As is true in most states, Delaware auto insurance laws state that you may not drive on public roads without car insurance. You might accrue multiple penalties if you are caught driving without an active policy, including fines and even jail time. In addition, if you are in an accident and do not have coverage, you may have to pay out of pocket for any damages or injuries that result from the accident. If you live in Delaware or are planning to move there in the near future, it’s a good idea to understand Delaware’s car insurance requirements so that you have adequate coverage that protects you financially.

Delaware auto insurance laws

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

You may also be wondering if Delaware is a no-fault state. No-fault states may have additional insurance requirements, such as personal injury protection (PIP) coverage, which helps pay for injuries, lost wages and necessary household services for you and your passengers if you’re in an accident, regardless of who is at fault. Although Delaware is not technically a no-fault state, it does require drivers to have PIP insurance with the following minimum limits:

  • $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. If you wish to pursue this option, you will need to provide evidence that you have the financial resources to pay out on claims filed against you or your drivers.

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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.

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, reduces 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 penalty Fee amount
Driving without insurance (first offense) $1,500
Driving without insurance (second offense) $3,000
Lapse in insurance coverage $100
Outdated registration $50

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

    • As we noted above, driving without insurance is illegal in Delaware, but you may also face penalties if you provide false insurance information when you are stopped by law officers. Insurance fraud is a serious offense. If you are convicted of it, you may face fines of up to $10,000 and up to two years in jail. Auto insurance fraud may include anything from falsely reporting where your vehicle is garaged to overstating the value of repairs or replacement costs following an accident. It may also include providing information to law officials or others on a policy that has lapsed or is inactive.
    • As of January 1, 2024, the average cost of car insurance in Delaware is $983 per year for a minimum coverage policy and $2,613 per year for a full coverage policy. These rates are higher than the national average of $740 per year for minimum coverage and $2,542 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 company in Delaware for your needs, It can help to first consider your priorities. If cheap car insurance is most important to you, for example, you may want to consider an insurer that has a reputation for writing affordable policies in the Diamond State. If you have a young driver in your household, a company that offers multiple teen discounts may be a better bet. If you’re retired or work from home, an insurer that offers mileage-based coverage may be your best option. When you consider what is most important for you, it will be easier to find a company that is able to match your priorities.
    • 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.
    • If you move within the state of Delaware, you simply need to inform your insurer of your new address. Keep in mind that your rate may change with your move. If you move from a crowded urban area to a more rural region, for example, your rate may decrease. If you move out of the state, you will need to contact the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) in your new state to switch license plates and apply for a new in-state license. You’ll also need to secure the minimum amount of car insurance required to drive legally in your new state. If your current insurer does not sell policies in your new location, you may need to find another carrier. If you sell your car, either you or the car dealer will need to contact your insurance company to transfer your policy to your new vehicle.