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for FREE insurance quotes by phone

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or call (855) 977-0861 for free quotes

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Click here to view our interactive map with penalties for each state

Things to remember...
  • Each state has specific penalties for driving uninsured or without proper proof of financial responsibility
  • Fines for driving uninsured range anywhere from $75 to $5,000
  • There are ways to lessen or even have the charges dismissed against you
  • Getting caught driving without insurance could keep you from receiving affordable auto insurance rates in the future

In the United States, every state requires proof of financial responsibility for you to drive a car.

While most states require specific amounts and types of auto insurance coverage, there are three states — Arizona, New Hampshire, and Virginia — that will allow drivers like you to prove financial responsibility in other ways.

Regardless of where you live, each and every state has a minimum amount of required auto insurance.

Even in the three states mentioned above, purchasing your state’s minimum required auto insurance coverage is always a better option than choosing to drive uninsured and incur the full costs of any potential damages or injuries.

In addition to having minimum requirements for auto insurance, each state also has specific penalties for driving uninsured or without proper proof of financial responsibility. Depending on the state, these penalties may include:

  • Points against your driving record
  • Fines and reinstatement fees
  • License and/or registration suspensions
  • Car impoundment
  • Mandatory high-risk auto insurance coverage
  • Mandated community service
  • Jail time

Keep reading to discover the penalties you could receive, should you choose to drive without insurance where you live. Also, read through some of our tips for lessening these consequences.

If you don’t have auto insurance, don’t wait any longer. Enter your ZIP code now to compare quotes from several companies!

Penalties by State for Driving Without Insurance

Penalities for Driving Without Insurance

Click here to view our interactive map with penalties for each state

To offer detailed information on penalties, we’ve created an interactive graphic with potential penalties for every state if you are caught driving uninsured.

It is important to note that we have only included penalties for first and second offenses. Keep in mind that if you are found guilty of more than two offenses, you could face even severer penalties.

Fines for driving uninsured range anywhere from $75 to $5,000, depending on the offense and where you live. The states with the most expensive fines, up to $5,000, are:

  • Massachusettes
  • New Jersey
  • West Virginia

Twelve out of the 50 U.S. states do not penalize you with fines for driving uninsured. These states include:

  • Alaska
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Illinois
  • Indiana
  • Maryland
  • Missouri
  • Nebraska
  • New Hampshire
  • Ohio
  • Pennsylvania
  • Tennessee

Instead of issuing fines for driving without insurance, these states offer punishments that include:

  • Points against your driving record
  • Suspension of your license and/or registration
  • Fees for reinstatement of a license or registration
  • Mandatory SR-22 insurance

In Maryland, anyone caught driving uninsured is required to pay uninsured motorist penalty fees for each lapse of insurance: $150 for the first 30 days and then $7 for each day afterward.

It is also worth noting that if you get caught driving without insurance in Iowa, you can choose to participate in community service instead of paying the associated fees.

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Three Tips on Lessening the Consequences

After reading about the penalties you could face for driving uninsured, you may be wondering what your options are should you ever get caught driving without the proper coverage.

Believe it or not, there are ways to lessen or even have the charges dismissed against you for driving without insurance. However, this possibility will greatly depend on your state’s traffic code, your local law enforcement policies, and your unique situation. We recommend you seek legal advice.

#1 – Highlight Your Circumstances

AdobeStock_89662920-1600x1600Rather than disputing that an offense occurred, you may be able to argue that a specific circumstance existed in your case to excuse or justify the violation.

For instance, in Texas, the traffic code exempts vehicles — that are possessed solely for purposes of repair — from the insurance requirement.

Some states also provide exceptions for vintage cars that are not used for “regular transport.” If your vehicle fits this category, you may be able to lessen your penalties for driving uninsured.

#2 – Be Proactive

AdobeStock_49224633-1600x1600If you are caught driving uninsured, you may receive grace if you seek auto insurance coverage soon after.

Some states reward drivers who respond to a citation by quickly obtaining auto liability coverage. Even if your state does not react this way, it is possible that your local prosecuting office may have adopted this type of policy.

If you can show that you quickly corrected the problem and received the proper coverage, you may be eligible for a dismissal of or a reduction in fines and other penalties, which can lessen the eventual negative impact on your finances and your current and future insurance rates.

#3 – Mention that You Have the Proper Coverage

AdobeStock_40672072-1600x1600If you have always had auto insurance but simply forgot or misplaced your proof of coverage, you may be in luck! Many states and prosecuting offices will dismiss or reduce sentences upon verifying that you did have valid insurance at the time of your citation.

Make the Smart Choice

No matter where you live or what your circumstances are, driving without auto insurance is not a good idea.

Not only can driving uninsured negatively affect you in the present moment with all the possible penalties, but it can also potentially hurt your chances at receiving affordable auto insurance rates in the future.

If you are looking to insure yourself and your vehicle, compare at least three to four policies to find the best and most affordable auto insurance coverage!

To view the dataset, please visit this repository.

Things to remember...
  • Although each state has auto insurance requirements, these requirements can vary
  • When moving from one state to another, it is important to make sure you have switched your insurance to your new state
  • Not having the appropriate coverage types can land you in legal and financial hot water
  • You may find your auto insurance premiums increase when you move for a variety of reasons
  • You can ask about discounts to help decrease your premium

Moving out of state can come with many extraneous tasks, including those affiliated with car ownership.

