Georgia requires you to carry car insurance. So, if you don't have the right policy in place, prepare to face the consequences. Driving without coverage is risky. If you do it, you can expect challenges to follow you. What are some of these penalties? How can you avoid an uninsured driving charge?
Driving uninsured might lead to insurance issues. A host of other financial challenges might also beckon. So, as a driver, it's up to you to guarantee that these problems never occur. Start now, and make insured driving one of your top priorities as a vehicle operator.
Why Auto Insurance Matters
Forty-eight of fifty states require drivers to carry auto insurance. Georgia is among those.
States need drivers to have coverage in place for a variety of reasons. However, in principal, the reason is relatively simple. States consider auto insurance an important piece of consumer protection. It can help keep not only you, but also other drivers safe when on the road. Coverage makes sure that all parties involved in mishaps have the backing to recover.
Thus, those drivers who don't have coverage put themselves and others at significant risk. Because of their actions, the state will likely have to penalize them. Such penalties are often ways to make the public, not just the driver, safer.
The Penalties of Driving Uninsured
Every state has different penalties for drivers caught without valid auto insurance. These might include:
- License revocation or suspension
- Impoundment of the vehicle, or registration loss
- SR-22 penalties
Among these punishments, the SR-22 might prove one of the most significant.
SR-22s are forms that provide proof of insurance coverage for your state of residence. Usually, only drivers who commit high-risk infractions have to file for these certificates. That's because these are the drivers who often most need to prove that they have coverage.
The SR-22 can prove detrimental to your ability to carry a balanced auto insurance plan. When you get the SR-22, your auto insurer might immediately take it as a sign that you are a very high-risk driver. They might have to take their own action to keep themselves safe. Some insurers will significantly raise your policy premiums. Others might refuse to insure you altogether.
It is safe to say that you should do everything you can to avoid the SR-22. Still, even if you don't get an SR-22 at all, you might face other challenges by driving uninsured.
Insurers often award favorable terms to drivers who have the lowest operating risks. They also often discount prices for drivers who maintain continuous coverage. Likewise, driving uninsured might equal a blow to your costs and coverage risks.
Drivers without a policy often face higher premiums once they re-start coverage. They might even have to sacrifice preferred coverage and optional protection just to make ends meet. But, that is not all. Some insurers will refuse to re-insure drivers who have previous coverage lapses. Thus, the overall ability to maintain a policy at all might prove more challenging.
Preventing Uninsured Driving
You are one of the only people who can control whether you have appropriate car insurance. What you can from day one to keep your coverage active and adequate?
First, always carry the minimum levels of insurance required by your state. Georgia requires you to carry at least:
- Bodily injury liability insurance: $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident
- Property damage liability insurance: $25,000 per person
The state also mandates that you carry uninsured/underinsured coverage. However, you do have the option to reject the uninsured/underinsured protection. Don't forget, you can often add extra coverage to your basic policy. This might include collision, comprehensive and medical payments coverage. All of these might prove helpful to you on the road.
Furthermore, take preventive steps to never let your coverage lapse under any circumstances.
- All policies will have expiration dates. So, ensure you renew or enroll in a new policy before your current coverage stops. Many insurers let you automatically renew your policy from term to term. That reduces your risk of a coverage lapse.
- Pay your premiums on time. If you don't, the insurer often has a right to terminate your policy because of non-payment. It is during these cases that re-enrolling in coverage might prove tricky. Many insurers won't want to take a risk on someone who will not pay.
- If you buy a new car, move or make other changes to your driving habits, tell your insurer. These changes might mandate a change in your coverage. If you fail to make the change, your policy might become void.
Keep your auto insurance cards in your vehicle at all times. This is the law in many cases, but it is also practical for most drivers. In case of an accident or other need, you'll want to quickly refer to your coverage. As the renewal period approaches, replace this card with your new card.
Do you need auto insurance? Call Peachstate Insurance at 877-997-2478, and we can help find a policy to suit your needs.