Is It Illegal to Not Have Car Insurance?

Is it illegal to not have car insurance?

Not everyone thinks having car insurance is as big a deal as it is, so they skip having it. However, getting caught driving without car insurance is actually illegal in some states, including right here in Louisiana. Even if you view it as something that will blow over, states take it very seriously. The intention behind requiring car insurance while on the road is simple. In the event of a crash, having insurance allows the responsible parties to pay for any damage they caused if they drove recklessly. However, not having any insurance makes the process much more complicated.

If you were involved in an accident and the other party didn’t have insurance, you need our car accident lawyers in Shreveport. At Gordon & Gordon, we take pride in being a well-known, well-respected firm in our area. Insurance companies know what we’re capable of, so they take us seriously. Sustaining injuries from an accident is stressful on both your physical and mental health. For this reason, let us help make it a little easier. To schedule your free consultation with a personal injury lawyer, call us at 318-716-HELP today.

Why Does Louisiana Legally Require Car Insurance?

In general, the Louisiana Department of Insurance requires that registered owners of all vehicles have liability car insurance. This consequently applies to every vehicle that someone owns. Overall, coverage like this pays for damages that you might be responsible for in the event of an accident. Louisiana also requires policy limits to be 15/30/25. Basically, they cover $15,000 for bodily injury to only one person, $30,000 for bodily injury to more than one person in one accident, and $25,000 for the damage to another person’s property.

Louisiana requires liability insurance for a simple reason. If you don’t have it, the other party gets stuck paying for damage that they themselves did not cause as a result. It also covers damages caused by anyone driving the vehicle with the owner’s permission. Not only does it cover the victim’s bills, but it also saves the responsible party from having to pay potentially more than their monthly insurance bill.

What Are the Penalties for Driving Without Insurance?

Although Louisiana’s required liability car insurance is not unique from other states, it is unique in how it handles the penalties for violations of this rule. This is due to the general penalties incurred from failing to have car insurance are fines, license confiscation, suspended registration, and impoundment. Below, we outline the potential penalties for drivers without insurance for their first, second, and further offenses.

PenaltyFirst OffenseSecond OffenseThird/Further Offense
DMV Feesfrom $500-$1,000$500-$1,000$500-$1,000
Driving Privilege SuspendedSuspension of registration, plates, and impoundmentThe suspension of registration, plates, and impoundmentSuspension of registration, plates, and impoundment
Insurance ClaimsCannot claim for losses in accidentsYou cannot claim for losses in accidentsCannot claim for losses in accidents
Reinstatement Fees$50 reinstatement & $10 for administration$150 for reinstatement & $10 for administration$500 reinstatement & $10 for administration
OtherWreckage fees or storage fees for an impounded carStorage fees or wreckage fees for an impounded carWreckage fees or storage fees for an impounded car

In the event of a first offense, if the officer decides to ultimately follow through with the above penalties, they will issue a Temporary Vehicle Use Authorization. This allows you only three days in which to get insurance and present the papers to the DMV office. The main difference between first, second, and third offenses is the monetary penalty. However, penalties and reinstatement fees increase for each subsequent violation.

How Much Car Insurance Is Legally Required in Louisiana?

Certain states require certain minimum amounts of car insurance. In Louisiana, drivers must have 15/30/25 insurance. These numbers show the minimum legal requirement to operate a vehicle. It includes $15,000 for bodily injury liability coverage for one person, $30,000 for bodily injury to more than one person, and $25,000 for property damage liability coverage. However, you can also opt into other coverage options, so long as you still meet these minimum requirements. Below, we list some examples of other coverages that drivers in Louisiana choose.

  • $1,000 in medical payments
  • Uninsured motorist coverage
  • Full/comprehensive coverage

In Louisiana, we have a “No Pay, No Play” law. It states that, even if someone is the victim in an accident, they do not receive compensation from another driver’s insurance if they themselves do not have insurance. 

What Happens If You Get Caught Driving Without Car Insurance?

Even though monthly insurance premiums can be expensive, getting into an accident with no insurance is even more expensive. In the above table, we outlined the potential penalties for driving without insurance. Below, we list some of the penalties a police officer might levy onto you right after they discover your lack of insurance.

  • Tickets and fees
  • Suspended license
  • Reinstatement fees
  • Impounded vehicle
  • SR-22 requirements
  • Potential time in jail

Do I Need Car Insurance If I Don’t Have a Car?

At first, car insurance without owning a car sounds like a waste of money, right? However, it’s actually a smart move even if you don’t foresee yourself driving. Some people opt for what we call “non-owner insurance.” This form of car insurance provides the insured person with liability insurance if they drive a car that they do not own. Most of the time, this type of insurance provides for the minimum coverage in your state. So why would someone want non-owner insurance? Below, we list common reasons why someone might choose to have non-owner insurance.

  • To maintain uninterrupted coverage (breaks in coverage could make it harder to get insurance later).
  • You travel and rent cars often.
  • You borrow other people’s cars on a regular basis.
  • To use car-sharing services like Zipcar.

Driving Without Insurance Attorney in Louisiana

In the event that you suffered an accident with an uninsured driver, you need the experienced attorneys at Gordon & Gordon. Because we have handled as many car accidents as we have, we can assure you we’ve seen it all. Due to this, we dedicate a large portion of our practice to handling personal injury claims involving car accidents. To emphasize how qualified we are, insurance companies know how much experience we have, and we’re not afraid to fight on your behalf. To schedule your free consultation with us, call 318-716-HELP today.