If you are planning a move out of state, now is the right time to use an online price comparison tool to make sure you are paying the best rates possible on a policy that is right for you and for your financial and driving situation.

Looking for better auto insurance rates before the move? Start comparison shopping today by entering your ZIP code above!

Auto Insurance Laws

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No matter where you live or where you move to, you will likely be legally obligated to secure some type of auto insurance. Auto insurance protects you and others on the road.

Even though laws regarding auto insurance types and limits will vary from one state to the next, you are unlikely to escape this driving responsibility.

Penalties for No Insurance

Driving without insurance is a serious matter. Just like auto insurance requirements are different for each state, so are the consequences for driving without insurance.

However, no matter where you live, if you are caught without the proper insurance coverage, you will likely face all or any of the following penalties:

  • Imprisonment
  • Hefty fines
  • Impoundment of your vehicle
  • Community service
  • Suspension or revocation of your driver’s license
  • Suspension or revocation of your car registration
  • Difficulty obtaining insurance in the feature
  • Mandatory SR22 insurance policy

In addition to these consequences, if you cause damage to other people or their property, you will more than likely be forced to pay out of your own pocket to rectify their costs.

Costs can include medical bills, funeral expenses, lost wages, and repairs or replacements on vehicles.

The other parties involved can sue you in civil court in order to get their bills paid by you. Being sued can potentially lead to wage garnishment and seizure of your assets.

Moving Out of State and Auto Insurance

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Among many other factors that must be attended to when you are planning to move out of state, auto insurance is one of the most often overlooked, yet important ones.

Since auto insurance requirements and coverage plans will not be the same in every state, it is important to start a new insurance policy as soon as you move.

If you currently have auto insurance through a local agent, you will need to contact him or her and let them know of your impending move. An agent should be able to refer you to an agent within the same company in the area where you will be moving.

Your present and new agent should be able to help you cancel your old policy and begin a new one, effective when your move is complete.

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If you have insurance through a national company and not directly through an agent, call them when you have the details about where and when you will be moving. They can set up a new policy to start when you need it to that will be compliant with the auto insurance laws in your new state.

Since you are already considering setting up a new policy, it may also be the perfect time to shop around for car insurance and to learn more about your options.

It is extremely important that you have the appropriate coverage for the state you will be living in. No matter how busy and stressed you are or how long your to-do list is for moving, do not forget this step.

Other Car Related Moving Duties

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In addition to making sure you have car insurance in your new home state, there are other responsibilities you have as a driver.

Most areas require you to get a new driver’s license and switch your vehicle’s license plates and registration within 30 days of establishing residency in the new state.

Asking About Discounts

When moving out of state, you do run the risk of having your premiums increase.

Increased premiums could be due to the different requirements from one state to the next or even that your new state has higher rates of accidents and lawsuits.

Now is a good time to be sure you are getting the most out of any discounts that are available to you. Many times you do need to specifically ask for auto insurance discounts as they are not automatically applied to your account.

Here are some common discounts to ask your car insurance carrier about:

  • Safe driver – If you have a record of good driving or have recently taken a defensive driving course, you may qualify for a significant safe driver discount.
  • Good student – If you have a teenager on your policy that earns good grades, ask your agent or company about a good student discount.
  • College student – Sometimes if you have college students on your policy that attend school out of state or so many miles from home, they can qualify for some type of discount.
  • Veterans – Many auto insurance companies honor veterans by offering them discounts on their auto policies.
  • Professional – If you are a doctor, nurse, police officer, EMS, or another type of first responder or professional that serves the community, your auto insurance carrier may offer you a professional discount.
  • Safe vehicle – If your car has safety features, such as airbags, ABS brakes, cameras for backing up, or a variety of other special safety features, you may be eligible for another discount.
  • Low mileage – If you do not drive very far on a daily or weekly basis to work to school, it may be to your benefit when it comes to your auto insurance premium. This is because you are less of a risk to your auto insurance company with fewer miles driven on the road.
  • Claims free – If you have never made an auto insurance claim or it has been a while since you have filed a claim, it may pay off in the form of a discount on your auto insurance policy. Check with your carrier on their specifics.
  • Multi-vehicle – It can pay to have multiple vehicles on one policy with the same company. Most car insurance companies will give drivers in this situation a decent discount on their premium.
  • Multi-policy – It can also pay off to have multiple insurance policies with the same company as your auto insurance, such as your renters, homeowners, life, or even pet insurance.

Other Ways to Save on Your Auto Insurance Premium

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In addition to asking about discounts, there are other ways you can reduce your auto insurance premium, such as:

– Parking in a Garage

Your auto insurance premium is based mainly on the risk the insurance company takes to insure you. If you park your car in a garage, it is less likely to be vandalized, stolen, or damaged by hail or other weather elements.

You may end up paying a lower premium than people who do not park their vehicle in a garage.

– Working or Going to School Close to Home

Not putting as many miles per year on your vehicle by working or going to school close to home can also help control your auto insurance premium, not to mention how much you pay at the pump.

