Auto Insurance For Single Parents

Auto insurance for single parents costs an average of $130 more per year than married couples' insurance. Auto insurance for low-income families is also available for qualifying single-parent families. Though single parents pay more, taking advantage of discounts and comparing policies from different companies can help you secure low-cost auto insurance for single moms and dads. Affordable auto insurance for single parents doesn't have to be hard to find.

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Chris Tepedino is a feature writer that has written extensively about auto insurance for numerous websites. He has a college degree in communication from the University of Tennessee and has experience reporting, researching investigative pieces, and crafting detailed, data-driven features. His works have been featured on CB Blog Nation, Flow Words, Healing Law, WIBW Kansas, and Cinncinati.com. ...

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Rachael Brennan has been working in the insurance industry since 2006 when she began working as a licensed insurance representative for 21st Century Insurance, during which time she earned her Property and Casualty license in all 50 states. After several years she expanded her insurance expertise, earning her license in Health and AD&D insurance as well. She has worked for small health in...

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Reviewed by Rachael Brennan
Licensed Insurance Agent

UPDATED: Jul 19, 2021

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Can't-Miss Facts

  • Single parents pay, on average, $130 more per year than married couples for auto insurance.
  • Single parents should add children who drive to their auto insurance policies. If you don’t and your teen gets into an accident while driving your car, the claim could be denied.
  • Single parents can lower their auto insurance rates by seeking out discounts, comparison shopping, and increasing deductible amounts.

We’ve compiled tips for auto insurance for single parents because we know you want the best coverage at the lowest price but may not have the time or energy to hunt down all the relevant information.

From balancing your finances, accommodating busy schedules, and never having enough hours in the day to get everything done, being a single parent can be very challenging. This guide will give you much-needed information on your options for affordable auto insurance rates for single parents.

Do you need auto insurance quotes for single parents? Getting multiple quotes is the quickest and easiest way to find cheap auto insurance for single mothers and fathers at a low cost.

For affordable auto insurance for single parents, enter your ZIP code into our FREE quote tool above and compare cheap auto insurance for single mothers and fathers right now.

Table of Contents

What are the average auto insurance rates for single parents?

Where can you find cheap auto insurance for single moms and dads? Sadly, there are no discounts specifically for single parents. If anything, it’s usually married people who have lower monthly rates, even though single parents generally face greater financial hardship.

Whether you’re looking for cheap auto insurance as a single parent with young children or teenagers, it’s important to understand how your marital status can affect your rates. It’s worth looking into how much you will pay for auto insurance if you are single, married, or own a home.

The table below shows the average monthly rates for a married homeowner, single homeowner, and single renter in various states across the country.

Average Monthly Auto Insurance Rates by Marital Status and Homeownership
StatesAverage Monthly Rate for a Married HomeownerAverage Monthly Rate for a Single HomeownerAverage Monthly Rate for a Single Renter
Illinois$19$20$22
New York$62$66$67
California$64$64$64
Florida$96$100$116
Texas$105$111$122
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As you can see from the data, rates are significantly lower if you’re a homeowner and even more so if you’re married. In most states, when someone gets divorced, they may even see an increase in their auto insurance rates.

Fortunately, cheap insurance for single mothers and fathers is available as long as you take the time to shop around, seek out discounts, and understand the right coverage level your family needs. Keep reading.

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Can a divorce impact auto insurance rates?

If you’re a single parent who has never been married, fortunately, divorce will not be a concern. If you do find yourself facing a divorce, this change in status can complicate how insurance works for you, your former spouse, and your children.

Research shows that married policyholders are less likely to file a claim than single people, and insurance companies know this. That’s why you’ll likely see a rate increase if you become single again.

One study found that young, single drivers are paying about 21 percent more for auto insurance than their married peers.

Auto insurance laws and regulations vary by state. If you live in Hawaii, Massachusetts, or Montana, getting a divorce will have no bearing on your auto insurance rates. However, if you live in any other state, chances are high that your rates will go up after a divorce.

Although divorce is difficult for anyone, it can be worthwhile to take a little time to look into ways you might save money.

How is auto insurance split between divorced parents?

If you and your spouse are separated, you likely have to split custody, child support, and parenting duties, among other things. The first thing you’ll want to consider with regards to auto insurance is whether your child will go on one or two policies.

