My car insurance lapsed and I had an accident

You are required to have some minimum level of car insurance in the United States. Car insurance is mandatory in all states except Hemisphere and Virginia. So before getting behind the wheels, you need to make sure your vehicle is insured. Somehow if you have been involved in an accident after the policy lapsed things might become difficult. Having insurance saves you from legal problems.

What is meant by insurance lapsed?

If you are saying your car insurance has lapsed it means you have not been insured for a period of one to two months. There might be several reasons for policy lapse such as missed payments, known-renewal of the policy or the policy cancellations by the insurance company.

What happens if you have an accident and car insurance has lapsed?

If you are insurance has lapsed it is same as having no insurance. It is not an easy fix. You might face legal issues in case your policy has lapsed. Even driving without insurance can cause you heavy fines; license suspended, license revocation or a penalty of jail time. The fines vary in each state from a minimum amount of $175 to $1000.

However, in case of an accident, the outcomes will depend on the timeline of events in a particular scenario.

Let’s take a look at how different situations may play out.

If you are driving in no-fault insurance state

Twelve states in the US are known as no-fault insurance states. If you are driving in any of those states drivers must get compensation from their own insurance companies. In this regard, it will not matter who is at fault. In these twelve states even if you are uninsured the other driver will be paid by his own insurance company.

If you are at fault in any other US state

If you are an at-fault driver in then you will have to face the penalties of driving without insurance. You will also have to pay for the damages caused by the accident. In case the other driver sues you that too will be paid from your pocket.

If another driver is at fault in any other US state

It depends on the state in which happens. Usually, there are limitations on what you can sue from the driver at fault. You can’t sue for emotional, mental or physical pain. Although you can claim for accidental damages from the insurance company of the driver at-fault. However, you might still face the penalties for driving without insurance.


As you have seen above that there are real potential dangers if you are driving without insurance. Auto insurance is not only mandatory but it is worth your money. Not having auto insurance can be devastating. Not only you have to pay hefty fines but your whole life can be ruined.

As they say, prevention is better than cure so why not take the affordable insurance before it is too late?

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