Car insurance is required in almost every state to financially protect drivers on the road in the event of a car accident. however, the insurance research council suggests that one in eight drivers is uninsured. Driving without car insurance can have several consequences, especially if you cause an accident. Although penalties vary by state, you may owe expensive fines, risk having your license suspended or lost, pay out-of-pocket costs for accident-related expenses, or even face criminal charges.
driving without insurance
Car accidents can range in severity from minor to devastating. Most people know that if you don’t have insurance when you cause an accident, there are repercussions. But even if the other driver caused the collision, driving without insurance can still have consequences.
accidents at fault without insurance
If you are at fault in an accident, your insurance will likely cover accident-related damages, depending on the coverage limits of your auto insurance policy. however, if you cause an accident while driving without insurance, you may face serious consequences and out-of-pocket costs:
- Repair and replacement costs: You are usually responsible for paying for the damage you caused. that means repairing or replacing any vehicles and property you’ve damaged.
- Medical expenses: If the other driver, their passengers, or anyone outside of your vehicle was injured in the accident, you may be responsible for paying their medical expenses.
- Legal Fees: If you can’t pay for the damages you caused, the other driver could sue you for compensation, including the cost of your legal fees.
- License Suspension or Revocation: Most states will likely suspend your license for driving without insurance. If you have been caught driving without insurance before, your license may be revoked.
- Required Forms: Some states may require you to have an SR-22 or FR-44 registered with your DMV before reinstating your license. These forms prove to the state that you maintain auto insurance coverage. You’ll need to get auto insurance at this point, as these forms are filed directly by insurance companies.
- Vehicle impounding: The officer arriving on scene may choose to tow your vehicle if you were driving without insurance.
- Ties: You may have to pay a fine if you are caught driving without insurance, which could be higher depending on the details of your accident.
- jail time: A first offense may not land you in jail, but multiple incidents of driving without insurance can increase your chances of going to jail.
- More expensive insurance: Insurance companies tend to view drivers who have caused accidents as higher risk, as well as drivers who have had a break in coverage. this means you will likely pay higher insurance premiums than the average driver.
- license suspension or revocation: even if you were not the at-fault driver, you could still lose your license. If the police are called to the scene, your state will most likely require you to provide proof of insurance. if you can’t, your license could be suspended.
- Penalties: If your state fines drivers for waiving coverage, you may have to pay the fine even if you didn’t cause the accident.
- Vehicle impounding: Again, a law enforcement officer may decide to impound your vehicle once they discover you were driving without insurance.
- Out-of-Pocket Expenses: Vehicle damage is not always the result of road collisions. a tree branch could fall on your vehicle, for example, or your car could be stolen. If you do not have an insurance policy that includes coverage for your vehicle, you will be responsible for any necessary repairs or replacement of the vehicle.
Although some drivers have medical payments or pip coverage to help cover medical costs, if you are found to be responsible for the accident, the injured party or their insurance company may attempt to recover those costs from you. however, some states are considered no-fault states, so it’s a good idea to speak with an insurance professional to understand what you could be liable for in an accident without adequate coverage.
no-fault accidents without insurance
Even if you don’t cause an accident, maybe another driver hits you from behind, not having insurance can still get you in trouble.
accidents in states that do not require auto insurance
Although most US states. uu. require car insurance, some states do not require insurance in some cases or have alternative options, such as bonds or deposits, for drivers to comply with state car insurance laws.
It is important to note, however, that while you can avoid being penalized by these states for not having auto insurance coverage, you must meet certain parameters. plus, you may still face certain consequences if you get into an accident or are an at-fault driver.
at-fault car accidents
If you choose to drive without insurance in New Hampshire but cause an accident as the at-fault driver, you are still liable for damages and injuries. Failure to pay for the injuries, property or vehicle damage you cause can result in license and registration suspension. You may also be responsible for your own medical costs if you are injured in the accident.
in virginia, drivers can choose not to purchase auto insurance and pay a $500 uninsured motor vehicle (umv) fee each time the vehicle’s registration is renewed. If you fail to pay the fee and are caught driving without insurance, your licenses and registration may be suspended. Afterward, you may be required to pay a $600 violation fee, file an SR-22, and pay to reinstate your driving privileges and registration. Like New Hampshire, Virginia requires you to pay out of pocket for any injuries and damages you cause.
accidents without fault
If you are involved in an accident where you are not the at-fault driver in either state, the at-fault party’s insurance company will typically pay for your injuries and vehicle damage. however, if your coverage isn’t enough and you don’t have coverage, you could end up paying the rest of your medical bills and vehicle damage out of pocket.
If you fail to meet the state’s insurance or financial responsibility requirements, you risk having your license and registration suspended, whether or not you were at fault for the accident.
how to find affordable car insurance
Car insurance may not be the most exciting purchase, but it’s an important part of your financial plan. Although choosing to go uninsured can save you money, the result of causing an accident without insurance can be catastrophic for your financial health. If budget is your main concern, there are ways to save on your auto insurance.
- Compare multiple policy quotes. Get quotes from multiple insurance providers to compare prices, coverage options, and discounts before you make a purchase.
- Ask about discounts. If you’re looking for the best price, ask about available discounts. You may qualify for a better rate with safe driving discounts or multi-policy packages.
- Always drive safely. In general, drivers with no accidents on their records qualify for lower insurance premiums. keeping a clean record can help you avoid surcharges on your policy. Safe driving behaviors could also mean saving additional money by using a telematics device that tracks your driving and gives you a discount.
- Find the right coverage for your needs. It’s just as important not to over-insure as you shouldn’t over-insure. Talk to a licensed insurance agent about your situation to understand your coverage needs. If you’re comfortable with higher deductibles, for example, and paying more out of pocket on a claim, it may be worth considering increasing your comprehensive and collision deductibles to save on car insurance costs. It’s also worth considering reviewing your medical and liability coverage to find the right coverage at the best price.