With millions of cars on the road, and each car carrying both mandatory and optional auto insurance coverage, the vastness of the car insurance industry is bound to create some confusion and questions. There are so many terms and conditions that car insurance companies include in the fine print, making it so difficult to see a clear and concise picture.
One of the most commonly asked questions includes the question of whether your car insurance is still valid if your car registration expires. To answer this question and a few others related to this, let’s take a look at understanding auto insurance better.
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Car Insurance and Car Registration
Your car registration has nothing to do with your auto insurance policy. These are two separate things, and even if your car registration expires, your auto insurance policy will remain active as long as you keep paying the insurance premiums. Another question people have is whether an expired car registration affects auto insurance rates. The answer is no, car registration does not affect your vehicle insurance rates.
While it may not affect your car insurance, a car with expired registration should not be driven. It is a violation of traffic rules to drive a car without proper registration. Here’s a way how your car registration can affect your insurance rates.
If you are caught driving without proper car registration, it could get you a ticket, or even a point on your driving license, it could raise your insurance rates. Auto insurance rates are highly sensitive to driving records. Any traffic violations, tickets, or points on your driving license can increase your car insurance rates by a considerable percentage. So yes, driving a car with an expired registration can affect your auto insurance rates.
Registering Your Car Without Auto Insurance
While you can have a completely functional auto insurance policy even if your car registration has expired, it is not possible to register your car without a proper auto insurance policy. In almost every state (except Virginia and New Hampshire), you need to get a liability insurance policy with a proper minimum coverage limit to register a car.
In 12 states, called “no-fault” states, along with liability coverage, you also need to get a personal injury protection plan to register your car. It is illegal to drive a car without the proper auto insurance coverage.
Registering your car is a fairly simple process and would cost you around $50 to $80, depending on the state you live in and the kind of vehicle you own. You need to visit your local Department of Motor Vehicle to get your car registered. This is where you’ll be asked to show proof of insurance. So keep it ready. Registration is mostly valid for a year or two depending on the State you live in.
Car Insurance Rates
If you are worried about your car insurance rates, there are a few things you need to do to ensure that the rates don’t keep going higher. There are a lot of factors that affect auto insurance rates. Some of the most common reasons include bad driving records, speeding tickets, traffic violations, DUI charges, age, gender, and the state you live in.
Driving properly, keeping the deductibles high, getting into defensive driving courses or something similar, looking for discounts, etc are some of the ways you can reduce your car insurance rates. But there are some things that you cannot change. For example, the state you live in.
When it comes to car registration rules, different states have different rules, just like auto insurance rates. For example, if you look for Illinois car insurance quotes, what you’d get would be much cheaper and more affordable than looking for auto insurance quotes in New York. This is due to differences in rules and regulations, labor costs, accident rates, etc.
Is it Safe to Drive a Car without a Registration
Unlike driving a car without a proper auto insurance policy (which is a serious felony and can land you in prison), driving a car without registration is not a severe crime, and sometimes many people do it without realizing it. They might miss out on the registration renewal date.
A fine will be levied on you for not registering your car, but what if you get in an accident and the car is not registered? Again, if you have an active auto insurance policy, you do not have to worry about car registration. Since car registration has nothing to do with the risk of getting in an accident, i.e., driving a registered or unregistered car does not affect the chances of an accident, car insurance companies are not bothered by it.
So if you get in a car accident in a car that’s not registered, you’d have to pay a fine, but the insurance claim would go smoothly without any issues. You’d get your insurance claim amount. However, should you drive a car that’s not registered?
No. Driving an unregistered car is not a good idea if you want to save money on auto insurance policies to save yourself from fines. To register your car regularly and drive safely.