If the police have ever pulled you over, they have likely asked for proof of auto insurance. However, if you didn’t have auto insurance, you might have found yourself in hot water.
Driving without auto insurance is against the law for most drivers in most states. Therefore, getting coverage should be part of every driver’s household budget. If you fail to get auto insurance, you run the risk of facing civil penalties, as well as personal safety risks.
The Penalties of Going without Car Insurance
First, let’s think about auto insurance in a general sense. Your policy means to protect you if you or your vehicle sustain damages in an accident. It can also help you if you compensate someone else who sustained injuries in an accident where you were at-fault. Without insurance, you might have to pay these costs out-of-pocket. That could easily put your finances in a lurch.
You will likely also face many lawful penalties as a result of not carrying coverage. These may include:
- License suspensions of varying periods
- Fines, including fees to reinstate your license
- Jail time for serious or habitual offenders
Increased insurance prices when you attempt to enroll in coverage. Some insurers might even refuse to cover drivers who have a lapse in coverage.
One particular penalty for driving without insurance is the SR-22 certificate. SR-22s are forms that attach to your existing auto insurance policy. They verify for your state’s authorities that you have an active car policy. SR-22s usually stay on your record for a couple of years. Most SR-22 states require insurers to notify them if SR-22 carrier lets their policy lapse. A lapse in an active SR-22 policy will likely trigger further penalties.
So, if you are get an SR-22 penalty, immediately contact your car insurance agent. Your agent can help you make any policy adjustments required to file the SR-22. Keep in mind that some states do not have SR-22 penalties. However, if you move from an SR-22 state to a non-SR-22 state, your SR-22 will likely stay on your driving record.