Dollar-a-Day Car Insurance Coverage

Dollar-a-Day insurance is available through the State of New Jersey through their Special Auto Insurance Policy (SAIP). You have to be on Federal Medicaid with Hospitalization to qualify for SAIP, and it only covers the cost of emergency medical expenses up to $250,000. It really is just a dollar a day, or $365 a year. If you pay in full all at once, you can pay just $360, which is less than a dollar a day.

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D. Gilson is a writer and author of essays, poetry, and scholarship that explore the relationship between popular culture, literature, sexuality, and memoir. His latest book is Jesus Freak, with Will Stockton, part of Bloomsbury’s 33 1/3 Series. His other books include I Will Say This Exactly One Time and Crush. His first chapbook, Catch & Release, won the 2012 Robin Becker Prize from Seve...

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Written by D. Gilson, PhD
Professor & Published Author D. Gilson, PhD

Leslie Kasperowicz holds a BA in Social Sciences from the University of Winnipeg. She spent several years as a Farmers Insurance CSR, gaining a solid understanding of insurance products including home, life, auto, and commercial and working directly with insurance customers to understand their needs. She has since used that knowledge in her more than ten years as a writer, largely in the insuranc...

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Reviewed by Leslie Kasperowicz
Farmers CSR for 4 Years Leslie Kasperowicz

UPDATED: Jun 1, 2022

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The Highlights

  • Dollar-a-Day insurance is only offered in New Jersey through SAIP to low-income drivers
  • Dollar-a-Day car insurance really does cost just $1 per day, or $365 a year
  • To qualify, you also have to qualify for Federal Medicaid with Hospitalization

Dollar-a-Day insurance is offered by New Jersey’s Special Auto Insurance Policy (SAIP) through any of the best insurance companies. SAIP was created to help alleviate the number of motorists who do not have car insurance coverage because they can’t afford it. It’s an option that enables drivers to stay safer on the road by having their vehicles insured no matter their income.

Before you read on to learn what Dollar-a-Day insurance is, who qualifies, and what it covers, enter your ZIP code to compare cheap car insurance quotes in your area today. Comparison shopping is a great way for any driver to find affordable coverage.

What is Dollar-a-Day car insurance?

Dollar-a-Day car insurance is exactly what it sounds like: car insurance that only costs $1 a day. It is available through New Jersey’s Special Auto Insurance Policy (SAIP) as low cost car insurance for low-income families. It’s different from day to day insurance however, as it’s not pay as you go. You don’t pay for car insurance by the day, but rather all up front or in installments. It’s even cheaper if you pay for the entire year upfront, being only $360 instead of $365.

So there is a difference between one-day car insurance and Dollar-a-Day. Rather than a pay-as-you go, the Dollar-a-Day insurance option was crafted in order to keep people insured, since there are many drivers who aren’t able to afford insurance on their vehicles but rely heavily on them for transportation. 

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Who is eligible for Dollar-a-Day insurance?

Dollar-a-Day insurance is only available to low-income motorists who qualify for Federal Medicaid with Hospitalization. If you aren’t currently on Federal Medicaid with Hospitalization, you won’t be able to apply for Dollar-a-Day insurance.

If you’re currently on Federal Medicaid with Hospitalization, further below we’ll cover what you should do in order to apply. Your insurer may be able to assist as long as they offer the program. 

What is the SAIP?

SAIP is New Jersey’s answer to the state’s uninsured motorist problem.

According to the Insurance Information Institute, there are around 32 million drivers every year who have no insurance whatsoever. A large percentage of these uninsured motorists simply can’t afford car insurance.

With so many people driving uninsured, many insured motorists are shelling out for extra uninsured motorist coverage. Without it, they may end up facing lots of bills and a loss of claims if they’re in an accident with an uninsured motorist.

New Jersey created SAIP to reduce the cost barrier to insurance so fewer people will drive uninsured. People who can’t afford insurance through a provider can often afford Dollar-a-Day insurance through the state.

What does SAIP cover?

SAIP was designed specifically to provide emergency medical treatment after a car accident.

  • SAIP will cover emergency medical costs (including brain and spinal cord injuries) up to $250,000.
  • SAIP also provides a $10,000 death benefit to the family or designated beneficiary in the case of a fatality.

That may seem like a lot of coverage for just $365, but be aware that SAIP has some caveats in regards to fault in the accident. The specific circumstances of an accident may impact SAIP coverage.

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What does SAIP not cover?

The biggest thing that SAIP doesn’t cover is property damage like comprehensive coverage does. That means it doesn’t help if your car gets damaged in an accident, or if another driver’s car gets damaged in an accident.

SAIP also doesn’t cover the cost of outpatient treatments, although such treatments would likely already be covered by your Medicaid policy.

In any car-related accident, medical bills are usually the most costly expense, so if you can’t afford standard insurance from a provider, SAIP is designed to ensure that you can still afford medical coverage.

How do I get Dollar-a-Day insurance?

Because SAIP is meant to reduce cost barriers to insurance, the application process is 100% free. You’ll only have to provide your driver’s license (along with the licenses of anyone else who will be driving the car such as family members or friends), your car’s registration, and your Medicaid insurance card.

To apply for SAIP, you’ll need to speak to an insurance broker. Most major insurance agencies will be able to offer the plan, as it is state-funded.

You can also speak to a Dollar-a-Day agent via the Personal Insurance Plan provider hotline: 1-800-652-2471.

If you have any questions about the application process, need assistance, or want to learn more about Dollar-a-Day insurance, visit the Special Automobile Insurance Policy information page from the State of New Jersey’s Department of Banking & Insurance website. 

If you don’t qualify for Dollar-a-Day insurance or don’t live in New Jersey, you can still save. The best way to save on your car insurance is by shopping around and comparing rates. Enter your ZIP code below to get free quotes. Staying safe while driving starts with being insured. Make sure your current insurer matches up with the rates that are currently on the market. 

Are you looking for free insurance quotes?

Your one-stop online insurance guide. Get free quotes now!

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