Car Insurance for the Homeless

Car insurance for the homeless can be less expensive with comparison shopping and discounts. The address of a friend or social service agency can be used to apply for car insurance for the homeless. To begin comparison shopping for car insurance, enter your ZIP code now to find the best price and the right policy for your needs.

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UPDATED: Jun 2, 2022

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Written By: Laura BerryReviewed By: Joel OhmanUPDATED: Jun 2, 2022Fact Checked

Here's what you need to know...

  • Drivers who are homeless can often partner with social service programs to solve residency problems
  • Having the proper insurance coverage in place can provide an extra level of security for homeless drivers
  • Comparison shopping gives homeless motorists an easy way to save money

Key Facts for Insurance for the Homeless
Insurance SummaryDetailsFrom The Experts At...
Number of auto accidents in 20176,452,
Number of miles driven in the U.S. in 20163.22
Most expensive insurance by stateLouisiana - $1,
Least expensive insurance by stateVermont - $
Number of homeless people in the U.S. 2019567,
Percentage of homeless people living in carsApprox.
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For one reason or another, many people go through periods of homelessness during their lifetimes. Many individuals who are homeless are also drivers, and like the rest of the population, need to get from place to place. This means they also need a car insurance premium and registration. But does your car insurance and registration address have to match?

Insurance coverage can sometimes be hard for those who are homeless to acquire. That said, there are some possible workarounds that can help such people to find the insurance policies that best meet their needs.

This article will take a look at the issue of car insurance for the homeless and point out ways comparison shopping can make finding an insurance policy simpler and cheaper. We’ll answer questions like, can you get car insurance with a PO box?

Do you need affordable homeless driver car insurance? Before learning more about car insurance for the homeless, enter your ZIP code above to comparison shop for the best homeless driver car insurance rates in your area.

Types of Insurance for Homeless Drivers

Individuals who are experiencing homelessness may sometimes use their personal vehicles for shelter.

The following car insurance options may provide assistance for those dealing with such situations. While most of these items are optional, drivers who make use of comparison shopping sites can frequently find valuable deals and discounts.

  • Anti-theft coverage – If someone is using their car for shelter, a key consideration is keeping it as safe as possible from theft. Anti-theft coverage plans can provide support in the event that the policyholder’s vehicle is stolen.
  • Towing coverage – Tow trips that result from car breakdowns can sometimes cost hundreds of dollars. Homeless drivers who make it a point to acquire this kind of coverage can rest assured that the next time a breakdown occurs they will be well taken care of.
  • Temporary car insurance – Individuals who may be experiencing financial difficulties can sometimes be well served by taking out short-term insurance policies.
  • Rental car insurance – If something happens to your vehicle and it’s also your home, having the car totaled or taken in for repairs can be catastrophic. Having rental car coverage while your situation is being taken care of can keep you from sleeping on the streets.

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The Issue of Having an Address

Do you need proof of address for car insurance? In many cases, according to the Insurance Information Institute (III), car insurance providers and state motor vehicle registries will ask insurance applicants for their home address. Providing an address for car insurance while homeless can obviously be an issue, but there are some ways to solve this common problem. If you’re wondering how to register a car if you are homeless, consider the following:

  • Some individuals who are homeless may have friends or relatives willing to allow them to receive mail at their homes.
  • Other individuals who are on their own can often use the addresses of social service agencies in their areas for the same purpose.
  • There are some nonprofits and Department of Human Services government agencies set up to provide a mailing address to help the homeless with things like having an address for their resume or applying for benefits; this address can also be used when setting up an insurance policy.

These methods can provide homeless drivers with a mailing address that can be used for official business or correspondence.

Can I use a PO box for auto insurance? Many insurance providers will allow you to list a PO box as your address, while some others will allow it as long as you can also provide an address for where your vehicle will be parked.

If homeless drivers actually live at social service program locations for some time, they are often allowed to use these as home addresses for legal purposes. As long as you have a car insurance address, you should have no problem getting an insurance policy.

What proof do I need for car insurance?

To get a quote for car insurance, you don’t need any proof of residency at all. Even most car insurance policies won’t ask for more proof than filling out the application, with the understanding that drivers who face substantial claims may find their information comes under scrutiny.

If that happens and you lied about your address, the insurance company, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, may consider that a form of insurance fraud, making it difficult to get car insurance if you’re homeless.

Required Insurance Coverage

Like every other driver on the road, motorists who are homeless will have to secure certain mandatory insurance coverages. These include bodily injury liability and property damage liability.

