How many drivers are driving without auto insurance, putting you at risk? This is a topic our team at Holly McMillin Insurance addresses with our clients because knowing what to do if you’re in an accident with someone who doesn’t hold insurance may be a reality for you at some point.
Here’s what we explain to our insurance clients about driving without insurance and what happens if you’re in a car accident with another driver who does not carry insurance.
If you are a licensed driver or have a vehicle registered in your name, it is required by law to obtain auto insurance. This law is effective in almost every state, including Kentucky, with the exception of the state of New Hampshire. If you are caught driving without auto insurance or get in an accident and are uninsured, you could pay fines that could cost you much more than your driver’s insurance premium. Is driving without insurance a risk? Absolutely!
Statistics of uninsured drivers
There are roughly 215 million drivers in the United States.
A recent study concluded that about 1 in 8 of those drivers are driving without auto insurance – which means there are 32 million uninsured drivers.
In 2017, 13% of drivers were uninsured. This was nearly an all-time high percentage. In 2018 and 2019, the rate of uninsured drivers dropped to 12%. Now in 2021, the rates of drivers who are uninsured are on the decline. However, driving without auto insurance still remains an issue.
In the state of Kentucky an average of 13.9% of drivers do not hold auto insurance. According to the American Association of Motor Vehicles Administrators, the majority of uninsured drivers can’t afford auto insurance or own a vehicle that is not operable or not currently being used. Driving without insurance comes with a risk.
Possible consequences of driving without insurance
- Impounding of vehicle
- Loss of license
- Suspension of license
- Jail time
Consequences of driving without insurance vary depending on what state you live in. Also, it matters whether it is your first or repeated offense. If you get pulled over and are caught driving without insurance, there will most likely be a fine. If the officer finds it necessary, they can immediately impound your vehicle at the scene. This means that the driver will be responsible for towing fees and other associated costs to regain possession of your vehicle – which may include showing proof of auto insurance. In addition to fees, you could face up to 90 days in jail for a first offense or 180 days in jail for repeated offenses.
Your driver’s license and registration are at risk of being suspended for a period of time if caught without auto insurance. Furthermore, you will be considered an at-risk driver, which will significantly raise your rates on your car insurance plan. It’s safe to say that driving without auto insurance is a costly liability.
Penalties for driving without auto insurance in Kentucky
- Fine for first offense: $500-$1,000
- Fine for second offense: $1,000-$2,500
- Possible imprisonment up to 90 days for first offense and up to 180 days for repeated offenses
- Driving privileges suspended for up to one year or until proof of insurance for first offense
- Driving privileges suspended for one year or two years for every additional offense after the second
Getting in an accident with a driver who isn’t insured
As mentioned above, Kentucky has penalties for drivers who get caught driving without insurance. If you are involved in an accident with an uninsured driver, you will need to make an insurance claim either on your own insurance or the other driver’s insurance. When the at-fault driver doesn’t have insurance, the victim involved in the accident may personally pursue the at-fault driver and sue for damages. This avenue is only successful if the at-fault driver has assets. Typically, most uninsured drivers have very few assets. This is why having uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage on your car insurance plan is important.
How to protect yourself from an uninsured driver
Most people purchase coverage on their auto insurance plans to
cover drivers who aren’t insured. This is called uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage. This ensures that the victim can be compensated for medical bills, loss wages, as well as pain and suffering. You aren’t required in the state of Kentucky to obtain this specific coverage, but it could be highly beneficial to the driver if involved in an accident with an uninsured driver.
At Holly McMill Insurance, the team works to tailor a plan that protects you from all risks- including the risk of driving without auto insurance or being involved in an accident with an uninsured driver. Click here to get a quick quote on great auto insurance and we may be able to save you money!