Accidents happen to even the safest and most defensive drivers, which is one of the many reasons why it's so important for everyone to have valid car insurance coverage. When an accident happens, the resulting costs can be staggering. Without insurance, a driver could owe thousands of dollars. The state of Oklahoma strives to ensure that all drivers are insured by imposing certain minimums. However, these minimums may not provide enough coverage for all drivers. In many cases, people opt for more extensive coverage in order to be as protected as possible.
As long as a car insurance policy meets the minimum requirements that have been set forth by the state of Oklahoma, isn't that enough? Not necessarily. The minimum requirements may fall short under some circumstances, and drivers may still be left holding steep bills. Those who aren't concerned about getting into accidents in Oklahoma should consider driving statistics for the Sooner State. They highlight just how many people are on the road, and they also emphasize the fact that there are many young, inexperienced drivers in the state as well. After digesting this information, many people opt to buy more extensive insurance policies.
Who Drives in Oklahoma?
As reported by the U.S. Census Bureau, the estimated population of Oklahoma in 2012 was 2,814,820. TheFederal Highway Administration, which keeps track of driving statistics, reports that the total number of licensed drivers in the state as of November 2012 was 2,370,643, or 62.1 percent of the total population. Men totaled 1,083,603, or 45.71 percent of all drivers. Women totaled 1,287,040, or 54.29 percent of all drivers. This information is interesting, but car insurance carriers can't take gender into consideration when calculating premiums.
Insurance providers take many other things into consideration when determining insurance rates. Age is a biggie. The younger the driver, the likelier he is to be very inexperienced. Less experienced drivers are more likely to make dangerous and reckless mistakes while behind the wheel, so they are riskier to insure and given steeper premiums. In the state of Oklahoma in November 2012, 154,442 people aged 19 and below were legally able to drive. They accounted for 6.5 percent of all licensed drivers in the Sooner State. The largest group of licensed drivers included people between the ages of 20 and 24. It totaled 217,233 people, which equals 9.2 percent of all drivers.
Auto Insurance Requirements in Oklahoma
Most people want to obey the law. To do so in Oklahoma, it's necessary to prove financial responsibility. The easiest and most effective way to do that is by purchasing auto insurance. Drivers may also opt for the Oklahoma Assigned Risk Auto Plan or make a cash deposit of at least $75,000 with the Department of Public Safety. Those who have 25 or more registered vehicles may also opt for self-insurance. Some people use bonds from surety companies to fulfill this requirement.
For those who do opt for liability insurance, the following minimum requirements must be met:
- At least $25,000 in bodily injury coverage for one person
- At least $50,000 in bodily injury coverage for two or more people
- At least $25,000 in property damage coverage
As noted previously, these minimums may fall far short of actually covering all of the expenses that result due to a car accident in the state of Oklahoma. Drivers should give plenty of thought to the matter and should collect auto insurance quotes to find the most affordable, high-quality policies.
Oklahoma's Department of Public Safety uses an online verification system to enforce the minimums regarding auto insurance coverage. Drivers who operate vehicles without proof of coverage face fines of up to $250. They may also be jailed for up to 30 days. In some cases, they may also face the suspensions of their registrations and driver's licenses. The precise penalties depend on whether or not it's the first offense and on a variety of other factors.
Oklahoma residents who want to avoid these penalties should maintain valid auto insurance at all times.