What Happens If I Drive Without Insurance?

Have you ever wondered what would happen if you just stopped paying for auto insurance and drove without it? If you drive in Arizona you have to have car insurance otherwise you can be denied registration for your vehicle. Over 37,000 people die in car crashes every year in the U.S., 2.3 million are injured or disabled and these crashes cost the country over 230 billion annually. Insurance is meant to protect drivers and their property from these risks.

You Will Get a Ticket

If you’re caught driving without auto insurance, you’re going to get a ticket.  If highway patrol pulls you over for speeding or any other offense, or you get into an accident, on top of any other fines you incur, you’ll also be fined for driving without insurance.  In Arizona, the fine for being uninsured is anywhere from $500-1000.

Your License Could be Suspended

If you’re caught driving without insurance, your license can be suspended until you are able to provide proof of insurance and you’ll have to pay to have it reinstated. You could have your license permanently taken away if you have multiple suspensions.  To make matters worse, when you do decide to get insurance, you’ll have to pay a higher rate for having a lapse in coverage.

Your Car Could be Towed

If you’re caught driving without insurance by the police, they could prevent you from continuing to drive by having your car towed.  Then, you won’t be able to get your vehicle out of the impound lot until you provide proof of insurance.  Everyday it’s on the lot, you’ll also incur impound fees and some lots will even send vehicles to auction within a few days.

If you have insurance but don’t have the card with you or the card is expired but your policy is current, the officer may only give you a ticket and not tow your vehicle.  You won’t even have to pay for the ticket though if you bring your proof of insurance to the court house.  You have to have an insurance policy that was current at the time the ticket was issued.

You May be Financially Responsible

If you get in a wreck and are found to be at fault, but don’t have car insurance, you’ll most likely be financially responsible for the other driver’s repair bills and medical expenses.  If you are unable to pay, the other driver could sue you, which also means lawyer fees on top of all the other expenses from the crash.

You can’t Run From the Law

In Arizona, the police run random tests to see if registered vehicles are insured, and if they aren’t, the police will suspend the owner’s license.  Arizona utilizes active monitoring and has a database to reference for information concerning registered vehicles with and without insurance coverage.

SR-22

After the DMV electronically finds out that you haven’t had insurance for a certain period of time, after your license and/or registration gets suspended, when you do get insurance, you will be required by the state to get an SR-22 on your auto insurance.  An SR-22 is something that hooks onto your insurance policy that electronically tells the DMV every month that you are still maintaining insurance, if you let your insurance cancel they will fast track your license and/or registration getting suspended again.  Typically, you are required to have an SR-22 for 3 years.

Big Rate Increase When You Get a New Policy

Whenever you have a lapse in coverage and you go to get a new policy, you will have a “surcharge” of about 30% due to not maintaining a policy.  Some companies do offer a grace period of a lapse of 30 days or less, but most don’t.

Insure Your Vehicle

It’s better to simply insure your car and keep coverage on it without any lapses between policies, even if it’s a few days.  You’ll avoid run-ins with the law, large fines, license suspension, impounds, huge financial burdens and so many other headaches that aren’t worth it.  Trying to save money by not paying for insurance is never worth it and is definitely illegal.  Talk to an agent today about getting your automobile the coverage it needs.