Can you keep a car without insurance?

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Things to remember...
  • Drivers should be informed about the different types of coverages available on their auto insurance policy
  • In most states, auto insurance is mandatory
  • Keeping a car without insurance coverage can lead to increased future insurance premiums and forfeiture of your car registration in some states

Car insurance can be one of the more confusing aspects of driving and car ownership, however, it is still very important.

While you may not find the answers to all of your questions at your fingertips, you can find the best rates on car insurance by using a price comparison calculator online.

This type of tool gives you the opportunity to compare several different car insurance companies, policies, and premiums all in once place.

Use our free comparison tool today to get started!

Mandatory Auto Insurance

Nearly every state in our nation requires drivers to have at least some type of insurance coverage. This is a legal and financial responsibility of every driver on the road.

Having insurance not only protects yourself but also protects the following:

  • Other drivers
  • Pedestrians
  • Bicyclists

Every driver should check with their auto insurance company and their state to be sure they are carrying at least the minimum amount of required auto insurance in their state.

Consequences of No Car Insurance

It may seem like no big deal to try to slide by without auto insurance, especially if you only plan on doing so for a short period of time.

However, even if you ignore the financial hot water it could put you in by potentially having to pay for property damages and bodily injuries.

You will face some major ramifications if you are in an accident or stopped by law enforcement without the proper insurance coverage in your state.

Penalities for no insurance vary by state but usually include:

  • Large fines of $1000 or more
  • Jail time
  • Community service
  • Suspension or revocation of your driver’s license
  • Suspension or revocation of your car registration
  • Court appearances
  • SR22 insurance requirement

Even if you do not cause any property damages or bodily injuries, you will be subjected to these penalties. If you are caught multiple times driving without auto insurance, the penalties will increase.

Types of Auto Insurance


It is important for drivers to understand the different types of coverage available to them. Being knowledgeable about coverage types will help drivers make the best decisions regarding their budget and their car insurance.

If you are intending to keep a car without insurance, this information is also important to know.

Your auto insurance policy actually consists of several different types of policies rolled into one and can include:

– Liability

Liability coverage is usually the minimum amount of coverage required of drivers. Property damage liability covers the cost to repair or replace other people’s property that you have damaged.

Bodily injury liability covers medical bills and funeral expenses related to injuries you have caused.

Drivers should understand that liability coverage only pays for damages they cause to other people; it does not cover damages that they incur in an accident.

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– Uninsured/Underinsured

Even though insurance coverage is required by law in most states, some drivers still choose to ignore the law. If you are the victim of a hit-and-run accident or of a driver who does not have insurance, your own uninsured motorist policy will help cover your costs.

If you have underinsured motorist coverage, your policy will pick up the costs where the other driver’s coverage leaves off.

– Medical Payments/Personal Injury Protection

Your medical bills from an accident can be covered by med pay, also known as PIP coverage. In addition, lost wages and paying for necessarily hired help around the house for cooking, cleaning, or childcare can potentially be covered under med pay.

– Collision

If you are in an accident and have damage to your vehicle, you will need to file a claim under your collision coverage. With this type of coverage, you select your policy limits as well as your deductible.

– Comprehensive

Like collision coverage, comprehensive requires you to choose your deductible and policy limits.

However, it is different in that it covers non-accident losses. For instance, hitting wildlife, theft, vandalism, floods, fires, and natural disasters can all be covered under comprehensive.

Can you keep a car without insurance?


For various reasons, you may be wondering if you can keep a car without having insurance. As previously stated, if you intend on driving the car, you are most likely legally required to get insurance coverage on it in accordance with your state laws.

If you intend to keep your vehicle in storage and not drive it for several months, perhaps due to being in the military, taking an extended vacation, or even going to college, you may be tempted to cancel or not renew your insurance policy.

However, prior to taking this step, you should do some research. Some states, such as Pennsylvania and South Carolina require that you turn over your car registration and license plate if you give up your auto insurance.

How a Lapse in Coverage Can Negatively Impact You

In addition, if you no longer have auto insurance, you will have a gap in your coverage history. When you go to insure the car again or even a different car, you may have difficulty finding an insurance company to underwrite your policy or finding a policy at a rate you can afford.

This is because insurance companies frown upon coverage gaps. There is potential for fraud with gaps in insurance.

For example, you could have had damage to your vehicle during your time with no coverage and then try to file a claim for it once coverage is again in place.

You should discuss your situation and your needs with your auto insurance company prior to making any decisions about keeping your car without insurance.

Many car insurance companies will not offer any types of coverage unless you first purchase liability insurance.

Although some will let you have only a comprehensive policy which would cover damages if your car was in the following situations:

  • In storage
  • Was stolen
  • Vandalized
  • Flooded
  • Had fire damage

Keep in mind that if you plan to drive your vehicle, even only for a few minutes or a couple of blocks, you are legally required to have auto insurance on it.

Drivers are, therefore, required to have auto insurance on cars they are just purchasing before driving off of the dealer’s lot.

Depending on your circumstances, it may seem like a good idea to keep a car without insurance. However, doing so can set you even further back financially.

To save money on your auto insurance policy, search with our online price comparison tool.

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