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UPDATED: Mar 13, 2020
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Anyone who owns and drives an automobile must have insurance. Indeed, 49 out of 50 US states have compulsory car insurance laws. This means that drivers legally cannot have a registered vehicle without proof of insurance. Get quotes for the coverage you need with our FREE quote comparison tool!
Even in New Hampshire, where car insurance is not required of all drivers, some of those with driving infractions must at least carry liability insurance. Though insurance is not required of all drivers in New Hampshire, it is strongly recommended. Compare cheap car insurance quotes today for FREE with our ZIP code search tool!
How Many Drivers are There in the United States?
According to the Department of Transportation, there are approximately 200 million unique drivers in the US. That figure represents about two thirds of the population of the country.
Aside from the notable exception in New Hampshire, all of these individual drivers must carry documented proof of their car insurance. These people must pay regular premiums to keep their insurance up to date. In some situations, this compulsory insurance is a true financial burden.
The Necessity of Car Insurance
The fact is, car insurance is not just a legal necessity, but a personal one as well. If an accident were to happen that is the fault of a driver who is uninsured, he or she could face a financial calamity. The odds of this are staggering. the latest data from 2009 regarding auto accidents in the US has shown that:
- Over 9.5 million vehicles were involved in automobile accidents
- 10.8 million fatalities resulted from these accidents
- At approximately 5.2 million incidents, Passenger cars comprised over half of all driving accidents
- 71.9 percent of traffic accidents caused property damage
- 27.6 percent of non-fatal accidents caused personal injury
When fault is determined for the auto accident, the driver is culpable. Appropriate car insurance is necessary to ease the burden of the possibility of an accident.
Liability Insurance Coverage
The least costly insurance is liability coverage. Liability covers property damage and personal injury caused by one vehicle onto another. Liability does not cover damage done to one’s own vehicle. The cost of liability insurance varies from state-to-state and from driver-to-driver.
Even within the same household, different drivers may have very different premiums depending on their age, gender, occupation, and any previous traffic infractions. Among younger drivers, even grades can affect the cost of insurance.
Comparison price shopping can help drivers find the best prices for their individual needs.
Full Coverage Insurance
Of course, liability insurance is the least expensive option, but that does not necessarily make it the best. Full coverage can cover the cost of damage to the driver’s own car. Different insurance companies offer many different features in their coverage.
Most insurance companies will allow policy holders to add on certain coverage, including towing expenses and accidental lock outs. It is vital to use a comparison price shopping tool to determine not only the price of insurance, but the various types of coverage as well.
The Rising Cost of Insurance
Even the cheapest car insurance can be a financial hardship for many US drivers during these times of economic instability. Worse yet, car insurance is on the rise. According to the Insurance Information Institute, the cost of car insurance rose 10 percent between the years of 2008 and 2010 alone.
It has risen 31 percent since 2000. Chances are, rates will only continue to rise.
The rising cost of insurance is yet another reason to use price shopping comparison tools to find the best rates possible.
Even when money is tight, car insurance is not an item that can be sacrificed.
However, it is very possible to find inexpensive car insurance with the appropriate amount of research. Utilizing tools that compare the various insurance companies can save hundreds of dollars in premiums.
The Reality of Free Car Insurance
If you are hoping to get car insurance for free, you will be disappointed. Many individuals living under the poverty line qualify for free health coverage. Some employers provide life insurance at little to no cost. Even credit card insurance can be obtained for free by many. However, free car insurance is simply not a reality.
Though free car insurance is not offered regularly, there is one notable exception. GM has recently begun offering one year of free auto insurance to those who purchase a new GM vehicle.
This pilot program is only open to residents of Washington and Oregon. On the upside, the insurance is free with no catches. On the downside, those who are in financial straits may not be able to take advantage of the offer as it does require the purchase of a new vehicle.
Reduced Price Insurance
Some states do offer car insurance at reduced prices for certain drivers. New Jersey, for example, has what is called the Special Automobile Insurance Policy, or SAIP. SAIP is only offered to individuals who qualify for Federal Medicaid with Hospitalization.
According to the state, these are drivers who are most likely to drive uninsured if they cannot receive a free policy. The cost of SAIP is $365.
California is another state that offers car insurance at a reduced price for certain drivers. Drivers who qualify for the state’s low cost insurance program must be at least 19 with a minimum of three years of driving experience. The insured automobile must be worth under $20,000.
The driver must also meet income eligibility requirements. This varies per household, but is ranked on the following scale:
- 1 person household: $27,225
- 2 person household: $36,775
- 3 person household: $46,325
- 4 person household: $55,875
- 5 person household: $65,425
- 6 person household: $74,975
- 7 person household: $84,525
- 8 person household: $94,075
Nearly every home in the United States has been affected by the economic downturn. Gas prices are once again increasing to enormous levels. Few people can afford to purchase new vehicles, thus breakdowns and repairs on older autos have become a reality. Save on your car insurance today with a FREE quote comparison!
The cost of car insurance also continues to increase. If you take the time to compare prices, auto insurance does not have to be as much of a hardship as you think. In the end, having the best insurance at the right price can save you money. Compare quotes today for FREE with our ZIP code search!