Car Insurance for Single Mothers

Save up to 35% on car insurance for single mothers by combining discounts for safety features, good driving, and good school grades. Compare quotes for free below.

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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...

  • Single moms should have car insurance coverage to protect themselves, their children, and their financial well-being
  • Auto insurance coverage is a legal mandate in nearly every state
  • Not having the right coverage and the right amounts can lead to many penalties, both legal and financial
  • An auto insurance policy can have several different parts to it that apply in different situations
  • You can lower your insurance premium by asking for discounts, raising your deductibles, and dropping unnecessary coverages

As a single mother, your time and your money are precious to you. You likely spend more time in your vehicle with your children than someone who isn’t a single parent.

That commitment to your children makes finding the right auto insurance at an affordable price even more important.

Being a single parent means that the majority of your income goes to ensuring that you and your child, or children, are protected where it matters most. You still want to enjoy quality of life, so saving money wherever possible can be a huge benefit. Take care of the bills by feeling comfortable with what you’re paying, and you and your child will not only be protected but given peace of mind as well.

Using a price comparison tool online can help you select the best options for auto insurance coverage with your lifestyle and budget in mind. These tools can show you customized quotes from various companies and allow you to comparison shop for car insurance.

Try our FREE online quote tool and start comparing auto insurance rates to get the best rates to protect you and your children! Enter your ZIP code above!

Why is it important that single mothers have car insurance?

Auto insurance is important for any driver, no matter their life circumstances. It can be a huge slice of income that we may not want to set aside, but it’s a must have.

However, for single moms, it is even more valuable. You have many lives and assets to protect that you alone are responsible for.

Not to mention that in nearly every state car insurance is a legal requirement. Without the proper car insurance coverage, you could be without a car, owe a lot of money, or worse yet, face legal consequences. In the event that you’re pulled over, one of the first things that an officer is going to ask for is proof of auto insurance. You don’t want to be found without it, especially if you have a dependent child who needs you.

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Are there any legal penalties for driving without car insurance?

While auto insurance is an added expense to car ownership, it will cost you more money, in the long run, to not have car insurance if you are in an accident or simply found by law enforcement not to have insurance.

Not obtaining the legally mandated types and amounts of auto insurance coverage in your state can lead to several different penalties, including:

  • Suspension or revocation of your driver’s license
  • Suspension or revocation of your car registration
  • Jail time
  • Vehicle impoundment
  • Community service
  • Fines

he penalties become more severe for each instance you are cited without insurance.

In most cases, you will have to go before a judge. It will become more expensive for you to obtain auto insurance as you will be required to have SR22 insurance coverage.

Also, if you are found to be at fault in an accident, you can be held financially responsible for the damages you caused.

The price you ultimately pay for having no insurance can amount to hundreds of thousands of dollars, depending on the severity of the accident. You may have to pay medical bills, funeral expenses, lost wages, and for property damages.

What types of car insurance coverage do I need?

Think of your auto insurance policy as several smaller policies all rolled into one. They are like pieces of a puzzle that fit together to give you the coverage that you need. Each of the coverage options you can have covers different situations.

To find out what types are legally required in your state, check with your insurance company. Here are the various coverage types:

What does liability cover?

Liability is the basic coverage required by most states.

Bodily injury liability covers damages that you cause to someone else. It covers medical expenses and, if needed, funeral expenses.

Property damage liability covers damages you cause to another party’s vehicle or structures. It is important to note that your liability coverage does not pay for any of your own damages.

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Is there a difference between comprehensive and collision?

Though not legally required in any state, these coverages are contractually required if you finance or lease your vehicle. They are also important to have if you could not afford to replace your car if something happened to it.

Collision covers damages to your vehicle as a result of a crash.

Comprehensive is relied upon if your vehicle is damaged in other ways such as:

  • Hitting wildlife
  • Fires
  • Floods
  • Other natural disasters
  • Vandalism
  • Theft

With comprehensive and collision, you select your coverage amounts and also your deductible. Drivers should note that the lower their deductible, the higher their premium will be.

What happens if you’re in an accident with an underinsured motorist?

While most drivers comply with auto insurance laws, some do not. Unfortunately, not complying with auto insurance laws can cause you problems if you are in an accident with someone who is not compliant.

Uninsured motorist coverage will pay if you are in an accident with another driver who does not have insurance or if you are a victim of a hit-and-run accident. Underinsured motorist will help pay your accident-related expenses when and if the other driver’s insurance coverage is exhausted.

In some states, uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage is legally mandated.

What are medical payments and personal injury protection?

Sometimes referred to as med pay or simply PIP, this coverage pays for your medical expenses, lost wages, and in some cases, for any needed hired household help like housekeeping and childcare, if you are injured in an accident. It can provide the financial and medical care you’ll need while you get back on your feet. Being a single parent is difficult, but being one without income can be even more troubling.

You can file a claim on your med pay coverage no matter who is at fault for the accident.

Some states require drivers to have PIP.

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What does GAP coverage do?

If you have a leased vehicle, you likely already have GAP coverage rolled into your lease payments. If it is not, you are usually required to obtain GAP coverage.

