How to Get Help With Your Car Insurance Payments

You need your car to get to work, but your paycheck just barely covers essentials — and your car insurance payments may be stretching your budget thin enough to break. So what do you do when you can’t afford car insurance? There are a few options.

How to Afford Your Car Insurance Payments Today

Biannual insurance payments often have a habit of landing just when our budget has run out. When you need money for car insurance, here are potential options to consider:

1

Borrow Money

While borrowing money from relatives or friends can lead to potentially complicated dynamics, asking for financial assistance may help you get the money you need. Make sure you both agree to terms that make sense for both of you.

2

Consider an Installment Loan

An installment loan may give you the cash flow you need to pay essential bills. Remember that you must pay the installment loan back, so having a strategy (such as a budget) in place to account for the loan can help make sure that both the loan and your essential bills are paid.

3

Cash Advances Can Work

If the car insurance payment date just catches you between paychecks, a cash advance can ease your mind about your car while you plan out repayment. If you can prevent a costly lapse in your insurance, you will likely save as much as the minor fees associated with a cash advance.

4

Look to Credit

The downside of putting bills on credit is that — while the bills get paid — you will have to pay back the balance along with interest. But in cases where your cash flow may not be consistent, a credit line can help you pay bills while you wait for money to hit your account.

How to Lower Your Car Insurance Rates

Is your insurance rate as low as it could be? Here, some tips to consider before you talk to your car insurance agent.

1

Discover Discounts

Some insurers offer discounts to customers who drive under a certain number of miles per year or have a clean driving record. Contact your insurer to see what discounts are available.

2

Raise your Deductible

If monthly payments are a real problem, then it may make sense to raise your deductible. Of course, that means you will pay more if you get into an accident.

3

Compare Policies

Is your policy as competitive as it could be? You don’t need to switch insurers to improve your rates; simply letting your current insurer know that their competitor offers a lower rate may lead them to lower yours. Start a conversation with your insurer to see where you can cut costs.

What Happens if You Don’t Pay Your Car Insurance?

The option you shouldn’t consider is forgoing car insurance.

What Will it Cost if Your Insurance Policy Lapses?

While many car insurance policies have grace periods if you pay your policy late (usually under one month), a lapsed policy could almost double your rate. It is extremely important that meet the terms of your insurance policy payments when they are due or you risk additional costs down the road.

Is it Illegal to Drive without Car Insurance?

Not only is it illegal to drive without car insurance — being caught may lead to hefty fines, license suspension, or even jail time — but going without a policy may make it more expensive to get insured once you do have the funds.

Plus, if you are involved in an accident, you may be personally liable for an accident even when you are not found to be at fault.

Avoid Late Payments for Your Car Insurance

If you need a car to get to work, car insurance should be considered an essential line in your budget. Once your rate is as low as possible, here are ways to plan for the next round of car insurance:

  • Slash your budget elsewhere. Can you be paying less for your phone or Internet? Are there any services, like a monthly streaming service, that you can cut temporarily?

  • Start a side hustle. Whether it’s taking on driving or errand jobs or selling stuff online, it could be a way to make the money you need to continue to pay for car insurance.

  • Switch to a relative or friend’s plan. If you can’t afford your premiums, ask a relative or family member to be added as a driver on their plan. This will increase their rate, so it’s important to have an agreement in place.

Sources:

https://www.carinsurance.org/guide/shopping-for-a-new-policy/how-to-reduce-the-cost-of-auto-insurance/

https://www.autoinsurance.org/what-does-it-mean-to-let-your-car-insurance-lapse/

https://www.tn.gov/content/dam/tn/tacir/commission-meetings/2014-november/2014-11%20Tab%207%20AttachmentC.pdf

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