The Truth About Lapsed Auto Insurance and Car Accidents

Many people have driven without insurance (ridin’dirty). It is a huge epidemic in the state of California, where driving is such a huge part of people’s day-to-day commutes. Car insurance is mandatory in every vehicle driving on the road. And if asked by law enforcement, all drivers must provide proof of insurance through a car insurance company or some other form of proof.

What happens if you have no car insurance in the state of California?

The short answer is that you can get into trouble. The long answer is that if you don’t have car insurance in California, whether you let it lapse or never purchased it to begin with, the state can access punitive penalties designed to encourage you to fix the problem. Fact is, in California, you need insurance. Not only to drive a vehicle, but also to park it on any public road. So in other words, you may not even park an uninsured vehicle anywhere on the street, or even in front of your home under any circumstances.

Penalties for driving without insurance

Drivers caught behind the wheel of an uninsured vehicle at times face harsher penalties – especially if the vehicle is unregistered, or has had its registration suspended. The driver can also face severe fines or the suspension of their license. To boot, a driver involved in an accident with an uninsured vehicle can also have their license suspended for a year. In any case, proof of insurance is necessary in order to reinstate the license.

It’s not worth it

Beyond the possible suspension of registration or your driver’s license, there is an additional cost to not having car insurance in California. When you do finally attempt to get your vehicle properly insured that cost will be reflected in the price. Your DMV records will be available to any insurance company you attempt to get a policy through. Those records will reveal your unwillingness to obtain the legally required insurance prior to your suspensions, which will deem you as a high-risk driver and cause your premiums to be higher.

The simple fact is having car insurance in California is required. It makes no sense, financially or otherwise, to try to escape the facts.