What Happens if You Are In a Car Accident Without Insurance?
In Alberta, there are rules in place to prevent drivers from operating a vehicle without insurance. The Motor Vehicles Registry will not issue license plates for your vehicle until you can prove that you have valid insurance on it. If you purchase a new vehicle, you can transfer your plates to the new vehicle, but you will require a new insurance policy for it.
Still there are those who get behind the wheel of a car without insurance. Perhaps they feel that paying a fine will cost less than paying for insurance. But in reality, it’s a gamble that simply isn’t worth taking.
Taking your chances without insurance
If you are caught driving a vehicle without car insurance, it’s an automatic fine – even if the car doesn’t belong to you. (If you borrow someone’s vehicle, make sure the vehicle has a valid pink slip.)
Driving a vehicle that is not insured will net you a fine of no less than $2,500 for the first offence, and if you are charged a second time within one year, you will receive a mandatory jail sentence of at least 30 days and possibly up to six months. Driving without insurance can also lead to license suspensions and vehicle impoundments.
Being in an accident without insurance is a costly lesson
If the accident is your fault and you have no insurance, you are personally responsible for damages to people in the other car and their property. A “fender bender” or rear-end collision can cost you up to $10,000, depending on the extent of the damages. And this is in addition to the cost of repairing or replacing your own vehicle.
If you’re tempted to leave the scene of an accident, known as a “hit and run”, you could be charged under the criminal code, which means jail time.
All convictions go on your driver’s record. Every insurer in Alberta as well as other provinces has access to your information. If you decide to purchase auto insurance after an accident, you will be challenged to find an insurance company to cover you. Should you succeed, you will surely be paying extremely high premiums.
Automobile insurance is designed to protect you and other drivers on the road. It also covers you by paying the heavy costs related to an accident. Purchasing insurance makes smart sense when you consider the true costs of driving without it.