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Auto Insurance Options for Low-Income Families

Here's what you need to know...
  • There isn’t a comprehensive list of insurance companies that cater specifically to low-income families
  • You can choose the barest amount of insurance to ensure that you are compliant with state laws
  • Driving without valid car insurance is illegal. The consequences of this vary from state to state

Unfortunately, there isn’t a comprehensive list of insurance companies that cater specifically to low-income families.

The reason for this is that insurance companies don’t position themselves to provide services for low-income families, although some are certainly cheaper than others.

This doesn’t mean that you can’t find affordable or low-income coverage for car insurance –on the contrary! When you shop around and compare car insurance quotes, you will find that many companies are simply less expensive than others.

In addition, there is at least one state that has its own car insurance programs for low-income families. You can find information about this on the California Department of Insurance website. The cost of this insurance can be as low as $254 a year.

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Why aren’t there more car insurance programs for low-income families?

AdobeStock_81124304-1600x1600This is a tough question to answer, mainly because most people won’t like the answer. The bottom line is that driving is considered to be a privilege, not a right.

Owning a car is a choice, not a necessity.

In every state, there is some kind of health insurance program in place for low-income families. The reason for this is that the government has decided that every person has the right to adequate healthcare.

After all, you cannot control everything that happens around and to your body.

When it comes to driving, however, you have complete control. No one is making you buy a car and no one is forcing you to drive to work, school etc. Simply put, there are other ways of getting around that aren’t as expensive as driving a car.

Now, this isn’t meant to imply that you don’t need a car. Truthfully, there are many different geographic areas that have no form of public transportation, although that is changing rapidly, and in those places having a car is necessary.

The problem is that the government just doesn’t see it that way.

What will happen if I decide to just drive without car insurance?

Criminal in handcuffsDriving without valid car insurance is illegal. The consequences of this vary from state to state, ranging from fees and suspended drivers licenses to impounding your vehicle and putting you in jail.

Driving without car insurance can be risky. You might not be caught right away, but it will eventually catch up to you.

According to the Insurance Research Council, about 14 percent of people in the U.S. drive without car insurance.

This may not seem like a huge number to you, but there are more than 200,000,000 licensed drivers in the United States. Fourteen percent of that is 20,400,000 people.

The Insurance Research Council says that there is a direct correlation between the number of people who don’t carry insurance and the unemployment rate. Now, what happens to you if you have a car accident?

If you already think that you can’t afford car insurance and you’ve already determined that you need your car, if you have an accident without car insurance, where does that leave you?

What’s more, with more than 20 million people on the road without car insurance as well, there is always the possibility that you will get into an accident with another uninsured person.

If they are the cause of the accident and are uninsured, then you are still left with a vehicle that is damaged or unusable, depending on the severity of the accident.

The bottom line is that carrying insurance is most certainly a protection for other people against the possibility of you being careless when you drive. However, if an uninsured driver hits you, then your insurance, if you have uninsured motorist coverage, protects you as well.

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Okay, I need car insurance, but I still can’t afford it. What can I do?

Okay, there is often a disconnect with people about what they can and cannot afford. Now, there are those people who really can’t afford it, as their money goes to food, rent, and utilities and they don’t have another dime to spend on anything else.

Then, there is a second group of people. These people feel like they can’t afford it after they have paid all of their other bills, such as credit cards, cable, car payment, Internet, Netflix payment, and so on.

If you fall into this second category, then it is time for you to separate want from need. The bottom line is that some of the things that most people take for granted as a way of life aren’t necessary.

You may need to seriously address what you are spending your money on before you say you can’t afford your car insurance.

If you are someone who lives paycheck to paycheck paying just the minimum bills, there is no easy solution. You can choose the barest amount of insurance to ensure that you are compliant with state laws.

In addition, you may want to talk to a co-worker about carpooling so that you can forgo the need of using a car.

Sometimes there is no answer to the dilemma of not having enough money. However,┬ábefore you decide you can’t afford car insurance, you need to compare the cost of car insurance between three or more companies and check their rates.

It’s never a good idea to go without car insurance coverage.

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