martes, 14 de julio de 2009

What are the penalties for driving without insurance?

The penalty for driving without insurance varies from state to state. If you are uninsured and you indicate a high “Intent to Drive” as an uninsured motorists, your vehicle tag can be seized and your car impounded. In addition, some states impose heavy fines for those who drive without auto insurance or continue to drive even if they are unable to keep their car insurance. Limited states fine a fee of $150 to $500 for driving without insurance.

The consequences can be far more serious if you are involved in an accident and do not have insurance. Most drivers are insured, but many drivers feel that drivers on the road today are driving without car insurance. You may have to comply with the financial responsibility laws (SR22, SR22s, SR16) including having to pay for any injuries or damages out of your own pocket.

We understands that state complacency allows for states to not uphold the laws of the land. As you will understand from our comments, the states don't consider this offense as a serious offense.

For every dollar you pay in insurance premium a portion goes towards those states that aren't aggressive toward uninsured drivers.

If your driving while uninsured, please get a quick quote and see if we can help you with your down payment or payment options, so you don't risk a fine or jail time. Uninsured motorist deserve protection and will work with shopper to get them the auto insurance coverage they need at low rates.

What happens when my car is totaled in an accident?

When your car is totaled, the insurance company has an obligation to "make you whole," as that is defined in the policy.

Most policies value your vehicle using Actual Cash Value. "Actual Cash Value" means replacement value less depreciation.

This essentially means you have to be left in approximately the same financial position (with respect to the item insured - not in respect to any liens or leases that hold title to your car) you were in before the accident.

If you have physical damage coverage (comprehensive and collision) the insurance company will typically write you a check for the actual cash value of the vehicle, minus any deductible on your policy. If you are "upside down" on your loan or the cash value is less than your current loan amount ("Upside down" means owing more on a car than it's worth.) then you should consider GAP insurance. In this situation, if you don't have GAP insurance then you would be responsible toward your loan for the remaining balance. The terms of that payment are set through you loan contract.

Comment Update: Please see our related answer titled: How is the "actual cash value" determined?. This should answer your additional questions. It is the same in Arizona as in other states.

I am required to carry a SR22 but don't own a vehicle. What can I do?

Sometimes there is a requirement by a state regulatory entity (usually the state Motor Vehicle Department) for an insurance company to certify that a driver has the ability to pay future claims up to the state required limit. This is the reason why you would have to have an SR-22. It shows that you are financial responsible and it is done in the form of a certification called an SR-22.

The certification is done by means of a form called an SR-22.

In this scenario, you would purchase non-owners SR-22. The SR-22 would provide coverage for your liability protection.

Even though you don't own a vehicle you may still be required to carry an SR22. This is called a non-owners SR-22 insurance policy. The vehicle isn't covered by an SR22 or a non-owners policy. Many readers get confused and believe that a non-owners liability policy is the magic bullet of coverage. It is not, it only covers liability up to the limits purchased. It does not cover the vehicle that you are driving, but only the liability that the driver may cause.

Each state is different, but as a general rule it doesn't cover you for a vehicle registered to you, one in your household, or a vehicle provided for your regular and frequent use. If you have a vehicle registered to you, one in your household, or someone provides a vehicle for your regular and frequent use, you should NOT purchase a non-owner policy for coverage in that scenario!

You may obtain a non-owners liability SR22 insurance policy with some of our partner companies. You can obtain a quote for a non-owner SR-22 policy by following the link and entering your zip code. If a non-owners policy is available, indicate that you do not own a vehicle at the top of the vehicle page.

If we offer the ability to get an online non-owners policy in your state, then the vehicle page will list this:
"Check this box if you do not own a vehicle and would like to purchase a non-owners policy." If this option is not available, please call our sales center so they can assist you in purchasing a non-owners policy.

Comment Update: An SR-22 is required by the state, not The reason you may need a non-owners policy is because an SR-22 is liability insurance, which means it is protecting other people's injuries if YOU are negligent in an accident. This can occur if you are driving another car. That is the reason a non-owners policy is available.

If you own a vehicle, you will not purchase a non-owners policy. If you have a vehicle in your household, or a vehicle provided for your regular and frequent use then most non-owner policies will not cover that scenario.

Where we are able to offer non-owners insurance the vehicle screen has this option to select a non-owners policy: "Check this box if you do not own a vehicle and would like to purchase a non-owners policy."

