Driving Without Insurance: 5 Consequences to Consider
A critical requirement for motorists is to carry valid auto insurance. Driving without insurance in Illinois and in many other states is illegal, and those who operate a vehicle must be registered and covered. Despite this fact, the Insurance Research Council (IRC) reports that 12.6% or nearly one in eight drivers in the U.S. hit the road without insurance (11.8% in Illinois). What happens if you get caught driving without insurance? Insure On The Spot provides low auto insurance rates for Chicago so you never need to drive without protection.
What are the Penalties for Driving Without Auto Insurance?
Despite there being affordable auto insurance options, some will choose to drive without insurance. Here are five consequences to consider that should change your mind.
1. Fines and Fees
The financial penalties for driving without car insurance vary by state and will be tied to any sort of legal action taken against you. Fines for driving illegally without insurance range from base costs of $500 to $1,000, if you are a first-time offender, but could be as much as $5,000 in certain states. Multiple offenses will result in additional fines. Additionally, driving uninsured results in fees if your vehicle registration is suspended or revoked. You could be required to pay several hundred dollars in fees added on to the cost of the fines.
2. Registration and/or License Suspension/Revocation
In addition to the financial ramifications of driving without insurance in Illinois, the state will suspend your vehicle registration and driver’s license, even if you are a first-time offender without coverage. Revocation for certain periods of time is dependent upon your location and the severity of the situation. Other states could take your license away for over a year if you are found to have caused an accident while uninsured. If you are caught driving without insurance in Illinois and cause an accident, you will be required to pay 100% of the damages and could be forced to pay thousands in medical costs if other motorists are injured. Additionally, in today’s age, it doesn’t even take an accident or a traffic stop to be caught without insurance and receive a suspension. Several states have electronic monitoring and can submit fines for lapsed auto insurance coverage.
3. Vehicle Towed and Impounded
If a law enforcement officer does contact your vehicle, driving uninsured could lead to a traffic stop and your vehicle could be towed or impounded. The offense of driving without insurance is easy to detect with modern technology like automated license plate readers (ALPR). Depending on the state, you run the risk of having your vehicle taken to an impound (which will automatically happen if you are at fault in an accident without insurance). It often costs several hundred dollars to get your vehicle back and you must show proof of insurance, such as SR-22 insurance.
4. Permanent Record and/or Incarceration
It is entirely legal for a motorist to be arrested and jailed if they are caught driving without insurance. For most first-time offenders, this is not likely to occur. For example, Illinois does not require jail time solely for driving without insurance, even for repeat offenses. Every situation is different, and in many states, incarceration is a possibility, especially if it is tied with other offenses or if you are at fault for a severe accident.
5. Increased Auto Insurance Rates
If you have insurance gaps and/or are involved in an accident without insurance, it’s almost inevitable that you will be identified as a risk. This means your rate will go up substantially. Many insurance companies love when this happens because they make more money off of your insurance needs. However, there is a Chicagoland auto insurance company that has saved drivers on egregious costs for decades and recognizes that people make mistakes.
We Insure Everyone On The Spot
At Insure On The Spot, we provide a fast and easy way to get insured. Need auto insurance with bad or no credit history? Seeking coverage but have a number of past tickets or coverage lapses? No problem. Insure On The Spot provides instant insurance. No credit checks, the lowest rates in Chicagoland – all without the hassle! Ready to get started? Receive a free insurance quote in as little as two minutes and contact us today if you have questions or need more information. We’re here to help!