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Whether you’re getting car insurance for the first time or merely switching providers, getting a new policy doesn’t have to be a big hassle. In five easy steps, you can be well on your way to cheaper, more reliable car insurance.
Do your research and you can get a new policy in no time, whether you’re buying a new car or switching insurance for an existing vehicle.
“Why do I need car insurance?” is a frequently asked auto insurance question. The short answer is that, in every state except New Hampshire and Virginia, auto insurance is a legal requirement. But even if it weren’t, we’d still recommend it.
You need a minimum amount of auto insurance in every state but Virginia and New Hampshire, as mentioned above. Otherwise, you could run into trouble with the law, as detailed below.
If you drive without insurance, you could be forced to pay a fine, or your license or registration could be suspended.
|State||Fine for the first offense||Other penalties|
|Arizona||$500||License and registration suspension|
|Connecticut||$100||License and registration suspension|
|District of Columbia||$150||License suspension|
|Georgia||$200||License and registration suspension|
|Kansas||$300||License and registration suspension|
|Maine||$100||License and registration suspension|
|Massachusetts||$500||License and registration suspension|
|Minnesota||$200||License and registration suspension|
|New Hampshire||$125||License and registration suspension|
|New Jersey||$300||License suspension|
|New Mexico||$300||License and registration suspension|
|New York||$150||License and registration suspension|
|North Carolina||$50||License suspension|
|North Dakota||$300||License suspension|
|Oregon||$130||License and registration suspension|
|Pennsylvania||$300||License and registration suspension|
|Rhode Island||$100||License and registration suspension|
|South Carolina||$550||License suspension|
|South Dakota||$100||License suspension|
|West Virginia||$200||License suspension|
The average fine for a first offense of driving without insurance is $318.
You’ll need insurance to register your vehicle unless you live in one of these states:
If you get into a car accident and don’t have insurance, you’ll have to pay out of pocket for the injuries and property damage of everyone involved. Most people don’t have thousands of dollars lying around for potential at-fault accidents, so the best defense is bodily injury and property damage liability coverage. Otherwise, you risk getting sued.
It’s even worth insuring a broken-down car with comprehensive coverage to avoid a lapse in coverage that’ll lead to higher auto insurance prices or to get reimbursed for auto theft, weather-related incidents, or vandalism.2
Just because auto insurance is a necessity doesn’t mean you have to pay an arm and a leg for it. You can save money and get cheap car insurance rates by using auto insurance discounts for the following:
No one really wants to spend money on something that’s just preventative. But if you get into a car accident and it’s your fault, you’ll appreciate every penny you’ve spent on auto insurance premiums. Learn more about where to start in our guide to the best auto insurance.
Can You Register a Car Without Insurance? Kelley Blue Book. (2021, Oct 7).
Do you need insurance for a car in storage? Progressive. (2022).