– Selecting a New Car Based on Insurance Rates

If you are or soon will be shopping for a new vehicle, talk to your insurance company about what types of cars have lower premiums.

Although moving out of state can leave you with lots of things to do in a short amount of time, it is very important to get your auto insurance switched to your new state. Not doing so can lead to serious financial and legal consequences.

One benefit of needing to do switch is that it is a good time to use an online price comparison tool to make sure you are getting the best rate that you can.

Try our FREE online quote tool and start comparing auto insurance rates today! Enter your ZIP code below!

Click here to view the interactive map and here to view the data table.

Driving is a pretty uniform practice across the United States, so most of us don’t think twice before crossing new state lines. However, many states have their own traffic laws that pose legal penalties and physical dangers if not obeyed.

Imagine you’re on the interstate minding your own business just coasting along when you see the dreaded lights in your rear view mirror. Do you have a busted taillight? Did you forget to renew your tags?

Nope. You’re just driving in the left lane.

Though only a few states ban left-lane driving, knowing which states have done so before you travel can save you a lot of hassle and money.

In July 2016, Tennesse enforced a new “slow poke” law. Slow drivers who do not yield to drivers moving faster than them, regardless of the speed limit, will face a misdemeanor charge or $500 fine if caught.

Passing in the Left Lane

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In many states, left lanes can only be used for passing on interstates, and this is only the case if the drivers are actually passing another car moving slower than them and not simply trying to get away from traffic altogether.

The left-lane laws seem to be a trend in the nation’s Southern states, with Indiana and Georgia enforcing their own slow poke laws in 2015 and 2014 respectively.

Left-lane cruisers, as they’re known, will no longer be able to hog the country’s busy motorways and interstates.

For most of us, this is cause for celebration. But if you happen to be one of the “slow pokes,” perhaps it’s time to work on driving the minimum posted speed limit and remember:

Going slower means STAY RIGHT.

The Dangers of Left-Lane Driving

Watch the eye-opening video below to better understand why various versions of “keep right” laws are popping up across our nation.

Many people don’t realize the dangers hanging out in the left lane can cause. Take a couple minutes to learn why slower drivers should stay right, and the left lane should be used for passing and turning only (as much as is safely possible).

Driving just 5 mph slower than everyone else on the highway increases the risk of another driver causing an accident while attempting to pass you.

When left lanes are used only for passing, however, the risk of collision is decreased since drivers can pass multiple cars at once and quickly resume their place on the right-hand side.

This not only makes the motorway a safer place for everyone involved but also decreases the frequency of drops in speed and disrupted traffic flow.

“What if I’m driving the speed limit??”

Perhaps you’re offended at the implication all left-lane drivers are going 10–15 mph below everyone else. In many cases, in fact, a “slow poke” refers to someone who is driving the speed limit.

Studies have found driving the speed limit — when it causes other cars to switch lanes repeatedly — is actually more dangerous than speeding.

“Research has shown that the strongest predictor of an accident is variance from the average speed of traffic.”  – Vox

The “Keep Right” Laws Around You

Although every state has some type of restriction regarding the left lane, these restrictions vary greatly.

Here’s a summary of the various versions of this law in America:

  • 1 state: does not have a keep right law in place (it’s South Dakota)
  • 4 states: require you to stay right with several exceptions
  • 5 states: left lane driving is prohibited if you’re going under the speed limit
  • 5 states: require you to move right if you are blocking traffic
  • 8 states: prohibit left lane travel except for turning and passing
  • 27 states: require you to stay right if you’re driving slower than the cars around you

As you can see, most states have strict laws in place about which lane you drive in. The eight states where it’s illegal to drive in the left lane except for turning left or passing are:

Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and West Virginia. View our compiled notes for links to each state’s exact laws.

What This Means

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It’s your responsibility to understand and obey the driving laws not only in your home state but in any state you will be traveling to or driving through.

Highways and faster speeds always pose a greater risk of collision, but you can protect yourself and those around you by being a safe driver who abides by the law.

Also, make sure that you are fully covered by your auto insurance policy. In the event of a collision, having adequate coverage often makes the difference between speedy recoveries and financial ruin.

Compare rates from local companies today.  The key is that you’re always insured no matter what state you’re in (or what lane).

Things to remember...
  • Car seats are required by the majority of states in order to protect infants and small children in case of a car accident
  • After an accident, if you need to have a car seat replaced, your comprehensive insurance policy may cover the cost of the replacement
  • Even if a car seat does not appear to be damaged in an accident, it is much better to be safe than sorry in having a fully functioning car seat
  • In addition to getting the car seat covered by your insurance company, it is important to make sure that it is also installed correctly so that your child is always safe

If you are transporting a child in your car, it is imperative that you find and install the appropriate car seat. The age and weight of the child determine whether a car seat is necessary for them.

It is recommended that the car seat is placed behind the front seats and facing to the rear.

There are different laws in each state mandating the use of a car seat for children of certain ages and weights as well as the use of a safety belt. If you are involved in an accident with a car seat in your car, you should have the car seat replaced before using it.

Enter your zip code above to compare car insurance rates from multiple companies at once!

State Laws Mandating the Use of Car Seats for Infants and Small Children

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According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), if your child is 12 years old or younger, he or she should be riding in the back seat of the car and with a properly fastened seat belt.