If your teen is living permanently in your residence and will be using your vehicle frequently, it’s a good idea to keep them on your own auto insurance policy. If your teen is on the other parent’s policy as well, still consider adding them to your auto insurance as a driver.

Otherwise, certain coverages may not apply to your teen driver if they are in one of your vehicles and are involved in an accident. While liability insurance follows the driver, other policies, like comprehensive and collision coverage, only follow the car.

How much might it cost to insure your teen? Below are the average rates for teen drivers from some of the major auto insurance companies. Check it out.

Average Annual Auto Insurance Rates for Teen Drivers
CompaniesAverage Annual Rates for a 17-Year-Old FemaleAverage Annual Rates for a 17-Year-Old Male
USAA$5,343.59$4,779.75
GEICO$5,669.12$6,237.22
Nationwide$5,762.92$7,180.76
American Family$5,996.49$8,130.49
State Farm$6,035.85$7,412.02
Progressive$8,664.66$9,593.38
Farmer's$8,669.07$9,216.98
Allstate$9,297.56$10,639.49
Travelers$9,307.32$12,850.91
Liberty Mutual$11,747.11$13,890.94
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As you can see, male teenage drivers cost about 18 percent more to insure than female teenage drivers. But why is this? Studies by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) have shown that males are more likely to engage in risky driving behaviors, which is why their insurance rates tend to be higher.

The cheapest option for both genders is USAA auto insurance. However, USAA is only available to military service members and their families. You may consider GEICO, the second-cheapest option, and maybe the best first auto insurance for your child if they are currently uninsured.

As a single parent who is insuring a teenage driver, these rates can be unsettling. But if you take advantage of discounts and encourage your teen to practice safe driving techniques, you can still secure low auto insurance rates.

Will having a teen driver affect my auto insurance policy?

Inevitably, your child will grow up and get their driver’s license at some point. Adding a teen driver to your policy is a big step, and it can also increase your policy’s rates by a significant margin. Even if your teen only has their permit, you still need to alert your insurance company.

We know that having a teen driver on your policy has the potential to increase your rates significantly. So how do you find cheap auto insurance as a single parent with a teen? Teen drivers are in a higher risk group than older drivers to begin with.

This is because teenage drivers have higher accident rates due to their lack of driving experience. Insurance companies and underwriters are aware of these statistics and increase rates accordingly.

Still, you’ll have to tell your insurer your teen will be driving your vehicles. If you don’t and your teen gets into an accident and you need to file a claim, you risk the coverage getting denied. Whether your teen joins your pre-existing policy or gets an individual policy, they will need some level of auto insurance. It’s best to take care of this quickly so that future claims aren’t denied.

Adding a teenager to your policy can hike your annual costs by 50 to 100 percent, according to Consumer Reports.
Although auto insurance companies will likely raise your rates for having a teen driver, there are certain steps you can follow to keep your rates to a minimum.

Reinforcing positive behaviors is important when you’re a single parent. Rewarding good driving behaviors can help keep your teen on the right path. On the other hand, you may choose to revoke driving privileges for taking the car without asking or driving outside of permitted hours.

Aside from helping your teens gain experience through driving with them, there are a few more steps you can take. Teen drivers are also eligible for discounts, which can be obtained in several ways. For example, you can lower your teenager’s rates by having them take an elected driver’s safety course.

There is an entirely different savings opportunity available only to younger drivers: good student discounts. Discounts for grades are huge. Teens that maintain a good GPA (usually higher than a 3.0) can get up to a 35 percent discount on insurance rates.

How much does it cost to add a 16-year-old to auto insurance? It can be pricey. You might consider having your teenager wait until age 18 or 19 to get a license, instead of the usual 16 or younger in most states.

Regardless, you’ll need to keep your insurer informed of certain changes in your teen’s life. For example, if they’re away at college without a car, your insurance company will need to know. This might even save you some money on your rates at the same time.

Having your teen drive an “insurance-friendly” car, not an expensive sports car, is another way to save money. An affordable, safe vehicle will be less of a financial burden if your teen should get into an accident.

Consider purchasing a vehicle that has great crash test and safety ratings, better-than-average insurance loss ratios, and is affordable to fix or replace. Older cars tend to be less expensive to insure than newer models, so look into well-proved used vehicles.

