Is it legal to drive with no car insurance? If you're asking yourself this question, make sure you keep reading this guide to learn more.
The Insurance Research Council reported in 2019 that almost one in eight drivers didn't have insurance. If you don't have car insurance, it's important to know whether you can hit the road.
So is it legal to drive a car with no car insurance? Are there penalties for doing so, and if there are, what are they?
That's what we're here to look at today. Read on to find out more about whether you can drive without any car insurance.
Is it Legal to Drive With No Car Insurance?
It is illegal to drive with no car insurance in most states. Some states let you self-insure your car. This is when you deposit a surety bond or cash to the state treasury.
This is only available in Alaska, Georgia, Indiana, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Hawaii, Maryland, North Dakota, and Vermont. In all other states, you need car insurance to drive a vehicle.
This means you'll be violating state laws if you can't produce proof of insurance. Some states impose car insurance on drivers, but this is only when someone causes an accident or commits a crime.
Many people feel like they don't need car insurance since they don't drive very often. This is generally a financial mistake. If you do want to get insurance later in life, you'll likely get a higher rate for a lapse in coverage.
Furthermore, cars that aren't driven are still susceptible to accidents. You never know when something might occur, making car insurance that much more valuable.
Can You Drive a Car At All Without Insurance?
These laws may sound extremely restrictive, but states impose these regulations for a reason. In most scenarios, it's illegal to drive a car without insurance, and doing so is a bad idea.
You never know when you might get into an accident. This means you face a hefty bill when something does occur, whether it be auto repair bills or medical expenses.
Some car insurance policies allow other non-insured drivers to drive another person's car through a permissive use clause. This means you can borrow someone's car, but it's still not advised unless you have your own insurance.
Penalties for Driving With No Car Insurance
Now that we've established that most states don't allow drivers to hit the road without insurance, it's important to outline the penalties for doing so. The penalties often vary by state and could yield a variety of results.
If you get pulled over and can't show proof of insurance, it usually results in a fine. These fines range greatly depending on the state in which you're ticketed.
Arizona residents, for example, pay anywhere between $500 and $1,000 for failing to show proof of insurance after getting pulled over. Nevada residents pay as little as $250, but fines go as high as $1,000.
The same ticket usually costs about $100 to $200 for California residents. Texas drivers pay between $175 and $1,000 for driving without insurance.
Depending on the state, it's even cheaper to purchase the minimum liability insurance than to get a ticket for driving without insurance. This incentivizes drivers to get insurance since some coverage is usually better than none.
Penalties for Getting Into an Accident Without Car Insurance
Aside from fines, there are different penalties for not owning car insurance in the U.S. While these vary from state to state, most states allow suspending licenses or towing your car when applicable.
There are different state laws for license suspension as it relates to insurance coverage. That said, most states suspend licenses when someone drives without insurance.
About 44 out of 49 states that require insurance coverage to drive have the right to suspend a driver's license. Keep in mind that a fine will accompany your license suspension in most cases.
Car Towed for No Insurance
The thing about not owning car insurance is that you can be penalized even without actively driving. If you own a car, there's a chance that you'll be penalized for owning a vehicle without insurance.
Some states electronically monitor the status of a car's insurance status. Drivers who have a registered vehicle but don't own any insurance, there's a chance your car will be towed.
Arizona, California, Nevada, and Texas are four of the 22 states that actively monitor a car's insurance status.
For those who are caught driving without insurance, the question of whether your car gets towed is up to the police officer. They reserve the right to tow your car since you're in violation of state law.
What If You Get Into An Accident Without Insurance?
Getting into an accident means covering damages, bills, and other expenses. If you don't have insurance, this could put you in a tough situation.
If you get into an accident and you're most likely at fault, there's a good chance you'll be sued by the victim. It also decreases the chances of getting a fair rate on future car insurance policies.
Those who aren't at fault but don't have car insurance might still be compensated, but there's usually a cap to how much you receive. Some states don't hand out compensation altogether.
The thing with insurance companies is that they'll help you determine fault and negotiate some of the finer financial details. Without an insurance company by your side, negotiations after accidents may not go your way.
Those who are considered high-risk drivers often purchase SR22 insurance to supplement their auto insurance policies. This is a great way to leverage low-cost car insurance to keep yourself safe.
Understanding No Car Insurance Penalties and Legality
If you have no car insurance, you'll generally be looking at higher fines and other penalties. Use this guide to help you understand what the implications of being uninsured are and how that affects your driver status.
Are you looking for affordable SR22 insurance in Arizona, California, Nevada, or Texas? Contact us today and we'll get you started on a solution right away!