Accidents can happen to even the best of drivers. That’s why all drivers should carry auto insurance. If you’re caught driving without an active insurance policy, you could into major trouble. It’s important to keep your insurance up to date so that you don’t get stuck with the following consequences.
Pay a Fine
All states except New Hampshire and Virginia require motorists to have liability insurance. Even those states have laws encouraging the use of auto insurance. Go without an auto policy, and you could find yourself stuck with a hefty fine. In some states, you may face a penalty only if you get into an accident without insurance. Other states allow authorities to ticket uninsured drivers during routine traffic stops.
Cover Accident Costs
At least 20 states require drivers to carry uninsured motorist coverage in addition to liability insurance. This covers motorists who get in crashes with people who don’t have enough insurance to cover the bills from the accident. Don’t think that this type of insurance gets you off the hook from carrying your own liability policy. If you cause an accident, the other person can sue you for damages even if they have uninsured motorist coverage. You could end up responsible for a large financial settlement that you must pay with cash or assets.
Lose Your Driver’s License
Many states will suspend your driver’s license if you’re caught driving without insurance. The penalty may be only a few months the first time around, but multiple offenses can leave you unlicensed for long stretches of time. Authorities may also suspend your vehicle’s registration as a consequence for going uninsured. In Illinois, for example, you must provide insurance policy details each year in order to renew your license plates.
Face Higher Insurance Costs
Insurance companies want you to be a responsible driver. Being caught driving without insurance hurts your driving record. As a result, insurers might charge you higher premium rates. Causing a car crash while uninsured can cause your insurance costs to increase even more. To keep your premiums down, be sure to maintain continuous auto coverage.
Even when funds are tight, it’s critical that you always carry auto insurance. If you’re on a limited budget, look into insurance companies that offer low-cost policies, such as LA Insurance. Even if you never get into a car accident, it’s good to know that your policy is there if you need it.