It’s alarming that most drivers on the road aren’t insured, and most simply don’t care!
In South Africa, for instance, it’s estimated that almost 65% of cars aren’t insured. That’s practically two out of every three vehicles.
According to Ombudsman1, without proper car insurance coverage, a tragic accident can leave you badly exposed both financially and also legally.
Thus, it’s essential to get some form of cover, especially since there are auto insurance policies available with monthly premiums of less than R100.
That said, here’s a comprehensive guide to the risks and consequences of driving without the best car insurance policy2.
Car Insurance 101 – Why You Shouldn’t Drive Without Car Insurance
There are various reasons why you shouldn’t operate your vehicle without a valid insurance policy. From hefty penalties, fines, suspended licenses, to vehicle impoundments, driving without insurance comes with some severe repercussions.
Here’s a brief guide on why you shouldn’t attempt driving without auto insurance and how you can be affected.
#01. You’re Liable for the Other Driver’s Expenses in Case of a Collision
If you don’t have an insurance policy and get into an accident with another vehicle, then you’ll have to cater to the repair and replacement expenses. You might think that if the driver you collided with is insured3, then their insurance will handle all the costs. Well, that’s a fable – pure lies!
Their auto insurance company will name you as the guilty party and bill you for the damages. They might even sue you in your capacity to recoup the losses – remember that these costs can run into the 10,000. It’s hardly ever just a few 1000s.
#02. You’re Liable for Your Expenses if You Get into A Car Accident
If you get into an accident and don’t have car insurance, your repairs and even replacements will be from your pocket. Again, you’re looking to cover some super costly expenses which might drain your bank account.
Keep in mind that if you financed your vehicle, you’d still have to cover the finance payments, even though you can’t drive the car while it’s being fixed up. Moreover, if the vehicle is deemed written-off, then you’ll have to pay your instalments until the mortgage4 is paid off.
#03. You’re Liable for the Vehicle Costs If It’s Stolen and You Still Owe on It
Car theft and hi-jacking are the most prevalent world issues in this financial recession. Therefore, if you’re not insured, you’ll have the massive responsibility of replacing the car since you don’t have the comprehensive car insurance policy – which is least to say, financially devastating.
You’ll have to deal with the daily stresses of looking for transport means to get you to work, not forgetting that you’ll have to clear the car loan you took.
You’ll be Liable if An Insured Driver Crashes into You
On the road accidents happen at any time. Once in a while, you might get yourself into the worst messes – like colliding with an uninsured driver. Since none of you has insurance, then you won’t apply to their insurer to cater to the costs of damage to your vehicle.
You could end up paying hefty legal fees trying to claim for payment for the damages, only for the effort to turn into a waste of cash and energy.
Can You Legally Drive Without Auto Insurance?
Yes, it’s illegal to drive without auto insurance in most states, including South Africa. The law requires every car owner to have the minimum required auto insurance policy.
It might vary from one state to another, but most countries need you to have liability insurance to safeguard other drivers.
How Do You Get Car Insurance Without A License?
Well, there are several ways you can get auto insurance without a license, and some of these include:
- If you access a particular car at home, ensure that you get added to its policy and ask for an SR-22
- If you apply for insurance through a sub-standard plan provider
- If you apply for a temporary car insurance policy and then apply for the standard policy later on
- Purchase a policy with you as the named insured and with another licensed driver as the esteemed operator
- If you don’t own a car of your own, you can also consider purchasing a non-owners policy temporarily
Can You Insure A Car Without A Driving License?
There are very restricted situations where not having a valid driver’s license will enable you to insure your car.
According to most state laws, it isn’t possible to be covered without a valid driver’s license.
Is Not Having Auto Insurance A Criminal Offense?
No. Driving without car insurance policy is a civil offence rather than a criminal offence. Some circumstances, nonetheless, change the crime from a civil suit to a criminal one.
Driving without insurance can gift you with numerous outcomes like:
- Your driver’s license is suspended
- Getting traffic tickets
- Massive court fines
Most people enjoy vehicle ownership. With a vehicle, you can go wherever you want and whenever you can. Nonetheless, before you head out, it’s vital to ensure that you have a cheap car insurance policy.
If you don’t get the proper insurance policy, you might face some severe consequences in your future. Therefore, do yourself a favour.
Start comparing car insurance quotes online, sign up with reliable car insurance companies and avoid these issues.
For young drivers in particular, it’s important to protect yourseld against insurance fraud.