Every driver is required to carry a valid car insurance policy if they want to drive a vehicle on the road. Not having car insurance is against the law and if caught, the driver will face penalties and fines. The same applies if a driver does have an insurance policy but allows a lapse in coverage to occur.
Every driver should understand what allowing a lapse in car insurance really means and how it can affect their chances of obtaining a car insurance policy. A lapse in coverage happens when a person has a registered vehicle but doesn't have valid insurance in place. The vehicle may be parked at home and used very rarely, but without the minimum required insurance coverage, insurance companies will consider this as lapsed insurance. If a person fails to make their monthly premium payments, the policy will also lapse and any claims that are filed during that time will not be covered by the insurance company.
If a person chooses to drive a vehicle after their insurance policy lapses, they may face harsh consequences. Being caught while driving with a lapsed policy will net a driver large fines and require them to file an SR-22 certificate, which must be in place for a minimum of three years. If the driver is involved in an accident and doesn't have valid insurance in place, they are responsible for any damages and injuries that occur. Medical bills can be extremely expensive and not many people can afford to pay thousands or even millions of dollars out of pocket.
Attempting to secure another insurance policy once a previous one has lapsed can prove to be very challenging. Insurance companies consider applicants with lapsed policies to be high risk drivers. This means that if they do choose to offer insurance, the premiums will be significantly higher than a person who has never had a lapse in insurance coverage. It is also very important to disclose the fact that a previous policy has lapsed. Withholding this information or lying about it will result in having a car insurance policy application declined. If the insurance company does issue a policy and then finds this fact out at a later date, they have the right to void the policy.
Every driver must have a valid insurance policy in place to legally drive in any state. By maintaining a clean driving record and paying premiums as they are due, a driver can expect to gradually pay less for their policy. However, allowing a lapse in coverage with a car insurance policy will result in higher premiums and possible financial expenses that a driver cannot afford.