Car Insurance for SSI Recipients

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Jessica Sautter is a Content Writer for with a Bachelor’s Degree from Eastern Michigan University in Elementary Education with a Major in Reading and a Minor in...

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Chris Harrigan has an economy 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...

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Reviewed byChris Harrigan
Former Insurance Claims Manager

UPDATED: Feb 18, 2019

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Key takeaways...
  • If you’re an SSI recipient, review the policy payment options so that you can afford to pay your insurance on-time
  • Most car insurance companies give their clients the option to pay premiums monthly, quarterly, or semi-annually
  • An insurance company can’t discriminate against you or charge you more for coverage because you receive SSI
  • Keep your credit score in check because most states allow insurers to reference a credit score to determine rates
  • If you’re disabled, you may have to provide proof that you’re medically able to drive from a physician treating you

If you’re an SSI recipient living on your own with no other source of income, chances are you’re living paycheck to paycheck.

While there are ways for elderly and disabled individuals receiving Social Security to supplement their SSI income, a single person will receive a maximum of $735 per month in benefits after a 2017 cost-of-living adjustment.

It’s nice to receive a guaranteed month-to-month income when you have limited resources and you qualify for benefits, but balancing your recurring bills can be difficult.

You’ll have to find ways to reduce your monthly bills at every turn. One account to focus on when you start receiving Supplemental Security Income is your auto insurance policy.

Save on auto insurance by using our free comparison tool to find the lowest rate!

Here’s what you should know about buying car insurance on SSI.

Your Source of Income Won’t Affect Your Insurance Rates

If you’re receiving SSI and you aren’t earning an income through employment or self-employment, you don’t have to worry that your source of income will have an impact on your rates.

Your income and where your money comes from each month aren’t acceptable rating factors that can be used to calculate your personal rates, but there are several other factors that can be.

Insurance companies are free to check a credit-based insurance score when calculating your rates, but the report isn’t going to be like the used by creditors. When the report is pulled up, it can’t include information that’s deemed discriminatory.

The states have deemed that your source of income isn’t relevant and it can’t be accessed or it would be considered a discriminatory practice.

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If You’re Retired or Disabled, You Could Pay a Lower Rate

Being an SSI recipient can have an indirect affect on how much insurance you can affect to carry and how much you’ll pay for your coverage.

Your employment status or occupation is a rating factor that can help insurers assess how likely you are to cost the carrier money after a loss. That’s why occupation is a risk factor.

If you’re retired or unemployed due to disability, you might pay less than someone who works full-time or attends school full-time.

Since retirees and unemployed drivers aren’t going to and from work and living with the stress of knowing they have to be on-time to the office, they are a lower risk when it comes to occupation risk factors. In turn, they pay lower rates.

Can you be turned down because of a disability?

If you have a mental or physical disability that affects your ability to safely operate a motor vehicle, it’s your responsibility as a licensed driver to tell your state’s motor vehicle agency.

At that point, the agency will either add restrictions to your license or they will make it mandatory that you surrender your driving privilege.

When your disability affects your driving and there are no aides that you can use to safely keep your license, you lose your driving privilege.

This is the only time that an insurance company can penalize you for having a mental or physical disability. If you have a disability or you’re a senior and you still have your license, it will have no impact on your eligibility for auto insurance.

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Will you pay more as a senior?

If you’re on SSI because you’ve reached 65, you could start to notice your rates go up. Usually, you don’t pay more for coverage because of your age or driving experience until you reach at least 60.

After that point, accident rates start to climb and that creates more risk for the insurer. Where there’s more risk, there are higher premiums.

You might get lucky with your current insurer and avoid an age-related rise in premiums until you’re 67 to 70. With almost all carriers, 70-year-old drivers will see a huge jump.

If you keep your license even longer, you can expect to pay an average of four times more than a teenage driver when you hit 80.

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Tips to Pay Your Auto Insurance Premiums On-time

There may be times where you just can’t manage your auto insurance payments because of all of the other bills that are due.

There are a few ways to schedule your payments and also different programs that could help you reduce your financial obligations for financial protection.

Here are some tips:

Select a More Convenient Installment Option

Most companies don’t require you to pay your entire policy premium upfront. If you’re with a carrier that doesn’t and you’re on SSI, look for a policy through a company with the following payment options:

  • Monthly
  • Quarterly
  • Skip-a-month

Look For Low-Cost State Programs

If you’re on SSI, you’ll qualify for special low-income programs through the state.

If you’re living in a state with a state-sponsored low-income insurance program, try to get lower premiums by purchasing the low-income insurance plan.

Try Part-Time Employment

If you’re able to work, try to participate in the federal Ticket to Work program that’s for SSI recipients. By entering this program, you can find a job that will cater to your needs.

You can also earn extra income that won’t disqualify you from receiving SSI. Even an extra $500 per year could help you pay your insurance premiums.

Shop Around the Market

If you don’t want limited coverage and you can’t work to make additional income, the best thing to do is shop around for the lowest priced policy you can find.

There are so many different companies out there and each has its own rates. By shopping around, you can find the carrier with rates tailored to meet your needs.

You could spend hours calling agents or driving to and from agencies, but the best way to shop around for car insurance as an SSI recipient is to use the Internet.

Enter your information in our comparison shopping tool and get auto quotes instantly.

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