What happens if I cause an accident and don't have insurance?

What would happen if I caused an accident when I didn't have insurance? I accidentally let my policy lapse a few months ago. Everything is okay now since I have a new policy in place. But how bad could it have been if I didn't get a new policy?

Answer
Thank goodness you could start a new car insurance policy without any incidents! When people think about an uninsured accident, they usually think of the cost of the accident itself, but the price tag of any future lawsuits can be even higher.
Here is what one at-fault accident could cost an uninsured driver:
  • $57,000 in hospital bills (for one hospital stay after a car accident)
  • $6,600 in emergency room costs (for two injured people to visit the ER)
  • Between $2,000 and $10,000 in car repairs (depending on if framework repair is needed)
  • $39,000 to replace the value of a totaled car (the average value of a car on the road today)
  • An additional three to five times the total out-of-pocket damages if the other party brings a pain and suffering lawsuit
Just one car accident could easily cost you hundreds of thousands of dollars. Without insurance, you would have to pay this amount out-of-pocket and with years of future paychecks.
Don’t forget state-enforced penalties for driving without insurance:
  • Fine for driving uninsured
  • Increased cost of future insurance policies
  • License suspensions
  • Registration revocations
One great way to avoid a lapse in coverage is to have all of your car insurance information in the palm of your hand. If you purchase a policy or switch through Jerry, you’ll have digital insurance ID cards in-app at all times, not to mention a team of agents ready for any questions you have.
Shannon Martin
Answered on Oct 21, 2021
Shannon is an expert in personal lines liability insurance with 13 + years of insurance industry experience. She also served as a special insurance liaison to AARP members for 6 of those years. She is a graduate of UL Lafayette and currently resides in NY with her family. Shannon is also an amateur juggler, ukulele player, and is a time travel paradox theory enthusiast.
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