Finding low cost auto insurance with great customer service is the goal of most United States consumers. Automobile policies are not only mandatory by most states but also provide useful protection against financial losses.
Low costThe most practical way of finding the lowest costing coverage is to obtain rate quotes from various reputable carriers. OnlineAutoInsurance.com helps thousands of consumers find great rates by simply completing one form and obtaining several quotations.
Let us help you find low cost auto insurance with one simple process:
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One carrier can offer cheap auto insurance prices for a certain person and some of the highest for another. That is because carriers determine their rates on many different factors about not only the driver but also the vehicle and even where one lives or parks the automobile when unused.
There has been talk about laws being introduced prohibiting insurers from basing rates on where drivers reside or garage their vehicles; however, using territory as a means of determining rates is legal and is used by most providers.
If drivers live in certain areas of high traffic, their premium may be quite high. There are some government programs designed for the lower income consumer living in a high traffic area. Since having coverage is a law in most states, the program is designed to provide assistance for those who cannot afford insuring their vehicle.
You may be wondering why some carriers are cheaper than others when it comes to their rates. The reason behind that is explained in our article Car Insurance — What Determines Rates. There drivers can find details on what carriers look at when generating a price quote.
One such program is the low cost auto insurance program that California has in place to assist those living in a high traffic area that generates higher premiums. Nearly 20,000 drivers throughout the state remain uninsured because they simply cannot afford it, which puts them, as well as other drivers, at risk. In order to be eligible for the program, one must meet the following requirements:
Low income has to be equal to or less than $27,225 for one person, $36,775 for two, $55,875 for four and $94,075 for eight persons.
One must fit into the «good driver» category, which means he or she has no more than one at-fault accident and no more than one violation point within three years.
There is also a minimum age requirement of 19, and drivers must be continuously licensed for at least the past three years.
Other limitations may apply.
Even if drivers do not qualify for the low cost program, we can help them find cheap rates. OnlineAutoInsurance.com does this by providing one simple form for shoppers to fill out and quickly receive multiple rate quotes.
What Can I Do to Lower the Cost of Auto Insurance?
Blue shaped diamond with «Low Cost» written on it
Many motorists pay more than they should for their auto insurance policies, but there are numerous ways to lower the cost of coverage. Often the best way to ensure that the lowest price is paid for a policy is to review it and make sure not to be over-insured. Additional ways to reduce premiums are to periodically shop around, alter deductibles, check for applicable discounts, combine policies, and maintain a clean driving record as well as a good credit score.
A common mistake that policyholders make is to stay with an insurer for years without taking the time to see if more affordable rates have become available. The industry is ever-changing, and while one company may have been able to offer the cheapest rate in the past, that may no longer be the case. Obtaining and comparing quotes is free and can be done pretty quickly online. Putting aside some time to shop around can often lead to savings.
An obvious way to low cost car insurance coverage is to be a safe and responsible driver. Most consumers are aware that their driving record plays a big part in what will be paid for a policy, yet some drivers still take unnecessary risks that can lead to accidents and/or tickets. Practicing safety behind the wheel can not only save money, but can also save lives.
Tinker with Deductibles
Opting for a higher deductible can also lead to substantial savings. According to a publication released by the Insurance Information Institute, increasing a deductible from $200 to $500 could reduce comprehensive and collision coverage costs by 15 to 30 percent, and choosing a $1,000 deductible could save 40 percent. But policyholders should be sure that they can afford the amount chosen in case they have to file a claim.
Check for Discounts
There is a wide range of available auto insurance discounts offered by insurers, and consumers should make sure to take advantage of any they qualify for. Many discounts are given automatically such as those for good drivers, certain safety features, and antitheft devices. But others will need to be brought to the attention of insurers. These generally include discounts for being a good student, having aftermarket antitheft devices, taking drivers education courses, or having a child go away to college. Young adults are among the most expensive to insure, and if a child will not have access to insured vehicles, premiums can be reduced quite a bit.
Eliminate Unnecessary Coverage
Many motorists have unnecessary or duplicate coverages. When vehicles age and diminish in value, eliminating comprehensive and collision automobile insurance coverage can lower rates. Although there is no exact formula for deciding when this protection should be eliminated, owners can check the value of their vehicle to help determine if paying the premium and deductible make financial sense. Additionally, med-pay and personal injury protection can be waived in states that allow it if a motorist has an existing health care plan.
Credit Is Not Just for Loans
Magnifying glass over the words «Credit Score»
There have been many arguments as to why insurers use credit information as a factor when determining what they will charge for coverage, or if they will issue a policy. But numerous studies show that there is a correlation between a person’s credit score and the likelihood that he or she will file a claim. All but three states (California, Hawaii, and Massachusetts) allow insurers to use credit as a rating factor, so keeping a good credit history can get a consumer not only good interest rates, but also a lower premium.
