You need car insurance to drive. It’s required under state law. It’s also the best way to guarantee you can pay for any property damage or injuries you cause. You need car insurance – but you don’t have it. If you’ve let your car insurance lapse, you’re not alone, but you are in a bad situation, and it needs to be remedied immediately.

Many people are driving without car insurance.

Despite laws requiring drivers to carry auto insurance, people sometimes let it lapse for a number of different reasons. Maybe they’re not driving much and think they don’t need it. Perhaps they forgot to arrange for payment. Often, it comes down to affordability. When people are tight on money, they may try to save a few bucks by not paying their insurance bill.

According to the Insurance Research Council, 13 percent of drivers were uninsured in 2015. That means approximately one in eight drivers you encounter on the road have no insurance. In some states, the rate is even worse. In Florida, more example, more than one in four drivers are uninsured.

Letting your car insurance lapse can cause major headaches.

Lapsed insurance may be a common problem, but it’s still a problem.

If you’re caught driving without insurance, you can expect to get an expensive ticket, but the trouble doesn’t stop there. You could face license suspension, which could make it difficult for you to get to work and earn a living. You could also get labeled a high-risk driver, which means you’ll pay more for insurance once you do get it reinstated.

You might think you’re saving money by foregoing car insurance, but in the end, you wind up paying a lot more.

Take action immediately.

If you’ve let your car insurance lapse, you need to fix the problem as soon as possible.

  1. Get insurance coverage. You can either talk to your old insurer to see what it will take to reinstate your insurance or find a new provider. One potential solution: Request a quote from Jupiter Auto.
  2. Be ready to deal with the DMV. Don’t think your lapse will fly under the radar. Because continuous coverage is required for licensing and registration, a lapse is a big problem, and you may be charged fees.

Avoid lapses in the future.

In this situation, prevention really is the best medicine. Do everything you can to avoid letting your car insurance lapse in the future.

Make car insurance a priority in your budget. If you can’t afford your insurance, look for ways to lower the premium. You might be able to reduce the amount of coverage you have, and another insurer might be able to offer you a better rate.  You can also see if you qualify for discounts. Even if you’ve had crashes and tickets in the past, you might be able to improve your rate by taking a course or by using an app that gives you a driving score.

Don’t let a little mistake cost you big time. Double check your payments to be sure they’ve gone through. If you have automatic payments using a card, make sure the card hasn’t expired. Give your insurer your current contact information, and always carry proof of car insurance.