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UPDATED: Mar 13, 2020
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Car insurance is a mandatory purchase in most states, making it a difficult purchase to fit into the budgets of many cash-strapped drivers. The question is, can cheap car insurance cover everything you need? On top of car payments and the rising cost of gas, car insurance can be a nightmare every time payments come due to make. Try a FREE car insurance quote comparison today!
The average cost of car insurance in the United States is upwards of $1500 per year. In some cities and states, this may rise to $2000 per year.
For people making minimum wage or slightly higher, this represents an insurmountable fee. Who pays 10% or more of their annual pay on car insurance? Who can fit that into a budget dominated by rent, utilities, groceries, gas and car payments, let alone a pittance spent on entertainment or gifts?
This logic drives people to attempt to lowball car insurance costs. Because car insurance is mandatory and because police citations are more expensive in the long run than paying for insurance, people look for cheap car insurance quotes. Find quotes to fit your budget with our FREE ZIP code search!
How to Find Cheap Car Insurance
To find affordable car insurance options with relatively high coverage, the best plan of action is to compare insurance policies before you buy. Each insurance company has its own way of determining how much your bare-bones insurance policy will cost.
They are quite opaque with this algorithm, as it is their secret formula – their unique way to calculate risk and make a profit. If you are determined to be a risky driver, an insurance company will charge more.
However, different insurance companies determine risk differently, so the only way to get your prices is to ask.
It typically takes 10-15 minutes to fill out a form with your personal information before getting a quote from a car insurance website. You may need to do this many times to get a good sense for the prices out there. There is, however, a faster and more efficient way. Simply use our FREE comparison tool!
Just enter your information once, and our program will send it to all the auto insurance company websites in your area. It will take their information and give you an easy-to-read comparison of their cheap car insurance options. You can look at prices and coverage details side by side and choose the one that best fits your needs.
Cheap Car Insurance – You Get What You Pay For
Keep in mind that when your insurance policy is inexpensive, your coverage rates will not be very high. Typically, the cheapest car insurance coverage you purchase will be equivalent to your state’s minimum coverage requirements.
This may be anywhere from $15,000 for personal injury and $5,000 for property damage to $50,000 for personal injury and $25,000 for property damage.
These are liability coverage rates, meaning that if you get into a car accident, you will be able to receive up to this amount of money for your troubles. Keep in mind that many cheap insurance policies demand that you pay a deductible, meaning that the first $500-1000 of damages caused by an accident are your responsibility and the subsequent dollar amounts will be paid by the insurance company.
Some companies have different policies with regard to deductibles, such as “vanishing deductible,” but generally speaking, you will still have to pay for some repairs related to an accident.
What Sorts Of Things Are Covered?
The personal injury liability coverage in cheap car insurance policies will pay for your hospital stays and doctor’s bills, which can add up very quickly. For instance, a single day in the hospital may cost upwards of $3,000.
If you have $15,000 worth of personal injury liability and an accident leaves you paralyzed and requiring intensive care for up to a week, all of your medical expenses may not be covered by insurance.
Similarly, if your car crashes into a house, home repairs typically cost a significant amount of money. Even $10,000 may not pay the full extent of the damages, and you will be forced to pay for the rest out of pocket.
If you don’t comply, the owner of the property will likely take you to court where you will have to pay legal fees in addition to the cost of repairs.
The Downside to Cheap Car Insurance
The vast majority of auto accidents, of course, do not require the maximum coverage cost to fix damages or pay medical bills, even with a cheap policy. In fact, the damage from most accidents is paid for by the deductible which, while annoying, is an expense that most people can scrounge up enough money to pay.
However, if your accident is one of the unlucky few that do require a large amount of money to fix, there may be nothing you can do. The point of insurance coverage is to keep a catastrophic event like a car accident from ruining your life completely; with a cheap car insurance policy, events like that could devastate you financially anyway.
On the other hand, there is a huge difference between a medical bill of $5,000 and a bill of $20,000. An cheap insurance policy may make that difference possible.
On the other hand, if you live in a state where minimum car insurance limits are very high, you may actually be lucky.
Cheap insurance policies cost in the same ballpark all across the country, but a cheap car insurance policy in Alaska with $50,000/$25,000 minimum coverage may cost the same as a cheap policy in New Jersey with $15,000/$5,000 minimum coverage.
For this reason, we encourage everyone to read up on relevant state insurance laws before deciding to purchase cheap car insurance. Furthermore, you might be able to find better coverage at affordable rates by using our FREE comparison tool! Just enter your zip code to begin!
The True Payoff of Cheap Car Insurance
Most people believe that when you buy cheap car insurance, you are paying to stay in accordance with the law. It is like an extra tax payment. Sure, you might be able to skate by without paying it, but if you do so, you are breaking state laws.
Living like a criminal may seem like an exaggeration, but receiving a citation for twice the amount that you would have had to pay an insurance company brings the adage to heart that “crime does not pay.” You are paying not to break the law when you buy cheap car insurance. For many, everything else is secondary.
If you need to buy cheap car insurance, you want the best coverage available, and you don’t want to spend your entire weekend calling insurance providers and visiting insurance websites, use our FREE program!
The comparison tool will do all that work for you in a matter of minutes. You only need to enter your information once about where you live, what you drive, how much you use your car and other demographic details. Compare quotes today for FREE and save on your policy today!