Auto Insurance Programs for Low-Income Drivers
BY JOHN SEPULVADO, ONLINE AUTO INSURANCE NEWS TEAM
CATEGORY: CONSUMER, LATEST NEWS
MONDAY, JULY 29, 2013 8:42 am
With a recent study suggesting that low income drivers pay more for auto insurance, Online Auto Insurance (OAI) checked to see what states offer assistance to drivers at or below the poverty line.
It’s a small list.
California, New Jersey, and Hawaii offer government-backed programs to keep low-income drivers insured. And the savings offered are significant.
In California, the program’s highest costs are about $400 per year for basic liability insurance. A type of medical liability insurance is offered in New Jersey for $360, less than a dollar per day.
In Hawaii, basic liability coverage is absolutely free for some low-income drivers.
The success of these programs, who qualifies, and what’s covered varies state by state. Below, OAI explains how the programs work in each state.
Fewer than 20,000 people take part in the state’s low-income insurance program. In a hearing at the state Capitol, insurance officials reported that a large barrier to the program’s success is the reluctance of undocumented workers to fully utilize the program for fear of being caught in the country illegally. The latest figures from 2004 show about 3.5 million registered vehicles were uninsured in California.
The average price for an annual premium through the California Low Cost Automobile Insurance Program varies by county. In San Francisco the cost is $276, according to the state’s website, while in Los Angeles the cost is $338. That can be up to $1,500 cheaper than insurance purchased outside of the program.
To be eligible for the program, drivers must be residents of California. They have clean driving histories with no suspensions, at-fault accidents, failure-to-appear citations or moving violations for at least three years. Drivers have to be over 19 years old and must have at least three years of licensed driving experience. Participants cannot own another car insured outside of the program, cannot use the policy for a work vehicle, and must earn less than $58,875 for a family of four.
Also, in most cases, the driver must own the vehicle they are insuring through the program outright.
The program only offers basic liability, covering up to $20,000 for injuries caused by the insured driver and $3,000 for property damages.
Just over 20,000 people are covered in New Jersey’s Special Automobile Insurance Policy (SAIP). Similar to personal injury protection policies, the program offers motorists medical coverage if they are injured during an auto accident.
The price is $360 if paid in full, or $365 if paid in two installments. According to the New Jersey Department of Banking and Insurance, up to $250,000 in coverage is offered if there is a significant physical injury, such as brain damage or spinal cord dislodgement. The insurance does not cover any vehicles or property damaged by the accident, regardless of fault. There is also a $10,000 death benefit.
Eligibility for the New Jersey plan centers on Medicaid. Participants must be enrolled in the Federal Medicaid with Hospitalization plan.
Prospective participants must also have a valid license and current registration on their vehicle. SAIP covers only one vehicle per policy.
To enroll, prospective participants must bring their license, registration and Medicaid card to an approved insurance agency, where eligibility will be determined by a broker or an agent.
Hawaii offers free no-fault auto insurance to people receiving various forms of welfare or supplemental security income (SSI) benefits.
Yet, the program is so small not even the Hawaii Office of the Insurance Commissioner was aware it existed. A spokesman for the agency told OAI he “doesn’t think there is such a program,” but wasn’t sure. He later emailed back confirming the law is on the books.
According to state statute, no-fault auto insurance at no cost is available to all people who receive public assistance such as cash payments, food vouchers, SSI benefits, or medical service benefits prior to 1994. The driver must also have a valid license, or be in the care of a person with a valid license, and be the sole registered owner of the vehicle. The driver also must have looked for paid no-fault coverage and been unable to afford it before applying for the program.
The maximum benefit through the state plan is $40,000 per accident for injuries or death, and $10,000 for property damage, the standard for Personal Injury Protection (PIP) for Hawaii.
It is unclear how many low-income drivers take advantage of the policy. Based on Hawaii’s population, requirements, and reaction from the office of the Insurance Commissioner, it is likely that very few drivers do, if any.
Car insurance is mandatory in all states, except New Hampshire. The Insurance Research Council (IRC) estimates that almost 14% of all motorists are uninsured. Meanwhile, the U.S. Census estimates that some 46 million Americans live in poverty.
With only three state programs offering assistance to low-income drivers, some anti-poverty advocates are calling on state legislatures to take a new look at assisting these motorists. Many states — including Nevada and Michigan — have considered similar programs in the past, but have squashed those plans because of cost, logistical challenges due to delivery, or objection from the insurance industry.