Owning a car is highly beneficial because you can go to most places with it. However, it’s also a responsibility because it’s a long-term investment. For this reason, taking care of your car is crucial, especially maintenance work. Of course, insurance also matters because it can reduce the risk of theft or accidents and cover most of the costs.
Despite this, many people still take insurance for granted. Driving a car without insurance is a serious offense because the Financial Responsibility Law bars people without sufficient insurance from registering their vehicle. If you get caught, you’ll suffer various consequences, including:
A judge may suspend your driver’s license if you have an insurance violation. You’ll have to pay a fine of $500, and you’ll have to get an SR-22 certificate to show that you have sufficient auto liability limits. Without it, you won’t get your license again.
Aside from the license suspension fine, other fines may apply if caught driving without auto insurance. Penalties are based on your offense and could go up to $5,000.
Vehicle Registration Suspension or Revocation
When you drive without insurance, you violate the Financial Responsibility Law, a legal basis for the authorities to revoke your vehicle’s registration. They may also confiscate your license plates.
Driving without insurance is an offense, which means you can get jail time. The minimum jail time is 90 days, but it can go up to a maximum of 5 years.
How Your Finances Are Affected
Aside from the consequences mentioned above, your finances may be affected in the following ways:
Higher Insurance Rates
When you get caught driving without auto insurance, you essentially state that you’re a higher risk to the insurance company. For this reason, you may have to pay as much as 20% more in insurance rates the following year.
Car Repair Expenses
If you get in an accident without insurance, you may have to pay for repairs on your car on your own. You may need to file for bankruptcy if you can’t afford it.
Conversely, you may have to pay medical expenses out of pocket if you get injured in an accident. This can strain your finances because medical costs can get very high. Beyond that, if someone files an insurance claim for injuries or damage, you may have to spend for medical expenses.
Tips to Avoid Penalties
It’s easy enough to avoid penalties incurred when driving without insurance. These include:
Never Miss Insurance Payments
If you miss paying your insurance premium, you’re automatically considered to be driving without insurance. If you do so when you don’t have the money, you may have to go through a short bankruptcy, which negatively affects your finances because you’ll have to pay for bankruptcy expenses.
Conversely, you should never stop paying for insurance, even if you don’t have the money. This signals to the insurance company that you’re no longer their client and are a higher risk to them. They may increase your premiums after the first year, or they can simply cancel your insurance.
Don’t Cancel Immediately When Changing Insurers
Don’t cancel your current insurance immediately if you plan on changing insurers. Instead, wait for a certain amount of time after your last insurance payment, and you’ll be considered a lapsed policy. This way, your new insurer can get the insurance records from your old insurer, and you can avoid penalties from your old insurer.
Still, you must remember that you are fully responsible for your auto insurance policy. Your current insurer may even report you to the authorities if they find out that you’re driving without insurance.
Don’t Stop Paying for an Unusable Car’s Insurance
If your car suddenly becomes unusable, you may be tempted to cancel your auto insurance. However, your auto insurance will still cover you if you get into an accident, so you need to keep your car insured.
Car insurance is necessary because it’s one of the best ways to protect yourself from automotive-related expenses. However, if you’re caught driving without auto insurance, you’ll have to face penalties. These include a license suspension, vehicle registration suspension, fines, and even jail time. It would be best to get auto insurance to avoid these issues.
If you’re looking for car insurance in Colorado, 5280 Insurance has what you need! You should never skimp on insurance, so we offer different options with affordable rates and reasonable terms. Simply go to our website to get a quote!