Photo: Flickr via ejcallow
There are millions of uninsured drivers on the road each day, but not all of them are breaking the law.In several states – California, Tennessee, Washington, Texas and Ohio among them – consumers are allowed behind the wheel without insurance so long as they prove they’re well-heeled enough to foot the bill for accidents, according to Insurance.com.
In layman’s terms, you can legally “bribe” your way out of insurance payments by cutting states a big fat check.
Drivers in California can skirt the law by forking over $35,000 in cash to the DMV or posting a surety bond in the same amount. It’s a little bit cheaper in Ohio, where residents pay $30,000 to the DMV or state treasurer for the privilege.
And some states don’t require drivers to pay for insurance at all.
In New Hampshire and Iowa, auto insurance isn’t compulsory. In the latter, you can buy a car without proof of insurance. But in order to get away with driving uninsured, you’ll have to cut the state a check or post a bond worth $55,000.
Obviously, the majority of drivers without insurance aren’t bending the rules because they’re rich enough to do so. More often than not they simply can’t afford it.
Just take Oklahoma, for example. The state boasts the second-highest average insurance premiums in the nation, according to an Insure.com report, and a whopping 24 per cent of its drivers are uninsured.
On the other hand, Maine has the lowest premium ($889) and only 4.5 per cent of its drivers go without insurance.
A Consumer Federation of America-backed report claims auto insurers disproportionately hit low- and middle-income consumers with high-priced policies that make it difficult for them to afford coverage at all.
“In large part because of high costs and disparate impacts, a significant minority – perhaps one-quarter to one-third – of (these households) do not carry auto insurance and are driving illegally,” the study says.
NOW WATCH: Money & Markets videos
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.