It’s thought that around 4-5% of drivers in the UK and 10-12% in the U.S, frequently take to the road with no insurance. It’s especially tempting for younger drivers to take this risk as the higher costs of insurance for their age group can seem prohibitive.
Expensive premiums are no excuse though, as the consequences of being involved in an accident with no insurance can be very serious. You and the other driver won’t be able to claim any money and you’ll be in serious legal trouble.
If you’ve been caught driving without insurance, you need legal help .
You Need Insurance
No-one is saying that insurance is cheap, especially for younger drivers, who can end up paying $2,000 a year. However, the costs of driving without it can far outweigh the premiums – fines can be steep – and then you have to consider penalty points and a conviction.
The legal minimum you need when it comes to insurance is third party, which covers the cost of any damage you may do to another driver or their vehicle. It’s the least you can do.
Then there’s third party, fire and theft, and then fully comprehensive which covers pretty much everything that could happen.
If You’re Caught Without…
You’ll probably get a fine if you’re convicted of driving without insurance. The minimum is $500 and your license will be suspended for 45 days. Repeat offenders can get fines of up to $1,000 and license suspension of 1 year.
Your Car May be Impounded or Destroyed
The police have the powers to impound your vehicle until you pay your fine and show that you have the right insurance. If you don’t collect your car within a specified time, they can even crush it.
If the Police Ask You to Prove You’re Insured…
If they ask to see your insurance documents and you don’t have them in your vehicle, they’ll give you seven days to produce the documents at your local police station. The policy must cover the day you were stopped by the police.
More drivers are being apprehended for driving without insurance nowadays as the police have vehicle registration recognition technology that can cross-reference insurance databases. In a nutshell, it’s harder to get away with it.
Involved in an Accident Without Insurance
If you are involved in an accident without insurance you may have your license suspended for up to four years depending where you live. It is possible to get your license back in one year after obtaining valid insurance and paying mandatory fines, court costs, and fees. You will also be required to obtain an SR-22 Proof of Financial Responsibility Certificate and carry a high cost SR-22 insurance policy in addition to your standard auto policy.
Civil Penalties for Causing an Accident Without Insurance
Legal penalties aside, if you are at fault in an accident and lack insurance coverage, you will be required to cover the cost of all damages. This means the damages to property, vehicles, and all medical costs as well as potential pain and suffering damages. You will also be responsible for all damages to public property such as streets, signage, landscaping, and any damage caused to business property.
Many states require drivers to carry uninsured coverage however, in the event you are at fault, this doesn't mean that you are off the hook. The other driver's insurance company will likely come after you to recover their costs.
Driving Without Insurance Can Get You Prosecuted
By now, if you weren’t insured, you’ll be frantically comparing quotes! If you’re in the unfortunate position of having been caught driving without insurance then you’ll be wondering what’s going to happen to you. The good news is that by hiring expert legal help, you may be able to reduce your fine, your points and maybe avoid a ban.