What If I Can’t Afford Car Insurance Anymore?
Car insurance is a must for anyone who’s going to be on the road. However, it can also get very expensive very quickly. This is particularly true in New York, which has higher car insurance rates than many other states because of its population density and weather. If you’re struggling to fit car insurance into your budget, don’t panic – there are plenty of solutions you can consider. Here’s what to do if you can’t afford car insurance.
Switch to a Different Provider
The first thing you should do if you’re struggling to afford car insurance is to look at other insurers. Car insurance prices can vary widely between insurance companies because they each have their own algorithm for determining prices. You may be able to get similar coverage from another provider at a fraction of the price. Get quotes from several different companies in your area to see if you can find another policy that fits your needs.
Increase Your Deductible
One of the quickest ways to lower your monthly insurance payment is to increase your deductible. The deductible is the amount of money you’ll pay out of pocket after an accident before your insurance kicks in. When you have a higher deductible, car insurance companies consider you to be less of a financial risk, so your monthly insurance payments won’t be as high. Increasing your deductible is easy – you’ll just need to make a quick call to your insurance agent. Some companies may even allow you to change it online. If you choose to lower your insurance payments by increasing your deductible, make sure you put some money away to use just in case you get into an accident. If you don’t have that money saved, it will negatively affect your budget if you ever do need to make a claim.
Lower Your Coverage Amount
Another good way to save money is to lower the amount of coverage you have. For example, if you have collision, comprehensive, or underinsured motorist coverage, you can skip these add-ons for now to lower your monthly bill. Although these types of car insurance are very helpful, they’re not legally required. If you have more than the legally required amount of liability coverage, you can also lower your policy to the minimum amount. The lower your coverage is, the lower your monthly payment will be. You can also get rid of other add-ons like roadside assistance or accident forgiveness, which can make your policy even more expensive. Just keep in mind that if you get into an accident, you won’t have the same coverage as before – so drive carefully.
Switch to Pay-Per-Mile Insurance
Another potential option if you’re struggling to afford your insurance is pay-per-mile insurance. This new type of car insurance will give you a device to put in your car that tracks how much you drive. You’ll then pay an insurance rate based on how much time you actually spend on the road. If you don’t drive often, to begin with, this type of insurance is a great way to save money. There aren’t many car insurance companies that offer this option yet, but it’s becoming more popular, and in the future, we’ll likely see an increase in people switching to this type of insurance.
Consider Using Other Transit Options
If you’re really struggling to afford your car insurance, see if there are any other ways for you to get around without relying on a car. If you can get rid of your car, you’ll save a significant amount of money each month. Not only will you not have to worry about an insurance payment, but you also won’t have to worry about paying off the car or paying for gas and repairs. If you live in an urban area, there are likely bus and train lines you can use to get around. New York has an extensive rail network between cities as well as within cities. Buses provide public transit coverage for areas that don’t have trains. Although it may take you a little longer to get to your final destination, it will save you a huge amount of money each month.
You may also want to consider using a bike to commute. Many cities and suburban areas are implementing dedicated bike lanes that make it easier and safer for bikers to get around. Not only is biking much cheaper than having a car, but it also is an excellent form of exercise. If you live in a very dense area, you may even be able to walk to work every day, forgoing both a car payment and a gym membership.
No matter what, don’t try to drive without car insurance. If you can’t afford car insurance, make sure you’re not back out on the road until you have a valid policy. If you get caught driving without car insurance, you could be subject to large fines or even lose your license. Additionally, if you’re driving without insurance and you get into an accident, you could be responsible for hundreds of thousands of dollars in damages. If you’re struggling to afford your insurance, talk to your insurer about other options that can help you save money, or consider switching to another mode of transportation. Luckily, there are so many different insurance companies on the market that you should be able to find a more affordable insurance plan with a little bit of shopping.