Driving is such an important thing that it has become a part of our daily routine. From commuting to work to taking a day off and driving around the countryside to relax, cars have become indispensable to us. But just like a car needs gas to move (or electricity for that matter), you need proper vehicle insurance.
Yet there are over 32 million drivers in the US who are uninsured and a lot more than that who are underinsured. So what are the penalties for driving a car without vehicle insurance? This article will detail all the legal penalties and the financial issues you could face if you are driving a car without the necessary auto insurance policies.
Driving Without Liability Coverage
Liability coverage is one of the most important auto insurance policies you need to have to drive a car. Except for the states of Virginia and New Hampshire, you need to have a liability coverage policy with a coverage limit over the state-mandated minimum coverage limit to legally drive a car. But why is it required by the law to have a liability policy?
For any road accident that you cause, you are liable to pay for the repairs of the damages and medical treatments for the injuries of the other driver involved. But what if you do not have the money to pay for it? This is where liability coverage comes in.
Your liability coverage can be claimed by the other driver in an accident that’s your fault. Your liability coverage will pay for all the medical treatments of the people involved in the accident and repairs of the car. But what happens if you don’t have one?
If you are just caught driving a car without a liability policy, you will be fined. The severity of the fine could range from anywhere between $500 to a staggering $5,000. In states like Hawaii, Massachusetts, etc getting a thousand dollars fine for driving without liability coverage is not uncommon.
But getting caught and fined $5,000 for driving without liability coverage is nothing compared to what would happen if you get in a car accident without a liability coverage policy.
The other driver involved in the accident will sue you if you do not have a liability coverage policy. You’ll have to pay for the medical treatments and car repairs along with other legal fees. But here’s the shocker; what would be the average cost of a car accident when no injuries have occurred?
The average cost of an accident with no injuries can go as high as $10,000. Accidents with injuries can cost $50,000. Accidents with serious, permanent injuries would cost you around $500,000, and death could cost you over a million dollars. Still, think driving around without liability coverage is fine?
The most common reason why people skip liability coverage is that it can be expensive. But if you look for the right insurance available in your state, you can find great liability coverage options. For example, if you live in Texas, look for the best cheap car insurance in Texas and find the auto insurance company that suits your needs the best.
Driving Without Collision Coverage
Collision coverage covers the cost of repairs for damages sustained due to any collision accident of your car. It is optional coverage and costs almost as much as liability coverage. This is one of the reasons why people skip the collision damage waiver policy.
While there are no legal issues with driving a car without collision coverage, there could be some financial issues. If you get in a car accident, the liability coverage is for the other driver. Who’s going to pay for your car’s repairs? On average, basic car repairs cost around $2,000. But serious accidents can cost more than that.
What if your car gets totaled? If you have collision coverage, the policy would reimburse you by paying the actual cash value of the car. If you don’t have collision coverage, good luck selling your totaled car to a scrapyard.
Comprehensive coverage covers damages due to natural disasters such as fires, earthquakes, floods, hailstorms, etc. It also covers projectile damage, animal damage, theft, vandalism, riots, etc. If you live in an area where the rate of car theft is high or park your car outside, then comprehensive coverage can save you a lot of money.
This policy will also reimburse you if your car gets stolen, or damaged due to any reason mentioned above. Without this policy, make sure you keep your car in a locked, covered, and safe garage because if anything happens to it, you’re on your own.
Personal Injury Protection Plan
A personal injury protection plan is necessary for 12 states. It is optional in other states, but one of the most important auto insurance policies. This policy will cover the cost of medical treatments required due to a car accident. Do we need to say how expensive medical treatment in this country is?
An average ambulance ride can cost you a thousand dollars. And if you get hospitalized, then your medical bills will cross $60,000 easily. Personal injury protection will save you from a financial accident if you get in a car accident. It also covers any lost wages during the medical treatment.
Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage
If you get in a car accident and the other driver is uninsured or underinsured, who will pay for the various costs of the accident? You can and should sue the driver, but that’s a long process and takes time.
This is why you need to have uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage. This policy will pay for the medical treatments and repairs if the other driver is either uninsured or underinsured.