Driving without auto insurance could be a big mistake

By Insurance.com Posted : 10/07/2009

In these tough economic times, you may be tempted to skip car insurance coverage. Don't do it. We're all feeling the squeeze, but neglecting required car insurance could be a huge mistake.

Instead, shop around and compare rates of several companies to find cheap auto insurance coverage and discount auto insurance to better fit your budget.

Minimum car insurance laws

All states have minimum car insurance laws. You might think you can get away without having insurance if you can just avoid accidents, but you can't be sure.

Driving without car insurance is a crime in most states. Most states also have laws requiring you to show proof of insurance whenever it's asked for. Often this includes random checkpoints that will catch you whether you've done something wrong or not.

Many states even have surprise car insurance inspections. In these, you have to mail in proof of insurance showing you were covered on the day they sent the letter. Once you're caught without insurance, it's too late.

Penalties for driving without car insurance

Penalties for failing to maintain car insurance can range from a fine, to a suspended license, to jail time. If you're caught, your car or license plates could be impounded until you can pay the fine. Then, you have to pay another fee to reinstate your registration. It's possible that all of these penalties could happen at once.

If you're in an accident, there could be strict penalties imposed on you when you try to drive later. In addition to the problems described earlier, you'll probably have to continuously maintain a bond or other proof of car insurance. If this bond expires or is canceled, you'll be subject to penalties again. States such as Ohio require you to keep this bond on file with an Ohio insurance company - even if you move out of state.

It's possible to avoid these strict penalties and large fines - many insurance companies make it easier to afford a policy by offering discount auto insurance for safe drivers, good students, drivers with multiple policies and more. You'll get the affordable car insurance you need (and that is required by law) and avoid the hefty fines.

Finding affordable car insurance

Also, keep in mind that car insurance is there to protect you. If you get in a car accident and cause damage to someone or their property, you'll have to pay whatever your car insurance doesn't cover. You can either pay a little now or a lot later.

If you think car insurance is expensive now, just try getting affordable car insurance after being caught without insurance. You'll be in a new high-risk category, and you'll be expected to pay a lot even though you're not a bad driver. Rates are on the rise around the nation, but car insurance is not optional. It's illegal to drive without car insurance in most states, and it won't save you money.

Get cheap auto insurance 

If you're having trouble figuring out how to get affordable car insurance that better fits your financial situation, you can get a free online car insurance quote from Insurance.com. Or call one of our licensed agents who can help you figure out how to purchase discount auto insurance.

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