You’re not alone if you’re struggling to pay your car insurance. Many people find themselves in a situation where they can’t afford their premiums, which can be stressful and overwhelming.
Fortunately, options are available to help you get the emergency assistance you need to keep your coverage. Do your research and find out what options are available in your area.
Personal loans can provide the needed cash quickly, while government programs and charitable organizations work better over the long term to avoid future crises.
You do not want to experience the negative consequences of late fees or cancellations associated with missed monthly payments.
Emergency Help Paying Car Insurance
Drivers have at least two places to look when seeking emergency help making their monthly auto insurance premium payments. The limited choices are good because simplicity matters in urgent situations.
Personal loans can provide emergency help paying car insurance premiums. You do not want to risk policy cancellation if you are short of cash, as the consequences are dire.
Personal loans are ideal when you need money immediately because they are unsecured. Lenders can make quicker decisions because they do not require time-consuming appraisals to document the equity of pledged collateral such as your home, auto, or boat.
If approved, the lender will deposit the funds into your checking account. Use the money to stay current on your auto insurance to avoid late fees or cancellations. Repay the money in equal installments in the future.
The Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program (TANF) might provide emergency help paying car insurance premiums. However, the process might take longer because you must interface with a government agency (DHS).
TANF helps low-income families with children achieve economic self-sufficiency, which can mean financial support with transportation so a parent can work.
Apply for TANF transportation assistance through a local DHS agency. The federal Department of Health & Human Services (DHS) provides the funding through grants, but each state decides how to allocate the money.
Long-Term Help Paying Car Insurance
Drivers might find other avenues offering help paying auto insurance premiums that take longer to set in motion. Being proactive with these opportunities might help you avoid future emergencies with limited options.
Sometimes, getting help paying other expenses frees up enough resources to cover your monthly auto insurance premiums. Expand the scope of your search to identify government programs targeting broader needs.
Free government money you never pay back comes in the form of benefits for low-income families that reduce the cost of everyday household bills besides transportation.
Finding charities that help with car payments might prove challenging for such a specific need. As with the government programs noted above, getting assistance with other expenses might free up resources to cover your auto policy.
- Charities that help with dental work are more abundant.
- Non-profits helping with home repairs are easy to find.
- Churches helping with car repairs make themselves visible.
Three states operate programs that assist with auto insurance for low-income families. However, they will not help with payments on your existing policy, so plan accordingly.
California’s Low-Cost Automobile Program (CLCA) provides income-eligible persons with liability insurance protection at affordable rates. To be eligible for CLCA, consumers must:
- Have a valid California driver’s license
- Own a vehicle valued at $25,000 or less
- Meet income eligibility guidelines
- Be at least 16 years of age
- Have a Good Driving Record
Apply for CLCA at mylowcostauto.com. Begin by taking a brief questionnaire to see if you qualify. If so, complete the online application.
The Special Automobile Insurance Policy (SAIP) helps make limited coverage available to New Jersey drivers eligible for Federal Medicaid with hospitalization.
The policy costs only $365 for the year at publication. Not all Medicaid programs qualify for SAIP.
Hawaii provides no-fault auto insurance at no cost to low-income recipients of other government programs such as Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), and Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).
Apply for free no-fault coverage in Hawaii by contacting the eligibility worker assigned to your case. People qualified for one program often automatically meet the criteria for others.
What Happens If You Miss Payments
Understanding what happens if you cannot pay your car insurance this month is essential. The possible consequences underscore why finding help might be crucial.
It’s important to note that some insurance companies offer grace periods, which give you a little extra time to make your payment without facing late fees, penalties, or a lapse in coverage.
Late Fees and Penalties
One of the consequences of not paying your car insurance after the grace period is that you’ll likely face late fees and penalties. These can add up quickly and make it even more difficult for you to catch up.
Late fees and penalties can vary depending on your insurance company, but they can range from a few dollars to hundreds.
Lapse in Coverage
A second consequence of not paying car insurance premiums after the grace period is your policy may lapse. You won’t have protection from accidents, damages, or other liabilities.
All but two states require car insurance, so driving uninsured could mean fines or license suspension if a police officer pulls you over for a minor traffic violation.
Credit Score Impact
A drop in your credit score is not a direct consequence of missing your car insurance payment. These companies do not report data to Experian, Equifax, TransUnion, or any other bureau.
However, having an accident with a lapsed policy could ruin your credit score for seven years. If at fault, you might be judged legally responsible for paying other drivers’ and passengers’ car repairs and medical bills.
If you cannot afford the monthly premiums, these massive bills are out of reach, especially if a fatality results from your negligence. Late payments on other obligations sink your credit score.