The table below shows statistics for how the age of your vehicle can change your insurance rates. Take a look.

Average Annual Auto Insurance Rate Discount by Vehicle Age
Age of VehicleAverage Annual Auto Insurance Rate Discount
New0%
1 Year Old9.5%
2 Years Old9.1%
3 Years Old12.2%
4 Years Old15.5%
5 Years Old18.1%
6 Years Old14.9%
7 Years Old22.2%
8 Years Old24.5%
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If you were to buy a brand new 2020 Honda Accord, insuring it would be expensive. Newer vehicles will have higher repair costs due to technological advancements.

If you allow your teen to drive a slightly older vehicle, however, insurance savings go up by as much as 24.5 percent, making securing cheap auto insurance much easier.

What auto insurance coverage should single parents purchase?

There are many different auto insurance coverages to choose from, and you need to know you have the right coverage as a single parent.

All drivers, single parents and teens included, must maintain their state’s legally required minimum level of auto insurance coverage to drive on the roads. The expected minimums vary by state. In the table below, find out what your state requires.

Auto Insurance Minimum Legal Requirements by State
StateMinimum BI & PD Liability LimitsRequired Insurance Policies
Alabama25/50/25BI + PD Liability
Alaska50/100/25BI + PD Liability
Arizona15/30/10BI + PD Liability
Arkansas25/50/25BI + PD Liability, PIP
California15/30/5BI + PD Liability
Colorado25/50/15BI + PD Liability
Connecticut25/50/20BI + PD Liability, UM, UIM
Delaware25/50/10BI + PD Liability, PIP
District of Columbia25/50/10BI + PD Liability, UM
Florida10/20/10BI + PD Liability, PIP
Georgia25/50/25BI + PD Liability
Hawaii20/40/10BI + PD Liability, PIP
Idaho25/50/15BI + PD Liability
Illinois25/50/20BI + PD Liability, UM, UIM
Indiana25/50/25BI + PD Liability
Iowa20/40/15BI + PD Liability
Kansas25/50/25BI + PD Liability, PIP
Kentucky25/50/25BI + PD Liability, PIP, UM, UIM
Louisiana15/30/25BI + PD Liability
Maine50/100/25BI + PD Liability, UM, UIM, Medpay
Maryland30/60/15BI + PD Liability, PIP, UM, UIM
Massachusetts20/40/5BI + PD Liability, PIP
Michigan20/40/10BI + PD Liability, PIP
Minnesota30/60/10BI + PD Liability, PIP, UM, UIM
Mississippi25/50/25BI + PD Liability
Missouri25/50/25BI + PD Liability, UM
Montana25/50/20BI + PD Liability
Nebraska25/50/25BI + PD Liability, UM, UIM
Nevada25/50/20BI + PD Liability
New Hampshire25/50/25Financial Responsibility only
New Jersey15/30/5BI + PD Liability, PIP, UM, UIM
New Mexico25/50/10BI + PD Liability
New York25/50/10BI + PD Liability, PIP, UM, UIM
North Carolina30/60/25BI + PD Liability, UM, UIM
North Dakota25/50/25BI + PD Liability, PIP, UM, UIM
Ohio25/50/25BI + PD Liability
Oklahoma25/50/25BI + PD Liability
Oregon25/50/20BI + PD Liability, PIP, UM, UIM
Pennsylvania15/30/5BI + PD Liability, PIP
Rhode Island25/50/25BI + PD Liability
South Carolina25/50/25BI + PD Liability, UM, UIM
South Dakota25/50/25BI + PD Liability, UM, UIM
Tennessee25/50/15BI + PD Liability
Texas30/60/25BI + PD Liability, PIP
Utah25/65/15BI + PD Liability, PIP
Vermont25/50/10BI & PD Liab, UM, UIM
Virginia25/50/20BI + PD Liability, UM, UIM
Washington25/50/10BI + PD Liability
West Virginia25/50/25BI + PD Liability, UM, UIM
Wisconsin25/50/10BI + PD Liability, UM, Medpay
Wyoming25/50/20BI + PD Liability
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To help you better understand what the abbreviations mean in the table above, check out some brief definitions below.

