To protect yourself, as well as other drivers on the road, it is important to have some form of car insurance. Having proof of car insurance in your vehicle at all times is a legal requirement.
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There are too many drivers who take the risk of driving without this protection. Not if, but when they are caught, they find themselves facing a heavy penalty and price without it.
Proof of Car Insurance: The Insurance Company
When you purchase a car you are not allowed to drive off the lot without some form of car insurance. At the very least a driver is required to carry liability coverage. This protects the other driver in the event of an accident. If the car is being financed by a bank or finance company, they often require full coverage to protect themselves, the car, and the other driver.
An immediate policy is established at the time of purchase so that when the car is driven off the lot protection is immediate. An insurance card is issued to the driver, usually within a week or two of purchase or transfer. The company usually sends two cards to the driver for convenience. They also send proof of car insurance to the bank and DMV.
Proof of Car Insurance: The DMV
The Division of Motor Vehicles is notified of your insurance as soon as the car is registered. Although some states may allow drivers to register their cars by paying an uninsured motorist fee or offering proof of financial ability to pay, they require proof of car insurance on the registration anniversary date. DMV also maintains the status of the policy.
There was a time when it was hard for the DMV to keep up with the status of all policies, but technology has advanced enough where there are cross reference capabilities with insurance companies to keep the driver honest. Your license can easily be suspended for not maintaining an active policy, especially for those who have financing on their vehicle.
Insurance companies are required to report all uninsured motorists, new policies, and changes to existing policies. Those who purchase policies, only to allow them to lapse will face consequences. Their license is subject to suspension or revocation.
Proof of Car Insurance: The Police
Most states require that the driver show proof of car insurance if they are stopped by the police. Several other states only ask for a driver’s license and registration. Many of those states are changing their policies however.
Georgia is one state that asks for driver’s license and proof of insurance when pulling a driver over. If proof of insurance is unavailable, they will issue a summons to court. Virginia is a state where police officers used to ask for driver’s license and registration; although, proof of insurance is now necessary.
What if I get a ticket for not having proof of car insurance?
There are some officers who may be lenient with a good explanation for lack of proof in a state where the law is fairly new. Others may exercise the right to impound the car and give the driver a summons. When the driver goes to court, the judge may continue the case, allowing to driver to purchase coverage or suspend license privileges until proof can be given.
What if I can not afford car insurance?
It is hard for some to cover the expense of insurance in addition to a car note; especially those with bad credit. The average cost of car insurance can differ dramatically based on individual circumstances. There are companies designed to help those who may not be able to afford a standard full coverage policy. Drivers under 25 or high risk drivers with several negative driving points are subjected to higher premiums; therefore, they may not be able to afford the average policy.
There are many ways to earn lower auto insurance rates:
- Attend driver safety classes
- Purchase a simple liability policy and forego the extra coverage options
- Higher deductibles will lower monthly premiums
- Buy a vehicle that is cheap to insure
What if I have SR22 or paid an uninsured motorist fee?
SR22 is an expense fee paid for reinstating the license if it is suspended for lack of proof of car insurance. Once the driver is back on the road, DMV monitors these drivers for three years in most states for insurance lapse.
The uninsured motorist fee is a fee that can be paid annually if insurance is unaffordable, but the driver is still responsible for the expenses associated with an accident, or damage to the vehicle. They are also responsible for losses and theft of the vehicle.
To avoid the possibility of getting caught without proof of car insurance, enter your zip code for affordable quote car insurance quotes now!