Why Not to Drive Without Auto Insurance
In almost every state, it’s illegal to operate a vehicle without insurance. Those caught driving uninsured face fines, license suspension and possible jail time — even if they didn’t cause an accident.
Many drivers don’t know just how much of a risk they’re taking by not carrying car insurance. Whether it’s because they don’t think they can afford to pay for coverage or that they believe their car isn’t worth the investment, driving uninsured puts them at risk of financial disaster in the event of an accident.
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Drivers in states like New Hampshire can legally drive a vehicle without insurance, though they must prove financial responsibility by purchasing surety bonds or making cash deposits to the Department of Motor Vehicles. These options are costly and don’t cover all the costs of an accident.
You should also be aware that if you get into an accident with someone who has no car insurance, your own insurance company may not be able to help. You could end up liable for the other driver’s medical bills, repair costs and property damage.
The consequences of driving without insurance vary by state, but most come with expensive fines and a suspension of your license or registration. In addition, your vehicle may be towed to an impound lot, which can cost hundreds of dollars or more.
It’s a good idea to shop around for car insurance. Getting a quote from at least three insurers can help you compare rates and determine which one is best for your needs.
Changing your credit score might also help you get a lower rate on your policy. Most states use your credit score when pricing your auto insurance, so improving your score could save you money in the long run.
Other ways to reduce the potential consequences of driving without insurance include obtaining additional safety features for your car and avoiding driving in hazardous weather conditions. Those who live in areas with severe winters, for example, should consider buying snow tires or using a snow plow.
If you can’t afford insurance, find out if your state offers low-income programs. In some cases, these programs provide free or discounted auto insurance for people who don’t have the means to purchase it otherwise.
It’s worth looking into, too, because it could save you money in the long run and prevent you from being cited for driving without insurance. Some companies, such as Geico and USAA, offer auto insurance to people who are charged with driving without insurance or have a record of driving violations.
Your state’s minimum insurance requirement is often higher than what you’ll actually need. Check with an insurance company that services your state to find out what the law is.
It’s better to have too much than not enough. While it’s a pain to have to pay extra money for extra coverage, it’s cheaper to do so than to be responsible for an accident that results in thousands of dollars in property damage and injury.