Owning and driving a car in California is expensive. It’s natural to look at your monthly expenses and wonder if you really need car insurance. After all, it’s a huge chunk of your monthly expenses and the chances are good that you rarely need to use it.
While canceling your auto insurance might make good financial sense, you should seriously reconsider. There are far better ways to cut back. In the long run, canceling your auto insurance will most likely cost you far more than you can even hope to save.
Higher Rates Down the Road
If you think the current cost of your car insurance is high, you won’t believe the bill you get after you’ve gone just a few days without it. Going just a short period without insurance is all it takes for the insurance companies to consider you a high-risk driver. The increase in your monthly premiums can add up to hundreds of dollars every single month.
In Event of an Accident, You Could Lose Everything
If, as an uninsured driver, you get into an accident and are found to be the cause of the accident, the other driver can decide to file a lawsuit against you. Since you don’t have insurance, if the judge rules in the plaintiff’s favor, the judgment against you could not only cost you everything you currently own, but also a good chunk of your future earnings. While California does require that drivers carry an uninsured driver-rider on their insurance policy, that’s to protect them, not you. They’ll still be able to sue you for punitive and comprehensive damages.
You’ll Lose Your Right to Drive
If you get in an accident while driving without insurance, there’s a good chance you’ll lose your license. The state has a reputation for suspending the license of uninsured drivers who are involved in an accident for as long as four years.
There have been some cases when drivers have been able to reinstate their license after one year, but doing so required paying a reissuance fee, showing the state that you’re currently insured, and carrying an SR-22 Proof of Financial Responsibility certificate with you whenever you’re behind the wheel. You’ll also be required to purchase an SR-22 insurance policy that goes along with your regular policy and costs a fortune.