In the U.S., a set minimum amount of auto insurance is required by law in forty-nine states.
While New Hampshire does not require mandatory auto insurance, the Division of Motor Vehicles strongly recommends all drivers in the state have standard liability and property damage insurance.
But what happens if you drive without insurance in the forty-nine states in which insurance is compulsory?
What insurance do you need?
The precise mandatory auto insurance differs from state to state, but all of the forty-nine states that require compulsory insurance require drivers to have insurance to cover bodily injury liability and property damage liability.
The former must cover medical costs for injured people in the other vehicle, which is between $10,000 and $50,000 per person and between $20,000 and $100,000 per accident, depending on the state.
The latter covers damage to the other driver’s vehicle and any personal property that becomes damaged due to the accident. Depending on the state, property damage liability ranges between $10,000 and $25,000.
What happens if you are uninsured and have an accident?
On average, a staggering six million people are involved in auto accidents in the U.S. every year. Rear-end crashes are the most frequent type of collision in the country. Head-on collisions and side collisions are also common.
If you are involved in a rear-end collision or another type of road accident, regardless of whether you drive into another vehicle or the vehicle collides into your vehicle, your local injury lawyers will be able to give you expert advice to determine what your rights are under the circumstances of the accident.
You may be able to gain financial compensation to cover things like medical bills and loss of income if you are injured in a road accident.
But what happens if you are involved in an accident and you are not insured? Well, you can face severe consequences.
Your license will likely be suspended and your vehicle will probably be impounded. You will also have to pay a fine as well as costs for any injuries and property damage. Depending on the circumstances, you could even end up in jail for driving without insurance.
What happens if you get pulled over without insurance?
Even though millions of people are involved in auto accidents every year in the U.S. alone, some drivers think they do not need to purchase insurance, even though they know they are breaking the law, because they will never be in a road accident. That is foolish thinking.
Furthermore, drivers do not have to be in an accident for the authorities to spot they are uninsured.
If you get pulled over and you do not have auto insurance, you will face the same serious consequences as mentioned above.
That means you will pay a fine. In some circumstances, you could face jail time. Your driver’s license and registration will probably be suspended and it can be a lengthy and expensive business to have them reinstated.
In some states, the law enforcement officer that pulls you over can impound your vehicle immediately. You would then have additional fees to pay, such as towing costs. You may not be able to get your vehicle back until you can prove you have auto insurance.
Even if you do get auto insurance at that point, your rates will be significantly higher once you have been cited for not having insurance.
So, it makes sense to get auto insurance, as you are legally obliged to do so, from the get-go.