There is a reason states require you to be insured to drive around their roads. Accidents happen, and states want to protect the public for damage drivers may do.
Every time you get in your vehicle — whether it is going to and from work or school, just to grab a bite to eat or taking off on a vacation — you are just a moment away from being in an accident. We have all heard about the different distractions that cause accidents — from texting, to DUI to just taking your eyes off the road to eat or check on your baby in the back seat.
If you hit someone or something, you are responsible for the bodily injury to that person or physical damage to that car or fence or building.
So, not only is it required by law to carry liability insurance, you should want to protect yourself from a lawsuit that could be very costly to you.
If you are stopped by law enforcement, and cannot prove you have insurance, you are probably going to get a ticket at minimum. The officer could also arrest you or impound your vehicle. All of this could add up to be a very expensive traffic stop. And if you were involved in an accident with no insurance, you will be responsible for paying hospital bills and property damage out of your own pocket.
In South Carolina, the DMV is trying to catch people driving with no insurance. The insurance companies report to the Department of Motor Vehicle when an insurance policy cancels. The DMV checks their records to see if there is an active tag on the vehicle. If no new policy is reported to the DMV, then you could be levied a fine, your driver’s license could be suspended and an officer could make a visit to pull your vehicle’s license plate.
Below is the wording directly from www.scdmvonline.com:
Driving Without Insurance
Insurance companies notify the SCDMV if you're a vehicle owner and you cancel your insurance policy. If you do not have current insurance when the SCDMV receives this notification, you will receive a letter that requires you to have the insurance company electronically verify insurance coverage within 20 business days.
If the SCDMV does not receive verification within 20 days, the following will happen:
- Your driving privilege, license plate, and vehicle registration(s) of the vehicle(s) listed on the policy will be suspended.
- You may have to pay up to $400 to reinstate your driving and registration privileges.
- While under suspension, you may not drive or register any vehicle without insurance. If you do not return your plate to the SCDMV, a law enforcement officer will take it from you.
The fine is $5 per day / per vehicle. This is capped at $200, and then your driver’s license is suspended. There is usually a $200 reinstatement fee to get your driver’s license back. So, if you own more than one vehicle, the fine you owe the highway department could be much more than $400.
Typically, once you figure the cost of driving uninsured, you’ll find it is cheaper to do things the right way. So, make sure you have insurance before getting behind the wheel of your car. If you must cancel your insurance, make sure to turn in the tag to the DMV so the $5/day fee is not accrued.
If you have any questions or need a quote for auto insurance in South Carolina, visit Select Insurance, LLC online at www.selectins.net or give us a call at (864) 964-0622. We have three convenient office locations to serve you: Anderson, Honea Path and Abbeville.