Almost every state has laws stating that people have auto insurance, but the actual regulations regarding auto insurance vary from state to state - so the type of coverage that you require depends on the state in which you live in.

Even if there are no laws, it is highly recommended that you have some form of cover; otherwise you may end up paying out huge amounts of money in the event of an accident, or even losing your home, in a worst-case scenario.

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USA Auto Insurance and DUIs

Drinking and driving is not a good combination. There are TV and radio ads about this. There are films at schools, literature at the library and other public places, and yet people continue to do this. The question keeps coming up as to how many lives need to be lost before people get the message.

Even with the risk of hurting or killing yourself or others, people continue to drink and drive in USA. However, even if loss of life or serious injuries don't stop individuals from doing this, there is a different angle to this situation.

There is a way that there is hitting people in their wallets and a couple of other places. For one, a conviction could land you in jail and cost you a lot of money. In addition, one thing that many people don't realize about drinking and driving is that on top of all of the above, your insurance rates can hit the roof.

A DUI on your records categorizes you as a high-risk driver. As a result, several things can happen. Your insurance can be canceled or not renewed, your premiums can be increased and/or you might have to get insurance from a company who only deal with high-risk drivers, which limit your options and leave you with higher premiums.

Depending on how long a DUI remains on a driver's record, the higher rates can continue for up to seven years. Plus, any accidents or tickets from the past or that you get in the present or future, these tickets or accidents can cost you much more than they would if you did not have a DUI on your records.

What do you do if you can't afford the combination of all this and have to stop driving even temporarily? If rapid transit is not available, how do you get to work? And the list goes on. You could take the chance and drive without insurance or against any restrictions resulting from the DUI, but if you get stopped by the police or you get into an accident, you could end up in jail for a longer time, end up not being able to get insurance or just plain lose your license, or for that matter, you could end up with all of the above.

If you are in a situation where you have a DUI, do not give up regarding insurance. There are companies out there that will work with you. Don't pick the first policy you find - do some comparing. More importantly, don't drink and drive.

Before you decide to have a drink or two - or more - and drive, think about the consequences. Aside from the toll in human life, the other consequences to you could be overwhelming and you may be unable to turn the situation around.

Car Insurance Q & A

Question: If someone borrows my car and crashes it, does my insurance apply, or does theirs?
Answer: Generally speaking, the liability follows the car, so your insurance would apply, as it is your car. The liability insurance of the driver often pays the additional amount if the costs payable are above your policy limits.

Question: If a child goes to college with mom or dad’s car, are they covered under the parents’ personal auto policy?
Answer: This can vary from company to company. Check with the insurance provider and make sure that the child is listed as an additional driver. Do this before the child goes to college, and it will avoid unnecessary disputes later on.

Question: Do I need ‘gap’ insurance?
Answer: If your vehicle is on finance, and its value is now less than the amount you owe, then yes you need gap insurance. If you owe less than its value, then no, you do not need gap insurance.