Penalties for driving without insurance in Connecticut
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To drive legally in Connecticut, you’ll need an active car insurance policy. The state of Connecticut has relatively severe penalties for driving without insurance, so it’s important to make sure you satisfy the minimum requirements for auto insurance. You may also want to purchase additional coverage to protect yourself financially. Here’s what you need to know to ensure you don’t face fines or legal consequences.
Minimum insurance required in Connecticut
Connecticut car insurance laws require that drivers carry the following insurance coverage:
- A minimum of $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident in bodily injury liability coverage
- A minimum of $25,000 per accident in property damage liability coverage
- A minimum of $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident in uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage
Bodily injury liability coverage helps pay for the medical expenses or death of another party in an accident that you cause, while property damage liability coverage helps pay for repairs to property that you damage with your vehicle. Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage is designed to pay for your medical bills if you are injured in a hit-and-run or by a driver without the minimum required insurance coverage.
None of these coverages pay for your medical expenses or repairs to your vehicle after an accident you cause. If you are at fault and want to protect your finances, you’ll probably need comprehensive and collision coverage. The State of Connecticut Insurance Department also strongly urges drivers to purchase higher limits for liability coverage.
Penalties for driving without insurance in Connecticut
If you’re caught driving without proof of insurance in Connecticut, you’ll be subject to a $50 fine, plus other fees, for a total of $117. But if you’re found driving without an active insurance policy or lend your car to someone else when you don’t have insurance for the vehicle, the penalties are much worse.
Operating or allowing someone to operate your vehicle if it isn’t insured is considered a Class C Misdemeanor in the state of Connecticut. You can expect to face the following consequences as a result:
- As the vehicle owner, you’d face a $500 fine, up to three months in jail, or both.
- The operator of the vehicle will also incur a fine between $100 and $1,000.
- If you have a commercial registration, the penalty increases to $5,000 or up to five years in jail.
- Your registration and driver’s license will be suspended for one month for your first offense and six months for any subsequent offense.
- Your vehicle could be impounded until you can provide proof of insurance.
- You’ll need to show proof of insurance and pay $175 to get your license reinstated.
Fees from Connecticut’s online insurance verification system
Even if you don’t drive your car, you need to maintain an active insurance policy as long as you have an active registration. If you allow your insurance policy to lapse, your insurance provider will inform the DMV, and you will be sent a Notice of Registration Suspension.
If you don’t contest, you can pay a $200 civil penalty and be required to provide proof of insurance or an SR-22 certificate to avoid license suspension. If you don’t respond to the notice in 30 days by either entering into a consent agreement and providing proof of insurance, surrendering your license plates or transferring ownership of your vehicle, the DMV may suspend your driver’s license. At that point, you’d need to attend a hearing, show proof of your new insurance policy, and pay a $175 reinstatement fee.
Furthermore, if a police officer catches you driving an uninsured vehicle or sees it parked in a public area, it may be impounded. If that happens, you may have to pay towing charges and storage fees until you can provide proof of insurance.
|Reason for fee||Fee amount|
|Consent agreement after an insurance lapse||$200|
|Towing fees||$105 for light-duty vehicles, plus $4.75/mile in excess of two miles|
|Storage fees||$9 per day for light-duty vehicles|
Getting into an accident without insurance
While the fines and legal consequences of driving uninsured in Connecticut are reason enough to carry an insurance policy, the consequences of a car accident can be even more financially devastating when you don’t have insurance. Since Connecticut is an at-fault state, you could be sued for the total amount of the other party’s medical bills and repairs in an accident you cause.
To give you an idea of how much an at-fault accident might cost you without insurance, the average bodily injury claim was $18,417 in 2019, and the average property damage liability claim was $4,525, according to the Insurance Information Institute.
You should strongly consider purchasing comprehensive and collision coverage as well, especially if you need your car to get to work. Without this coverage, you’d be on the hook for your vehicle repairs if you cause an accident.
Frequently asked questions
What happens if you provide false insurance information?
Using a fake insurance card constitutes a false statement under Connecticut law and is considered a Class A misdemeanor, which can result in up to a year in jail and a $2,000 fine. You’re also likely to get caught since Connecticut has an online insurance verification system. No matter how much money you may save, using a fake insurance card and driving without insurance probably isn’t worth the risk.
How much is car insurance in Connecticut?
The average cost of car insurance in Connecticut is $794 annually for a minimum coverage policy and $1,845 annually for a full coverage policy, which is slightly higher than the national average. You might pay more than that if you have accidents or a DUI on your record, but you could also pay less if you compare car insurance quotes online. It’s a good idea to speak with a licensed insurance agent to determine what coverage options are right for you.
What is the best car insurance company in Connecticut?
The best car insurance company for you will depend on individual factors affecting your premium. The provider offering the lowest premium may not always be the best choice. You might want to do some research to compare quotes and coverage and determine which auto insurance companies have a good reputation for customer satisfaction and financial strength.
Bankrate utilizes Quadrant Information Services to analyze rates for all ZIP codes and carriers in all 50 states and Washington, D.C. Quoted rates are based on a 40-year-old male and female driver with a clean driving record, good credit and the following full coverage limits:
- $100,000 bodily injury liability per person
- $300,000 bodily injury liability per accident
- $50,000 property damage liability per accident
- $100,000 uninsured motorist bodily injury per person
- $300,000 uninsured motorist bodily injury per accident
- $500 collision deductible
- $500 comprehensive deductible
To determine minimum coverage limits, Bankrate used minimum coverages that meet each state’s requirements. Our sample drivers own a 2018 Honda Accord, commute five days a week and drive 12,000 miles annually.
These are sample rates and should be used for comparative purposes only. Your quotes may be different.