With the recession still in swing, a lot of people are trying to cut cost wherever they can. For many, driving cannot be cut out – but they decide to stop paying their car insurance. While driving without car insurance can save you money in the short run, it is a big risk which can really hurt you in the future, even if you don’t get into an accident.
In some states, it is legal to drive without car insurance. There is a catch though: you must claim that you are financially capable of taking responsibility for damages. In Ohio, drivers can hit the road without car insurance once they have bought a $30,000 bond from an authorized company or made a deposit of this amount at the state treasury. In some states, you don’t have to prove your financial ability to pay damages, but you will have to pay just for not being insured. For example, South Carolina requires a yearly $550 fee for getting certified a an uninsured driver – and the driver will still be responsible for paying all damages if guilty.
In the worst case scenarios, drivers without car insurance get into serious accidents and have their entire life savings wiped out from the damages. They will also likely face large fines and penalties from the state too.
The threat of getting stuck with massive damages isn’t enough to scare everyone into buying car insurance – even when they are legally obligated to do so. About 5-28% of drivers are uninsured (depending on the state). Many states are taking action to ensure that drivers have car insurance. In California, lapsed car insurance policies go into a database. Those drivers without coverage will not be able to renew their drivers licenses until they get coverage.
Even if you don’t get into an accident, you are still likely to face a hefty fine for driving without insurance. These fines are sometimes more than it would have cost you to insure yourself for the year. The worst part is that the no-insurance violation is going to harshly affect your rate insurance rates in the future. After you get a ticket for driving without insurance, the rates offered to you may be double what they would have been.
If you can’t afford to pay for car insurance, then you should not drive. Period. Instead, look into public transportation options, start biking to work if it feasible where you live, or join a carpool. Before you give up on driving completely because of the car insurance rates, do some comparison shopping. You can buy minimal car insurance while you are financially struggling. Then, as your situation betters, you can increase your coverage to something which better protects you and suits your lifestyle.