Do You Really Need Car Insurance? A Legal Guide
Approximately 13 percent of drivers in the U.S. do not have car insurance. Are you part of this group? Have you been wondering why you need auto insurance or if you actually need it at all?
If you’ve ever found yourself asking “Do you really need car insurance?” keep reading. Explained below is everything you need to know about the country’s car insurance laws.
Car Insurance Benefits
Before we answer the question “Do I need car insurance?” let’s go over some of the reasons why you might want car insurance. There are a lot of benefits that come with being insured, including the following:
A lot of people avoid paying for car insurance because they think they can’t afford it. Look at this way, though: Can you afford to pay out of pocket to fix your car or someone else’s car if you get in an accident?
If you don’t have thousands of dollars lying around to cover this, it’s likely in your best interest to invest in car insurance. It can be expensive upfront, sure, but it’ll end up saving you money in the long run.
Protect Your Car’s Value
Paying for car insurance also helps you to protect your car from devaluation. If random damage harms your car, your insurance can help to make up for the losses and cover the repairs. This also makes it easier for you to maintain the car’s marketability in the event that you want to sell it.
If you’re uninsured and you get into an accident, you could end up facing a lawsuit if you can’t pay for the damage you cause. Car insurance provides protection and ensures that you can pay for the damage without having to lose your house and all your money in the process.
Enjoy Peace of Mind
Finally, having car insurance gives you peace of mind. It doesn’t protect you from anything bad happening, of course. However, you can rest easy knowing that, if worst comes to worst, you will have an easier time paying for the damage that you cause (or that is caused to you and your vehicle).
Do You Really Need Car Insurance?
Okay, you understand that there are benefits that come with being insured. Do you need car insurance, though? Will you be breaking the law if you don’t have it?
The short answer is that it depends.
Exceptions to the Rule
In most states throughout the country, you are required by law to have a minimum level of car insurance. There are a few exceptions, though.
In New Hampshire, for example, you do not have to pay for car insurance. However, you are still considered responsible for paying for damages that you cause if you’re involved in an accident. If you don’t or can’t pay for those damages, you will likely have your license and vehicle registration suspended.
Virginia also allows you to get around paying for car insurance. If you pay a $500 fee to the state each year, you can skip paying for insurance. As is the case in New Hampshire, though, you’ll still be financially responsible for damages you cause in an accident.
As you can see, even in states where car insurance is not legally required, you don’t exactly get a free ride. You still have financial responsibilities no matter where you live.
What Other Car Insurance Laws Do You Need to Know?
One of the first things you need to know about car insurance is whether or not your state requires you to pay for coverage. You also need to know what the minimum coverage requirement is for your state and what other specific rules you need to follow to protect yourself in the event that you’re in an accident.
Outlined below are some specific laws that you ought to keep in mind as you start shopping for insurance policies:
Most states require you to at least have liability insurance coverage. This coverage provides you with protection in the event that you cause an accident.
Liability insurance will help to cover legal costs and payouts for which you might be found liable. However, it doesn’t cover things like criminal prosecutions, contractual liabilities, or intentional damage. It also doesn’t cover the cost of your injuries or repairs to your vehicle.
Personal Injury Protection and Uninsured Motorist Protection
In some states, you’re also required to have a certain amount of personal injury protection and uninsured motorist protection. For example, the state of Kansas requires $25,000 in uninsured motorist coverage per person, $50,000 in uninsured motorist coverage per accident, and personal injury protection with at least $4,500 in medical expenses.
Personal injury protection is sometimes referred to as no-fault insurance. It covers the cost of healthcare expenses related to your injury, both for policyholders who are injured and their passengers (including those who don’t have health insurance).
Uninsured motorist protection, as the name suggests, helps to cover the cost of damage caused by an uninsured motorist. If someone causes an accident and isn’t insured, this coverage will save you from having to foot the whole bill for your recovery or repairs to your vehicle.
Listing Everyone Who Drives Your Car
When you’re signing up for car insurance, remember to list everyone who drives your car. This includes you, your spouse, and any of your children who have a driver’s license.
If someone isn’t listed on your insurance and they get in an accident, you might run into trouble with the insurance company. Preszler Law’s David Preszler says, not listing every member of your household who drives your vehicle on your insurance can be grounds for disputed/denied claims or revocation of your insurance policy, but you can get help here.
Get Insured today
After reading this article, hopefully, you can answer questions like “Do you really need car insurance?” and “Why do you have to have insurance on a car?” with ease. The next step is to choose an insurance plan that works for you.
We have lots of other car insurance-related articles available on our site. Check them out today for more information and insights.