If you drive a vehicle, you must have auto insurance in order to protect yourself, your investment, and other drivers on the road.
If you get caught driving without insurance, the consequences may be severe.
Not only is driving with no insurance dangerous, but it can also cost you financially and possibly even in other much more serious ways. Read on to find out why you should always have auto insurance, and what the repercussions might be if you don’t.
Fines for Driving Without Insurance
If you get caught driving and you don’t have insurance, you could be on the hook for some serious fines and penalties. These fines vary by state, and they can go as high as thousands of dollars in some cases.
Depending on your location, the local law enforcement could hit you with a hefty penalty. They’ll also issue you a citation that will go on your driving record.
When you combine the cost of a fine with a ding on your record, it’s definitely not something you want to risk. In North Carolina, for example, the fine ranges between $50 and $150, however, the state of North Dakota has fines that can go as high as $5,000!
You might be able to purchase minimum liability insurance in your state. In some cases, this is still less expensive than the fine you’d get if you have no auto insurance at all. Some states even include jail time for people who get caught driving without insurance.
Dealing with an Accident
If you get into an accident without any insurance, it could be a recipe for disaster. If you’re at fault and caused the accident, you could be liable and face a potential lawsuit by the victims.
Insurance is designed to protect you from these kinds of lawsuits. Without it, you could lose your wages as well as your assets like your home and other items if you don’t have the proper coverage.
There are some states called “no-fault” insurance states where drivers make claims through their insurance for minor injuries regardless of who is at fault. In these states, you might not need to worry about a possible lawsuit.
However, if the other victim has very severe injuries that result in an extremely high medical bill, you might be on the hook. These rules and laws vary by state, so check your current laws to find out what they are in your home state.
If another driver is at fault, you could be limited in what you can sue for without insurance. Some states are called “no pay, no play” states which means uninsured drivers cannot sue if they have damaged without a specific dollar amount attached.
Things like mental suffering, emotional distress, and even physical pain are all things you won’t be able to sue for without auto insurance. People in these “no pay, no play” states could also end up paying huge deductibles for repairs. These deductibles must be paid before you can sue the at-fault driver for any proper damage costs.
Driving without insurance is a serious problem, and you could face several other repercussions besides those that affect your wallet. In many states, you could end up with a suspended license in addition to your fines ad ticket.
Some states will allow you to reinstate your license as long as you provide proof that you now have insurance or file an SR-22 form. The DMV can determine how long to suspend your license in other states, so it all depends on the law.
If you’re caught without insurance, the penalties may depend on whether you were ticketed or involved in an accident. For traffic violations, the penalty may be less than if you were involved in a traffic accident. Either way, it’s not worth it not to have auto insurance!
And, another common penalty for not having insurance is that your vehicle could be impounded. The court can order this in some states along with the revocation of your registration and driver’s license.
You might not be able to drive until you submit proof that you’re covered or you have the SR-22 officially filed. Some states only allow a 24-hour window for you to obtain insurance before they impound your vehicle. Not only will this cost you money to fix, but it will also cost you a lot of stress.
Drivers might even end up with a mandatory vehicle impoundment of 30 days! This can cost you your job and your ability to get around and enjoy everyday activities.
Possible Prison Time
Driving without insurance is considered a misdemeanor in most states, however, it could lead to a prison sentence for repeat offenders. If you get caught without it more than once, you can expect to potentially spend some time in jail. Sentences can range from a few days to a few weeks, depending on the jurisdiction.
Don’t Take the Risk
If you’re currently driving without insurance, you should attempt to get covered immediately. Between the fines, penalties, and other inconveniences, it’s simply not worth the risk.
Not having auto insurance can leave you vulnerable to lawsuits and you’ll have very little protection. You can also be subject to serious fines, an impounded vehicle, and even possible jail time.
If you live in the Raleigh, North Carolina area and need insurance, visit our website for a list of services and contact us today for a quote or more information.