In Pennsylvania, car insurance is mandatory. Yet, auto insurance is expensive, and many residents cannot fit the price of premiums into their budgets.
For these individuals, foregoing insurance entirely may seem like the best way to make ends meet. However, these persons do not take into account the legal or civil consequences of driving without insurance, both of which are likely to undo any savings they enjoyed on premiums.
Getting into an accident without insurance
According to The Simple Dollar, the most obvious risk of driving without insurance is not having a safety net should an accident occur. An at-fault, uninsured driver may become personally liable for all costs associated with the accident, including the other party’s medical bills and vehicle repair and replacement costs. To recover damages, the victim has the legal right to sue the at-fault driver. If the lawsuit is successful, the judge may order the seizure of the defendant’s assets to cover expenses.
Then there are the at-fault driver’s own damages to consider. Without insurance, the driver has no way to cover his or her own medical expenses or repair costs, which could add up to thousands to tens of thousands of dollars. Finally, adding insult to injury is the fact that the state will likely charge the driver fines for failing to invest in insurance in the first place.
Getting caught without insurance
Less serious but just as costly are the legal consequences of driving without insurance. According to Compare.com, Pennsylvania assesses a $300 fee to any driver who is caught driving without adequate coverage. It will also suspend the driver’s registration and license for three months or charge $500 to reinstate both sooner. When it does come time to reinstate both registration and license, the driver will have to pay additional fees before the state will complete either process.