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Indiana requires drivers to maintain minimum levels of car insurance to provide others on the road some financial protection in the event of an accident. The coverage limits vary from state to state, and most insurance experts recommend that drivers carry more than just the required minimum liability limits to help protect their own finances. Driving without car insurance may leave you on the hook to pay out-of-pocket for any accident you cause, fines from the state and higher insurance costs down the road. Bankrate’s insurance editorial team has gathered information about the penalties for driving uninsured in Indiana and how to prepare your car insurance policy to have more coverage in case an uninsured driver hits you.
Minimum insurance required in Indiana
Indiana law requires that all car owners and drivers prove their continuous financial responsibility by maintaining certain levels of auto insurance. To legally drive, the following Indiana minimum car insurance coverage is required:
- $25,000 of bodily injury liability coverage per person
- $50,000 of bodily injury liability coverage per accident
- $25,000 of property damage liability coverage
- $25,000 of uninsured and Underinsured motorist bodily injury liability coverage per person
- $50,000 of uninsured and Underinsured motorist bodily injury liability coverage per accident
- $25,000 of uninsured motorist property damage
The uninsured and underinsured requirements can be avoided if they are rejected by an insured in writing. However, most insurance experts recommend keeping uninsured motorist coverage along with maintaining higher levels of liability coverage to help avoid the potential pitfalls of being underinsured in the event of a costly accident. Always review your coverage selections with your agent to make sure they align with your financial needs. Here are some other coverage options that may be beneficial to keep or add to your car insurance policy:
- Uninsured motorist property damage (UMPD): This may provide payments towards repairing your vehicle if it is damaged by an uninsured driver who is at fault. This coverage may also provide money for property inside your car at the time of the loss. Depending on your insurer, UMPD pays out to the actual cash value of your vehicle and is only applicable if the at-fault driver is identified as not having insurance—coverage might not apply for hit-and-run accidents with unidentified drivers.
- Medical payments coverage: This may provide payments towards you and your passenger’s medical-related expenses regardless of who is at fault for the accident. In contrast, uninsured motorist coverage only applies if the uninsured driver is at fault.
- Collision coverage: This may pay to repair damage to your vehicle from a collision or hit-and-run. Collision pays up to the car’s actual cash value (ACV), may be subject to a deductible and may not require a determination of fault to apply.
- Comprehensive coverage: This doesn’t apply to typical collisions; however it may pay to repair your vehicle for damage outside your control, such as hail, fire, theft, vandalism, falling objects and windshield replacement. Comprehensive pays up to the car’s actual cash value (ACV) and may be subject to a deductible.
Penalties for driving without insurance in Indiana
There are a few situations where the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) can request an electronic filing of a Certificate of Compliance (COC), such as a misdemeanor or felony traffic violation or an accident. Typically, your insurer can submit this form on your behalf, showing that you are meeting Indiana’s financial responsibility requirements. If you did not have an active insurance policy on the requested date, there can be significant penalties, some of which we have outlined below.
This form is a certificate of future compliance with Indiana’s minimum insurance requirements. The SR-22 must be filed with the BMV by your insurance company when your license has been suspended and must be in effect before an Indiana license can be reinstated. There are specific requirements for the length of time an SR-22 must remain in effect, depending on your circumstances.
First violation for driving without insurance
If caught driving without insurance for the first time in Indiana, you will likely have your driving privileges suspended for 90 days. As explained, this suspension creates the need for maintaining an SR-22, in this case, typically for three years.
Second and subsequent violations for driving without insurance
A second violation leads to more significant consequences. In addition to a one-year license suspension, a $500 fine will be imposed, and an SR-22 requirement is imposed for three years. With a third and any subsequent minimum insurance violations, a $1,000 reinstatement fee will be required, your license will be suspended for one year, and the SR-22 must be maintained for five years. These penalties are outlined by the state, but could be subject to the court’s discretion.
Getting into an accident without insurance
Receiving a ticket for no insurance in Indiana can possibly be the start of a long line of unfortunate consequences with all of the penalties described above coming into play, including suspension of your license. SR-22 requirements will also usually be imposed. Yet these may not even be the most significant challenges you will face.
If you were at fault in an accident while driving without insurance in Indiana, you might be sued by the other driver, passengers and their insurance companies for personal injuries and property damage, which can lead to serious financial problems for years. Of course, you will also need to pay for your medical costs, if any, and damage to your vehicle. Maintaining an active insurance policy, especially one with more than just the required limits, may help you better protect your financial future.
Frequently asked questions
Providing false insurance information of any type is a crime in Indiana and can have severe consequences whether you are driving with insurance in place or not. Providing misleading insurance information is a Class A misdemeanor and punishable with up to one year imprisonment and a fine up to $5,000.
Car insurance is relatively affordable in Indiana. The cost for full auto coverage is $1,295 annually and $327 for minimum coverage, which is well below the national average of $2,014 annually for full coverage and $622 annually for minimum coverage. Of course, every driver will bring different characteristics and risk factors to the insurance application process. Since each insurer weighs these factors differently, getting car insurance quotes from several different insurance companies with the same coverage limits, can help you nail down the right policy. If in doubt, speak with a licensed insurance agent to determine the best option for you.
There is usually no good that can come from driving without insurance. The money saved in premiums is little when balanced against the tremendous cost and personal freedom that may be at risk should you be ticketed, or worse, involved in a serious accident.