There may come a time in your life when there isn’t enough money to pay certain bills. Responsible adults are pretty good at prioritizing what they can and cannot pay, and this has a lot to do with knowledge of situations and billing cycles. For most people, food, rent, and basic utilities such as water and electricity are nonnegotiable. Depending on your broadband Internet and cable television provider, you may be able to accumulate a couple of monthly bills without going through a disconnection, but this isn’t the case with auto insurance. San Diego drivers should be aware of what might happen if they’re unable to pay their auto insurance premiums.
In most of the United States, driving without coverage that meets the minimum jurisdictional insurance requirements is prohibited. In California, coverage is a statutory requirement set forth by Sections 11580.1 of the Insurance Code and 16054 of the Vehicle Code. If you cannot afford auto insurance, here are some recommendations.
Consider the Consequences
Administrative fines and a suspension of your license will be the least of your worries if you’re pulled over and found to be driving without insurance. Things will get worse if you’re involved in an accident. Depending on the circumstances, you may even be arrested and ordered to appear in court. The overall consequences can get expensive when you add impounding charges and reinstatement fees.
Take Advantage of Public Transportation
If you live in a metropolitan area served by public transportation, this will be a great time to become familiar with the system. In Southern California, even people who live in exurban areas can research ride-sharing options that get them closer to bus and rail transportation hubs. There are also personal transportation services such as Uber and Lyft.
Explain Your Financial Situation to the Insurance Agent
Insurance agents are trained in certain aspects of personal finance planning. Your agent may be able to figure out a plan to keep you insured and on the road, and this is when you can take chances. Perhaps the deductible on your policy can be increased to the maximum allowed by California’s personal financial responsibility rules, thus reducing your premium. You can also finance the premium so you end up making smaller monthly payments.
Shop Around for Agencies
Before taking this step, keep in mind many insurance rates are promulgated in California, which means the premiums won’t vary too much. What you’re looking for are discounts and special situations that can lower your premiums. Consider bundling policies with the same company that provides your homeowners or commercial insurance. Moreover, check if you belong to special groups that can get discounts, such as teachers.
Your insurance agent can provide you with specifics on how you can continue to pay for your auto insurance policy. If you’re looking for affordable, reliable car insurance and high-quality service, call on the trustworthy agents from Altra Insurance Services. We can also provide you with motorcycle, renters, and home insurance. San Diego residents should give us a call today at 619-474-6666.