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If you can’t afford car insurance, stop driving your vehicle until you can pay for auto insurance coverage. In most states, it is illegal to drive without the state’s minimum liability coverage. The exceptions are New Hampshire and Virginia. New Hampshire doesn’t require drivers to carry an auto insurance policy, as drivers can instead choose to prove their ability to cover their financial responsibilities if they cause an accident by depositing money with the state. Virginia allows drivers to operate uninsured vehicles at their own risk, but they must pay a $500 Uninsured Motor Vehicle (UMV) fee to the state every 12 months. Penalties for driving without insurance vary by state, but typically include fines, a suspension of your license/vehicle registration and even jail time.
Considering that roughly 12% of adults say they would be unable to pay all of their current month’s bills if they had an unexpected $400 expense, according to the Federal Reserve, it’s understandable that many would-be drivers have difficulty affording car insurance. After all, auto insurance premiums represent nearly 13% of transportation expenses for low-income households, according to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners.
But prices for auto insurance range widely based on the types and amounts of coverage you select, plus factors such as where you live and the kind of car you drive. So, if you can’t afford car insurance, you may simply want to scale back how much coverage you’re looking for, as well as shop around for the best deal.
There are a few other things you can do to make car insurance more affordable, too. There are also some steps you should take if you ultimately decide that you cannot afford even the cheapest insurance right now. You can check them out in the list below.
Tips For What To Do If You Can’t Afford Car Insurance:
- Stop driving when your policy isn’t active. Consider using a bicycle or public transportation.
- Turn in your plates/vehicle registration as required by your state.
- Ask your insurance provider about any discounts or payment plans available to you.
- Check with your state to see if there is a subsidized car insurance program you qualify for.
- Compare quotes from several insurance providers to find the cheapest rate.
- Get a quote for a policy with lower coverage limits and higher deductibles.
- Drop collision and comprehensive coverage from your car insurance policy.
- Look into usage-based insurance.
- Get insurance for an older vehicle, as they are cheaper to insure.
- Wait for your driving record to improve.
- Wait for your credit score to improve.
- Register yourself as a secondary driver on the car insurance policy of someone else in your household, if possible.
Remember, the most important thing to do when you can’t afford car insurance is to stop driving. Also, contact your auto insurance provider as soon as you know you won’t be able to afford your premium to see what discounts, programs or other options are available to make your payments more affordable.
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