Here is a brief overview of these different coverage options:

  • Bodily injury liability – This pays for any medical bills that result from an accident with the policyholder or their vehicle. Since many individuals who are homeless may also be in financial distress, this coverage option can provide critical protection.
  • Property damage liability – This coverage option pays for damage to the personal property of another individual that is caused by the vehicle of the policyholder.
  • Personal injury protection (PIP) – PIP covers medical bills that the driver or passengers of the insured vehicle may sustain during an accident.

Take a look at the chart below for the average cost of liability insurance by state:

Average Annual Liability Car Insurance Rates by State
StatesAverage Annual Liability Insurance Rates
North Dakota$282.55
South Dakota$289.04
North Carolina$357.59
New Hampshire$393.24
New Mexico$462.21
South Carolina$497.50
West Virginia$501.44
District of Columbia$628.09
Rhode Island$720.06
New York$784.98
New Jersey$865.55
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While these policies may be mandatory and a minimum level of coverage is required, specific coverage amounts can vary. Drivers who are homeless may need to limit the amount that they spend on mandatory coverage if this allows them to purchase a desirable auto insurance policy.

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Optional Vehicle Insurance Coverages

These insurance policy items don’t necessarily need to be purchased by customers. Nevertheless, they can be very useful when the worst happens, and the additional cost of these options can often be minimized by those who make use of comparison shopping sites.

  • Comprehensive coverage  – This coverage pays for damages to the insured vehicle caused by unforeseen events like hailstorms, fires, flood, and vandalism. Comprehensive coverage can be especially valuable for homeless drivers who also use their vehicles for occasional shelter.
  • Glass coverage – This helps to minimize the risks that broken car windows can present. Since cracked windows can be safety hazards during accidents and it may be illegal to drive with broken vehicle windows in some areas, this coverage protects drivers in multiple ways.
  • Collision coverage – This insurance option pays for damages sustained by the vehicle of the policyholder during an accident. This policy choice often covers damages that are caused by the driver of the insured vehicle.

Looking to save on your car insurance costs? Keep reading.

Easy & Quick Ways to Save on Car Insurance

There are a number of ways to save money on your insurance, including comparison shopping and taking advantage of all available auto insurance discounts. Given that most people who are homeless or otherwise living in their vehicles need to keep their expenses low, taking the necessary steps to bring down your car insurance costs is vital.

Below are some of the most common ways to save money on your insurance:

  • Comparison shopping – Websites that allow you to compare rates from multiple companies can help drivers in need find affordable coverage quickly. These sites are easy to use, and visitors will only need to have information such as their name and license number and vehicle’s VIN number, make, and mileage to get started.
  • Safe vehicle savings – Some drivers who are homeless may have newer vehicles, and this can work to their favor if the car in question has certain safety features. These features can include anti-lock brakes, side-impact airbags, and adaptive suspension systems.
  • Safe driver discounts – Individuals who are good drivers and have the records to prove it are almost always eligible for special savings, and even rebates in some cases.
  • Older driver discounts – Older motorists who may be homeless will frequently qualify for age-related discounts. These discounts can be surprisingly generous, and should always be considered by comparison shoppers.
  • Student discounts – Homeless drivers who may be enrolled in a college or university may qualify for student discounts. With many schools reaching out to remote students by offering online courses, this discount may apply to a surprising number of people.

There are dozens of possible insurance discounts available across multiple auto insurers Take a look at the chart below for information on the multiple discounts available to you:

