It can be difficult to afford things like insurance when you’re on supplemental security income (SSI). SSI payments are usually a few hundred dollars a month and meant to cover many basic needs, so how do you find affordable car insurance for SSI recipients?
In this article, we discuss five ways that this group can reduce the cost of auto insurance. We’ll also share our top recommendations for affordable insurance companies.
If you are an SSI recipient, the only way to know for sure how much you will pay for insurance is to get a quote. This is because pricing varies depending on your location, age, vehicle make and model, and other details. Enter your zip code to start comparing the best auto insurance companies in your area. Or, for an even easier process, call our team at (844) 246-8209 to get free, personalized insurance quotes seven days a week.
In this article:
- What Is Supplemental Security Income?
- 5 Tips For Getting Cheap Car Insurance For SSI Recipients
- Best Car Insurance For SSI Recipients
- Deciding On A Car Insurance Provider
- FAQ About Car Insurance For SSI Recipients
What Is Supplemental Security Income?
Supplemental security income (SSI) is a United States federal income supplement program designed by the Social Security Administration (SSA) to help aged, blind, and disabled people who have little to no income. The program provides money to help SSI recipients meet basic needs. The amount of money, however, is small.
The maximum monthly federal SSI payment for an eligible individual is only $783 per month, and that’s meant to cover many basic needs. In comparison, the average annual insurance cost for a medium sedan was $1,251 in 2019, according to the Insurance Information Institute. Some states add a supplemental payment onto the federal SSI benefit, but only at a maximum of $400 a month.
With a generally low income, some people with SSI continue to work because the SSI payments are so small. Since they’re on a tight budget, SSI recipients have to find ways to cut costs in order to afford insurance.
5 Tips For Getting Cheap Car Insurance For SSI Recipients
Here are five tips for reducing the cost of car insurance for SSI recipients:
#1 Bundle Insurance Policies
Money can be saved on car insurance for SSI recipients who bundle home and car insurance policies. For example, American Family offers a 29-percent discount for bundling, and Erie Insurance offers a 25-percent discount.
#2 Improve Your Credit Score
According to Edmunds.com, studies have found that drivers with lower credit scores tend to make more claims to insurance companies. Because of this, auto insurance companies charge more for customers with low credit scores.
SSI recipients can improve their credit score by making payments on time and using less of their available credit limit. One way SSI recipients can potentially help themselves make payments on time is by setting up an automatic draft every month.
#3 Take Advantage of Discounts
In addition to the bundling discount mentioned above, insurance companies offer a wide variety of other discounts that can impact car insurance for SSI recipients. Here are a few examples of discounts you can get:
- Defensive driver discounts: Some car insurance companies, like Progressive and Metromile, offer discounts for taking a defensive driver course.
- Good driver discount: These discounts reward drivers for safe and careful driving. One way to get a discount is by not submitting a claim for a specified period of time. Another way is to use a usage-based insurance model to examine the way you are driving. While using a mobile app or plug-in device, you can be rewarded for braking smoothly and not accelerating quickly. Major insurance companies that have good driver discounts include Nationwide and Geico.
- Payment method discounts: Getting paperless bills and paying your bill with an automatic payment method are a few ways to save money on car insurance for SSI recipients. Farmers Insurance offers a discount for going paperless.
#4 Try A Usage-Based Insurance Model
If you don’t drive very often and you drive safely, you might consider usage-based auto insurance. Under this type of plan, the cost of your insurance is directly tied to the number of miles you drive and/or how safe your driving behaviors are. Companies that offer this type of plan include Progressive, Allstate, and Metromile.
#5 Check For A Government Assistance Program
Some states fund auto insurance programs to help provide affordable car insurance for SSI recipients, though eligibility requirements differ from state to state.
- Maryland has The Maryland Auto Insurance Fund (MAIF), a public insurance offering for those in the state rejected or canceled by insurance companies. With the program, you can get at least $30,000 in bodily injury coverage and $15,000 in property damage.
- New Jersey offers the Special Automobile Insurance Policy (SAIP) for low-income individuals. Individuals who qualify for Medicaid, among other requirements, may be eligible to purchase coverage for literally a dollar each day, which is why the program is also known as dollar-a-day insurance.
- California's Low-Cost Automobile Program (CLCA) is designed to provide low-income individuals with liability coverage protection at affordable rates as a way to meet California's financial responsibility laws. To be eligible, drivers must be within 250% of the federal poverty limit, own a car worth less than $25,000, and have a good driving record.
- Hawaii's Assistance to the Aged, Blind, and Disabled (AABD) program provides free auto insurance to individuals with disabilities or who are 65 years or older and have a yearly income below 34% of the federal poverty line.
Best Car Insurance For SSI Recipients
Our review team analyzed the top auto insurance providers in the industry and compiled a list of companies that you may find useful in your search. Three insurers that offer affordable full coverage car insurance for SSI recipients are USAA, Erie, and Geico.
USAA Insurance: 4.8 Stars
For those who serve or have served in the military and their families, USAA is an outstanding option.
Based in San Antonio, USAA stands for United Services Automobile Association and has more than 12.8 million members. In addition to standard insurance coverage, you can get roadside assistance, rental car reimbursement, and other types of insurance. USAA auto insurance received a 4.8-star rating from our review team for its excellent claims servicing, availability, and cost. For more, read our USAA auto insurance review.
Erie Insurance: 4.5 Stars
Erie is available in 12 states and is a great option for cheap car insurance if you qualify. It offers standard coverage as well as many perks and add-ons. Our team rates Erie 4.5-stars out of 5.0 because of its affordability and how it is great for teens. For more information about coverage, cost, and customer reviews, read our Erie insurance review.
Geico: 4.6 Stars
Geico is one of the largest insurance companies in the country and our pick for the best overall auto insurance company. As a part of national holding company Berkshire Hathaway, Geico wrote over $34 billion in premiums in 2019, according to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners.
Geico received a 4.6-star rating in our review for its availability, affordable cost, and excellent customer service. The company holds an A++ financial strength rating from AM Best, which means that Geico is well-suited to pay claims to members. Read our Geico auto insurance review to get information about coverage options and more.
Deciding On A Car Insurance Provider
Whenever you shop for car insurance, we recommend getting quotes from multiple providers so you can compare coverage and car insurance rates. In addition to the insurance company you choose, factors such as your age, vehicle make and model, and driving record can affect your insurance premiums, so what’s best for your neighbor might not be best for you.
In an effort to provide accurate and unbiased information to consumers, our expert review team collects data from dozens of auto insurance providers to formulate rankings of the best insurers. Companies receive a score in each of the following categories, as well as an overall weighted score out of 5.0 stars.
- Industry Standing: Insurers with strong financial ratings and customer-first business practices receive the highest scores in this category.
- Availability: We consider availability by state as well as exclusions for specific groups of drivers.
- Coverage: This rating is based on types of insurance available, maximum coverage limits, and add-on policies.
- Cost and Discounts: Our research team reviews sample quotes for a variety of drivers in every state. Companies with lower prices and many car insurance discount opportunities receive the best scores.
- Customer Service: We comb through customer reviews and consumer feedback studies from experts like J.D. Power.
- Technology: Auto insurers with mobile apps, advanced online services and telematics are more likely to meet consumer needs.
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