The Real Risk of Driving Without Car Insurance
Driving without car insurance is a bigger risk than you might think. Here’s why you should invest in an auto policy that’ll have you covered.
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Have you decided to let your auto insurance lapse, thinking if you drive carefully nothing will happen? Better think again.
Let’s face it, nobody likes paying for insurance, but it’s a fact of life. Unfortunately, when times are tough, many people opt to forego their insurance payment. In fact, a study found 82% of uninsured drivers didn’t have coverage due to financial constraints.
The reality of the situation is, you’re shooting yourself in the foot by not carrying the minimum coverage required by the state. If caught, things will become very complicated and expensive.
Let’s go over the primary reasons why driving without car insurance is a huge mistake.
Depending on the state you live in, you may lose your license temporarily if found driving with no car insurance. In Ohio, the rules are pretty strict.
If you’re stopped for a traffic violation and can’t show proof of insurance, you’ll receive a ticket. You’ll then have the opportunity to provide proof, either in court or by sending it through the mail.
However, if you fail to secure auto insurance, you risk losing your license until you get coverage and pay the appropriate fines. It’s important to understand that driving without insurance coverage is a crime. The length of suspension depends on whether you’re a first-time or repeat offender.
If you’re a first-time offender, you can lose your license until you meet all insurance requirements and pay all fines. For a second offense, you face losing your license for an entire year. A third insurance offense could result in a loss of driving privileges for two years.
Losing your license can lead to serious hardships. If the court doesn’t grant you limited driving privileges, getting to and from work or running simple errands will become challenging.
Your Car May Get Towed
In Ohio and many other states, police officers can monitor whether a driver has the correct coverage. They can then pull over uninsured drivers that get flagged in their computers.
If an officer has pulled you over and you don’t have coverage, they have the power to tow your car. Keep in mind this is totally up to the officer’s discretion.
If you’ve received previous tickets for uninsured driving, this increases your chances of getting towed. In addition, some police officers are stricter than others and make it a point to come down hard on uninsured drivers.
Having your vehicle towed is a huge inconvenience. In addition to fines associated with the traffic stop, you’ll have to pay impound fees. Not to mention you’ll need to find alternative transportation until the issue gets resolved and you have your car back.
You can avoid all these headaches by maintaining the minimum amount of coverage required by the state. You’ll wish you had when you’re watching your car getting towed away.
Many people think driving a car with no insurance will only result in small fines. This isn’t the case.
Like the rules for license suspension, fines for uninsured driving go up for multiple offenses. Each state has its own rates. Ohio’s are pretty steep.
If it’s your first uninsured driving offense, you’ll have to pay a $160 reinstatement fee. Your license will remain invalid until you pay this.
For your second offense, the fee goes up to $360. This is a huge increase, and you’ll have to pay it to get your license back.
On your third offense, the fine is $660. This is equal to a huge chunk of the yearly premium for auto coverage. Doesn’t it make more sense to maintain insurance and avoid these expenses?
In addition to the fines, you may have to take on additional costs such as public transportation in order to get around until your license gets reinstated.
Repercussions After an Accident
So far we’ve discussed the penalties associated with getting a ticket for lack of auto insurance. However, if you’re involved in an accident, the situation is much more serious.
Auto insurance protects you if you’re at fault during an accident. Your coverage pays for damages to the other party’s vehicle along with bills related to injuries. This is why each state requires drivers to carry a minimum amount of coverage.
However, if you don’t have insurance and cause an accident, the other driver can sue you for damages and injuries. Depending on the severity of the accident, you could end up having to pay thousands of dollars.
In addition to the financial obligations resulting from a court case, you’re also subject to other repercussions. This will add more stress to an already complicated situation.
There’s a chance the court may apply a suspension of up to two years or until you’ve paid the judgment to the other party. This is usually the case if an injury occurred as a result of the accident.
Your Responsibility Towards Other Drivers
In addition to your legal obligation to carry auto insurance, you also have a social responsibility. Every driver on the road is at risk when they step into their vehicle. Auto insurance laws are in place to protect you and everyone else.
The last thing you want to do is cause unnecessary financial or physical hardship to another driver. This is why it’s important to carry the minimum amount of coverage required. If an accident occurs, you’ll have peace of mind knowing the other party is taken care of.
If you’re worried about your own protection, look into purchasing full coverage insurance. This will help pay for damages even if you’re at fault during an accident. It will also help you out if the other driver isn’t insured.
Driving Without Car Insurance: Don’t Even Think About It
Auto insurance is legally required for a reason. Even if you’re trying to cut corners, it’s important to allocate money to pay your monthly premiums. Failing to do so could get you in a lot of trouble.
If you’ve been thinking about driving without car insurance, keep the points discussed above in mind. Getting caught will most definitely result in hefty fines and suspensions.
If you’re ready to find an auto policy that fits your needs, we can help. Contact us today to discuss your options.