If you are new to driving or vehicle ownership one of the first questions you may ask is can I drive a car without insurance? Vehicle ownership isn’t always about great pleasures you take out of it but comes with responsibilities too. One of them is to make sure anyone drives your automobile is insured at least for foreseeable liabilities. Every state in the US enforces some sort of minimum car insurance coverage to protect third parties you or any driver of your vehicle injures or causes damages. So what is the answer to can I drive without insurance or do you need insurance to drive? The answer is definitely yes you need to be insured before you can drive any car regardless of owning it or not. Various scenarios are explained below.
– Why do you need insurance to drive a Car?
In today’s world, injuries and damages anyone can cause with a motor vehicle can be substantial. It is unlikely that drivers or vehicle owners will have enough money readily available to cover those losses they caused. The only way of making sure that these losses are paid for is to have an insurance policy in place. And it is your state’s responsibility to make sure that you have at least state minimum car insurance. That is why they make it a legal condition to have insurance if you want to drive a vehicle. You may want to read a more detailed post titled why do you need car insurance?
– What Are the Penalties for Driving without Insurance?
Certainly, there are penalties for driving without insurance ranging from fines, to license suspensions. Usually it works out cheaper to insure a vehicle than have to deal with penalties. You can check penalties for driving without insurance on our other post. You need to keep in mind that penalties are only part of the troubles. You may have to spend a lot more money for things like legal defence and inconvenience of losing the use of your vehicle or license suspension.
– Do You Need Insurance to Drive Someone Else’s Car?
Coverage for drivers comes in several ways. If you are already included in someone else’s auto insurance as a listed driver you don’t legally need a separate insurance of your own to drive that particular auto. If you are living in the same house as the owner of the vehicle you are probably automatically included in the policy as well. Most policies cover occasional drivers (who are not included in the policy or not from the same household), unless there is a special exclusion. You should check this especially if you are a teenager because some policies may specifically exclude drivers under 21 or 25.
In any case, policies and state rules varies greatly that it is always best to check the policy terms and conditions or ask the insurer about occasional and same household drivers.
– If I Borrow my Car to Someone Else Are They Covered by my Policy?
It is the same as above. But in this case you have to make sure that anyone who drives your vehicle is insured under your policy because you are responsible for the accidents caused by your car even though someone else was driving. Only exception to responsibility is when your vehicle was taken without your consent or stolen. Also, even though, as far as you are concerned, these were no fault accident insurance go up. Any accident your car is involved will affect your renewal premium even though someone else way driving.
– Can You Arrange Insurance to Drive a Car if You Don’t Own It?
You can buy liability coverage with non owners car insurance and use it when you drive someone else’s car or a hire car. It is your responsibility to make sure that you have at least liability coverage to drive a car arranged either by the owner or by you. It may be possible to insure a car you don’t own. You should check that post for detailed information.
– Does Insurance Go with the Car or Driver?
Usually, insurance goes with the car. However, your liability insurance can go with you to drive someone else’s car. If they don’t have insurance your coverage kicks in automatically. If the owner already insures the car and it covers you as well then your liability coverage comes into effect after the owner’s insurance is exhausted or you are personally sued.
However, there are circumstances that you may need to show you are insured before you can get your driving license or get your suspended driver license back. Most states would want to see an insurance policy in effect before they register a car anyway and any lapses on that policy may be reported to DMV. Also, some states may require your policy to insure you for driving your own car and driving someone else’s car. You should check your policy to be absolutely sure.
– What Insurance Do I Need to Drive?
You must at least buy a policy that includes minimum liability auto insurance coverage in your state. It is up to you to add collision and comprehensive coverage to insure your own vehicle and buy other voluntary add ons. If you are looking for cheap liability car insurance you can start with getting quotes here. Also, that post explains what is liability coverage and what it does.
– Why Not Insure Your Auto Properly?
When you only buy liabilities coverage you don’t have any cover for your own automobile. You may not realize it at the start but you can add comprehensive and collision coverage at a reasonable extra payment. So, why not get quotes for both liability and full coverage auto insurance and see the difference?
Perhaps it helps you to know that most US auto insurance policies are for full coverage. Most motorists (about 72%) prefer to buy full coverage policy if they can afford it. Insurers’ approach may have something to do with this because most companies offer very attractive polices that come with good coverage and reasonable price. And a few companies choose to keep their prices for liability only policies high for several reasons. First of all, they try to discourage people from buying only the basic coverage. And secondly, they don’t have to hard sell liability only policies since they are compulsory.