In the United States, emphasis is given to car insurance. Car insurance ensures that car owners are always liquid enough to cover any cost they may incur in an accident. So what happens when you don’t have car insurance? Is driving without insurance a moving violation?
Yes, it might interest you to know that driving without insurance or proof of financial responsibility is an offense. In the US, the law makes it mandatory for all car owners in all 50 states and Washington DC to have proof of insurance. The failure to have proof of insurance is punishable.
In this article, we will highlight the possible punishments for not having proof of insurance and the steps to obtain car insurance.
The penalty for lack of proof of car insurance is less severe than driving without insurance. However, both are offenses that attract punishment.
The possible punishments for driving without car insurance or proof of insurance include.
If you’re pulled over and found to be driving without proof of insurance, you can be written a ticket. The ticket can attract a fine of up to $500 depending on the state you reside in.
Also, if you’re a repeat offender, you might be docked and hit a hefty fine. Driving without proof of insurance isn’t a severe offense so it doesn’t usually attract more than a fine.
Driving without insurance can attract a license suspension in addition to getting a ticket. The duration of the license suspension depends on the state you reside and it can run from months to up to a year.
Some states only suspend your license if you’re involved in an accident without insurance. In other states, failure to produce proof of insurance 24 hours after a traffic violation can lead to license suspension.
Furthermore, you can reinstate your license, however, this can set you back a couple of hundred dollars. When the reinstatement cost is considered with the other funds, it can add to an amount more or less the premium for an auto insurance policy.
If you get involved in an accident while driving without insurance, the court can order that your car be impounded. You can also be subjected to revocation of driver’s license.
Likewise, In some states, you won’t be able to drive without presenting valid proof of car insurance.
Driving without insurance can attract varying degrees of fines depending on the state you reside. The fines can range from $150 to $5,000 for a first offender.
Getting into an accident without a driver’s license will make you liable to cover the personal injury costs and other damages. In serious accidents, these costs can run into thousands of dollars that can take a significant toll on your finances.
Driving without insurance is a misdemeanor in several US states and it can attract a jail term of up to 1 month in prison.
However, an offender is not likely to serve a jail term except if such an offender is a repeat offender. First offenders might serve a jail term in a situation where they cause a serious accident.
Below is a list of states and the fine for driving without insurance.
|Alabama Arizona Arkansas||$500 $500-$1000 $50 -$250|
|California Colorado Connecticut||$100-$200 $500 $100-$1000|
|Idaho Illinois Indiana Iowa||$75-$1000 $500-$1000 $250-$1000 $250|
|Kentucky Kansas||$300-$2500 $500-$1000|
|Maine Maryland Massachusetts Michigan Minnesota Mississippi Missouri Montana||$100-$500 $1000-$2500 $500-$5000 $200-$500 $200-$3000 $1000 $500 $250-$500|
|Nebraska Nevada New Jersey New Mexico New York North Carolina North Dakota||$50 $250-$1000 $300-$5000 $300-$1000 $150-$1500 $50-$150 $150-$5000|
|Ohio Oklahoma Oregon||$160-$660 $250 $130-$1000|
|South Carolina South Dakota||$100-$550 $100-$500|
|Tennessee Texas||$25-$300 $175-$1000|
|Vermont Virginia||$50-$500 $500|
|Washington West Virginia Wisconsin Wyoming||$550-$1000 $200-$5000 $510 $250-$1500|
Car insurance is a necessity and not having one can put you in trouble with the law. These are steps you can follow in getting a car insurance policy.
The first step in getting an insurance cover is to first figure out what type of cover you need. It’s advisable that you get as much cover as possible so you can protect yourself and your car from different perils.
The different types of car insurance covers you can consider are:
- Liability Coverage: this type of car insurance covers all the costs you can incur if you get involved in an accident. Liability coverage is divided into property cost and bodily injury liability.
- Personal Injury Protection: This type of car insurance covers the damages you or your passengers might suffer in an accident. It extends from personal injury, loss of employment, and income, etc.
- Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage: This cover protects you from accidents caused by a driver without insurance or a driver whose insurance policy can’t cover the cost.
- Collision Coverage: with this cover, you will get protection for your vehicle from an accident irrespective of who’s at fault.
- Comprehensive Coverage: This cover protects your car from all kinds of damage that might occur during driving.
Furthermore, every state has a minimum insurance requirement. Hence you should ensure your car insurance policy covers all perils prescribed by your state laws.
After identifying the coverage you need, you can then proceed to fill out the insurance form from the Insurance company.
The information you will need to share includes your birthday, social security number, vehicle information number, your address amongst others.
Before settling for an insurance company, you should compare the policies offered by various companies. This will help you identify the best deal at the best rate.
After comparing insurance companies and choosing the best one for you, you can proceed to pay the premium to kick start the insurance.
After registering, you will receive the proof of car insurance from the insurer, and this is what you show as your proof of your car insurance.
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