If you are caught driving without insurance you should be prepared to pay a fine to your state. The details of how that is determined are outlined below. Multiple offenses can really add up and even cost you your license or jail time. So if you are caught without insurance you need to pay the fine and get coverage before you drive again.
Every state has rules about having car insurance on any registered vehicle. That doesn’t mean, however, that there aren’t drivers who break those rules and drive without the insurance they are required to carry by law. Take a look at what you should expect if you decide not to carry the required insurance. What exactly are the consequences going to be?
Read on to learn exactly what happens if you get pulled over while driving without any car insurance coverage and then to find the very best car insurance rates just enter your ZIP code in above for a FREE car insurance comparison with quotes from many top auto insurance companies!
It Depends on Where You Live
The first thing that will determine what your penalty might be is the state that you live in. As mentioned above, every state has specific laws, but they sure aren’t the same from state to state. For example, in Florida, the fine for driving without auto insurance is $150 to $500 depending on the amount of offenses the driver has. In addition, a person found driving without insurance will have their drivers license suspended, their registration suspended and their license plate suspended. None will be reinstated until the fines are paid and proof of insurance is provided. In Florida a police officer can only ask for proof of insurance if an accident occurs.
In Illinois, there is a minimum fine of $500 for driving without insurance with a maximum fine of $1,000. After the 3rd offence your license will be suspended. Illinois is a state where you must present proof of auto insurance on demand.
This means that a police officer can pull you over and require that you show your proof of insurance at any time.
Conversely, in North Carolina it is a Class 2 misdemeanor to drive without auto insurance. What this means for North Carolinians is that if they are caught without auto insurance they can go to jail. Although a fine is usually issued for first offenders, the fines become more severe for repeat offenders and jail time will eventually be applied. The first fine is $50, second is $100, third is $150, and fourth is $200 and so on. If your insurance lapses more than once in a year, it takes three years before your record is clear. In NC, a police officer cannot pull you over specifically to ask for proof of insurance, but if you are pulled over for another reason they can require proof of insurance on demand.
As you can see, various states have various laws. In order to determine what the fines are in your state, you can visit your state’s Department of Insurance website or Department of Motor Vehicles website.
How They Know You Don’t Have Coverage
Every state has a system in place to help them determine when someone’s insurance has lapsed. Many states have moved to the electronic method while others use a slower, less advanced method, snail mail.
When you purchase a vehicle from a dealership, you are required to purchase insurance before you leave the lot.
When a state runs things electronically, the insurance company that you purchase your insurance from enters your info into the states insurance system.
If you cancel your insurance or default on your payments then insurance company simply presses a couple of keys and the state is informed. If you purchase a policy with a different company, then the system is updated and nothing happens. If, however, you don’t purchase a different policy then a letter is generated by the electronic system (usually within ten days) letting you know you have 30 days to provide proof of insurance or your registration will be suspended.
In states where an electronic system isn’t in place, the system is a bit slower. It may take up to 90 days for the state to be notified of your lapse and to send you a letter. Once you receive your letter you may have between 10 and 30 days to provide proof of insurance (it depends on the state you live in). Often, the states that use the slower system have more severe fines (possibly because you have so much time to actually purchase replacement insurance before they learn of the lapse).
Why Auto Insurance Laws are Important
Having an accident costs money, it’s that simple. Nearly everyone who drives safely thinks that they won’t have an accident because they drive well. The problem is that accidents are called accidents for a reason, they aren’t planned. It is poor planning to ignore the need for insurance just because you think that you drive to well to cause an accident. Even the best drivers have caused accidents; when you don’t have insurance, then you are creating a financial burden on someone else. Even if you live in a tort state, (tort means that you can be sued for damages), it takes time to recoup the costs using that method.
Auto insurance offers more that just protection for your vehicle, it offers protection against injury and loss of life. An accident severe enough to cause the death of another driver or passenger can often run into millions of dollars in price. If you are saying to yourself that you make enough money to cover damages from an accident, think about it.
Can you afford $6,000 (the average cost of a moderate accident) or $1,000,000 (the cost of serious accident with serious injuries)? If not, then it is well worth it to spend $80 to $250 a month (depending on where you live and your driving record) on auto insurance. The out of pocket expense is covered if you have just one serious accident.
Carrying comprehensive auto insurance covers your vehicle for more than just an accident. If your car is stolen, vandalized or an act of nature damages or destroys it, then you are protected from that as well.
Insurance plays an important part of your financial stability; you just have to consider the big picture.
Many people, as of late, have allowed their insurance to lapse because of economic reasons. The problem is, if an accident occurs, that decision will no longer make economic sense. While there is no such thing as free auto insurance, there are affordable options for you to consider. You should always take advantage of every discount available and consider a larger deductible to lower premium costs (if you need comprehensive and/or collision coverage). In addition, always, before you ever purchase insurance, get a quote comparison.
How to Find Coverage
Getting an insurance quote is kind of like getting an estimate. Using a quote tool allows you to get an estimate of what your insurance costs are going to be. When you make a final decision, the insurance company will run your driving record before telling you the final amount.
If, however, you accurately fill out the form for the quote tool, then there should be very little difference between your quote and what you actually pay. The biggest benefit to using a free quote tool is your ability to compare quotes side by side. You will quickly get a real idea of what the cheapest rates are.
Our FREE quote tool is fast and easy to use. Once you get your quotes, you simply select the one that best suits you or save your profile to be accessed at a different date. Easy and free, why not try it today?