Common Auto Insurance Policy Definitions
AbbreviationMeaningDefinition
BIBodily InjuryCovers bodily injury damage for the other driver in an accident you are found liable for.
PDProperty Damage LiabilityCovers property damage for the other driver in an accident you are found liable for.
PIPPersonal Injury ProtectionCovers your medical expenses, lost wages, and other damages when involved in an accident.
UMUninsured MotoristCovers damages to your vehicle if you are hit by a driver without auto insurance.
UIMUnderinsured MotoristCovers damages to your vehicle if you are hit by a driver with an insurance policy that does not meet the state's minimum legal standards.
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Basic insurance policies tend to have a lot of gaps in coverage. Therefore, many drivers choose to carry more than their state’s minimum requirements.

Let’s take a closer look at some of the basic auto insurance coverage options you can choose from in the next few sections.

Do I need liability auto insurance as a single parent?

Liability insurance covers bodily injury and property damage in accidents that you are found at fault for. It pays for the other driver’s damages, so you don’t end up paying out of pocket.

Some level of liability insurance is required in almost every state; however, the auto insurance limits are unique. Consider buying a more protective level of 100/300/100 coverage, which pays for bodily injury up to $100,000 per person and $300,000 per accident, and property damage up to $100,000.

Although buying into state minimums is always going to be the cheapest option, purchasing more liability coverage can save you money in the long run, should you need to file a costly claim.

Do I need comprehensive and collision auto insurance as a single parent?

Comprehensive and collision insurance are optional coverages you can choose to purchase for a fuller coverage auto policy.

Comprehensive coverage protects your vehicle when it is not in motion — this includes weather damage, auto theft, and acts of vandalism. Collision coverage protects your vehicle when it is in motion. This includes hitting another vehicle or an object like a tree or pole.

Both policies have deductibles associated with them, which is the amount you’ll pay out of pocket before your insurance provider steps in.

Comprehensive and collision coverage are not legal requirements. However, if you lease or finance a vehicle, the dealership may require you to purchase collision and comprehensive insurance.

Evaluate your collision and comprehensive coverages annually. Do your annual costs exceed or equal more than 10 percent of your car’s value? If so, a good rule of thumb is to nix these extras. Otherwise, these are great policies to purchase for more well-rounded protection.

Do I need personal injury protection or medical payment insurance as a single parent?

Personal Injury Protection, or a PIP insurance plan, and medical payments coverage, or MedPay, are other common policies single parents might want to invest in. Usually, you only need one and not both, as they offer similar types of protection.

While PIP covers your medical payments as a result of an accident, it will also cover documented losses like lost wages. MedPay, on the other hand, will only cover the medical payments of you and any passengers in your car who may be injured in an accident.

If you have good health coverage, this may not be as necessary as you think. If you don’t have good medical coverage or think your passengers may not be protected, you might want to invest in PIP or MedPay.

Do I need additional auto insurance coverage as a single parent?

Other common auto insurance coverage options might be helpful additions to a single parent’s auto policy. For example, you might be interested in uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage. Research has shown that around 14 percent of American drivers are uninsured.

If you get into an accident with an uninsured or underinsured motorist and need to file a claim, this type of coverage will protect you from paying out-of-pocket for repairs or legal fees to the at-fault driver. It’s recommended when buying this coverage that you choose the same limits as your liability policy. In some states, these are mandated policies.

Rental reimbursement coverage is another additional policy that may interest single parents. It pays for the cost of a rental car if you need one while your vehicle is being repaired. However, if you don’t mind footing the bill yourself should this happen, or if you won’t be needing a rental car, you can forgo this coverage.

Roadside assistance coverage is also a helpful policy for single parents to invest in. This coverage ensures that you’ll have access to help if your car breaks down on the road. This can be from a flat tire, a broken battery, or any number of things.

However, if you have a membership with an auto club like AAA, you can probably do without this coverage as well.

How do single parents save on auto insurance?

Cheap auto insurance for a single mom or dad doesn’t have to be hard to find. When examining your individual policy, it’s wise to be on the lookout for extras you don’t actually need.

For example, paying a higher deductible for collision and comprehensive isn’t always smart. Let’s look at the biggest tips for improving your rates.

Should I conduct an annual auto insurance rate check?

