The penalties for driving without insurance are just the tip of the iceberg, it’s also highly illegal to drive a vehicle without having insurance in place (in all but two states). If you are thinking of driving without buying insurance or want to chance it in order to save a little money, then you should read on to find out why this is not even worth another moment’s consideration.
Now, before you consider even having just a short lapse in coverage, please understand that regardless who you are insured with or the level of coverage you have, it’s always better to retain your coverage than not to have any insurance in place at all.
Is it legal to drive without insurance?
As we mentioned at the start, with the exception of two states, those being Virginia and New Hampshire, it is illegal to drive without insurance in place. The reason it’s illegal is due to the potentially crippling costs of a car accident. Without auto insurance, both you and any potential injured parties could be exposed to financial ruin.
If you’re found to be at fault and you have the right insurance in place, then any claims that are filed by the other party should be taken care of by your insurer. Without any coverage in place, you will personally liable for the repairs, medical expenses, and any losses you incur yourself.
In the US, it was reported that the average claim on an auto liability policy for bodily injury was around $15,000, and for property damage was approximately $3,500. Not too many people have that kind of money at their immediate disposal. Also, consider that these figures are not the upper limits, they’re just the average. This is precisely why it is illegal to drive without insurance.
You may remember we mentioned those two states where it isn’t illegal to drive without insurance. Before you think this could be a great money-saver, consider would you be able to afford to pay for any damages if you caused an accident? If you do cause an accident in New Hampshire, you are then legally required to but coverage for a minimum of three years. In Virginia, you actually have to pay out $500 if you want to drive without buying insurance; which begs the question, is it really worth it?
No. It’s not.
What are the penalties for driving without insurance?
If you are involved in an accident, or the cause of an accident, or you get pulled over by law enforcement, then you will need to show proof of coverage. In most states, you will face a fine if you drive without insurance. The difference between the upper and lower tiers of the fines is quite significant. For example, you can be fined just $25 in Georgia as a minimum, but in some states, it could extend to as much as $5,000. So, you have to ask yourself, is it really worth the risk? For many, the cost of auto insurance would not be anywhere near $5,000, and such, the risk far outweighs any potentially savings that would be made by failing to insurance your vehicle.
Aside from the obvious monetary consequences, you could also have your vehicle impounded, your licence could be suspended, or you could get an SR-22 for at least 3 years. Actually, if you live in Michigan, there is also a prison term of 1-year that could potentially be imposed too.
When you consider the potential upside vs. the consequences of not having insurance; and you factor in the worst-case-scenario (jail-time), fines, losing your vehicle, your licence, and the huge unknown cost of any financial penalties, which could be up to $5,000, it’s a non-starter, and just not worth the trouble or the risk. Buying auto insurance at the right level gives you protection, it gives you peace of mind, and it removes any additional stresses should you be involved in an accident that’s deemed to be your fault.
Don’t do it.
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We want to help you find the best auto insurance. If you contact us directly, our team will be happy to offer guidance about the different types of auto coverage you might need to buy; we can also get prices from the best personal and commercial insurers and present you with a range of options to choose from.