Driving with auto insurance is required by law in most states, which means before you hit the roads, you’re going to want to purchase coverage.

But as you browse car insurance options, it might dawn on you: car insurance doesn’t fit my budget. According to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, Americans spend an average of $1,099 a year on car insurance coverage. Between rent, car maintenance, and other basic living expenses, you might find that you can’t afford car insurance. Now what?

If you worry about your ability to afford car insurance, you aren’t alone. In these difficult economic times, it’s especially hard for people to deal with high insurance premiums. Luckily, you have options. If you do a bit of research, get creative, and utilize the resources at your disposal, you can lower your insurance rates in no time.

Insurify is one part of an affordable car insurance strategy. Insurify is a quote comparison tool, helping you put different auto insurance quotes side by side so that you can find the option that works best for your budget. 

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There are plenty of car insurance providers out there—and many of them are providing similar coverage and features but at wildly different prices. Some might provide especially good value for younger drivers, while others might be perfect for middle-aged drivers who have a car accident or two on their record.

With Insurify, you can compare quotes easily, taking into account driving history and other details that can affect your car insurance rates. Then you can quickly connect with the right provider and secure a new policy.

Getting quotes on Insurify also gives you leverage with your existing provider. If you tell your insurance provider that you’ve found a cheaper quote on Insurify, you can use this quote to negotiate a potentially lower insurance bill—and threaten to cancel your existing car insurance policy and take your business elsewhere if they aren’t willing to hear you out.

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Keep an eye out for car insurance discounts

Car insurance companies give drivers the ability to save through numerous discounts. Finding these discounts just takes a proactive attitude on your part. For instance, you can call up your provider directly and ask whether they have any discounts available at the moment. After all, insurance companies launch new discounts fairly regularly, but they won’t always go out of their way to promote them. And in the wake of COVID-19, many providers understand that drivers are going through a difficult time financially and are looking for new ways to help drivers save.

In short, if you’re a motorist who is safer to insure and less likely to file claims, you’ll qualify for more car insurance discounts. If you have a spotless driver record, for instance, you might qualify for a Safe Driver Discount. Or if you’ve maintained a good credit score over the years, you might qualify for a Good Credit Discount. Improving your driving habits and credit score is a good long-term goal that can help you bring down your rates.  

Hunting for discounts is the key to saving on car insurance. One way to make this easier is by signing up for alerts from Insurify. That way, you’ll always know when you qualify for discounts and can get started saving right away.

Find out if you apply for state-sponsored insurance

Fortunately, state governments understand how hard it is for some people to afford car insurance. That’s why states like New Jersey, California, and Hawaii have low-income car insurance programs that help low-income households get covered. For instance, California’s CLCA program helps families making under a certain threshold (e.g., under $51,950 annual income for three-person households) get liability and underinsured motorist protection at a low cost. 

Before applying for these programs, make sure you’ve compared quotes on Insurify and are exploring the discounts at your disposal. You might find an affordable car insurance option that’s preferable to a state-sponsored program.

Switch to a telematics provider

Telematics solutions are data-driven tools that assess your driving behavior and lower (or potentially raise) your auto insurance rates based on how safely you drive. Allstate, State Farm, and Progressive are just a few of the industry giants that are offering such programs. If you’re a driver who has responsible driving habits, signing up with a telematics provider might be an easy way for you to lower your car insurance premiums.

In the wake of COVID-19’s school and workplace closures, many people are also driving less. Driving less is seen as safe driving behavior by these programs, which could help you lower your rates. If you are no longer commuting to work or picking up the kids from school, now might be a good time to consider saving through a telematics program.

Remove unnecessary riders and customizations from your policy

In order to get a better rate on car insurance, you should make sure you aren’t paying for policy features you don’t need. For instance, maybe you rarely travel. In that case, you’ll probably want to remove rental car insurance from your policy. Sure, that coverage might only add a few dollars to your premium each month. But combined with other unnecessary add-ons, these monthly costs add up over the course of a year.

You also may be driving an older car that probably wouldn’t be worth repairing in the event of an accident. If that’s the case, you might be able to do away with collision coverage or comprehensive coverage (also known as full coverage). Instead, you could pocket those savings and use them for a replacement purchase in the case of an accident. 

Meanwhile, liability insurance covers bodily injury and property damage, which makes it very important and understandably required. Your liability limits outline how much gets paid out in the event of an accident. So, for instance, insurance might pay up to $50,000 if you cause an accident that injures multiple people. While lowering these limits is tempting because it may lower your premiums, it’s very risky. It’s instead best to opt for cutting out collision coverage first.

Here’s how Redditors are saving on car insurance

Some Redditors are getting creative when it comes to saving on car insurance. Here are a few of the financially savvy strategies they’re bringing to car insurance coverage:

This popular recent post on the r/Frugal subreddit encourages drivers to switch one of their cars to storage vehicle coverage, which might be a good idea during the time of COVID-19: 

During this stay at home period, switch your vehicle insurance to storage coverage only and save $$ from r/Frugal

In this recent thread, one Redditors raves about how much they’re saving thanks to Progressive Snapshot. Judging from their experience, telematics may be the way to go: 

Saving on car insurance: Is anyone familiar with Progressive Snapshot program? from r/Frugal

And in this wildly popular thread, one Redditor explains how investing in uninsured motorist coverage for only $23 a year helped them save big-time when an accident arose:

If you can afford it, pay a little bit extra to get a lot of extra protection regarding car insurance. from r/personalfinance

Affording Car Insurance FAQ

Where can I compare the cheapest car insurance quotes online?

Insurify is designed to help you find the cheapest car insurance available by letting you compare car insurance quotes side by side. When you place 10+ car insurance providers’ rates side by side, you’ll be able to find cheap car insurance options that meet your budget and unique needs.

How can I qualify for low-income car insurance?

To qualify for low-income car insurance, you first have to live in one of the states that offer such programs, which are Hawaii, California, and New Jersey. Then, you have to figure out whether your income falls below the thresholds in those states. These thresholds are affected by the number of individuals in your household.

How can I save on car insurance costs?

Quote comparison is key to saving on car insurance. It gives you leverage with your existing provider and helps countless people find cheap car insurance. A tool like Insurify also makes sure you find any discounts that might be available to you. There are other simple tricks for saving. For instance, raising your deductible is one way to lower your monthly insurance costs—but it could lead to financial trouble in the event of an accident.

Conclusion: The best way to find the cheapest car insurance quotes

You keep a strict budget. You cut coupons. You carefully track your spending. You go out of your way to save money and improve your financial health—so why undermine that work by paying for expensive car insurance?

Insurify makes saving on car insurance simple. Gone are the days of hopping from site to site, hoping you can find the best quote. With Insurify, all the information you need is in one place so that you can easily compare what different providers bring to the table. It’s the tool you need to unlock savings and find affordable coverage.

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Updated June 30, 2020

Mark Steinbach is a writer based in Brooklyn, NY. In addition to his years of work as a copywriter, he is also a TV writer with a degree in English from Harvard University. When he isn't writing, he can be found playing tennis or doing crossword puzzles.