I’m not going to lie, owning a car is expensive. Not only do we have to worry about gas, parking, tolls, repairs, and maintenance, we have to buy pricey auto insurance. For those of you who cannot afford the high cost of auto insurance, you might feel hopeless and think that there’s nothing you can do. Think again! The government actually offers some low cost automobile insurance plans (depending on your area).
Basic auto insurance is required by law in all 50 states. The government requires that all drivers have at least some form of liability insurance (to protect other drivers if you crash into them). Although all states require you to buy auto insurance, premium rates differ state by state.
It’s no secret that we all have the option of purchasing insurance from a private provider. We’ve all heard of Geico, Allstate, and Progressive. But sometimes, these companies are just too expensive. This is why there is government public auto insurance. Those with low income or disabilities might qualify for these options. These public options may come from either the federal government or local governments.
Public Auto Insurance Options In The USA
Let’s take a look at some public auto insurance options from around the country:
- Our California visitors have access to the California Low-Cost Automobile Insurance (CLCA) program. According to their website, the primary goal of the CLCA is to provide an affordable auto insurance option to low-income good drivers. Currently, this program is available in Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego, Alameda, Riverside, San Bernardino, Orange, and Fresno. With this insurance, the State of California will insure a driver for up to $10,000 bodily injury per person, $3,000 property damage, and up to $20,000 per accident. Drivers over the aged 19 or older who have at least 3 years of driving experience are eligible. In addition, their car must be worth less than $20,000 and they must meet the income requirements. A good driving record is also recommended.
- If you live in Maryland, you also have a public insurance option – the Maryland Auto Insurance Fund. This fund, established in 1972, provides Maryland residents, who are unable to obtain insurance in the private market, auto liability insurance. This policy provides drivers with at least $20,000 per person bodily insurance and at least $15,000 in property damage. The State of Maryland provides interested applicants with a quote on their website.
- New Jersey has the highest auto insurance rates in the nation. With basic auto insurance averaging at almost $1500 per year, thank god there is a public option for those who cannot afford it. The Special Automobile Insurance Policy, or the SAIP, is an auto insurance program that provides affordable automobile coverage for drivers eligible for medicaid. These drivers can obtain medical care for car accidents at a rate of $365 per year. Although limited, this option is much more affordable than buying medical coverage from a private insurer.
Your state may or may not have a public auto insurance option. For more information regarding this issue, it’s best to check with your local DMV. Often times, even if there is not any government sponsored auto insurance program, there is at least some type of government assistance you can receive. When it doubt, just ask.
With the recent health care debate in the United States, many have questioned whether or not the government should provide auto insurance as well. As private insurance rates continue to rise, Americans are beginning to ask whether or not public is the way to go. Although no move has been made by congress to bring a public auto insurance bill into legislation, people are talking about it. Expect to hear more about this issue in the political arena in the near future. Also expect to see more and more local and state insurance options popping up.
Getting Cheap Non-Public Car Insurance
If there is no government run auto insurance program in your area, don’t sweat it. Insurance prices these days aren’t as burdening as they once were. A thriving car insurance market in recent years has kept rates competitive for consumers. There are also many internet sites out there (including this one) that allow customers to compare insurance quotes to find the cheapest option.
If you do not qualify for public insurance, do not have public insurance in your state, or are still on the fence about obtaining public insurance, why not give our insurance quote tool a try? To get started, enter your zip code in the box above. You will then be asked to fill out a brief three page questionnaire. Following completion, you will be given car insurance rates from the top insurance providers.
Whether you choose to go the private route or the public route, don’t worry! Low cost insurance is ready and available. Good luck with your shopping!