The Short of It

  • Dollar-a-Day insurance is only available to New Jersey residents through its Special Auto Insurance Policy (SAIP)
  • SAIP costs $1 a day, or $365 a year
  • If you pay up-front, you can pay just $360 for the year
  • You have to qualify for Federal Medicaid with Hospitalization to qualify for SAIP
  • SAIP only covers emergency medical expenses, and only up to $250,000

Dollar-a-Day insurance is an auto insurance coverage option available to the State of New Jersey through the Special Auto Insurance Policy, or SAIP.

This policy is designed to help eliminate the cost barrier to auto insurance, and reduce the number of uninsured motorists.

Before you read on to learn what Dollar-a-Day insurance is, who qualifies for it, and what it covers, compare affordable auto insurance quotes in your area today. Just enter your ZIP code. Don’t buy auto insurance until you’ve done your research.

What is Dollar-a-Day auto insurance?

Dollar-a-day insurance is exactly what you think it is: auto insurance that costs just $1 a day.

This affordable rate is only available through New Jersey’s Special Auto Insurance Policy, also called SAIP.

Who is eligible for Dollar-a-Day insurance?

To qualify for Dollar-a-Day insurance, you must:

  • Live in New Jersey
  • Qualify for Medicaid with Hospitalization
  • Meet low-income requirements

If you aren’t currently on Medicaid for Hospitalization, you won’t be able to qualify for Dollar-a-Day insurance.

What is SAIP?

The Special Auto Insurance Policy is New Jersey’s attempt to reduce the cost barrier to auto insurance, and to help alleviate the uninsured motorist problem.

The Insurance Information Institute tells us that about 32 million motorists drive without insurance every year. Most of these drivers don’t have insurance simply because they can’t afford it.

Because of the high number of uninsured drivers, insured drivers end up shelling out a lot of extra cash for uninsured motorist coverage. If they don’t, they may end up spending that cash on unexpected bills if they’re in an accident with someone who doesn’t have insurance.

SAIP’s Dollar-a-Day insurance offers a much cheaper plan that most people can afford, so fewer people will drive uninsured.

What does SAIP cover?

SAIP insurance specifically only covers emergency medical treatment after an auto accident. Specifically:

  • SAIP covers emergency medical treatment up to $250,000
  • That coverage includes brain and spinal cord injuries
  • SAIP provides a $10,000 death benefit in the event of fatality

That’s pretty decent coverage for just $1 a day. But it’s important to note that coverage may be impacted by fault in an accident, or other circumstances.

What does SAIP not cover?

SAIP doesn’t cover the cost of outpatient treatments, but these kinds of treatments would likely already be covered by your Medicaid Hospitalization policy.

In any auto accident, medical bills are usually the most expensive. SAIP was designed to cover these emergency medical costs for you.

But SAIP doesn’t cover anything else, which means, unlike full coverage, it doesn’t cover property damage.

If your car is damaged in an accident, or if another driver’s car is damaged in an accident where you are at-fault, SAIP will not cover any repairs.

How does dollar-a-day car insurance compare to standard auto insurance?

The SAIP program costs significantly less than the average annual cost of standard minimum insurance policy premiums in New Jersey or full insurance coverage policies, which are approximately $847 and $1,757 annually, respectively. Even though the cost difference between the standard insurance policy and the SAIP is great, the standard insurance policy offers greater financial protection than the Saip.

SAIP insurance leaves drivers financially vulnerable by not covering many incidents that a standard policy would provide coverage for. New Jersey requires that drivers who purchase insurance to carry at least the minimum insurance amounts set by the state, but offers two different options. The basic policy provides property damage liability and personal injury protection. The standard policy includes both of these, plus bodily injury liability.

The Dollar a Day insurance policy literally costs $365 per year.

How do I get Dollar-a-Day insurance?

SAIP is meant to help reduce the cost barrier to insurance, and their application process is completely free.

To apply, you’ll need:

  1. Your driver’s license
  2. The driver’s license of anyone else who may drive your car
  3. Your car’s registration
  4. Your Medicaid insurance card

You can apply to SAIP by speaking with an insurance broker from a standard provider. Most major insurance agencies will be able to offer the plan because it is state-funded. Low-income drivers should sign up for the SAIP only as a last resort.

You can also reach out to a Dollar-a-Day agent through the Personal Insurance Plan Provider hotline: 1-800-652-2471.

Still have questions? New Jersey’s Department of Banking & Insurance has a Special Automobile Insurance Policy information page with FAQs, application information, and resources if you need assistance.

If you don’t qualify for SAIP, you can still find affordable auto insurance rates. Enter your ZIP code below to start comparing rates and find the best insurance for you today.