In 2012, the national annual total for bodily injury claims that involved drivers without insurance amounted to $2.6 billion.
Many people want to forgo the cost of paying for auto insurance, however, they may not realize how financially risky this choice is.
While there are two states where you are not required to have auto insurance, it is still advisable to purchase insurance to protect yourself from unfortunate unexpected events.
Are you wondering what the penalties are for driving uninsured? Read on and we will take a look at everything you need to know.
Is Driving Without Insurance Illegal?
It is illegal to drive without insurance in all of the United States except for two. These two states are Virginia and New Hampshire. That being said, that does not mean it is not always a good idea to have auto insurance.
In the state of New Hampshire, residents are still responsible financially for any damages resulting from a car accident. If a driver isn’t able to pay for these damages then they will likely have their registration and license suspended.
In Virginia, residents are able to pay a $500 fee each year if they choose to forgo having auto insurance. However, that fee does not go towards any insurance coverage and they will therefore be liable if they caused an accident.
As you can see, even in the two states where it is not illegal to drive without insurance, it’s still most likely the best choice to have auto insurance.
Why Is It Illegal to Drive Without Insurance?
Perhaps it seems to some like government overreach for car insurance to be mandatory through the law. However, these laws are in place in order to protect both you and the other people on the road.
Car accidents are common and the cost of these accidents can be devastating. If a driver is uninsured at the time of an accident they could be financially ruined. This is also true for the other individuals harmed in the accident.
Only certain types of car insurance are mandatory and the state driving laws will vary depending on which state you live in. Frequently, liability insurance is almost always required as this type of insurance helps to protect other people. On the other hand, collision insurance is often not compulsory as this is insurance that protects the owner rather than other people.
Basically, car insurance is mandatory in almost all of the United States as it helps protect victims in car accidents from being financially ruined by an accident they did not cause themselves.
The States With the Highest Number of Uninsured Motorists
Since different states have different laws regarding the penalties for uninsured motorists, some states are harsher than others.
The states of Oklahoma, Florida, Mississippi, New Mexico, and Michigan have the highest rates for uninsured motorists.
Many states have been cracking down on motorists driving without insurance. Several states are implementing electronic insurance verification, which is a third-party company that compares motor vehicle registration information with car insurance company records to determine vehicle drivers that do not have insurance.
What Are the Penalties If You Get Caught Driving Without Insurance?
The penalties you receive for being caught driving without insurance are going to vary depending on the state you live in. However, the penalties might include the following:
- Points on your license
- A fine
- Jail time
- Having your vehicle impounded
- Reinstatement fees and court fees
- The suspension of your license, plates, and/or registration
- Being required to file an SR-22
In a lot of states, there is a “no pay, no play” rule. What this means is that if you do not have insurance and you are injured in an accident that was caused by somebody else you might be limited in the damages that you’ll be able to collect from the responsible party.
What Are the Penalties If You Get Caught Driving Without Insurance in North Carolina?
If you are caught driving without auto insurance in North Carolina this is considered a misdemeanor. This can result in your vehicle registration being suspended for up to 30 days.
If you let your insurance lapse the penalty it’s $50 for your first offense plus a $50 restoration fee. For your second lapse in vehicle insurance, the fee is $100 plus the restoration fee. If you receive a third or subsequent lapse the fee can be up to $150 plus the restoration fee.
In the state of North Carolina, there are certain requirements for your vehicle insurance coverage. These requirements include:
- Bodily injury liability coverage
- Uninsured motorist bodily injury coverage
- Property damage liability coverage
- Uninsured/underinsured motorist property damage
At Amistad Insurance Services, we can help you find the best auto insurance policy for you and your needs.
Driving Uninsured: It’s Simply Not Worth It
Even the most cautious drivers can find themselves in the aftermath of an auto accident. For this reason, it is important to have auto insurance. Without auto insurance, the consequences could be financially devastating.
Even if you do not get into an accident without auto insurance, the penalties for driving uninsured can be costly and can cause you to lose the ability to drive your vehicle for a period of time. Many people rely on their vehicles on a daily basis in order to help them travel to work and perform necessary daily tasks.
Car insurance serves the purpose of protecting you from financial and legal consequences should you be caught driving uninsured or should you get into an accident. Vehicle insurance is important whether or not you are the responsible party in an accident.
Is it time for you to obtain vehicle insurance in North Carolina? If so contact us at Amistad Insurance Services today!