What Happens if I Get Caught Driving without Insurance?

The Insurance Research Council conducted a survey this year where they found that almost one out of eight drivers don’t have car insurance. Joining this group of people would not be a wise choice and could lead to legal consequences such as imprisonment and massive fines. Furthermore, driving without car insurance can be devastating if a car accident results in injuries or property damage.

When you’re at fault in a car accident, you have to bear financial responsibility for the damages. These damages and repairs can cost you thousands of dollars. An affordable and simple way to pay off financial responsibility is purchasing car insurance.

Most states require their residents to have a minimum amount of car insurance. If you get caught driving without it, you may face charges or penalties.

In this article we’ll discuss the legal and insurance related consequences of driving without insurance.

Legal Consequences

Some legal consequences of driving without car insurance are:

1.      Fines

If the local or state authority catches you driving without insurance, you may have to pay heavy fines. Depending on your state, the fines can range from $100 to $1,500.

2.      License Suspension 

Regulating bodies in various states have the right to suspend your license. In some cases, reinstatement isn’t possible until you purchase car insurance. The suspension can be relentless in some states. For instance, in New York, you may lose your license for more than a year if you had an accident without car insurance.

3.      Vehicle Registration Revocation or Suspension

You may lose your vehicle’s registration until you have proof of insurance. This law is especially applicable in Massachusetts.

4.      Vehicle Impoundment

Authorities may confiscate the vehicle if they notice someone driving without insurance. This has happened in California for instance.

5.      Fees

You’ll have to pay hefty fees and fines if your license is suspended or your car is impounded.

6.      Jail Time

You may end up in jail if you drive without insurance. For instance, if you or someone else drives your car with no insurance in Michigan you can go to jail for up to a year.

Insurance Consequences

Some insurance consequences after a car accident without insurance can result in:

1.      Higher Auto Insurance Rates

Without car insurance, you’ll have a coverage gap. As a result, your insurer will see you as higher risk so you’ll be paying more for your insurance.

2.      Extensive Repair Bills

Getting into a car accident while driving without insurance will put you in a critical situation as you have to bear major expenses. You have to pay for the repair of both vehicles if it’s your fault. Also, if the accident results in a totaled car or you damage someone else’s property such as a fence, you have to pay for it as well.

3.      Medical Expenses

If a car accident results in injury, you’re liable to pay the injured party’s medical expenses. Also, if you fail to pay their medical bills, the victim can sue you. This could put your savings, assets, and home in jeopardy.


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