Is it Illegal to Drive Without Car Insurance?

You must have liability car insurance when you register a vehicle in your own name with your state's DMV. Liability insurance, often known as basic car insurance, is the sort of automobile insurance that every driver must have. Having financial responsibility for injuries and damage you cause in a car accident is a necessary and required part of car ownership. That's why it's illegal to drive without car insurance in most of the United States.

What Car Insurance Are You Required to Carry?

In order to drive legally, drivers will need to carry liability car insurance. Let's look at the specific coverage types that are needed. Bodily injury liability covers both the driver you injured and any passengers they have with them. This is referred to as bodily injury per person and bodily injury per accident. Typically, the per accident coverage is greater than the per person coverage. Property damage liability covers damage to another car or property that you cause. By having this car insurance, you are not only satisfying whatever your state's insurance laws are but also protecting yourself from potentially losing thousands of dollars if you are in an accident while uninsured.

Why is Car Insurance so Important to Have?

If the mandate that requires you to carry car insurance isn't convincing, then the amount of money you can lose while driving with no insurance will be. Statistics show that the average claim for injuries from a car accident is around $15,270 and $3,638 for property damage. If you were the driver at fault and uninsured, you would have to cover these expenses out of pocket. Remember, this is just the damage you caused to the other driver; you still have to pay for your own injuries and damage to your car. The driver you injured and caused damage to also has the right to sue you if you don't carry car insurance.

Is There Anywhere Where You Can Drive Without Car Insurance?

Technically, the states of New Hampshire and Virginia don't require car insurance. But that doesn't mean you're off the hook if you cause an accident. Both states require you to cover the damages you cause with or without car insurance. Virginia also charges $500 to drive without standard car insurance. That's why it's best to have car insurance when it isn't necessarily required.

What Are The Penalties For Getting Caught Driving Without Car Insurance in States That Require it?

Aside from the severe financial toll, here is what else awaits you if you drive uninsured in states that require car insurance:

  • Fines - Anywhere from $500 to $1,000.
  • Jail time - Depends on the state where the offense was committed.
  • Driver's license points - Points are added to your driver's license with each traffic violation. Too many points can result in a license suspension.
  • License suspension - You can lose your license and be required to provide proof of car insurance by filing an SR22.
  • Vehicle impoundment - Depends on the state of the offense.
  • Legal and reinstatement fees - There is a fee for filing an SR22 and reinstating your driver's license. Going to traffic court can also have legal fees.

What is an SR22?

When you have multiple traffic convictions or a single major violation, SR22 insurance will likely be needed. An SR22 is required if you have unpaid traffic citations or driving infractions on your record. Both uninsured and drunk driving are reasons for needing an SR-22 insurance policy. An SR22 is a document from your insurance provider to your DMV that shows you have at least the necessary amount of insurance. There's usually a fee for filing an SR22, and it's good for roughly three years before being renewed on an annual basis.

Image Source: Google Images