Comment Update: You can drive any car, but the non-owners SR-22 coverage will only cover the liability portion up to the limits of your SR-22. It will not cover the car you are driving.

What is an SR-22?

An SR-22 is a document required as proof of financial responsibility by the court or under state law for persons convicted of certain traffic violations.

Definition of an SR-22 from the Car Insurance Learning Center: SR-22 is a form which must be filed by the insurance company stating that auto liability insurance is in effect for a particular individual. Required when insurance is provided to an individual who was in an accident or was convicted of a traffic offense and was unable to show financial responsibility. Each state has different variations of this form and requirements.

Click on this link to obtain an SR-22 quote from by entering your zip code and some basic information (SR22 is only available in certain states).

Comment Update: SR-22s are state specific and the requirements in one state may not apply in another state. You can expect an SR-22 or financial responsibility in every state except for these exceptions.

Delaware, Kentucky, Minnesota, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Pennsylvania don't require SR-22s, but if you have an SR-22 and then move to one of these states, you must continue to meet the requirements of the SR-22 state where the offense was committed.

New York and North Carolina don't require SR-22 filings, and most companies don't offer out-of-state SR-22 filings for policies in these states.

If you currently carry an SR-22 in one state but move to another state, you must fulfill the SR-22 filing period for your former state, even though you no longer reside there. Also, your insurance policy for your new state must have liability limits which meet the minimums required by law in your former (SR-22) state.

Comment Followup: You can only get an SR-22 form from an insurance company that is filed with the state to issue SR-22s.

Please read our related questions to help with your comments.

We do not know of any state that requires the SR-22 form to be held in the vehicle while driving. Most states list SR-22 status on your driving record, so law enforcement can look and see if you have it. Typically, it is the state motor vehicle department enforcing the requirement, not the police.

What are the cheapest cars to insure for a 16 year old girl or boy?

In most cases, the less expensive the car is to buy, the less expensive it is to insure.

In addition, domestic vehicles are usually less expensive to insure as are 4 door cars, 4 cylinder motors and minivans.

According to leading car retailers, these cost the least to insure in the first 5 years of ownership:

* Chrysler PT Cruiser 4dr Wagon
* GMC Safari SLE AWD 3dr Minivan
* Dodge Caravan SE 4dr Minivan
* Saturn ION 1 4dr Sedan
* Pontiac Sunfire 2dr Coupe
* Jeep Liberty Sport 4WD 4dr SUV
* Saturn L300 1 4dr Sedan
* Volvo S40 4dr Sedan
* Saab 38600 Linear 2.3t 4dr SportWagon
* Buick Century Special Edition 4dr Sedan

Good luck and happy car shopping. You can obtain as many quotes for as many different vehicles as you'd like at our web site. Enter your zip code and then some basic information for a quote. You can select different types of vehicles on the vehicle page to compare the difference in the rate.

If you are looking for an older vehicle then you should still use the same reference that a less expensive car to purchase is less expensive to insure.

Most safety experts caution against SUVs for teens. Young drivers tend to overcorrect when steering out of fear, this makes them more prone to roll their vehicles.

You should look for these factors on an older car:

* reliability
* safety
* price

Small cars, such as the Honda Civic, the Ford Focus and Saturn models are the most popular choices, but they aren't always the best choice for young drivers. The lightest vehicles have the highest death rates.

If you can stand it, minivans and large four-door cars have the lowest death rates. Insurers use these factors when considering your rate. The bigger and heavier car is a smarter choice for young drivers, even if it isn't cool.

Comment Update: We get many requests for exact numbers. Young drivers should understand that many factors affect your rates. We can give you numbers, but they will be different in every different locale throughout the United States. Here are some 6 month premiums with no tickets in different parts of Florida:

Central Florida:

* Bodily Injury 10000/20000 -- $546
* Property Damage 10000 -- $534
* Personal Injury Protection 1000 -- $386
* Comprehensive 500 -- $84
* Collision 500 -- $1,016
* Policy Total -- $2,566

South Florida:

* Bodily Injury 10000/20000 -- $880
* Property Damage 10000 -- $580
* Personal Injury Protection 1000 -- $634
* Comprehensive 500 -- $387
* Collision 500 -- $1,598
* Policy Total$4,079

Put your zip code in the quote box above and find out how much your area costs to insure a 16 year old.

What is GAP insurance?

GAP insurance can provide valuable protection during the early years of your car's life if you have a loan or a lease.

