What are the consequences of not having auto insurance?

Driving without car insurance may result in a $500 fine or seizure of your vehicle. Instead of driving without insurance, carry liability coverage that has average rates of $48/mo.

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Zaneta Wood, Ed.S. has over 15 years of experience in research and technical writing bringing a keen understanding of data analysis and information synthesis to reach a wide variety of audiences. She studied adult education and instructional technology at Appalachian State University as well as technical and professional communication at East Carolina University. Zaneta has prepared technical p...

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Joel Ohman is the CEO of a private equity backed digital media company. He is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™, author, angel investor, and serial entrepreneur who loves creating new things, whether books or businesses. He has also previously served as the founder and resident CFP® of a national insurance agency, Real Time Health Quotes. He has an MBA from the University of South Florida. Jo...

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Reviewed by Joel Ohman
Founder & CFP®

UPDATED: Jun 9, 2020

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Ever wonder about the consequences of having no car insurance coverage while driving? It may sound like a good way to save money on those monthly premiums, but it’s a dangerous and illegal move.

Driving with no car insurance — what’s the big deal? You might figure that most of the time uninsured drivers will not get stopped unless of course they’re out driving drunk or recklessly.

Or maybe you think you can just make up a story about how you were going to get insurance tomorrow morning and the cop will let it slide!

Here is an explanation of the reality of driving without car insurance and then be sure to enter your ZIP code above to find the best car insurance rates!

The Problem with Uninsured Motorists

It’s no coincidence that uninsured drivers are the most dangerous drivers.

These are drivers that either cannot afford insurance due to their bad accident records or have never had insurance probably due to their high-risk category.

Therefore, don’t believe the myth that says if you are uninsured you can simply avoid accidents and never have to face up to the consequences. Statistics show that you will be involved in an accident, sooner or later.

Unfortunately, what often happens is that scared and clueless uninsured drivers hit someone else on the road and then speed off in a “hit and run” incident. A hit and run motorist can be charged with a felony offense!

For now, let’s say that you don’t go the hit and run route. You are responsible enough to take the heat for driving without insurance. What is the maximum penalty that can be charged?

To an extent, it depends on the state you live in. Some states have severe penalties for driving without insurance, and practically all states will tack on additional charges if they can.

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Free Car Insurance Comparison

Enter your ZIP code below to view companies that have cheap car insurance rates.

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What happens when you have no car insurance?

In some cases, a policeman may show mercy if there is no “high intent to drive” present at the scene. High intent to drive shows a willful attitude to break the law and drive for a long period without any proof of financial responsibility.

It’s important to understand that this is primarily a state issue. Not only is there no federal law regulating uninsured automobiles, but a couple of states allow uninsured motorists to drive to their heart’s content.

However, they must be able to show the financial ability to cover the damage they might cause. Even so, uninsured motorists are not protected from personal injury and property damage lawsuits.

In the majority of states, the maximum penalty is the seizure of a vehicle tag and an impoundment of the vehicle.

Heavy fines follow, and these could be anywhere from $150 to $500.

Some states have what is called financial responsibility laws, and these laws state that motorists that cause the collision have to pay for the injuries or damages that they inflict upon others from their funds.

Repeated offenses may even land you in jail or involve a temporary or indefinite license suspension.

No one likes paying for car insurance. It’s easy to make a case against the “crooked” insurance companies and to point to uneven laws regarding under-insured legal policies. Indeed, some states allow legal insurance policies that are so low; they will hardly cover any medical bills or car damage expenses.

You think to think about what is truly needed for the safety and financial well-being of you and your family.

Liability Coverage is for Your Protection

All motorists should realize one simple fact: automobile liability insurance coverage is required for the protection of all motorists. Without car insurance, you will have to pay damages from your pocket.

Yes, you better believe most victimized motorists will take you to court if they have high bills on their hands!

Motorists who insist on driving without insurance out of necessity are blind to the fact that they are the ones being protected by these laws. After all, if you are driving without insurance, you will probably have no claims to make if someone collides with your car—even if you are not at fault.

To file a claim, both parties must trade car insurance information!

Instead of driving without car insurance, consider these solutions. Take a bus or a bike to work. Carpool, or rent a car with daily insurance rates for weekly driving needs. If you really can’t afford a high-priced insurance policy then don’t pay for one, drop full coverage and pay only for liability coverage.

With some of the underpaid legal policies out there right now, practically anyone can get a cheap $15,000 coverage liability rate on an older model car.

Why not use a car insurance rate quote tool right now to find an affordable rate and get legal in your home state?

If you already do have liability or full coverage car insurance, then don’t forget to use the free third-party tool to look for uninsured or underinsured motorist protection coverage.

It’s easy to use and you can enter your ZIP code in our quote tool below.

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Average Monthly Car Insurance Rates by State