For children under the age of two years, almost every state has a law requiring them to be in a car seat.

When your child has outgrown his or her car seat, they are required to transition to a booster seat in every state except for Florida and South Dakota until they have grown enough to use an adult seat belt. The requirements vary by state according to the age and weight of your child.

Even if you are waiting for your car insurance company to cover the cost of a replacement car seat, it is important to have a replacement seat installed in the meantime.

It is unsafe to drive with your infant or small child in the car with you even for a short distance if your child is not in the appropriate car seat.

Besides the obvious safety concerns, you could also get an expensive and frustrating ticket from a police officer for not having the required child safety car seat in your car.

The state fines for child car seat offenses increase with each additional offense.

Recovering for the Cost of Replacing a Car Seat After an Accident

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If the other driver was at fault for the crash, then you file a claim through their insurance policy to include the cost of having your car seat replaced. Make sure to keep copies of all receipts documenting the cost of replacing the car seat when you file your claim.

If you are in one of the 12 states in the country with a no-fault car insurance system, then your own insurance company would be responsible for replacing the car seat.

Some states, such as Illinois, even require the car insurance company to accept responsibility for replacing the cost of a car seat after an accident.

If your car insurance company seems reluctant to cover the cost of a replacement car seat, you can always show them a copy of the manual for your car seat, which will almost certainly advise that a car seat cannot be used again after a car crash.

For some insurance companies, they will only cover the cost of replacing a car seat if it was actually occupied by a child passenger at the time of the accident. This will vary by different insurance companies.

You are not necessarily obligated to get the exact same model that you had before after a car crash. For example, you may want to purchase another size if your child was about to outgrow his current car seat.

Just make sure that you keep all receipts and documents related to your expenses after a car crash in case you have any problems with getting reimbursed for the replacement.

If your insurance company gives you a problem with reimbursing the cost of your car seat after an accident, then this may be a sign that you should find another insurer.

This is where the quality of service is just as important as the low price you pay for car insurance.

It is easy to obtain quotes online from different companies, and you should consult friends and families about their experiences in filing a claim through their car insurance companies for further research.

The Final Word on Auto Insurance Coverage for Car Seats

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It is against the law in the majority of states to transport a child in your car without the proper car seat. If your car is involved in an accident, it is probably a good idea to have the car seat replaced regardless of whether you can specifically identify any damage to it.

If you have comprehensive car insurance, you can probably have the cost of replacing the car seat reimbursed under your policy. The other driver’s insurance company will cover the cost of replacing your car seat if the other driver caused the car accident.

Make sure that when you install the new car seat, you are following all safety instructions from the manufacturer.

Be sure to enter your zip code below now to find car insurance rates that work with your budget!

Here's what you need to know...
  • Uber is a ridesharing service
  • Drivers for these services use their personal vehicles to shuttle passengers from one location to another
  • While the service operates similar to a taxi, the insurance risk is different
  • Some of these rideshare services may provide primary auto insurance to their drivers
  • However, there are coverage options that may not be available through these services

Uber is an excellent way to use your personal car to make some extra money or even function as a full-time job.

As services like Uber become more popular, concerns around the insurance risks faced by drivers have come up countless times.

If you are considering driving for Uber, it’s important to determine what kind of insurance coverage you may need.

Enter your zip code above to compare car insurance rates from multiple companies today!

What is Uber?

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Uber is a transportation network company, or more commonly known as a ridesharing service. Services like this are normally operated by a driver using their personal vehicle, and passengers request the service through a mobile application or website.

One of the biggest things that make this service different than a traditional taxi service is the use of personal vehicles rather than company-owned vehicles.

In addition to the use of personal vehicles, the requirements at the state and local levels are much different for ridesharing services. Taxi services, for instance, require licensing, vehicle inspections, and liability insurance that protects the passengers.

Ridesharing services such as Uber do not fall within these same requirements, meaning they may not offer the same protections to passengers or third parties.

Do services like Uber provide insurance coverage?

Services like Uber often provide primary insurance to drivers, but these amounts of coverage may not fully protect drivers from physical damages or liability incidents.

In addition to physical damages or liability incidents, services like Uber usually do not provide coverage for uninsured or underinsured drivers.

This means that being involved in an accident with one of these drivers could leave you paying out of pocket for damages or injuries.

When you begin driving for a service like Uber, it’s important to start asking questions about the coverage options available to you, as well as any coverage that is your responsibility. Also, ask them about the claim process and whether their insurance would act as the primary coverage.

Understanding in which situations your coverage will protect you will help as you shop around for insurance that meets your needs.

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Will your personal auto policy provide coverage while driving for Uber?

While some rideshare companies may require personal auto insurance to drive for them, there is still confusion surrounding the coverage that your personal policy provides and the coverage that a commercial policy provides.

Insurance providers and legislators have recognized that there is a lack of understanding regarding this coverage gap and are actively working to define what is legally required to drive for ridesharing services like Uber.

Although they are working towards a solution, some insurance providers are hesitant to provider coverage until they fully understand the exposure risk services like Uber introduce.

How do you protect yourself from liability risks?

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One of the most important things to do is to protect yourself from liability or property damage incidents.

When you begin driving for a service like Uber, it’s important to talk to any potential insurance provider about the coverage options available.

