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Connecticut auto insurance laws require liability coverage to pay for both property damage and injuries if you are at fault in an accident. It also requires you to carry uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage in case the other driver does not have insurance or has too little insurance to pay the bills. However, the minimum coverage requirements can still leave you financially vulnerable. Many drivers choose to increase their coverage limits or to add other types of coverage like collision or comprehensive insurance.
Car insurance laws in Connecticut
Here is a breakdown of what Connecticut car insurance laws require of drivers:
- $25,000 bodily injury coverage per accident, per person
- $50,000 bodily injury coverage per accident, total (if more than one person is injured)
- $25,000 in property damage
- $25,000 per accident, per person, for uninsured or underinsured drivers
- $50,000 per accident, total, for uninsured or underinsured drivers
To further break it down, this means that if you have the minimum legal coverage and are in an accident that is your fault, your insurance will cover the medical costs or lost wages up to $25,000 if the other driver or a passenger is injured. If more than one person is injured, your insurance will cover a total of up to $50,000.
You’re also covered for up to $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident if the other person is driving illegally without insurance or without enough insurance to cover your costs.
Liability insurance in Connecticut
While minimum coverage is all that Connecticut auto insurance laws require, these minimums may not be enough in all situations. Liability coverage is designed to cover the costs of others when you are at fault for an accident. Your liability coverage will not pay for damages to your own vehicle or help with your medical bills. In some cases, liability coverage limits may not even be enough to pay for the damages and injuries you cause if you are at fault for an accident.
Connecticut car insurance requirements are mandatory and a good place to start. Still, many drivers may benefit from increasing their coverage limits or adding other coverage types like collision and comprehensive car insurance. Both coverage types are designed to cover damage to your vehicle, even if no one else is at fault. Understanding how much car insurance you need can be a tricky calculation and talking to an insurance expert can help.
Is Connecticut a no-fault state?
Because Connecticut does not include this element in its insurance requirements, you are not legally required to purchase PIP insurance, and you retain the right to sue if you are injured in an accident.
Penalties for driving without insurance in Connecticut
There are several penalties levied by the state government if you fail to have auto insurance in Connecticut. In fact, you may be fined $50 even if you have insurance, but do not carry proof of that insurance with you at all times when you are driving.
If you do not have car insurance, you will be fined anywhere from $100 to $1,000 and may have your license suspended. If you own a vehicle with a commercial registration, that fine increases to up to $5,000 and may include jail time. There is also a license reinstatement cost of $175, and there may be other fines depending on your situation.
Additional auto insurance coverage options in Connecticut
Liability and UM/UIM coverage are not the only types of insurance available to Connecticut drivers. Most insurance companies offer additional coverage options that are worth considering, including the following:
- Collision: Liability pays for damage to the other driver’s car and property, but for your car to be covered you will need collision insurance. As the name suggests, collision covers damage to your car in the event of an accident, even if you are at fault.
- Comprehensive: Usually sold along with collision, comprehensive insurance covers many mishaps that might happen to your car other than an accident. Incidents like hail damage, fallen limbs and vandalism can be covered by comprehensive insurance.
- Medical payments: This covers medical costs for you or your passengers in the event of an accident where the other driver’s insurance will not cover you. It also includes lost wages and funeral expenses and may even cover you if you are a pedestrian who is hit by a car. It might overlap with your health insurance, so check that policy to see what is covered before you purchase medical payments coverage.
- Gap insurance: If you are in an accident that totals your car, you may not get enough in the insurance payout to cover the total costs of an outstanding loan on the car due to the car’s depreciation. This coverage will make up that difference so you are not left paying out of pocket.
- New car replacement: Similar to gap coverage, this type of endorsement on your policy will pay for you to purchase a new car of the same type if your late-model vehicle is totaled.
- Ride sharing coverage: If you drive for Uber or another ride sharing company, you may need this coverage, since regular car insurance does not cover you when you use your car for business.
Frequently asked questions
There is no one best car insurance company — the company that offers the best rate for your neighbor might not be the best choice for you. We recommend that you get several quotes from insurers before you decide. A good place to start your search is with our list of the Best Car Insurance Companies in Connecticut.
It is a good idea to shop around and collect several quotes when looking for car insurance to see which insurer offers you the best prices for the most comprehensive coverage. Check out our Cheapest Car Insurance in Connecticut listing to see who is offering the lowest rates currently. It can be helpful when shopping around to also compare your quotes to the average cost of car insurance in your area.
While you will be legally in the clear once you meet the Connecticut minimum car insurance requirements, you may still be financially vulnerable. Minimum coverage limits may not be enough to cover the costs of totaling another driver’s car or paying their hospital bills. Also, if you are at fault for an accident, minimum coverage could leave you paying out of pocket for your medical and repair costs. Many drivers elect to increase their coverage limits and add other coverage types like comprehensive and collision.
Some of the best ways to save on car insurance may be shopping around for better rates and looking for car insurance discounts. Many insurers offer discounts that can individually or cumulatively have a significant impact on rates. Each insurer has its own discounts and eligibility requirements, but some, like paperless billing, are both common and easy to qualify for. To save on rates, find the insurer who offers you the best deal on the coverage you want and then see which of their discounts could apply to your account.