Car Insurance Discounts Available by Company
Discounts21st CenturyAAAAllstateAmerican FamilyAmeripriseAmicaCountry FinancialEsuranceFarmersGeicoLiberty MutualMetLifeNationwideProgressiveSafe AutoSafecoState FarmThe GeneralThe HanoverThe HartfordTravelersUSAA
Adaptive Cruise Controlxxxx
Adaptive Headlightsxxxxxxxx
Anti-lock Brakesxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Daytime Running Lightsxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Electronic Stability Controlxxxxxxxxx
Utility Vehiclexxxx
Vehicle Recoveryxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
VIN Etchingxxxxxxxxxx
Lane Departure Warningxxxx
Newer Vehiclexxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Green Vehiclexxxxxxx
Forward Collision Warningxxxxxxx
Claim Freexxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Continuous Coveragexxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Defensive Driverxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Distant Studentxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Driver's Edxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Driving Device/Appxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Early Signingxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Emergency Deploymentx
Engaged Couplex
Family Legacyxxxxxx
Family Planxxxxx
Farm Vehiclexxxx
Fast 5x
Federal Employeexxxx
Full Paymentxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Further Educationxxxxxxxxx
Good Creditxxxx
Good Studentxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Life Insurancexx
Low Mileagexxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Military Garagingx
Multiple Driversxx
Multiple Policiesxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Multiple Vehiclesxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
New Addressx
New Customer/New Planxxx
New Graduatex
Newly Licensedx
Occasional Operatorx
On Time Paymentsxxxx
Online Shopperxx
Paperless Documentsxxxxxxxx
Paperless/Auto Billingxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Passive Restraintxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Recent Retireesxx
Roadside Assistancexx
Safe Driverxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Seat Belt Usex
Senior Driverxxxxxxxxx
Stable Residencexxxx
Students & Alumnixxxxxx
Switching Providerxxxxxxxxxxx
Young Driverxxxxxx
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Keep in mind that these are the available discounts by company as of this writing. Insurance companies can and do change their discounts regularly, so you may want to reach out to your insurance company for their most current list of available discounts.

Car Insurance for the Homeless: The Bottom Line

Being homeless can certainly present many challenges. That being said, homeless drivers who make use of the information in this article can at least count on getting a good deal on their next car insurance policy.

Looking to buy homeless driver car insurance? Now that you know about car insurance for the homeless, enter your ZIP code to compare homeless driver car insurance quotes today to find the best price and the right policy for your needs.

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Frequently Asked Questions: Car Insurance for the Homeless

Below are some of the most frequently asked questions regarding auto insurance for homeless people.

#1 – Do I need proof of residency for car insurance?

What documents are needed for auto insurance? Some auto insurance companies may request proof of residency. If you get insurance through one of those companies you may need to provide them with a copy of a mortgage or lease, or perhaps even a bill with your name on it mailed to that address.

Other companies will take you at your word when you fill out your form with an understanding that if they find out later that you lied they can deny your claims based on a fraudulent application.

#2 – Can I get a car insurance quote without an address? Can I get car insurance with a temporary address?

Many online quote systems require an address to give you a quote, but not all of them. Some companies will provide a quote with only a ZIP code or no address at all, but keep in mind that those quotes will be less accurate than the quotes that require your address.

You can absolutely get a quote with a temporary address, but it’s important to remember that as your address changes you will need to keep your car insurance company updated. This may raise or lower your insurance rates, however, so be ready to see a change in your premiums if you change your address.

#3 – Who has the cheapest car insurance?

Generally speaking, Geico and USAA tend to have the cheapest overall rates. (USAA only services the military/veteran community.) This doesn’t mean they will have the cheapest rates for you, though, so it’s important to get quotes from multiple companies to make sure you’re getting the lowest possible rates.

#4 – How can I get super cheap car insurance?

You can carry only the minimum insurance required by your state to keep your rates low, but this can be financially dangerous. Everybody should consider carrying higher limits to protect themselves financially, and if you’re living in your car, you may need to consider the possibility of comprehensive and collision coverage to protect the roof over your head.

However, if you can only afford the state minimums then that is a legally acceptable way to keep your rates low.

There are some companies out there that offer crazy low rates, but be cautious before purchasing insurance that seems super cheap. Insurance that won’t payout in the event of an accident is worthless, so read customer reviews and really consider whether a super cheap policy is worth the money.

#5 – Is there low income car insurance?

Some states offer insurance policies specifically for low-income residents. These policies are typically tied to Medicaid eligibility, but this is not always the case. You’ll want to check with your state’s insurance department to see if there is any low-income car insurance available in your area.

Editorial Guidelines: We are a free online resource for anyone interested in learning more about auto insurance. Our goal is to be an objective, third-party resource for everything auto insurance related. We update our site regularly, and all content is reviewed by auto insurance experts.

A former insurance producer, Laura understands that education is key when it comes to buying insurance. She has happily dedicated many hours to helping her clients understand how the insurance marketplace works so they can find the best car, home, and life insurance products for their needs.

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Written by Laura Berry
Former Insurance Agent Laura Berry

Joel Ohman is the CEO of a private equity backed digital media company. He is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™, author, angel investor, and serial entrepreneur who loves creating new things, whether books or businesses. He has also previously served as the founder and resident CFP® of a national insurance agency, Real Time Health Quotes. He has an MBA from the University of South Florida. Jo...

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Reviewed by Joel Ohman
Founder & CFP® Joel Ohman

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