June 17, 2009

Driving Without Auto Insurance

If you drive a car in California, you must have auto insurance with no exceptions! California auto insurance is designed to protect all parties involved if you have an accident. It provides for car repairs and medical expenses. Without California auto insurance you could not only be held financially responsible for the medical and repair bills of the drivers you hit, but you may also receive tickets, fines and even have your license suspended for not having a California auto insurance policy.

Living in California is expensive and auto insurance is yet another bill to pay. But if you don’t have it, you’ll end up paying much more in the long run. If you are pulled over for any violation, or even just in a random traffic stop, you can be asked for proof of insurance. Without it, you will probably face a hefty ticket, costing more than auto insurance would have cost you in the first place! Of course, this is the least severe penalty you might entail for failing to get California auto insurance. You can be fined up to $500, have you car impounded, receive a suspension of your driver’s license and face additional fees associated with impounding the vehicle.

If you actually get into an accident without having auto insurance your penalties will be much more severe. While no jail time can be currently assigned for failing to have auto insurance, you can be held responsible for literally thousands of dollars which can drive you into life-changing debt.

Despite these harsh penalties, people still drive without auto insurance, putting themselves and others at risk. In fact, around 14 out of every 100 drivers in the U.S. were driving illegally, without auto insurance, in 2001. This number was the same in years prior. Many states, however, have rates of uninsured drivers that are much higher than the national rate. Those who drive without California auto insurance added up to a shocking 26% in 2001. But what is most shocking about this number is that the uninsured drivers cause the largest number of accidents. In fact, chances are about 1 in 8 that the person that causes your serious car accident is uninsured.

In order to protect yourself and others, getting at least the minimum state required auto insurance is crucial. In fact, you might even find that getting an auto insurance policy is cheaper than you think. It’s certainly cheaper than paying the fees and fines associated with driving uninsured. And because getting an auto insurance quote is free, it’s easier and cheaper than ever to drive legally and insured.