What happens if you get into a car accident without car insurance?

Auto insurance

Driving without insurance or license is illegal in all states if you’re driving without car insurance or license. However, in New Hampshire and Alaska, you can drive without insurance, but you need other documents. If you are caught driving without insurance, it could cost you your driver’s license, car registration, and even jail time, depending on the state.

car insurance

In the worst-case scenario, if you cause an accident without insurance, you have to pay to get your car repaired out of your own pocket. Also, if you are sued by the other party, you could end up paying for the damages and injuries caused.

The car insurance policy that you buy cannot be backdated. Hence, your coverage will begin from the day you accept the policy, so if you think you can buy a policy after you have been in an accident, it will not help.

If someone else hits you and it is their fault, the scenario is better.

Since the other driver caused the accident and is at fault, they would be typically responsible for the damages. In this case, you will still not be able to recoup all the losses since State Law may limit what kind of expenses you can get if you were driving without auto insurance.

If your car has been uninsured for some time, you will have difficulty finding car insurance for reasonable rates.

Every state sets its own rules for legal action in case of an accident. Road rules determine if legal action is allowed. Except for the 12 no-fault insurance states, in all other states, if you cause an accident, damages and injury costs will be paid by your Insurance Company. For the no-fault States, each driver claims for minor injuries, irrespective of who caused the crash. So unless the injuries are significant, you cannot be sued unless the amount reaches a considerable amount.

car insurance

Suppose you reside in a “no pay, no play” state, then as an insured driver. In that case, you are prohibited from suing for damages unless it can be quantified by a dollar amount.

If you are uninsured in a “no pay, no play” state, you have to pay a much higher deductible; for example, in Louisiana, it’s $25,000 before you can sue for damages to the property. Uninsured motorists are also not allowed to sue for mental suffering, pain, and emotional distress. States that have “no pay, no play” laws are:

Alaska                  California            Indiana                Iowa                    Kansas                 Louisiana

Michigan             Missouri              North Dakota      New Jersey        Oklahoma            Oregon


Having auto insurance is not a luxury; it’s a necessity; even if you don’t cause a car accident but are caught driving without car insurance, you can face a wide range of consequences like fines, losing your license, registration, or up to 90 days in jail, in case of Minnesota. Fines can be from $175 to $1000.

Always keep proof of all your relevant papers in the car; you can keep it on your smartphone in some states. If you plan to visit another state, do understand the laws about documentation before you go there.

car insurance

Not having proof of insurance with you is not a serious offense; you might get away with a citation that can be dismissed once you show the proof. Bottom line, If you cannot afford insurance for your car, please don’t purchase the vehicle. If you have lost coverage due to oversight or negligence, fix it immediately because not having insurance can cost you in many different ways, and none of them are pleasant.

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