Insurance and safety experts are stepping up efforts to remind American motorists about the dangers involved in driving without insurance. According to recently conducted studies, more and more drivers are choosing to drop their policies to cut back on expenses. While this can save them upwards of $1,000, the risks are considerably more costly. Uninsured car owners who end up getting in accidents can lose their personal assets in liability lawsuits and hospital expenses. With rising medical costs and costly lawsuits, motorists can end up paying hundreds of thousands of dollars when in fact, they would only have to shell out a fraction of that amount for proper insurance.
The economic crunch is forcing an increasing number of Americans to ignore the dangers associated with driving uninsured. The unstable job market is resulting in many car owners dropping their policies to maximize their incomes. This can often lead to risky and unwise decisions, especially when it involves risking the safety and security of the family.
In almost all states, driving without insurance is illegal. Only two states, Wisconsin and New Hampshire, allow uninsured motorists to get behind the wheel. However, Wisconsin is expected to require drivers to purchase insurance by next year. The state government has also raised the minimum liability amounts considerably. The present amounts have not changed in two decades. New Hampshire, on the other hand, is also considering mandating auto insurance for all its motorists. Most states impose stiff penalties and fines for motorists unable to provide proof of insurance. In some states, drivers can risk going to jail if they are caught without insurance.
Uninsured drivers can also see their violations recorded in their driving history and driving records. Because insurance providers usually scrutinize their policyholders’ driving records to come up with the proper insurance rates, any signs of uninsured driving violations can automatically mean higher premiums. Violations remain in driving records for several years and in most cases, it can take up to four years for insurers to start offering motorists better premiums.
Aside from the legal consequences, driving uninsured also puts the family or relatives of the uninsured driver at risk. Because the driver or owner of the vehicle is uninsured, any passengers with him or her at the time of an accident cannot avail of any medical costs assistance or other financial help. This brings a considerable amount of distress to any victim of a car crash.