First things first, driving without insurance is illegal in forty-eight states. This should be enough of a requirement for you to seek out insurance coverage, but if it is not, here are more reasons as to why you should.
Additionally, whenever you are in an accident, you should contact local law enforcement. Even if you are involved in a minor accident, you should wait at the scene until the police arrive and can make a report of the situation. Always make sure you catalog the scene, your injuries, and the injuries of the other driver and their potential passengers. Seek whatever medical assistance necessary as soon after the accident as you can. And, finally, if there are any witnesses to the incident, make sure the police get the witness’ accounts, and you should also get their information and accounts as a precaution.
While most states require a driver to have car insurance, it is not unheard of for drivers to be on the road without it. Only two of the fifty states do not explicitly require car insurance, so chances are your state will have consequences if you are driving a car without insurance. Virginia and New Hampshire, however, do not require car insurance and, instead, allow you to be self-insured. Virginia requires uninsured drivers to pay $500 annually to make up for their lack of insurance. In the case of New Hampshire, you need to satisfy other minimum coverage requirement to appease the lack of car insurance. The Insurance Information Institute has found that around 16.6% of drivers in California are uninsured, as compared to the national average of 12.6%.
Depending on which state you live in, you will face different penalties for driving without insurance. Some of these consequences may include, but are not limited to, a hefty ticket, potential license suspension, and more costly damages owed in case of an accident, even if you are not found to be at fault for the accident. As technology advances, more and more states will be able to electronically monitor your insurance, you lack thereof. There are currently 22 states that will track as to whether or not you and/or your vehicle are insured.
In California, first-time offenders are liable for a fine typically between $100-$200, but they are also responsible for paying penalty assessment fees, which can be up to triple the initial fine amount. Moreover, you run the risk of your vehicle being impounded, which is an another additional cost for towing and storage on top of the original fine. The more offenses you have, the more you will have to pay. In the event of an accident,
your inability to show proof of insurance will lead to these costs, plus your license being suspended for one year, and the costs of damages resulting from the accident itself.
Compared to how quickly and drastically costs can compound when driving without insurance, it makes sense to seek out the insurance coverage that works for you. The average cost for car insurance is $2,115 per year in California. While this number might seem large, the alternative costs would be much more drastic.
For your own protection, and the safety of those around you, you should always drive safe and with caution, whether or not you have insurance. However, it is in your own best interest to ensure that you are insured when you get behind the wheel of any vehicle.