As ridesharing services have grown in popularity, some insurance providers offer specialty coverage designed for the unique exposure risks a rideshare driver is exposed to.

In addition to purchasing coverage designed for services like Uber, legislation is beginning to come into play to help regulate these types of companies.

In some states, it is required that proof of insurance is visible anytime a driver is operating the ridesharing application. Also, it may be required to report to your insurance provider that you were working as a rideshare driver if you are involved in an accident.

Risks of Ridesharing

Ridesharing services like Uber are a heavily relied on service in many areas, which means drivers for these companies need to understand the risks they’re taking on. These risks include low insurance limits, the risk to their personal vehicle, and risk to their passengers or a third party.

Lawmakers are still working out how these ridesharing services will be required to operate in many regards, including insurance requirements.

While every state has different insurance regulations already in place, this makes defining how services like Uber operate even more difficult. If you have questions about how your coverage works as an Uber driver, contact your insurance provider or your state’s Department or Insurance.

If you are searching for car insurance coverage, enter your zip code below to compare rates from top companies today!

Here's what you need to know...
  • Car insurance saves you from legal actions and loss
  • The coverage also provides peace of mind when you are driving
  • Auto insurance protects your property and makes it easier to replace or repair damages

Car insurance, or proof of financial responsibility, is required in every state in the U.S.

There are major reasons why most states require car insurance. In order for you to understand just how vital auto insurance coverage is, read the article below.

Then, enter your zip code above for car insurance quotes from top companies in your area!

Advantages of Car Insurance

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The advantages of having auto insurance far outweigh the disadvantages when you think about the potential loss of property due to an accident.

Here are some of the advantages of having car insurance:

  • It reduces the number of lawsuits By carrying insurance, you protected from accidents, regardless of whether they are considered your fault
  • It gives you peace of mind If you do not have insurance, you would have to use your own money to get your car fixed after an accident
  • It ensures reliable transportation Many insurance policies offer additional car rental insurance as an option

It’s the Law

Gavel On a Legal Text

Carrying the state minimums on auto insurance is the law.

If you are in an accident and were carrying no liability and personal injury insurance, you could be looking at court fines in addition to civil liabilities if someone is injured or killed.

In some cases, failing to have insurance and then being involved in a serious accident could result in felony charges being brought against you, especially if DUI is involved or any sort of reckless or distracted driving.

Most of this will depend on the extent of injuries. A negligent homicide charge is the most serious and is considered third-degree murder.

You are required to have proof of insurance in your car at all times.

If you are stopped by a police officer during a routine traffic check without being able to provide insurance coverage papers, you could be fined anywhere from $400 to $1000.

Check the regulations for your particular state to find out how that applies to you.

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What to Look for When Comparing Policies

When you are shopping for car insurance, there are some important aspects that you should look for to ensure that you get what you need.

Many auto insurance carriers have all of these, but some have none or only some of them, so you should consider carefully before purchasing:

  • Uninsured Motorist Coverage This type of coverage is designed to cover anything the driver does not carry with his insurance if they are ruled at fault in an accident
  • Underinsured Motorist Coverage Underinsured motorist coverage is intended to cover damages or injuries that you receive from a motorist who does not have adequate coverage
  • Accidental death rider  Some insurance providers allow for an extra accidental death benefit in the event of an accident in which you or others in your car are killed
  • Medical Expenses Coverage This type of coverage covers any medical expenses and loss incurred due to the accident in which you are involved
  • Motorcycle coverage If you ride a motorcycle, it would be wise to purchase motorcycle coverage as well. Remember that auto insurance itself does not cover motorcycle accidents
  • Car rental Car rental insurance covers the cost of car rentals that you use while your vehicle is being repaired

These are a few of the options that you will encounter when shopping for car insurance.

Whether or not you select these extra options and riders is totally up to you.

You will just have to consider whether your risk is significant enough to justify the cost you would spend on monthly premiums when you choose any or all of these options.

The Ultimate Question

When shopping for car insurance, the ultimate question you need to be able to answer is how much coverage you actually need.

Start with the state minimum requirement for auto insurance, and then consider whether adding more coverage to your policy would be a good choice.

You always have to balance this with how much insurance you can actually afford. If you take on more insurance premiums than you can afford, you may end up dropping all of it.

Stick to the highest amount of coverage you can comfortably afford and compare rates among similar carriers.

Be sure to ask plenty of questions on anything you do not fully understand.

Enter your zip code below to access car insurance quotes from multiple companies today!

Here's what you need to know...
  • The law requires all drivers to cover their automobile with, at least, minimum coverage
  • If you are involved in an accident with a driver that does not have insurance coverage, you are able to sue them in civil court
  • Full coverage insurance will protect you in the event you are in an accident with an uninsured driver

Imagine you are driving down the highway on your way to a family reunion when out of nowhere a car swerves into your lane and sends both vehicles flying across the asphalt and into a neighboring field.

Luckily, no one is severely injured, but when you ask the other driver who their insurance carrier is, they reply, “I don’t have insurance!

At this point, your stomach drops and you feel like you are going to have a heart attack as you picture the thousands of dollars in costly repair bills you are likely to end up paying for yourself!

