As a member of a low-income family, deciding on the best car insurance can be a difficult task.

You must assess what you can honestly afford, what your family’s needs are, and how important certain car insurance features are to you.

The decision is not one that can be made lightly. It requires research, comparison shopping, and a thoughtful assessment of needs.

Enter your ZIP code at the top of the page to receive dozens of online car insurance quotes!

The fact that most car insurance companies claim to have the best low-cost insurance makes it difficult to decide which company is best.

Often, people don’t understand how car insurance works—or what is required legally—and are susceptible to believing whatever claims an insurance agency throws at them.

Seeking the advice of trained individuals whom you trust can be invaluable in deciding on the best car insurance.

How do I know what is required by law?

Regardless of your household income, it is required in every state for drivers to have minimum amounts of liability coverage.

Most states require that such insurance is provided by an insurance company licensed to do business in their state.

A small number of states allow drivers to be self-insured if they can prove that they can afford to do so.

Such proof involves documentation indicating they have the financial resources to cover any claims made against them.

State minimum requirements usually fall under three categories:

These basic coverages are designed to protect victims of car crashes deemed to be someone else’s fault.

They pay claims based on medical costs, repair costs of private property, and pain and suffering.

Minimum coverage will not cover the cost of repairing your car after an accident. It will also not cover the loss of your vehicle due to fire, theft, or natural disasters.

Your car insurance provider knows what the minimum requirements are in your state. Feel free to ask while you’re shopping around for rates.

In the end, any company you choose will be required to meet those minimums.

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

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Free Car Insurance Comparison

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

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How do I find the best rates for minimum coverage?

Finding the best rates for car insurance is simply a matter of comparing different quotes. You can do this online, over the phone, or in person.

However, understand that you won’t see much variation in rates for minimum liability coverage.

Because the state where you live requires minimum liability, rates among different companies will not be all that different unless you’re in a high-risk driver pool.

The real differences usually come into play when you’re talking about additional coverage options.

Full collision coverage, for example, is one of those additional coverage options that can change the price of your insurance substantially.

How much your insurance company charges for collision will depend on the model and make of your car, its current street value, and your record of accidents and violations.

There is often a good amount of variance in premiums from one insurance carrier to the next, so bargaining for favorable collision rates is always possible.

Additional coverage options will also carry different price tags.

The point of comparison shopping is to see insurance quotes side-by-side. You want to look at exactly what is covered, your deductible, and what your annual premium would be.

Only through this type of comparison can you truly evaluate the cost-to-benefit ratio of different insurance policies.

How do I find the best policy for my low-income family?

Ultimately, the only way to determine the best auto policy for your family is to know your needs.

For example, if you have small children and no medical insurance, it’s almost a necessity that you include PIP (personal injury protection) or med pay coverage in your auto policy.

Though such coverage won’t cover all your medical costs, it could be a big factor if one of your children is injured in an accident.

You must also weigh family budgetary issues as well. If a limited income means that your car insurance will be limited to minimum liability, that just maybe an uncomfortable fact of life.

However, under no circumstances should you drive without car insurance.

Doing so not only opens you up to the possibility of litigation in the event of an accident, it is also illegal.

And driving illegally has far more serious consequences that could cause severe financial problems for your family in the future.

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Average Monthly Car Insurance Rates by State