If a loss occurs, GAP insurance will pay the difference between the actual cash value of the vehicle and the current outstanding balance on your loan or lease. Gap Insurance protects your vehicle lease or loan. Sometimes it will also pay your regular insurance deductible.

If your vehicle has been totaled by accident, theft, fire, flood, tornado, vandalism, or hurricanes your insurance company typically pays the actual cash value. That may be less than its actual retail value. It is often considerably less than the actual amount you still owe on your loan or the amount due for a lease payoff.

The amount between your insurance deductible and the loss from this financial shortfall is the “gap” you can be left owing.

When you purchase your policy online with, most of our carriers offer this coverage. It is labeled Loan/Lease Gap coverage. You can purchase it easily with your policy for very little premium. If you don't have a policy, we offers GAP Insurance as a separate policy through this online partner.

This is how a "GAP" occurs (using fictitious numbers):

* You choose a car that costs $25,000 and you drive it off the lot.
* After paying the down payment you owe $24,000 in car payments over 5 years (0% interest loan = $400 car payments).
* You purchase physical damage insurance (comprehensive and collision) with a $500 deductible to protect you against damages and loss.
* You have an accident while you are still upside down on your loan or lease ("Upside down" means owing more on a car than it's worth) and your vehicle is totaled.
* The insurance company determines that the actual cash value of the car is only $22,000, but at the time of the loss you still owe $23,500.
* GAP insurance should pay the difference plus your deductible totalling $2000. (Not all GAP policies pay the deductible)

Here are the line items:

* Loan Payoff at the time of accident: $23,500
* Vehicles actual value at the time of accident: $22,000
* Your deductible: $500
* Physical Damage Insurance Company pays: $21,500 ($22,000 minus $500 deductible)
* GAP insurance pays the difference between what is owed and what the Physical Damage Insurance Company pays (plus your deductible): $2000

Typically a new car is worth approximately 30 percent less in 3 months than the day it was purchased! In our example above, if you owned the car for 3 days, had physical damage coverage and the car was totaled, you could owe 20% to 30% of the $24,000 ($4,800 to $7,200 out of your pocket) even though you purchased "full coverage."

Car owners often assume that if their car is totaled, it will be replaced at the amount they paid, or at least the amount they owe. This is not so. Many car insurance companies offer a GAP option (Loan/Lease Gap Insurance) as an optional coverage that is available with physical damage coverage. If you carrier doesn't offer it, you can purchase it here: offers GAP Insurance.

Remember these possible exclusions/policy rules:

* Maximum Limit of Loss: $50,000
* A GAP claim settlement may not cover the entire gap due, when your loan's Original Amount Financed exceeds 120% of MSRP (new vehicle) or NADA Retail Value (used vehicles), plus 30% of Value allowable for Additional Financed Items like Credit Life or Service Contracts.
* The claim settlement does not cover late charges or other penalties due to your lender.
* Your loan amount financed must be less than or equal to $100,000.
* Your loan term must not be greater than 84 months.
* The loan must not have a balloon payment due at the end of the term.
* The maximum APR is 12.5%

Comment Update: Your situation where you left the dealership and only have the car for 15 minutes is the perfect scenario where GAP insurance applies. The car isn't worth the value you paid for it, therefore your insurance company will only give the "cash value" of the car. The other person is likely responsible for all the damages, but if their company doesn't give you full value then GAP insurance would pay the difference and likely go after the liable party (subrogation).

What is an SR-22 form?

SR-22 insurance varies state to state.

The basic definition of an SR-22 form is available on our Insurance Terms page.

SR-22 isn't a type of insurance, but rather proof that you have certain types of insurance (based upon the financial responsbility laws of your state).

Simply, it is a form which must be filed by the insurance company to the state (Department of Motor Vehicles) stating that auto liability insurance is in effect for a particular individual.

Typically it is required when insurance is provided to an individual who was in an accident or was convicted of a traffic offense and was unable to show financial responsibility OR if a judge has ordered an SR22 for other reasons (in some states).

Comment Update: Yes, it is simply a form showing you are carrying a certain type of liability coverage.

Please review our related question titled "What is an SR-22?" for more explanation to your request.

Comment Update: This answer is about the form, please see the related articles to learn what an SR-22 is.

In Illinois what is the penalty for driving with expired license plate sticker?