What do you do if this nightmare of a production casts you as the lead role? Read our guide to help figure out how to pick up the pieces after having had to deal with one of these unscrupulous drivers.

Start shopping around by entering your zip code in FREE comparison tool!

By law, all drivers are required to carry adequate insurance coverage.

AdobeStock_40258869-1600x1600According to an article published on AutoInsurance.org, all drivers are required to carry the state minimum amount of insurance before accessing public roads, streets, and highways.

In a perfect world, one need not worry whether the person driving the broken-down, “hoopty” car in the lane adjacent to them has been paying their insurance bill.

However, we do not live in this Utopian fantasy world and are required to contend with this reality nearly every time we get behind the wheel.

According to statistical data, nearly 15 percent of all American drivers in 2014 did not have insurance coverage on their vehicle.

Even more astonishing, in some states like Oklahoma and Florida, almost one in four motorists are not covered by an auto insurance policy.

A quarter of the drivers you see on the road every day are without insurance, which could create represent a massive economic punch to the gut if you wind up in an accident with them.

Penalty for Not Carrying Insurance

View sources for penalties here.

The penalty for driving without insurance varies by state. Knowing that so many motorists either cannot afford or simply choose not to pay for insurance is an extremely daunting fact.

State law prohibits drivers from using any motor vehicle on public roads and highways without being properly covered by an insurance policy, but because the punishments for being caught driving without insurance are so minor.

Many drivers will continue operating their vehicle uninsured in order to save money. It is actually cheaper to not pay for insurance and be fined repeatedly than it is to just pay for it!

Some states, such as Pennsylvania and Alabama are making attempts to curtail these infractions by making driving without a license, driving on a suspended license, and driving while uninsured criminal offenses that can result in jail time for the violator.

How do I report someone that does not have auto insurance?

AdobeStock_62082716-1600x1600Whether you were involved in an accident or are simply doing your civic duty to report someone you know is driving without being properly insured, there are several options available to you.

You are able to report the driver to your local police, but that may not change anything.

The police, typically, have more urgent issues to deal with and unless there is an immediate threat to the safety of the public because of this driver, they may not be able to do anything at all.

A better idea would be to contact the Department of Motor Vehicles in the state that issued the license plate of the vehicle in question.

The DMV representative will be able to provide you with additional information to report the issue. They may even have access to a dynamic database that can check on the status of the driver’s insurance coverage.

These are normally updated every few hours, so the information is generally valid. If the DMV determines the driver is not presently insured, they may implement a procedure to suspend or even revoke the driving privileges

Who picks up the tab when involved in an accident with an uninsured driver?

Now, let’s move on to why you are really here; namely who is going to pay for the damages an uninsured driver has done to your vehicle and property?

Unfortunately for many drivers that have been involved in an accident with an uninsured driver, they often end up having to pay for the damages out of their own pocket.

One method available to attempt and gain back some of the money that was lost due to the negligence of these careless individuals is filing a tort claim in civil court.

Tort law is extremely complicated and you will most likely need to hire an attorney.

A driver is able to seek arrears for damages to their vehicle, recoup medical expenses, and even pain and suffering. Finally, they are also able to force the driver to pay for any legal fees they have accrued during the course of the civil proceedings.

Although this can be a lengthy process and unfortunately, if the judge finds in your favor, there is still a good chance that you are never going to get your money back or will be required to wait a lengthy period toin order to recoup your losses.

The court can force access to the assets of the guilty party and may even garnish their wages to help get the money to pay you back.

However, if the person has no assets and does not have a job, you are going to be waiting a long time before receiving money. It might better not sue an insolvent driver.

Full Coverage Protects You

Your best bet is to just pay for full coverage insurance due to the massive number of uninsured drivers on the road today. If you feel it is too expensive, just imagine how much more it will cost if caught up in an accident with an uninsured motorist?

By utilizing the internet to compare and contrast various insurance providers, you should be able to find a full-coverage policy that is within your monthly budget. It is well worth spending those extra dollars in order to be protected.

Make sure you have the right policy to protect you, your family, and vehicle. Enter your zip code into our FREE comparison tool to get started!

Here's what you need to know...
  • When you buy a new car and you have existing insurance, you have between 14 and 30 days to add the new vehicle to your insurance
  • Some policies have provisions that state that a replacement vehicle (after a trade in) will receive the same level of protection as the vehicle it’s replacing for the remainder of the term
  • If you don’t add a new vehicle to your policy before the automatic coverage period elapses, you won’t have coverage until you contact your insurer
  • When you buy a car and you aren’t the named insured on an existing policy, you must buy coverage as soon as you take ownership of the vehicle
  • Vehicle owners who move to a new state will be given until they get their new plates to transfer their insurance
When you buy a new car or you’re moving to a new state, it’s all about timing.

You may be busy comparing interest rates or searching for a new home, but getting sufficient auto insurance should be a priority on your to-do list.

If you don’t get your auto insurance in a timely manner, you could be forced to pay for damage and injury claims without help.

If you’re wondering how many days you have to get insurance, the answer depends on the scenario.

You have a lot more time to get insurance on a new vehicle purchase when you have an existing policy. Here’s your guide so that you can plan accordingly.

Start comparison shopping today to make sure you get the right coverage at the right price. Enter your zip code in our FREE tool to get started!

