Auto Insurance for Unemployed People

If you're newly unemployed, you'll want to know how to save money everywhere you can. We'll go over a few ways you can save on your auto insurance, including discounts you can apply for.

UPDATED: Jul 10, 2022Fact Checked

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Sara Routhier, Managing Editor and Outreach Director, has professional experience as an educator, SEO specialist, and content marketer. She has over five years of experience in the insurance industry. As a researcher, data nerd, writer, and editor she strives to curate educational, enlightening articles that provide you with the must-know facts and best-kept secrets within the overwhelming world o...

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Written by Sara Routhier
Director of Outreach Sara Routhier

Cynthia Lanctot is an insurance professional with ten years of industry experience. Cynthia is licensed in several states, and holds an associate in claims law, as well as a bachelor’s degree in English. Cynthia’s experience includes the New England and Northeast states. She currently works as a liability claims professional and an occasional online contributor.

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Reviewed by Cynthia Lanctot
Licensed Agent Cynthia Lanctot

UPDATED: Jul 10, 2022

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A Concise Overview

  • Unemployed people may pay higher rates for car insurance
  • Occupation is one of several factors insurance companies consider when setting car insurance rates
  • There are ways to find affordable auto insurance if you’re unemployed

You may be under significant financial strain if you’re unemployed, so what do you do if you’re unemployed but still need car insurance?

Most states in the U.S. require car owners to carry at least a minimum amount of liability auto insurance. So if you own and drive your car, you must have a car insurance policy on that vehicle. However, there may be ways for you to save money and find the best car insurance if you’re unemployed.

Do unemployed people need car insurance?

If you’re unemployed and own a car, you must have insurance on your vehicle. While it’s true that unemployed people may have a hard time paying their bills, you cannot own and drive a car without adequate insurance.

Newly unemployed people may consider revisiting their auto insurance policies and adjusting their coverage levels. If you drive less or plan not to drive much, you could get away with a liability-only policy on your car.

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Is car insurance more expensive for unemployed people?

While some experts suggest that auto insurance rates are higher for unemployed people, new online quote analyses prove this isn’t entirely accurate.

Most companies don’t increase policyholders’ rates if they lose their jobs, and it could be that the company is unaware of your unemployment status. However, if you purchase a car insurance policy while unemployed, you likely won’t suffer a rate increase.

Car insurance companies consider many factors when determining car insurance rates. Some of the most common factors include:

  • Age
  • Marital status
  • Gender
  • ZIP code
  • Occupation
  • Driving history
  • Credit history
  • Coverage types

The table below compares car insurance rates by occupation.

GEICO Average Auto Insurance Rates by Occupation
OccupationGEICO Average Monthly RatesGEICO Average 6-Month RatesGEICO Average Annual Rates
w/ College Degree
Admin. Asst./Secretary$151$906$1,812
Sales/Real Estate$157.98$947.90$1,895.80
Machine Operator$165.33$992$1,984

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While rates for unemployed individuals vary for many reasons, the table gives you a good idea of what you can expect as you search for auto insurance quotes.

Can I find cheap car insurance if I’m unemployed?

Being unemployed won’t necessarily hinder your attempts to find cheap car insurance. Still, if your unemployment status caused you to make late payments or miss payments altogether, you may not have luck searching for affordable rates.

One of the best ways to find cheap car insurance if you’re unemployed is to find and compare quotes from multiple companies online. Comparing quotes online allows you to see which companies can offer you the coverage you want at an affordable rate.

Logically, choosing a lower coverage level may make the most sense to save money. For instance, if you have a full coverage policy, you may be able to save hundreds of dollars a year by switching to a liability car insurance policy.

The table below compares rates between liability and full coverage policies throughout the U.S. 

Average Annual Auto Insurance Rates by State and Coverage Type
StatesAverage Annual Liability Coverage RatesAverage Annual Collision Coverage RatesAverage Annual Comprehensive Coverage RatesAverage Annual Full Coverage Coverage Rates
North Dakota$282.55$252.21$112.74$741.11
South Dakota$289.04$251.30$110.12$1,206.46
North Carolina$357.59$227.44$227.64$737.63
New Hampshire$393.24$365.23$123.18$1,353.96
New Mexico$462.21$358.45$156.66$1,300.09
South Carolina$497.50$200.10$228.59$717.73
West Virginia$501.44$319.10$195.04$1,015.57
District of Columbia$628.09$449.27$230.25$1,307.62
Rhode Island$720.06$247.62$165.38$910.51
New York$784.98$264.58$123$745.17
New Jersey$865.55$267.48$166.89$896.58
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While a full coverage auto insurance policy can cause you to pay more than double your annual rates, you may have to keep one if you lease or finance a vehicle. Furthermore, going without the collision and comprehensive coverages that make up a full coverage policy means you’ll have to pay to repair damages to your car out of pocket.

Can I get discounts on car insurance if I’m unemployed?

You can still take advantage of any applicable auto insurance discounts if you’re unemployed. Some of the most common discounts offered by car insurance companies include the following discounts listed in the table below.

Common Auto Insurance Discounts
Discount NameDiscounted Percentage
Affiliation or "affinity"25%
Good or safe driver20%
Multi-car10 – 25%
Good student10 – 20%
Green/hybrid car10%
New car10%
Homeowner5 – 15%
Bundled (multi-policy)5 – 10%
Paid-in-full5 – 10%
Usage or low-mileage2%

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Some discounts may help you save 20% or more on auto insurance rates, such as a safe driver discount. If you believe you qualify for specific discounts, you can speak to your current insurance provider to see how much your rates will change.

If your current insurance provider doesn’t honor specific discounts, you can always shop online to find insurers that do. Take your time and compare overall rates and the percentage you could save with a discount before making any changes to your current auto insurance policy.

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Car Insurance for the Unemployed: The Bottom Line

If you own a car, you need car insurance, which means car insurance for unemployed people becomes a priority to think about. Unfortunately, you cannot stop paying for your auto insurance policy if you’re unemployed. The good news is that your rates likely won’t increase if you lose your job.

Anyone who realizes they can no longer afford to pay their current auto insurance rates should shop for coverage online to find a company that offers proper coverage at a lower price. You may have to lower your coverage and search for available discounts to find a monthly or annual rate that works for you.

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