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If you want to legally drive your vehicle in the United States, you are required to carry the state’s minimum auto insurance requirements. The majority of U.S. states have mandatory auto insurance requirements that vary from one state to another.
The only U.S. states that don’t have compulsory auto insurance are New Hampshire and Virginia, and drivers are still required to prove financial responsibility in case of an accident.
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However, not every U.S. citizen is law abiding, and as you’d expect, there’s still a significant portion of the population that drives without car insurance. According to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC), at least one in every eight drivers is not insured. If you get in an accident with an uninsured, or underinsured, driver, you face the prospect of paying for the damage yourself.
Suing the uninsured driver doesn’t guarantee compensation either. Yes, the judge can order the uninsured driver to compensate you but that’s contingent on whether they have the money or any assets in their name. In most cases, people who drive uninsured don’t any money or assets. The best solution is to be proactive and get coverage that protects you from losses arising from such situations.
As a result, it’s recommended that drivers purchase additional coverage on top of their state’s minimum liability requirements to protect themselves from losses arising from such scenarios.
When shopping for auto insurance, compare quotes from multiple providers before making the decision to settle for one. Car insurance companies use different methods to determine risk and calculate premiums, so prices tend to vary. Comparison shopping gives you a chance to get better auto insurance rates.
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Reporting Someone Driving Without Car Insurance
When it comes to reporting an uninsured driver, whether you’re exercising your civic duty as a citizen or you have been involved in an accident with an uninsured driver, you can report them to the police or the state’s department of motor vehicles.
Reporting an uninsured driver to the DMV is the best option because in many cases, the police have better things to do.
Not many law enforcement officers will pursue an insured driver unless they pose an immediate threat to the public.
Instead, report an uninsured driver to the department of motor vehicles representing the state in which the car has been registered (usually indicated on the vehicle’s license plate). States’ DMV offices are responsible handling such cases, and that’s where the action will be taken more swiftly.
Keep in mind that reporting an uninsured driver is not being a ‘snitch,’ it’s simply looking out for yourself and other law abiding drivers.
The representatives at the DMV offices can even allow you access to their resources for a more detailed report. For instance, they may give you access to their database to get more insurance information about the driver of the vehicle in question.
The information on DMV databases is credible and up to date, these databases are updated every few hours. If the DMV official confirms that the driver is currently uninsured, he/she can start to implement further action.
What are the consequences of driving without car insurance?
If you get caught driving without necessary auto insurance coverage or proof that you have met your state’s financial responsibility requirements, the consequences can be calamitous.
But just like states vary in their financial responsibility and auto liability requirements, the penalties for driving without car insurance differ from one state to another. The one constant factor is that driving without car insurance can lead to severe penalties, some of which include:
- Citations and Tickets – Receiving a ticket for driving without insurance may seem like getting off easy, but it can have a serious impact on your auto insurance rates when you finally purchase coverage.
- Suspended License and Registration – You could receive a suspended license, a suspended vehicle registration, or both, depending on where you live and how long you’ve been driving uninsured
- Potential SR-22 Requirements – In some states, you will be asked to file an SR-22 form for driving uninsured. This will certainly impact your car insurance rates and may make it extremely difficult to find affordable coverage.
- Hefty Fines – On top of everything else, you will likely be required to pay some pretty hefty fines for breaking the law.
In addition to all that, getting caught driving without insurance will increase your premiums. In short, don’t drive without car insurance. You may be pulled over for something else only for the police officer to find out that you don’t have insurance. Another driver may even report you, the point is that you will be caught!
As you can see, driving uninsured can have some pricey repercussions. To avoid them, make sure that you have met your states auto insurance requirements.
To be completely safe from uninsured motorists, purchase additional coverage such as uninsured/underinsured motorist protection as well as collision and comprehensive coverage. Comparison shopping is a sure way to find the best deal when buying these auto insurance products.