Looking for car insurance in Delaware? NerdWallet has outlined what you need to know about Delaware’s insurance regulations before you buy.
What Do I Need To Know?
Delaware residents must maintain the state’s minimum liability insurance coverage and be able to produce an insurance card if requested by a police officer. The minimum coverage amounts to the following:
- $15,000 for injury or death per person
- $30,000 for total injury or death per accident
- $10,000 for property damage per accident
Personal Injury Protection (PIP)
“No-fault car insurance”, better known as personal injury protection insurance (PIP), is another form of insurance required by Delaware law. Whereas liability insurance protects and insures other parties involved in accidents, PIP is for a driver’s own personal well-being. It covers the medical and/or funeral expenses for the insurer regardless of who is at fault for the accident. The minimum amounts are the following:
- $15,000 for one person per accident
- $30,000 for multiple people per accident
Other Insurance Options
Delaware drivers can opt to explore more inclusive insurance plans and should always consider protecting themselves and their property with the following optional plans:
- Collision: This kind of insurance works to help cover damages to your car as a result of an accident.
- Towing/labor: A useful option to help foot the bill for drivers in need of roadside assistance or shop work.
- Rental: A safety net for drivers who find themselves utilizing rental cars for work or leisure and ensuring their coverage.
- Uninsured/underinsured motorist: A blanket insurance to ensure repair or medical expenses should the other driver not carry adequate or any insurance.
- Comprehensive: This overall insurance plan is beneficial in covering damages to your car, including incidents that are not accident related.
Note: Despite state law not requiring collision or comprehensive coverage, some companies may require drivers to hold them under their specific coverage agreements.
How Can I Save Money on Car Insurance?
Defensive Driving Discount
There are state-approved defensive driving courses that can save you 10% on part of your auto insurance for up to 3 years. If you take a refresher course before those 3 years end, you can upgrade to a 15% discount. The courses can be found on Delaware’s state insurance site.
Good Student Discount
Students who get good grades, are full-time and under 25 years old can often take advantage of a special discount for car insurance.
Equipping your car with anti-lock brakes and anti-theft devices can get you up to 10% off part of your car insurance premiums from some insurance companies.
Discounts for Married Couples and More
This is not a universal discount, but some insurance companies deem married couples to be lower risk and so they lower the rates for them. So if you’re newlyweds, a new discount may be available. Additionally, combining auto policies with your spouse or adding coverage for homeownership with the same company can lead to even more discounts.
Other Things to Consider
Penalties for those without car insurance
Those who do not meet these minimums can face a variety of penalties, especially in the form of fines. First-time offenders are charged at least $1,500, with subsequent offenders facing a fine between $3,000 and $4,000 plus a six-month license suspension.
Random Audit System
It’s important to note for Delaware drivers that the audit system is present under the Delaware DMV. The DMV randomly audits vehicles for insurance compliance and those who do not meet proper insurance quotas will face fines and license suspensions. You must reinstate your driver’s license and car registration if suspended.
Credit history and insurance
The laws of the state have created restrictions on how local insurance companies can charge customers based on their credit history. Companies can base premiums on credit histories for first-time policyholders; however, should credit history change over time, Delaware companies are forbidden by law to raise premium rates based on changes should a customer renew with the same company.
At-risk drivers still get insurance
Not all drivers will qualify to be covered by insurance companies in Delaware. Some insurance companies may deem certain drivers too “high risk” to be covered under their plans and will turn them down, especially those with a record of being in multiple accidents. To alleviate this problem, Delaware residents can apply for coverage under the Delaware Automobile Insurance Plan.
Find the Best Car Insurance in Delaware
If you want more personalized car insurance quotes without having to sign up or sign in, you can use NerdWallet’s car insurance comparison tool.
Read More from NerdWallet: