What happens if you have a car accident without car insurance?
- Liability Insurance is required by state law, so driving uninsured is illegal.
- If you’re in a Car accident uninsured, you can face fines, license suspension, and lawsuits.
- Driving uninsured will increase your premiums once you get Car Insurance.
- See Insider’s guide to the best car insurance companies.
Liability car insurance is required by state law. In 2017, 13% of motorists (or 1 in 7 drivers) were uninsured, according to Michael Dietry, assistant vice president of personal line products and services at Dairyland Insurance.
If you drive uninsured and are in a Car accident, in addition to being subject to a lawsuit, you may incur fines, suspension of your driver’s license or Car registration, and increased premiums once you get .
Each state has its own minimum liability insurance requirements. If you have Car Insurance and cause the accident, your Insurance will cover damages to the other vehicle and its driver and passengers. If you don’t have Insurance and cause the accident, the driver and passengers may sue you to recover damages.
However, in “no-fault” states “every driver [has] to file a claim with their own Insurance company after an accident, regardless of who was at fault” according to the Insurance Information Institute. No-fault states include: Florida, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania,Hawaii, Kansas, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Minnesota, North Dakota, Utah, and Puerto Rico.
If someone else causes the accident, some states limit the rights of uninsured motorists to sue.
If you are pulled over or in a traffic accident and do not have Car Insurance, depending on your state, you will be fined, face suspicion of your driver’s license and Car registration, and may be required to get SR-22 Insurance.
Although it is commonly referred to as SR-22 insurance, it is not actually Insurance. SR-22 is a form certification typically required for high-risk drivers that states they’re carrying the minimum Insurance coverage required by law. The car insurance provider files it with the state’s DMV, declaring that the driver has minimum coverage.
Most states require SR-22 certification for three years. Allstate noted that if your Insurance lapses or expires within the three-year time frame, your Car Insurance provider is required to notify the state.
Driving without Insurance will increase your premiums once you get coverage
Even if you have Insurance, having a Car accident can increase your premiums. Being uninsured and in a Car accident means that when you finally get Car Insurance, your premiums will be higher than the average drivers because you will be viewed as high-risk.
How long will accidents impact my driving record?
Every state handles this differently, but typically three years is the average time an accident stays on your driving record. For example, the New York DMV keeps “accidents and most traffic convictions are only displayed until the end of the year in which the accident or conviction occurred, plus 3 additional years.” However, “vehicular homicide may be displayed permanently.”
You should check with your local department of motor vehicles (DMV), because some states have longer times on your driving record if the accident was due to driving under the influence (DUI/DWI), while others don’t.
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