Learning what auto insurance is required by law

By Compuquotes Team on November 4th, 2008

Auto Insurance

It's a widely-known fact that if you drive without auto insurance then you can be facing severe penalties if you are pulled over. You might receive points against your driving record, large fines, and possibly even may face some jail time. Just as the penalties for uninsured or underinsured driving vary from one state to another, the amount and type of insurance that is required by law can be quite different as well. To help make sure that you don't get in trouble for not having the insurance that your state requires, it's important that you know exactly what the law states is the minimum insurance level for your vehicle. If you aren't sure or you worry that the law might have changed since you took your driver's test, there are a number of easy ways for you to find out.

One of the easiest ways to find out what insurance level is required by law in your state is to look it up on the internet. There are a number of websites dedicated to providing useful information such as this, and these sites can usually be found quite easily using the internet search engine of your choice. Make sure that you can verify how recently sites such as this have been updated, though, because you don't want to trust the information that's on a site which hasn't been updated in years. Laws can change over time, and it's possible that sites which don't update frequently (or at all) won't have the latest legal information.

Another good source of information on the insurance required by law is your local Department of Motor Vehicles. Since the DMV is responsible for licensing drivers according to the current legal standards, it stands to reason that they would have the latest information on the laws concerning auto insurance. You can ask a DMV worker directly for this information, look at a driver's test preparation manual, or even check your state DMV's website. The DMV offices can be quite busy during peak hours, though, so make sure that you come relatively early in the morning or in mid-afternoon to avoid crowds that occur during lunch breaks or after school.

Yet another source of reliable information is your local police department. Similar to how the DMV has the information because they work with the licensing procedures every day, the police department will be able to provide you with the information that you seek because they are the ones who have to enforce the laws set by the state. You can visit in person or contact them over the phone, though make sure that you use their standard phone number and not the emergency services number if calling.

Finally, you can always ask an insurance agent at a reputable insurance company in your area as many insurance companies won't sell automotive coverage that falls below that which is required by the state. Even online insurance providers tend to have state requirements programmed into their systems so that they will automatically pull up the latest requirements when you go to buy insurance. Just make sure that you don't end up buying additional coverage that you don't need if you're only looking for the minimum coverage that you can get in order to be legal.

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