If you have a financed vehicle, you may want to consider purchasing GAP insurance.

GAP coverage is important because it will pay the difference between what is owed on your loan or lease and what your insurance company decides your car is worth if it is totaled for its damages.

You probably should get GAP coverage if you:

  • Made less than 20 percent of a down payment
  • Financed your car for longer than 60 months
  • Rolled over negative equity from a previous vehicle into your current loan
  • Have a car that depreciates faster than other types

Can you get rental car coverage?

If your car is damaged and needs to be repaired, you can be left in a bind as far as what to do for a vehicle or transportation. Not having a vehicle can be especially problematic for single moms as they are more likely only to have one car and are relied upon as the sole means of transportation for their children.

Rental car coverage will pay for your rental car expenses when your car is in the shop being repaired.

This type of coverage typically pays a certain amount per day up to 30 days.

What is roadside assistance?

We often take for granted that our cars run smoothly and we get to where we need to go without any problems; it’s just not something we need to care about all the time. More often than not we have reliable vehicles for our day to day uses.

However, there are times when you may need a jump start for your car, you may unexpectedly run out of gas, or you may simply experience another car problem while away from home.

It is times like these that having roadside assistance from your auto insurance company can pay off. As a single mom, you may not have many other people you can call or rely upon if you get into a bind with your car.

However, having roadside assistance can give you the piece of mind that someone will be there to come to your aid, day or night, no matter where you may be.

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How can you decrease your costs for coverage?

Single moms can have difficulty affording the coverages they need to have. Not being able to afford coverage may cause them to forgo optional coverages that would benefit them in an accident and give them peace of mind while driving their kids around.

Here are some useful tips to help you save money on your auto insurance premiums and stretch your hard-earned dollar farther.

Should you raise your deductible?

A deductible is a pre-determined amount you pay out of your own pocket before your insurance company pays on your claim. Having a lower deductible increases the amount of your premium.

If you have the financial resources to pay a higher deductible if you are in an accident, you should raise your deductible to lower your premium.

Can you lower your limits or reduce the amount of coverage you have?

Outside of what is legally required in your state, you should think about which coverages you really need and can potentially use and which ones you cannot.

If a friend or relative has a car you can borrow from time to time, you may not need rental car coverage.

If you do not have a leased or financed vehicle and it wouldn’t cost you much to replace it, you may consider dropping your comprehensive and collision coverage.

In addition, lowering your coverage limits will help to decrease your overall auto insurance premium. No matter what you decide, it is important to carefully consider your financial situation and available resources.

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Are there any car insurance discounts available?

Most auto insurance carriers offer several different discounts. In many cases, however, the caveat is that you have to ask for them.

Common auto insurance discounts that you may qualify for include:

  • Good driver – If you have a history of being a good driver with no accidents or points off of your driver’s license, most auto insurance companies will reward you with better rates.
  • Defensive driving course – Taking a defensive driving course can be a good way to ensure you know how to drive safely and decrease the chances of an accident. Due to this, some auto insurance carriers will reduce your premium.
  • Safe vehicle – Discuss your car’s safety features with your auto insurance agent or representative. Since safety features can decrease their cost on an insurance claim, you may see a discount on your premium.
  • Anti-theft – If your car is equipped with an anti-theft device, you are less of a financial risk for your insurance company, and they may provide you with a lower rate.
  • Green vehicle – If you have a hybrid car or another type of car that is environmentally friendly, many car insurance companies will reward your green efforts with reduced rates.
  • Good student – Maintaining good grades can earn students discounts on their auto insurance premiums. Be prepared to supply a report card or other proof of grades.
  • Military/Veteran – If you have served or are serving in a branch of the United States military, you are likely eligible for a discount.
  • Occupational – Some auto insurance companies will provide you with a discount for working in a certain occupation such as law enforcement, first responders, teaching, and those in the medical field.
  • Affiliation – Belonging to a certain organization or having been in a sorority or fraternity can potentially give you an auto insurance premium discount.
  • Multi-policy – Using the same insurance carrier for multiple coverage needs such as homeowners, renters or life insurance, in addition to car insurance can decrease your premium on each policy. Not only is this convenient but it also saves you money.
  • Multi-vehicle – Having more than one vehicle insured on the same auto policy can help you pay lower premiums on each car.
  • Loyalty – If you have stayed with the same auto insurance company for several years, they may reward you with a discount.
  • Low Mileage – The less you drive, the less of a risk your insurance carrier takes on by insuring you and your vehicle. If you do not drive over a certain amount of miles in a set time period, such as a week or a year, your auto insurance company may provide you with a reduced rate. In some cases, electronic monitoring may be required.

Being a single mom comes with many challenges, responsibilities, and rewards. Finding affordable auto insurance can be a bit of a struggle, but hopefully in the end it will save you money so that you and your child, or children, will be safer on the road.

You can potentially decrease some of your financial problems by using an online price comparison calculator. Every penny of your income is precious. These tools allow you to easily compare several different auto insurance carriers, policies, and rates all in one place.

Start comparison shopping today by using our FREE online quote tool! Enter your ZIP code below to begin!

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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