Driving without insurance in Delaware
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In Delaware, car insurance is a legal requirement for all drivers. Without it, you could face a number of serious financial consequences and risks. Every state has different minimum car insurance requirements, so whether you currently live in Delaware or are planning an upcoming move to the state, it is important to understand the specific car insurance laws so you are financially prepared and protected.
Minimum insurance required in Delaware
Delaware drivers must carry minimum levels of personal liability insurance, which includes bodily injury coverage and property damage liability coverage. The minimum insurance requirements are abbreviated as 25/50/10, and include the following amounts:
- $25,000 in bodily injury liability coverage per person
- $50,000 in bodily injury liability coverage per accident
- $10,000 in property damage liability coverage per accident
In addition, Delaware is technically not a no-fault state. However, personal injury protection (PIP) is required, which pays for a drivers’ medical expenses after an accident, regardless of fault. Here are the minimum requirements for PIP in Delaware:
- $15,000 in PIP per person
- $30,000 in PIP per accident
Individuals who own and register more than 15 vehicles may also qualify for self-insurance.
Penalties for driving without insurance in Delaware
Driving without insurance in Delaware carries serious penalties. If you are found to be driving without insurance, you could receive a minimum fine of $1,500 for a first offense. For each subsequent offense committed within three years, you could be fined $3,000. After two or more offenses, you could face driver’s license suspension for up to six months.
Fees from Delaware’s online insurance verification system
To ensure that drivers have proper insurance coverage, Delaware uses an online verification system to randomly audit vehicles. This makes it easier to catch drivers who do not have insurance and therefore, reduce the number of uninsured drivers on the road.
If you are audited and found to be driving without proper insurance coverage, you will likely be required to pay a fine. When you do obtain the required coverage, a prior lapse will likely result in higher premiums and you may be considered a high-risk driver, costing you more in the long run. The table below includes the fines you may receive for some of the most common violations:
|Reason for fee||Fee amount|
|Driving without insurance (first offense)||$1,500|
|Driving without insurance (second offense)||$3,000|
|Lapse in insurance coverage||$100|
Getting into an accident without insurance in Delaware
If you cause an accident in Delaware and you do not have insurance, the consequences are a bit nuanced for this state. An at-fault driver will be responsible for reimbursing the other involved driver for their vehicle repairs, plus any medical expenses that are not covered by their PIP policy. Delaware also allows drivers to sue, even with PIP, which means you could also be responsible for covering your legal fees and a settlement if you are found guilty.
Although some states require drivers to obtain an SR-22 if they cause an accident after driving without insurance or receive another serious moving violation, Delaware is one of the few states that does not have this requirement. However, you still will need to purchase the minimum requirements as set by the state.
Frequently asked questions
If you are caught driving without insurance and you provide false insurance information to law enforcement or another driver, you could face more consequences than you would have from just not carrying insurance. Providing false information is illegal. In Delaware, you can expect to pay a hefty fine and face potential license revocation and jail time. Additionally, it may be more difficult to qualify for car insurance coverage in the future.
The average cost of car insurance in Delaware is $747 per year for a minimum coverage policy and $1,963 per year for a full coverage policy. These rates are considerably higher than the national average of $545 per year for minimum coverage and $1,771 per year for full coverage. However, car insurance rates are personalized for every driver. You might pay more or less than the statewide average rate based on factors like your claim history, driving record and vehicle type.
To find the best car insurance companies in Delaware, considering average premiums and customer service ratings are a helpful first step in researching each company. Keep in mind that the best provider for you depends on unique factors like your budget, the type of coverage you need, what discounts you qualify for and whether or not you are eligible for coverage with that company.
Drivers in Delaware may save money on car insurance in a few key ways. First, identify insurance companies that offer multiple discounts you can take advantage of, such as those for being claim-free, paying your premium in full and taking a defensive driver training course. You might also alter your deductibles on specific coverage types such as comprehensive or collision, and can also work to improve your credit score to help earn a lower rate with a new provider or at the time of policy renewal.