Almost every state in the US requires drivers and motorists to have minimum level of car insurance. This is to make sure that these drivers and motorists have liability coverage in case they find themselves in at-fault accidents. The penalties for not having car insurance differ from state to state, but the general rule is that there would be heavy fines as well as impoundment of one’s vehicle and suspension of one’s driving license.
The penalty fines in each state differ according to each one’s law, and the estimated amount is around $150-$500. In addition to that, these uninsured drivers and motorists would also have to pay for the tow and storage charges when their vehicle has been impounded. The consequences would be more serious if the driver or motorist finds him or herself caught in an at-fault accident, in which they also have to pay for the damages and injuries they cause. These drivers and motorists would also have to comply with the financial responsibility laws.
There is also the possibility of going to court, as well as the public embarrassment that is associated with the act. Incarceration is another risk for the uninsured driver or motorist, and is allowed in some states. Both kinds of punishment involve the loss of time, money, and reputation. The latter penalty is harsher for the individual as it provides the risk of losing one’s job and the humiliation of having spent time in jail.
To give more specific examples of the penalties in some states, California penalizes uninsured drivers and motorists who are caught with a $500 fine, vehicle impoundment, license suspension, and the risk of imprisonment. In North Dakota, uninsured drivers and motorists are fined $150 as well as having twelve points added to their driving licenses, which could result to having their licenses suspended and having to pay more than just insurance. And the state of Massachusetts haves fines as high as $5000 and the possibility of incarceration.
Most drivers and motorists may have car insurance, but there are some who do not. And these uninsured drivers are putting others at risk for their lack of financial coverage in case they cause an accident. And there is the trouble of being unable or unwilling to pay the fines from one’s own savings due to financial constraints. This puts the injured parties in an accident with no chance of being reimbursed for their damages or injuries.