If you’ve ever been pulled over by the police, you know the officer always asks for your driver’s license, car registration, and proof of insurance. But what happens if you don’t have car insurance? Chances are you will get a no insurance ticket.
Uninsured driving can really end up costing you a lot of money. Before you drive without insurance, consider the consequences and how they could impact your life and ability to earn a living.
Are You Required to Have Car Insurance to Drive?
Almost every states in the U.S. requires drivers to carry auto insurance. This is to help pay for any medical bills and property damage that occurs during an accident. In at-fault states, the insurance for the person responsible for the accident pays this, while in no-fault states, the insurance for each person involved in the accident pays for their own claims.
The amount of insurance you need to purchase depends in large part on the state you live in. In addition to liability insurance, which is a requirement in states that require insurance, you might also need to carry additional insurance, such as comprehensive or collision coverage.
Whether or not you need comprehensive or collision coverage for your car depends in large part on whether you still owe money on your car. You might also carry this type of coverage if you have a vehicle that is worth a lot, such as a sports car.
States That Do Not Require Car Insurance
There are a few states that don’t actually require insurance per se, but they do carry the burden of financial responsibly for the at-fault person in an accident. For example, there is no fee to drive uninsured in New Hampshire. But drivers are responsible for any property damage or medical bills associated with an accident that they cause.
Drivers in Virginia can pay $500 a year to drive uninsured. You can also be prorated for this fee if you decide to switch over to become an insured driver at a later point in the year. The $500 fee is not insurance, and you will be held responsible for any damage or injuries suffered in an accident.
If you a driver are in Mississippi, you can choose to buy car insurance or you can opt to post a bond or make a security deposit equal to $25,000 per person per accident, $50,000 per accident for bodily injury, and $25,000 per accident to pay for any property damage.
What Happens If You Are Caught Driving without Insurance?
Not carrying insurance is against the law in the states that require it. The penalties for not carrying insurance in these states include monetary fines and possibly a suspension of your driver’s license or car registration (or both). In extreme cases, your vehicle can even be impounded by the police or you can end up serving jail time.
Usually, jail time only happens after multiple instances of being caught driving without car insurance.
What Can You Do if You’re Caught Driving without Car Insurance?
Fortunately, if you lose your license or registration or have your car impounded, the problem can be fixed by showing proof of insurance. But it’s best to avoid this situation by purchasing affordable car insurance before driving. Many auto insurance companies offer discounts that can lower the cost of insurance significantly.
So, if find yourself with no proof of insurance, shop around before you get pulled over or are in an accident. Make sure you find the right insurance for your needs at an affordable price. This can save you hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars in fines, car repairs, and medical costs.