Marissa Hayes is a technical editor and contributing writer. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in history, and she was the editor of the literary magazine, The Bluestone Review.

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Dan Walker graduated with a BS in Administrative Management in 2005 and has been working in his family’s insurance agency, FCI Agency, for 15 years. He is licensed as an agent to write property and casualty insurance, including home, auto, umbrella, and dwelling fire insurance. He’s also been featured on sites like Reviews.com.

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Reviewed by Daniel Walker
Licensed Car Insurance Agent

UPDATED: Jul 19, 2021

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The Short of It

  • Government employees can receive auto insurance discounts, specifically for their occupation.
  • SSI recipients don’t receive special discounts, but they could receive cheaper rates from other discounts.
  • Only three states in the U.S. have state-sponsored car insurance.

Government auto insurance programs are an option for drivers to get state-sponsored auto insurance coverage when standard auto insurance is too expensive.

California, Hawaii, and New Jersey are the only states in the United States that provide low-cost auto insurance, so you won’t be able to buy government auto insurance in other states.

If you live in a state that doesn’t have state-sponsored car insurance, we’ll show you the road to affordable auto insurance coverage.

If you can’t receive government auto insurance quotes, enter your ZIP code above to compare multiple companies and shop around for affordable rates.

What are government auto insurance programs?

Government auto insurance — sometimes listed as low-cost auto insurance — is another way of saying state-sponsored auto insurance.

It’s a government program that provides car insurance coverage for people who cannot afford standard car insurance from insurance companies.

The government auto insurance rates are inexpensive and likely based on the policyholder’s income.

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Government Auto Insurance Programs vs. Standard Auto Insurance Policies

Government car insurance is a cost-efficient solution for individuals who have an income at the poverty level.

Drivers who need to buy state-sponsored auto insurance won’t have the same coverage level as those with standard auto insurance.

What if you live in a state that doesn’t have low-cost car insurance? Review the following subsections to compare the best car insurance companies and how you can save money on a safe driver discount.

Where can I get government auto insurance?

State-sponsored auto insurance isn’t available nationwide. You can only find government car insurance in California, Hawaii, and New Jersey.

In New Jersey, state-sponsored car insurance costs $365 per year or $1 per day.

California and Hawaii don’t list their government auto insurance rates for low-earning individuals, but they carry unique rules for eligible drivers.

A driver with state-sponsored car insurance may have an opportunity to get collision or comprehensive coverage. However, you have to be approved by the state.

If you qualify, you’re only able to receive the minimum car insurance requirements.

Let’s look at the minimum requirements for auto insurance in each state with government auto insurance.

Minimum Auto Insurance Requirements for States with Government Auto Insurance Programs
StateMinimum Bodily Injury Liability for One Person Per AccidentMinimum Bodily Injury Liability for Multiple People Per AccidentMinimum Property Damage Liability Per Accident
California$15,000$30,000$5,000 ($3,000 for low-income drivers
Hawaii$20,000$40,000$10,000
New Jersey$15,000$30,000$5,000
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It’s possible that a driver can qualify for more coverage, but it’s likely to be personal injury protection (PIP) or medical payments (MedPay).

These coverages will supplement your overall protection if Medicare or Medicaid doesn’t cover the cost of bodily injury.

How do you save money with auto insurance discounts?

The best auto insurance companies provide discounts for customers.

Even wage earners can receive several car insurance discounts that lower insurance rates by hundreds of dollars per year.

The defensive driver discount decreases your policy by 5 to 10 percent. Auto insurance discount savings vary from company to company. For safe drivers, your discount could mean significant savings. 

Let’s look at how a safe driver discount affects car insurance rates from the top companies in the United States.

Average Annual Auto Insurance Rates with Safe Driver Discount
Top Auto Insurance CompaniesSafe Driver Auto Insurance DiscountAverage Annual Auto Insurance RatesAverage Annual Auto Insurance Rates After Safe Driver Discount is AppliedAverage Monthly Auto Insurance Rates After Safe Driver Discount is Applied
USAA12%$2,542$2,237$186
Nationwide35%$3,447$2,241$187
Allstate45%$4,898$2,694$225
GEICO15%$3,216$2,734$228
State Farm15%$3,268$2,778$232
Progressive31%$4,044$2,790$233
Travelers23%$4,445$3,423$285
American FamilyN/A$3,443$3,443$287
FarmersN/A$4,189$4,189$349
Liberty MutualN/A$6,096$6,096$508
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The safe driver discount is connected to a clean driving record with no traces of accidents or traffic violations.

As a safe driver, the car insurance provider will see you as low risk and give you cheaper rates. Combined with other discounts, you could be looking at car insurance rates under $100 per month. 

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Government Auto Insurance: What’s the bottom line?

For now, government car insurance programs are limited to California, Hawaii, and New Jersey. State-sponsored car insurance is available to anyone who qualifies. 

Motorists on a fixed income, such as SSI recipients, should pursue low-cost auto insurance to cut standard auto insurance costs.

If you can’t get government car insurance, look for affordable car insurance solutions, such as liability auto insurance.

Start shopping for cheap car insurance with our FREE comparison tool below. Enter your ZIP code to start comparing multiple companies today.

Frequently Asked Questions: Government Auto Insurance

Before we wrap up the guide, we’ll answer some frequently asked questions about government car insurance programs. 

For more information about cheap car insurance rates, check out the top car insurance companies in the United States. 

#1 – How do you apply for a government auto insurance program?

You must be a resident in California, Hawaii, or New Jersey to apply for government car insurance. Each state has a unique requirement. Contact your state’s Department of the Insurance Commissioner for more information.

#2 – How much is government auto insurance?

New Jersey’s government car insurance program costs $1 per day or $365 per year. You’ll need to contact California and Hawaii’s Department of Insurance for more information.

#3 – Is GEICO a government auto insurance company?

GEICO is not a government car insurance company despite the acronym, which stands for Government Employees Insurance Company. It does not sell government auto insurance, but it’s known for cheap auto insurance.