Auto Insurance Policies are Legal Contracts

AdobeStock_51142450-1600x1600Personal Auto Policies are indemnity contracts, which means that the insurance company agrees to pay for the liability of the policyholder, also known as the indemnitee.

Since the contract itself is governed by the law of contracts, insurance companies must be very specific as to who, what, and how drivers and vehicles are covered.

Auto insurance policies can be very wordy and full of legal terms that are designed to make the terms and conditions as clear as possible.

Unfortunately, the legalese can be difficult for the average person to understand. All of the lengthy definitions help to ensure that you don’t misinterpret how you’re protected.

Personal Car Insurance Policies Have an Automatic Coverage Provision

Your contract will explain just how long you have to insure a new vehicle once the term starts.

If you have existing insurance and you’re planning on buying a new car, it’s helpful to find out how long your vehicle will automatically be protected.

Luckily, provisions built into the policy make it easy to cover a new purchase.

Newly acquired vehicles are defined as personal vehicles that you take ownership of after the policy takes effect.

Under your Personal Auto Policy, a newly acquired vehicle is automatically covered for between 14 and 30 days.

If you fail to add the vehicle during that time, you won’t have coverage on the new car until you contact your agent.

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How much coverage does a newly acquired vehicle have?

The vehicle will have the broadest form of coverage on your policy for that entire period of time.

If you don’t have full coverage, the company will give you four days of comprehensive and collision coverage with a $500 deductible.

Be sure that you are a named insured on the policy and a registered vehicle owner before you assume that you have automatic coverage.

Are there special provisions when you trade your car in?

A new car has coverage for a limited amount of time.

A vehicle that is permanently replacing the covered auto on your policy will have the same level of protection as the old vehicle for the remainder of your term.

If you don’t add the vehicle to your policy, the insurer will still cover claims reported during that term if the policy is active.

When do you buy auto insurance if you don’t have existing insurance?

AdobeStock_17688255-1600x1600If you are only a rated driver or you don’t have insurance at all, you need to buy auto insurance immediately after you purchase a car.

It’s your duty to apply for coverage and pay for that coverage before you drive off the dealer lot.

In fact, agents will ask you for evidence of insurance before they give you the keys.

How long do you have to get insurance when you’re moving out of state?

When you move out of state, you need to transfer your insurance to the new state instead of just changing your mailing address.

Transferring your insurance means that the policy will be written under the new state’s laws. In some cases, you will need to get insurance from a new carrier altogether.

You may not need to transfer your insurance the day of your move, but you do need to get it taken care of when you get your new plates.

Most states require you to show you have in-state liability insurance before you will get your new vehicle registration.

If you’re looking to buy a competitive insurance policy, you should take the time to shop around. You can find great rates through all of the state’s best carriers by using an online rate comparison tool.

Enter your zip code into our FREE comparison tool and access instant quotes.

Here's what you need to know...
  • Without car insurance, an accident could cost you thousands of dollars
  • Car insurance is required by law
  • Car insurance can protect you in the case of a liability lawsuit
  • You may be able to get discounts on car insurance

Paying for car insurance may seem like another bill that you aren’t benefiting from on a month-to-month basis, but in the event that you get into a serious car accident, it can make all the difference.

Find out why you pay car insurance and what you are gaining from those payments.

Start comparing car insurance policies today to make sure you are getting the best deal. Enter your zip code into our free comparison tool!

What is car insurance?

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Each year millions of people are injured in car accidents across the United States. Car insurance companies offer policy protection in exchange for your timely payments of the premium. The kind of protection you pay for varies from policy to policy, but typically the most common types of coverage are:

The kind of protection you pay for varies from policy to policy, but typically the most common types of coverage are:

  • Liability Coverage – the purpose of this insurance is to cover injuries or damage to other people or property when you are found at fault for an accident
  • Collision Coverage – pays for damage to your vehicle in an accident. In the event your vehicle is totaled, it would pay the market value that your vehicle is worth
  • Comprehensive Coverage – pays for damage not caused by an auto accident. Common instances where this coverage would apply include fire, theft, and vandalism

This is not an all-inclusive list of coverage as there are many optional insurances to choose from such as uninsured motorist coverage, underinsured motorist coverage, and medical expense coverage, among others.

One thing you should note is that the federal government does not mandate insurance. The laws are set at the state level, meaning each state has their own coverage requirements.

To find out what your state’s minimum requirements are, check with your state’s Department of Motor Vehicles website.

What do you get from car insurance?

Having car insurance is more than just a convenience, especially if you consider that an accident causing a severe injury could cost $70,500 on average. When you look at the numbers like that, car insurance is a necessity.

Your liability coverage can also help protect you if someone decides to sue you if you are at fault in an accident. Those amounts alone could be in the hundreds of thousands of dollars.

This is why it is important to ensure that you have the proper amount of insurance coverage.

How to Get the Best Deal on Car Insurance

AdobeStock_62082716-1600x1600Insurance companies offer a variety of policies with different coverage options and amounts. You don’t always need the most expensive policy in order to be adequately covered either.

There is such a thing as being over-insured with car insurance, but it is important also not to be underinsured.

Finding the happy medium is where you will get the right amount of coverage for the right amount of money. The most important thing is to evaluate your financial situation and see what coverage works best for you.