To really know whether you’re getting the best deal, you need quotes from at least three different providers. Our site can help you get them quickly, efficiently, and accurately.

Each year, you want to check on rates to make sure you’re getting the best deal possible. If you’ve had a recent change in status, now might be the time to check.

Should I increase my payment installments?

With some insurance providers, you can save a little money on your insurance premiums by paying in six-month installments instead of monthly. This might come in the form of a pay-in-full discount.

The table below shows average rates for six-month and 12-month premiums, by company.

Average 6-Month and Annual Auto Insurance Rates
Insurance CompaniesAverage 6-Month RatesAverage Annual Rates
USAA$483
$868
GEICO$545
$1,488
Farmers$618
$2,874
Nationwide$636$1,643
State Farm$884$1,224
Progressive$896
$1,608
Allstate$951
$2,467
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Please note that these rates are based on averages of full coverage and minimum coverage auto insurance rates across the country.

You’ll save money in the short term on your auto insurance policy, but you’ll also build a higher credit score so you can get savings from other financial institutions as well.

How should I set my deductible?

Raising your deductible will lower your premiums; however, you want to be careful not to increase it too much. Your monthly premiums will drop if you raise your deductible because you’ll be paying more out-of-pocket should you need to file a claim.

According to Consumer Reports, raising your deductible from $200 to $500 can cut your premium on collision by 15 to 30 percent. If you’re a fairly good driver and haven’t had an accident in many years, raising your collision deductible is the way to go.

However, if it’s much higher, then you might never be able to file a claim for collision or comprehensive damages that exceed your deductible amount, making the coverage not worthwhile.

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What auto insurance discounts are available to single parents?

Now that we’ve covered ways to clean up your auto insurance policy effectively, it’s time to explore the wealth of discounts available to drivers just like you. Single parents can take advantage of many different discounts.

Auto insurance discounts often stack, leading to substantial savings.

There are customer loyalty discounts, responsible driver discounts, and safe vehicle discounts. Each provider gives different savings opportunities and amounts. Always ask your insurance provider about discounts you believe you’re eligible for; otherwise, your agent has no way of knowing all that you qualify for.

If you’re not satisfied with the discounts offered by your provider, consider shopping around and compare auto insurance companies to find something more compatible.

Are there teen-specific auto insurance discounts?

We mentioned a few teen-specific auto insurance discounts above, but let’s review those briefly here. Good student discounts are offered by most major providers and help decrease the costs of adding a teen to an insurance policy.

By maintaining good grades, you can get up to a 35 percent discount.

Teens can also enroll in driver’s education courses for another potential discount. By taking a defensive driver’s course, your teen is building their driving experience, making them less risky on the roads.

Some insurance companies offer accredited defensive driving courses online, available at a discounted rate, and streamlined for quick processing. Going directly through your insurer is one way to take a class, but there are other options, too.

You can take a look at the National Safety Council’s website for state-certified defensive driving courses. You can also take a defensive driver course at your local DMV.

Can I get a discount if I bundle my home and auto insurance?

Insurance companies want as much of your business as possible. Therefore, companies provide large bundling discounts to customers who purchase multiple lines of insurance through the same provider.

If you bundle your auto insurance with another policy such as homeowners, life insurance, etc., your provider is more likely to cut you a deal. The same goes for insuring multiple cars under the same policy.

The more of your business you give a company, the more you’ll be rewarded with loyalty discounts.

Is there a safe driver auto insurance discount?

If you’ve been accident-free for at least three years, ask your insurance agent about a potential safe driver discount. You’ll usually need a driving record that has been clean for three to five years before becoming eligible for this discount.

With a safe driver discount, you can lower your rates significantly. Check out the savings details in the table below.

Defensive Driving Auto Insurance Discounts
Insurance CompaniesDiscounts Offered/Accepted
21st Century10 percent for safe driving, 15 percent after completing a safe driver course
Allstate10 percent for drivers 55 or older who complete the course
FarmersOffers a defensive driver discounts to drivers 55–65 (varies by state)
GEICO10 percent for completing approved course
NationwideIn select states, drivers 55 and older are eligible for discount
SafecoIn most states, drivers 55 and older can get discount for three years after completing approved course
State FarmOffers discounts (in some states)
USAAOffers a defensive driving course for approved customers
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If you meet the requirements of your provider and have been insured with that company for a number of years, the safe driver discount might already be applied to your policy. It is always worth asking just to be sure.