From what we have read an expired license plate (thus having an expired registration sticker) comes with a fine of around $90 in the state of Illinois. Also when renewing your registration fee, a $20 late fee will be assessed for all applicants who renew more than one calendar month past their registration expiration date.

So basically if you are 30 days past the expiration date of your plates / registration than you will get a late fee when renewing them along with the fine the court assesses for being caught driving with expired plates/registration on your vehicle.

The Illinois laws that appear to apply to expired registration are:

Chapter 625 of the Illinois Compiled Statutes (ILCS) Section 5/3-701 (625 ILCS 5/3-701) notes that a vehicle required to be registered in Illinois. A current and valid Illinois registration sticker and plate or plates is required.

625 ILCS 5/3-413 is titled Display of registration plates, registration stickers and drive away permits. Here under subsection (f) it states that no person shall operate a vehicle nor permit the operation of a vehicle, upon which is displayed an Illinois registration plate, plates or registration stickers after the termination of the registration period for which issued or after the expiration date. From what we have been able to find the penalty is then a fine if you are caught driving on an expired plate.

If you were ticketed for operating a vehicle in Illinois with expired plates (registration) than you should contact the court listed on your citation to find out the penalty that the court normally hands down for this and if renewing your registration before the court date will help you reduce or dismiss your ticket.

Do You have to be a student in order to get a G1 license?

According to the Ontario Ministry of Transportation representative you do not have to be in school to get your G1. There are bills regarding this issue that have tried to pass in the past so you will need to keep checking to see if the laws in Ontario do change in the future.

There was a bill regarding this issue that was originally introduced in 2005 where the Ontario legislature wanted to compel every high school student to prove they were in school before they were granted a license to drive a car. Students applying for their licenses would have to show a document to the Ministry of Transportation that proves they are an active student.

The government backed off the 2005 bill after conceding that law would be difficult to enforce. We had heard about new provincial legislation in Ontario that would take away teens driving privileges if they dropped out of school before the age of 18 however it appears that this legislature did not pass.

As we mentioned, we contacted the Ontario, Canada Ministry of Transportation (MTO), the licensing agency for Ontario, about if you could apply for a driver's license (G1) without presently being in school. They responded that if you are 16 years of age and older, you are eligible to apply for an Ontario driver’s license even though you are not in school.

Their site in fact states that the Ministry of the Attorney General reviewed all Ontario laws that set a minimum age requirement. This was done to ensure they obeyed provisions prohibiting age discrimination under the Ontario Human Rights Code and the Canadian Charter of Rights. After this review, the government decided to maintain 16 years as the minimum legal age for many "adult" activities in Ontario, such as leaving home or school, working full-time, getting married and driving.

We have heard that other legislation changed regarding how long you must stay in school had changed so that you are now required to attend school (or an equivalent learning program approved by the Ministry of Education) until you are 18 years old. So basically the drop out age had been changed however the MTO said that is not under their jurisdiction and so the representative did not confirm if this was the case now or not.

New York Car Insurance Requirements

New York Car Insurance Requirements

New York state law requires minimum Bodily Injury Liability limits of $25,000 per injured person up to a total of $50,000 per accident, and Property Damage Liability coverage with a minimum limit of $10,000. This basic coverage is often referred to as 25/50/10 coverage with 25/50 UM limits.
New York Insurance Coverage:
Bodily Injury Liability: $25,000/$50,000 Limit
Property Damage Liability: $10,000 Limit
Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Bodily Injury: $25,000/$50,000 Limit
Personal Injury Protection: $50,000 Limit

The state of New York follows a No-Fault system meaning your insurance company will make payments for your injury claims regardless of fault, up to a specified limit. Typically, you lose some of your rights to sue under a No-Fault system. Details of a no-fault system vary from state to state.

Personal Injury Protection (PIP) helps pay for "reasonable and necessary" medical expenses for you and your passengers. New York state law requires a minimum Personal Injury Protection coverage of $50,000.

To help protect against damages caused to you and your passengers by an uninsured driver, New York state law requires a minimum Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist coverage of $25,000 per person up to a total of $50,000 per accident for any bodily injury caused by the uninsured and/or underinsured driver.

When you get a quote at, our coverage page will give you the option of choosing the Minimum State Required package, more wide-ranging coverage packages, or you can customize every limit and deductible to fit your needs. If that is too complicated,'s insurance agents are licensed in New York and available to help you all the way through the quote and purchase process.

Finding low cost

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