Also, don’t forget to shop around and compare quotes. This comparison will allow you to get some of the best deals.

Getting the best price doesn’t always mean that you are getting the best deal. Always be sure to do your research on the company and make sure that they are legitimate, in good standing, and pay out on their customer’s insurance claims.

You can also check the insurance company’s complaint record at the National Association of Insurance Commissioners. Paying your premium on time is of utmost importance.

If you forget to pay your car insurance, your policy can lapse and you can go unprotected, not to mention, you face the possibility of fines and penalties as well as future rate increases.

Most insurance companies offer flexible payment plans, including monthly, quarterly, semi-annual or annual payments.

The key is the more you pay up front, the more you will save in the long run. However, the monthly payment option is convenient if you can’t typically afford a large sum all at once.

There are other ways that you may be able to help save money on car insurance, including:

  • Establishing yourself as a good driver with a history free of accident claims.
  • Becoming a member of a professional organization recognized by the insurance company.
  • Having an occupation that is considered low-risk for accidents.
  • Driving under a certain mileage cap.

Having car insurance is essential. The protection it offers could save you thousands of dollars. Not only is it illegal to drive without insurance, but it can also put you at a huge financial risk.

If you are in the market for auto insurance, start comparing quotes today! Enter your zip code into our free comparison tool to get started!

Things to remember...
  • Having proper coverage means that you can cover medical expenses and other property damage without risking a lawsuit
  • Your policy should offer proper levels of protection against physical damage to the car, medical expenses and property damage that occurs in an accident
  • It is a good idea to make sure that your coverage levels are at least 150 percent of your state minimum coverage

Getting good auto insurance is an important part of driving safely. If anything were to happen to you, would you be able to say that you were properly covered by your insurance policy?

Having proper coverage means that you can cover medical expenses and other property damage without risking a lawsuit.

Comparing quotes and coverage is a good way to know if you’re getting good auto insurance coverage.

Enter your zip code above into our FREE auto insurance comparison tool to start seeing quotes!

The Policy Should Offer Sufficient Coverage

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A good auto insurance policy is going to offer you sufficient coverage across the board. Your policy should offer proper levels of protection against physical damage to the car, medical expenses and property damage that occurs in an accident.

It is a good idea to make sure that your coverage levels are at least 150 percent of your state minimum coverage.

Not having the proper coverage means that you could possibly find yourself in court as the victim tries to sue you for all the damages he is entitled.

The combination of paying for damages out of pocket and legal fees could possibly bankrupt you. It is much cheaper to pay a little more for good coverage as opposed to losing everything paying for an accident.

State minimum levels of coverage are typically not adequate to cover the full cost of most accidents. Finding the best auto insurance is a combination of getting above minimum coverage and finding what is most affordable.

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Find A Company That You Can Trust

You should be able to trust your auto insurance provider. There are many companies out there who will offer cheap insurance that will fulfill your legal obligation.

However, will your insurance company be there for you when you get into trouble? An insurance company that drags its feet while you are trying to file a claim is not worth paying for.

A good piece of advice is to find a company that has some sort of ties to your community. 

You can also talk to a real person if you have any questions about your policy. Customer service is a major part of having a good insurance policy.

A company that is not there for you when you need them will just create more problems. Staying away from companies that only operate over the Internet would be advisable in most cases.

The Policy Should Be Affordable

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Your monthly premiums should be affordable and reasonably priced. Shopping around is a good idea to find the best rates on your auto insurance premium.

A driver with a good credit and driving history should be able to find a policy for under 75 dollars a month. However, consider your own unique driving record before you determine whether or not the price of a particular policy makes sense for you.

There are many ways in which you can lower the premium that you pay on your policy.

Consider any discounts that your provider has as well as lowering the cost of your deductible.

Paying your premium in full every 6 months will allow you to get a better price on your insurance policy. The reason that price is so important is that a policy you cannot afford is not going to help you out much.

Buy Only What You Need

The type of car that you drive will determine what kind of insurance you are going to need. Everyone needs to carry liability insurance, but there are many different kinds of optional coverage that you can carry as well.

Comprehensive insurance will cover you in the event that your car is damaged by falling ice or tree limbs. It will also cover you in the event that your property is stolen from your car.

Collision auto insurance pays for any general damage payments in part that happens to your car in an accident.

Whether or not you carry these policies depends on how much you are willing to pay in order to fix your car if it is damaged. However, do not buy this extra coverage if you do not need it.

A good policy will provide coverage for only the things you think you would want to protect. Don’t throw away money on something that you are not going to use.

If you aren’t sure about what kind of extra coverage you might need, you should sit down with an insurance agent who can walk you through the process.

Getting the proper auto insurance is going to help keep your safe while offering peace of mind on the road. Most people will never use the policies they have, but it is comforting to know that there is financial protection in place should anything ever happen.

Having proper auto coverage will allow you to be protected against the high cost of an accident. The last thing you need is to add legal bills on top of damages that you owe to the victim of a crash you caused.

Sufficient levels of coverage combined with great customer service will mean that you have a great insurance policy that will take care of you if you are ever in trouble.

Enter your zip code below to compare auto insurance rates for FREE and find that great policy!

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