Is there a low-mileage auto insurance discount?

Some insurance providers give discounts to motorists who drive less than the average person. If you live close enough to walk to work or school, that lifestyle change can help lead to lower annual auto insurance rates.

Carpooling, cycling, or taking public transportation to work can also help you qualify for his discount.

If you’re a single parent of a college student who doesn’t bring a car to school, it’s possible they qualify as a low-mileage driver as well.

Is there a family policy auto insurance discount?

If you have a child who is old enough to drive and needs coverage, you can usually save money by adding them to your current auto policy as opposed to insuring them on their own policy.

While there isn’t necessarily a family discount, you could get multi-car discounts for insuring more than one vehicle under the same policy.

What other auto insurance discounts are available to single parents?

There are other types of auto insurance discounts that can help you lower your annual auto insurance rates. For example, if you’re a member of a certain union, group, or organization, you might qualify for savings.

Oftentimes, insurance companies will give discounts to military veterans, teachers, employees of companies they have partnerships with, and more.

If you have any anti-theft devices installed in your vehicle, you could qualify for a few different discounts. VIN etching discounts and vehicle recovery software discounts are two of the most common.

Other vehicle safety features, such as automatic cruise control or headlights, can also lead to more discounts.

Is there low-income auto insurance available for single parents?

If you’re looking for auto insurance assistance for single moms or dads, low-income auto insurance may be an option. The Insurance Information Institute (III) reports auto insurance for low-income families is designed to mediate insurance for those who would normally go uninsured because of limited financial resources.

There are options for auto insurance for low-income families. Three states offer state-sponsored auto insurance for low-income families: California, New Jersey, and Hawaii.

What if you are looking for low-income auto insurance in Arkansas, Nevada, South Carolina, or other states? You can check with your insurance provider to see what options you may have.

The Bottom Line: Auto Insurance for Single Parents

Fair or not, single parents often pay more for insurance than married couples. On average, rates are $130 higher for single parents. However, you have options for ways to reduce your rates.

Discounts, what you drive, where you live, a higher deductible, and more can all have an effect on your rates.

An insurer should work to serve you. That means they should be doing their best to provide accurate loss estimates, as well as not overcharging you for manufacturers’ replacement parts should you refuse cheap knock-offs.

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Frequently Asked Questions: Auto Insurance for Single Parents

Do you still have questions about insurance for single parents? Read these frequently asked questions for more information.

#1 – Are there cheap auto insurance programs for disabled drivers?

If you are someone that is facing disability, you may qualify for cheap auto insurance. In some states, like Hawaii and California, specific programs are set up just for this.

Wondering about disability insurance versus workers’ compensation? Sometimes a worker cannot perform job duties because of an illness or injury. Workers’ compensation pays for damages that happened while on the job. Disability insurance can cushion the effects of not working by paying a portion of the worker’s earnings, as noted by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC).

#2 – Do homeless drivers need auto insurance?

If you are not currently staying at a permanent residence, you still need a ZIP code to register your vehicle. Keeping auto insurance is critical to ensure you do not face the significant penalties of being uninsured.

#3 – Where can you get cheap health insurance for single mothers?

Health insurance is key to keeping you and your family healthy. It’s on par with auto insurance in terms of importance, too.

State-funded programs like Medicaid are the go-to option for low-income families. If you and your family do not qualify, you can also look into the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). Another option is to seek healthcare through your employer.

#4 – How much life insurance should a single mom have?

Life insurance is even more necessary for single parents, who are the sole caregivers of their children. Term life is probably the best fit. It is designed to cover you as long as you think you’ll be financially responsible for your children. It is recommended that you buy a policy that covers your obligations (annual salary times years you want coverage) and future costs.

Next, subtract your current savings and liquid assets to get an estimate of your life insurance policy number.

Reviewing quotes from multiple companies is the best way to make sure you’re getting the best deal out there. Ready to buy auto insurance for single parents that won’t break the bank?

Which auto insurance company for single parents is best for you? Find out now. Shop for auto insurance rates for single parents by entering your ZIP code into our free quote tool below.

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