How Much You'll Have to Pay if You Don't Have Car Insurance

Some of the penalties from getting caught driving without insurance include heavy fines, increased car insurance premiums, and even jail time.
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The average costs after a car accident run about $1,410,000 for a death, $78,900 for an injury, and $8,900 in property damage, according to the National Safety Council. And if you find yourself a part of the one in eight people who are uninsured — about 12% of drivers — expect to pay these costs out of pocket. In addition to paying thousands or even millions of dollars in damages, failing to acquire the proper insurance coverage for your car also results in higher premiums, the loss of your license, and possible jail time.
What exactly can you expect to pay if you get caught without car insurance?

Part 1 of 3: The financial cost of driving without car insurance

Monetary costs for getting caught driving without insurance range from dollar fines to increased insurance premiums to jail time. If you get caught driving uninsured, expect to pay anywhere from $90 to $500 for the first offense, depending on the state you live in. You can also expect to have to perform community service as a part of your punishment.
For second or third offenses, the fine increases to as much as $1,000, and you might even get some jail time. In addition, when caught driving without insurance, some law enforcement agencies impound your car, where it sits in the impound yard until you can prove you have insurance on the vehicle. Meanwhile, the car racks up impound fees and the impound lot can even auction it off if it sits there long enough.

Part 2 of 3: The penalties for driving without car insurance

Other penalties associated with getting caught driving without car insurance include a suspended driver’s license or vehicle registration, a ticket, and even the requirement for you to file an SR-22. An SR-22 drastically raises your car insurance premiums as it places you in a high-risk category and stays on your record for at least three years.
Just as most state DMVs require you to file an SR-22 when you get a DUI, they also impose this requirement on drivers who have an accident while driving without insurance. Known as a Certificate of Financial Responsibility, the SR-22 verifies that you plan on maintaining the minimum car insurance coverage as required by the state where you file it. Even if you move to a state that requires less liability coverage, you must maintain the amount from the state where the SR-22 was issued until it comes off of your driving record.

Part 3 of 3: How much car insurance do you need?

Unless you borrow money from a lender to buy a car, then most often you only need the appropriate amount of liability coverage. Drivers only need to get other insurance types, such as comprehensive and collision, if they owe on the vehicle. The amount of liability insurance required depends on the state you live in. The following information from ValuePenguin shows the minimum amount of liability that each state requires drivers to have:
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Coverage Requirements By State
State Body Injury Liability Per Person / Bodily Injury Liability Per Accident / Property Damage Coverage Requirements
Alabama $25,000 / 50,000 / 25,000
Alaska $50,000 / 100,000 / 25,000
Arizona $15,000 / 30,000 / 10,000
Arkansas $25,000 / 50,000 / 25,000
California $15,000 / 30,000 / 5,000
Colorado $25,000 / 40,000 / 10,000
Connecticut $20,000 / 40,000 / 10,000
Delaware $15,000 / 30,000 / 10,000
District of Columbia $25,000 / 50,000 / 10,000
Florida $10,000 / 20,000 / 10,000
Georgia $25,000 / 50,000 / 25,000
Hawaii $20,000 / 40,000 / 10,000
Idaho $25,000 / 50,000 / 15,000
Illinois $20,000 / 40,000 / 15,000
Indiana $25,000 / 50,000 / 10,000
Iowa $20,000 / 40,000 / 15,000
Kansas $25,000 / 50,000 / 10,000
Kentucky $25,000 / 50,000 / 10,000
Louisiana $15,000 / 30,000 / 25,000
Maine $15,000 / 30,000 / 10,000
Maryland $30,000 / 60,000 / 15,000
Massachusetts $30,000 / 60,000 / 15,000
Michigan $20,000 / 40,000 / 10,000
Minnesota $20,000 / 40,000 / 10,000
Mississippi $25,000 / 50,000 / 25,000
Missouri $25,000 / 50,000 / 10,000
Montana $25,000 / 50,000 / 10,000
Nebraska $25,000 / 50,000 / 25,000
Nevada $15,000 / 30,000 / 5,000
New Hampshire $25,000 / 50,000 / 25,000
New Jersey $15,000 / 30,000 / 5,000
New Mexico $25,000 / 50,000 / 10,000
New York $25,000 / 50,000 / 10,000
North Carolina $30,000 / 60,000 / 25,000
North Dakota $25,000 / 50,000 / 25,000
Ohio $12,500 / 25,000 / 7,500
Oklahoma $25,000 / 50,000 / 25,000
Oregon $25,000 / 50,000 / 20,000
Pennsylvania $15,000 / 30,000 / 5,000
Rhode Island $25,000 / 50,000 / 25,000
South Carolina $25,000 / 50,000 / 25,000
South Dakota $25,000 / 50,000 / 25,000
Tennessee $25,000 / 50,000 / 15,000
Texas $30,000 / 60,000 / 25,000
Utah $25,000 / 65,000 / 15,000
Vermont $25,000 / 50,000 / 10,000
Virginia $25,000 / 50,000 / 20,000
Washington $25,000 / 50,000 / 10,000
West Virginia $25,000 / 50,000 / 25,000
Wisconsin $25,000 / 50,000 / 10,000
Wyoming $25,000 / 50,000 / 20,000
The downside of getting caught driving without car insurance includes monetary fines, loss of your vehicle and license, and possible jail time. It’s worth it to find affordable car insurance and avoid the headache of getting caught without it.
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