All people who drive in the United States must follow certain rules to stay within the law. Obtaining vehicle insurance is one of the most important rules for you to follow. Before you purchase an insurance policy, though, you should learn more about the types of policies and what benefits they can offer you.
Why Do Drivers Need Vehicle Insurance?
When you drive a vehicle, you accept the inherent risk that you could have an accident that damages another person’s property or health. Even a minor car accident, such as one that causes a dented bumper, can easily cost hundreds of dollars. Bigger accidents that damage a car’s vital parts, such as the frame or suspension, can cost thousands of dollars. If someone gets injured in an accident that you cause, you could spend tens of thousands of dollars on emergency medical care.
Not surprisingly, few people have enough money on hand to pay for these expenses. In fact, the average American has less than $1,000 in savings.
Since most drivers can’t afford to pay for the damage they cause during crashes, states require all drivers to carry vehicle insurance that meets a minimum level of coverage. By requiring insurance, states shift the financial burden from individuals to insurance companies. This requirement protects innocent drivers from losing large amounts of money when someone else causes an accident.
Consequences for Driving Without Vehicle Insurance
All states in America agree that drivers should buy insurance before they get behind the wheel of a vehicle. The states don’t, however, always agree on the penalties for driving without a proper vehicle insurance policy. While the consequences vary from state to state, some of the most common penalties include:
- Suspension of your driver’s license.
- Suspension of your vehicle registration.
- Traffic tickets that may require a payment or court date.
- Higher premiums when you buy your next insurance policy.
The consequences can become even dire when you have an accident without car insurance. In addition to facing immediate penalties from the government, you may be sued for damaging another person’s property. If you don’t have enough money to cover the cost of repairing the property, then the court may take your assets to compensate the other driver. That could mean losing your vehicle, home or other valuable properties.
What Level of Car Insurance Do You Need?
Each state sets its own minimum car insurance requirements. In Florida, you need a policy that covers $10,000 of property damage and $10,000 of personal injury protection. In Maine, however, you need a policy that covers $25,000 of property damage, $100,000 of personal injury protection and $100,000 of uninsured motorist protection.
Keep in mind that minimum car insurance policies, which are often referred to as liability insurance, are designed to protect other people. If you cause an accident, the policies will not pay for your vehicle’s repairs. A minimum policy will, however, protect you from significant financial loss by paying for the other person’s repairs and medical bills.
If you want more protection, then you should choose a policy that includes collision coverage. With collision coverage, your insurance provider will pay for the cost of repairs after you reach your deductible.
The deductible that you choose will influence how much your policy costs. A policy with a $500 deductible will cost less than one with a $1,000 deductible. If you have a $1,000 deductible, though, your insurance provider will not pay for any repairs until you spend $1,000 out of your own pocket.
Vehicle insurance provides a level of safety that all drivers need. It’s so important that you must get car insurance when driving in America. As long as you have a policy that meets your state’s minimum requirements, you will have a basic level of protection that helps you and other drivers.
Search our website now and find affordable car insurance plans that don’t break the bank and keeps you protected while you’re on the road.