Can’t Get Auto Insurance? Here’s What to Do

Almost all states require you to have insurance. But what if you can't buy it? This article will tell you what you can do about it.
Woman with trouble paying car insurance bill

Are you having trouble buying car insurance? This is a tough situation to be in because most states require you to have some kind of coverage to drive. There are many reasons why you might have a hard time buying insurance. Some of these reasons are:

  • It’s too expensive
  • The state suspended your license, or it has expired
  • Being high-risk i.e., too many tickets or accidents.
  • Having a DUI on your record
  • Living in a risky area
  • Poor credit rating
  • Bad or non-existent insurance record

Rest assured that if you fit into any of the above categories, there are still solutions for you. This article will explore some of the reasons why you can’t buy car insurance in more detail. It’ll also explain how you can get the coverage that you need so that you can hit the road safely and legally.

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Not Being Able to Afford Coverage

Auto insurance can be expensive. Not everyone may be able to afford it because of this reality. But every state except New Hampshire and Virginia requires at least a minimum amount of liability coverage to drive legally. This means that you don’t have a choice but to buy insurance if you want to drive. Driving without insurance will only cause you legal and financial stress.

Having a low income but still needing to drive is a real problem for people who need to buy car insurance. Not being able to afford coverage is also a tough deal for young people who need to buy their insurance, but just can’t yet.

This problem of not being able to afford car insurance can also go hand in hand with the other roadblocks in this article. There are plenty of factors that can make your insurance expensive. Here are some of the most common:

  • Age. Being younger than 25 can raise your rates
  • Area of residence. Different locations can present higher risks than others, potentially raising your costs. Threats of vandalism, theft, hitting animals, or natural disasters are what insurers consider here.
  • Credit rating. Having a poor credit rating can raise your rates or even cause insurers to deny you a policy.
  • Driving record. Your driving record can impact your rates. Having too many at-fault accidents and tickets can raise your premiums.
  • Car mileage. Providers might give you higher premiums if you drive more often. They may ask for your annual car mileage.
  • Your car. What kind of car you drive can make your insurance more expensive.

How to Get Insurance if You Can’t Afford It

The good news is that you don’t have to go on without car insurance. There are solutions for you to get back on the road legally. Even if you just can’t afford it because of your income situation, states can help you.

Look for Discounts

One of the best ways to make auto insurance more affordable is to get discounts. Companies offer discounts to their customers for various reasons. Be sure to ask your agent about this because it’s a surefire way to lower your rates if you’re eligible.

Here are some of the discounts that can get you the most savings, according to GEICO:

  • Good student discount – 15%
  • Military discount – 15%
  • Airbag – 23%
  • Anti-theft system – 23%
  • Safe driver – 22%
  • Multi-vehicle – 25%
  • Multi-policy/bundling – can vary

Note: these percentages are from GEICO. Discounts can vary depending on the insurer. The above aren’t all of the discounts out there. Be sure to check with your agent about what you could get.

More Ways to Lower Insurance Costs

Other solutions if your car insurance is too expensive:

  • Don’t drive a car. This seems a bit extreme, but not driving can save you money. Walking, getting rides, or taking public transit could prove to be much cheaper.
  • Liability only. Most states only require liability coverage. This means that you should try to only get the minimum amount of liability insurance for now until you can afford more.
  • State-run programs. Some states like California offer programs to help people who can’t afford insurance. Consult your state’s policies on this to see if you can save extra on insurance.

Compare Quotes

Once you’ve exhausted every method of lowering costs with your current insurer, consider comparing car insurance quotes from several different companies. Their unique insurance rate factoring and discount programs may be a better fit for you.

You Have Too Many Tickets and/or Accidents

Having too many tickets and accidents on your record can make it hard to get insurance. This is because insurers think you’re a risk that could cost them money. Companies might deny you insurance or give you very expensive rates because of this.

You might be what insurers call a high-risk driver if you have too many tickets and accidents. Having one or two accidents on your record doesn’t make you high-risk. High-risk drivers usually have more than one accident on their record in three years. One DUI will immediately give you high-risk status.

How To Get Insurance with Too Many Tickets and Accidents

There are some good ways out there to get insurance if you have too many tickets or accidents on your driving record. The first way to make sure that you can get coverage is to look into high-risk insurance. Certain companies offer coverage for high-risk drivers. This will cost more than regular insurance.

You can also take a look at joining a state risk pool. States assign insurance companies to high-risk customers. This will be more expensive than normal insurance, but it’s better than nothing. You should look into joining a risk pool if insurers keep denying you.

Finally, you should try and lower your risk so that you can get affordable car insurance. Lowering your risk means:

  • Not getting into accidents. Don’t drink and drive!
  • Avoiding tickets by driving safely.
  • Lowering your credit score.
  • Buy a car with a high safety rating.
  • Take a defensive driving course.

Following the steps above will make it easier for you to buy insurance at lower rates.

Other Reasons You Can’t Buy Insurance

Not being able to afford it and carrying a high risk are two of the most common reasons that people can’t buy insurance. But there are other reasons why you might have a hard time getting coverage.

Below are some of the other common reasons and how to get around them:

Living In a Risky Area

Some areas can make insurers shy away from serving people. This is usually because you live in a high-risk area. Cities with a high risk for theft and vandalism can make insurers not sell you coverage. The ways to get around this are:

  • Move away
  • Join a state risk pool
  • Buy high-risk insurance

You Have a Poor Credit Rating

Having a poor credit rating can hurt your chances of getting a company to cover you. Insurers shy away from people with poor ratings because they might not be reliable in paying their rates. You could also be high-risk if you have a bad credit score. The solution to this is to improve your credit rating by paying your expenses on time.

Your Insurance History is Bad or Non-Existent

Insurance companies won’t want to cover you if you haven’t been paying your rates. Also, insurers might deny you if you have no insurance record. This is when you’re very young or just starting to drive. Insurers might also view you as a high-risk driver if you’re in this age group. The solution here is to get high-risk insurance or lower your risk (see the steps above).

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Can a car insurance company deny you coverage?

A:  Yes. Insurance companies can choose to deny you coverage. States require you to have insurance, but not for companies to provide it to everyone. Insurance companies could deny you for many reasons, including:

  • Being high-risk i.e., too many tickets and accidents
  • Having a bad insurance record
  • Having a poor credit rating
  • Living in a high-risk area where vandalism, theft, or accidents are common.
  • The car you’re trying to insure isn’t safe or is special in some way. Special means it’s a classic or exotic car.

Even though a company can deny you coverage, you can still find ways to get it. There are options like high-risk insurance, risk pools, or simply improving your risk factors.

Q: What if I can’t afford car insurance?

A: Not being able to afford car insurance is a big problem for a lot of people. But there are ways you can get affordable insurance. Some states offer affordable insurance programs. Be sure to check with your state’s laws on affordable car insurance when you go looking for coverage.  

You should also try and get as many discounts as you can. These can save you massive amounts of money on your coverage. Check with your agent or insurance company about the discounts that are available to you.

Q: Can you not buy car insurance?

A: You can own a car without insurance, but you won’t be able to drive it legally. Most states require you to have car insurance to drive. Your best bet is to try and find solutions to get car insurance. Insurers can deny you for many reasons. So, you should try and figure out why you can’t buy insurance and then try and get around that cause before you abandon driving.


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