"What steps should I take if my auto insurance has expired and I've recently been in a car accident?"

**One-minute rule**: If your car insurance policy expires, you have only one minute to make a renewal payment to avoid termination of coverage.

**Get the other driver's info**: If you're in an accident and your insurance has lapsed, make sure to get the other driver's contact and insurance information, as their insurance should cover your expenses if they are at fault.

**Personal responsibility**: If you're partially or entirely at fault, you'll be personally responsible for the damages if you don't have auto insurance.

**Consequences of lapse**: A lapse in auto insurance coverage can lead to higher premiums, driver's license suspension, and a lack of coverage in the event of an accident.

**Filing a claim**: If you're injured in an accident and your insurance has lapsed, you can file a claim with your own insurance company to repair your car and try to recover what they pay.

**Uninsured motorist coverage**: If you have uninsured motorist coverage, you can also make a claim with your insurance carrier.

**Fines for driving without insurance**: Fines for driving without auto insurance range from $30 to $5,000, depending on the state.

**License suspension**: In some states, driving without insurance can lead to license suspension or fines.

**SR22 requirement**: You may be required to carry an SR22 for several years, which is an added expense on your next auto policy.

**Rate increase**: Even one day without coverage can result in a higher car insurance rate.

**Affordable rates**: The longer you carry car insurance and the higher coverage level you maintain, the more affordable your rates will be.

**Insurance lapse definition**: An insurance lapse is a period of time in which a car owner or lessor does not have auto insurance.

**Grace period**: Most insurance companies provide a short grace period (between 5 and 20 days) before terminating coverage due to non-payment of premiums.

**Reinstatement**: If your policy has been canceled, you may be able to get it reinstated by paying the owed premium and any additional fees.

**State requirements**: Every state except Virginia requires drivers to carry a minimum amount of car insurance.