Every driver wants to avoid accidents for obvious reasons, but if you’re uninsured, getting into an accident can have consequences that follow you after the collision. Repercussions will vary depending on where you live but driving without insurance is illegal in almost every state. In addition, getting into a crash without insurance will likely affect your future rates once you start applying for coverage again. Learn about the importance of insurance and why you should maintain coverage in case you get into an accident.
If You’re At-Fault
If you’re found partially or completely at fault for an accident, a lack of insurance coverage will complicate the situation. If you’re involved in an accident and deemed at fault, you could be facing one or more of the following consequences:
- Property damage costs: If you lack liability insurance, you’ll be responsible for paying for damages to the other party’s vehicle or property that your insurance would have covered.
- Medical costs: If the other driver, their passengers, or any pedestrians are injured in the accident, you could be responsible for their medical bills.
- Legal fees: The other driver is allowed to sue you for damages if you don’t have enough insurance to cover their losses.
- Fines: Since driving without insurance is generally illegal, you might have to pay a fine if you get caught without it.
- A suspended license: Most states will temporarily suspend your license if you’re caught in a collision without insurance. Your license may be permanently revoked if you have a history of driving without insurance.
- An impounded vehicle: The officer that responds to your accident can have your vehicle towed if you don’t have insurance.
- Jail time: First-time offenders are rarely jailed for driving without insurance, but some states issue jail time to drivers with multiple offenses.
- An SR-22 form: If your license is revoked, some states will require you to obtain SR-22 insurance before you’re allowed back on the road. The SR-22 is a form that proves to the state that you’re legally insured.
If You Live in a No-Fault State
There are multiple no-fault states in America that don’t assign blame to either driver in the event of an accident. However, if you live in one of these states, or if you’re involved in an accident where the other driver is at fault, you can still be penalized for breaking the law by driving without insurance. If police are called to the scene, you’ll usually have to submit proof of insurance to the government. If you don’t have coverage, you could still be facing a license suspension, fines, or an impounded vehicle.
If you’re not at fault but you still lack insurance coverage, some states won’t allow you to sue the at-fault driver. States with “no pay, no play” laws typically prevent uninsured drivers from suing at-fault drivers for damages that can’t be quantified with a dollar amount, including mental and emotional distress. Uninsured motorists in these states might also have to pay a deductible towards repairs before they can legally sue the other party for their losses. In states like Louisiana, this deductible can be as expensive as $25,000.
How Does an Uninsured Accident Affect Future Rates?
In addition to the above fees, your future insurance rates could also be impacted if you have an uninsured accident on your record. Drivers who have crashed without insurance typically pay higher premiums than drivers with equivalent records who were insured during their accidents.
How to Keep Insurance Affordable
Forgoing insurance might help you save money in the short term but getting into a car accident without insurance can affect your future financial health. You can find affordable car insurance by comparing multiple quotes to see which level of coverage suits your budget, and by asking your insurer what discounts are available to you. Depending on your insurer, you might be eligible for a discount if you bundle your policy, own a safe vehicle, maintain a clean record, insure multiple vehicles, own a home, and more.
If you’re looking for affordable coverage, you can get an insurance quote from The General in under two minutes. We have a range of different policies for every driver, including drivers in the high-risk category and drivers with prior violations on their record. Visit our blog to learn more about auto insurance or read positive reviews from happy customers.