Rachael Brennan has been working in the insurance industry since 2006 when she began working as a licensed insurance representative for 21st Century Insurance, during which time she earned her Property and Casualty license in all 50 states. After several years she expanded her insurance expertise, earning her license in Health and AD&D insurance as well. She has worked for small health insuran...

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Chris Harrigan has an economic degree from Limestone College and an MBA from Clemson University. He previously managed auto insurance claims for Enterprise Rent-A-Car. Currently, he is using his business and insurance expertise to provide insurance data analysis and visualizations to enhance the user experience.

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Reviewed by Chris Harrigan
Former Auto Insurance Claims Manager Chris Harrigan

UPDATED: Aug 6, 2021

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Key takeaways...

As a single mom, you have a lot of responsibility riding on your shoulders.

You are concerned with your finances as well as the safety and well-being of your children. You probably spend a lot of time driving your kids around and juggling bills.

These factors make having the right auto insurance policy of utmost importance to you. If you need to decrease your auto insurance bill, try using an online price comparison tool to find the best rates. Enter your zip code above to compare today.

What kind of insurance do you need?

The vast majority of states in America require their drivers to have auto insurance. This requirement is for the financial and legal protection of everyone on the roadways.

However, the types and amounts of auto insurance required varies by state.

Not having auto insurance can put you at risk both legally and financially. Auto insurance is an important protection, especially for single mothers who need to protect their children, their livelihood, and their finances.

Not have auto insurance or not having the legally required types and amounts of auto insurance can lead to severe consequences, depending on which state you live in. These consequences include:

  • Citations and fines
  • Points on your driver’s license
  • Suspension or revocation of your driver’s license
  • Suspension or revocation of your vehicle registration
  • Jail time
  • Community service
  • Required SR22 insurance coverage

In addition, if you cause injuries or damage property in an accident that is your fault, you will be financially responsible.

Without insurance in place to help pay these bills, you will need to find a way to pay for the injuries and damages you have caused. In fact, you could be sued in civil court and ordered to pay.

If you do not pay, you may face seizure of your assets or wage garnishment. No single mom has the time or the money to deal with all of these hassles and headaches. To avoid having to deal with all of this, make sure you have the appropriate auto insurance coverage.

Most major insurance companies offer discounts on auto coverage, like the defensive driving discount or multi-policy discount, so make sure to ask about this. Cheap auto insurance is available, you just have to know where to look.

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What documents make up an auto insurance policy?

If you have recently examined your auto insurance policy document, you may be feeling a bit confused. However, it is important that you review and understand this document.

Your auto insurance policy is a binding and legal document. Your policy documents should consist of three different parts:

Declarations Page

You can find general information about your policy on this page. It should contain your name, the amount of your premium, and the dates in which your policy will be effective.

It should also show which coverages you have on your policy and the maximum payout limits that your insurance carrier will pay for each coverage.

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Insuring Agreement

This is the main portion of your policy that states how your coverage actually works. It should state who is covered and what the insurance company’s responsibility is under the contract.

It is important that you read and understand the definitions section and the list of exclusions so that you know what you are covered for and what you are not.

Conditions of the Policy

This portion is also important as it lays out what your responsibilities are if you need to make a claim. It should tell you how much time you have to report a claim to them and what documentation you must provide.

It usually also states what needs to happen if you or the insurer decides to cancel the policy.

You have the right to cancel your policy at any time for any reason, however, the insurance carrier is bound to certain laws and must provide you with advanced notice if your policy will be canceled.

What kinds of coverage are available?

Auto insurance companies offer many forms of coverage, so you can tailor your policy to meet your individual needs. Keep in mind that adding coverages will raise your insurance premiums. Here are the most common types of auto insurance coverage.


Liability is the minimum type of auto insurance coverage that is legally mandated in most states. Property damage liability covers the damages you cause to other people’s property such as vehicles, bikes, landscaping, or structures.

Bodily injury liability coverage pays for medical bills and funeral expenses when needed if you are at fault for an accident. Drivers should be aware that liability does not cover their losses and expenses and that auto insurance laws dictating limits for minimum liability coverage vary by state.


This is an optional coverage that will pay for damages to your own vehicle in the event of an accident. With collision, you will choose your coverage limits and deductible.

Keep in mind that the higher your deductible is, the lower your premium will be. If you have the reserves to pay a higher deductible if you make a claim, you may want to pay the lower premium.


Similar to collision coverage, in that you also choose your deductible and coverage limits and that it is not a required type of coverage, comprehensive coverage is for other types of damages.

Situations that would potentially warrant a comprehensive claim include flooding, fires, hitting wildlife, theft, and vandalism. If you have a financed vehicle, you may be contractually required to have both comprehensive and collision coverage.

Uninsured/underinsured motorist

Even though most drivers are required to obtain auto insurance, some choose not to follow the law. If you are in an accident with a driver who does not have auto insurance, you can rely on your uninsured motorist coverage to help pay.

This coverage will also help if you are a victim of a hit-and-run driver or are hit while walking or riding your bike. Underinsured motorist coverage will help if you are hit by another driver and their policy limits have been exhausted while paying your claim.

Some states mandate their drivers to have uninsured motorist coverage.

Personal Injury Protection (PIP)

In some states, this coverage is referred to as medical payments or med pay for short. This coverage helps pay for your own medical expenses, no matter who is at fault in an accident.

It may also help pay for lost wages or help that single parents need to hire around your house in light of your injuries from an accident.

GAP Coverage

If you have a lease or a loan on your vehicle, it is a good idea to have this coverage. In fact, if you have a lease, GAP coverage may already be rolled into your lease or contractually required of you.

If you are in an accident and your insurance company determines that your car is totaled, meaning that it is cheaper for them to pay you the fair market value of your car instead of paying to get it fixed, it may not be enough to cover your loan or lease.

Without GAP insurance, you are left to make up the different between what your insurance company pays you and what is still owed on the loan or the lease. This can be a particularly tough loss for single parents.

This balance can be difficult for anyone to pay, especially if you are a single mom. GAP coverage will take care of your financial responsibility in this situation.

Roadside Assistance

This is an optional coverage that can be nice to have if you don’t have many people you could count on in a bind.

Roadside assistance coverage can help single parents in a variety of troublesome situations with your vehicle, such as locking your keys in your vehicle, a dead battery, a flat tire, or other mechanical issues.

Car insurance doesn’t have to be confusing or expensive, even for single moms.

Taking the time to understand your policy and your coverage will help you navigate any claims or changes you need to make.

Using an online price comparison tool can help you save money on auto insurance by making comparison shopping easy. Just enter your zip code here to begin for free.