Before you drive off the lot with a new car, you need to have auto insurance. In 2020, more than 945,000 registered vehicles occupied the roads and highways of the Diamond State, according to the Delaware State Police. That year, over 29,000 traffic accidents occurred statewide, resulting in more than 7,000 injuries and 117 fatalities, causing an estimated $1.1 billion in economic losses.
Having auto insurance can help to protect you from financial stress if you cause an accident, and minimum levels of coverage are required by Delaware law. Bankrate’s insurance editorial team has researched average annual premiums obtained from Quadrant Information Services, as well as coverages, discounts and financial strength scores, to determine the best car insurance in Delaware.
The best car insurance companies in Delaware
To find the best car insurance, Delaware drivers may be considering insurance rates, customer service and financial strength scores, coverages and discounts. Marketing research company J.D. Power conducts an annual survey of auto insurance companies. Using a 1,000-point system, J.D. Power rates companies based on their claims handling. AM Best ranks companies based on their financial strength. The better a company’s financial strength score, the more likely that company is to be able to pay out claims, especially in situations where numerous claims are filed at once.
We chose our list of best car insurance in Delaware based on their J.D. Power rankings, AM Best financial strength ratings, discounts and affordability. We combined these factors into a Bankrate Score for each company. The scores are on a 5.0 scale, and companies with higher scores are more highly rated within the individual rating categories. Based on our research, here are the top choices:
|Provider||Bankrate Score||Average annual full coverage premium||J.D. Power customer satisfaction score|
|Allstate||3.6||$2,614||876 / 1,000|
|Geico||4.6||$1,354||871 / 1.000|
|State Farm||4.4||$1,804||881 / 1,000|
|Travelers||4.6||$1,072||861 / 1,000|
|USAA*||4.7||$955||890 / 1,000|
*USAA is not eligible for official ranking with J.D. Power due to eligibility restrictions
Allstate has the highest average cost for full coverage premium insurance with an average cost of $2,614 in Delaware. Although Allstate has average customer ratings and offers the usual coverage options, what sets it apart is the list of add-ons that can be beneficial for Delaware drivers. Featured add-ons include accident forgiveness, safe driving bonus, rideshare and Allstate’s Drivewise and Milewise programs, which may lower your insurance premiums and help you learn safer driving habits.
Geico received a below-industry-average score from J.D. Power for claims service, but you may want to consider getting a Geico quote if you are looking for a company that offers a long list of available discounts. You may be able to lower your premium with Geico’s discounts for federal employees, military members, safe drivers and good students. The company also offers several kinds of insurance, including home, renters, business and pet coverage, so you may be able to keep all your insurance needs in one place.
Unlike some insurance companies, State Farm continues to operate local agencies, offering you a dedicated agent to help you with claims, questions and concerns. That personal touch appeals to many drivers, but State Farm also offers 21st-century tools that you might expect. With the State Farm mobile app, you can access your policy information, call for roadside assistance, contact your agent or start a claim. State Farm is the largest auto insurance carrier in the U.S., with just over 16% of the market share. The company also received the highest official ranking from J.D. Power of the companies on our list.
Despite the fact that Travelers has the lowest J.D. Power score on our list, the company may be worth your time. Travelers offers the second-lowest premium of the companies we reviewed and offers a variety of optional coverages to help you tailor your policy to your needs, including accident forgiveness, ridesharing coverage and gap insurance. The company also offers numerous discounts to help you save.
Although it does not qualify for official ranking, USAA received the highest number of points from J.D. Power, with a score of 890. USAA has the lowest average annual full coverage premium on our list, but the company only sells insurance to current and former military members and their immediate families. If you qualify, you may save up to $707 by switching to USAA.
Average car insurance cost in Delaware
Drivers in Delaware pay a bit more for insurance than the national average. Delaware drivers pay, on average, $787 per year for the minimum required levels of insurance and $1,775 for full coverage. Car insurance in Delaware is generally more expensive than the national average of $1,674 for full coverage and $565 for minimum coverage.
|Average annual premium for minimum coverage in Delaware||Average annual premium for full coverage in Delaware|
State minimum insurance requirements in Delaware
According to the Delaware Department of Insurance, you must purchase bodily injury liability and property damage liability coverage, including:
- $25,000 bodily injury coverage per person
- $50,000 bodily injury coverage per accident
- $10,000 property damage coverage
Delaware also requires automobile owners to carry minimum amounts of personal injury protection coverage (PIP). PIP pays the lost wages and medical expenses for you and your passengers, regardless of who is at fault for an accident. To comply with Delaware law, you must have:
- $15,000 PIP per person
- $30,000 PIP per accident
- $5,000 PIP insurance to pay for funeral expenses (which may be included in PIP).
These figures represent the minimum amounts of required coverage. You may decide to increase liability and PIP coverages for added protection. Also, if you finance a vehicle, your lender will likely require you to purchase comprehensive and collision coverages.
The penalty for driving without Delaware car insurance is stiff. First-time offenders pay a $1,500 fine and repeat offenders pay $3,000 for every subsequent offense and are subject to a six-month license suspension.
Delaware’s no-fault law
Delaware is not a no-fault state, but does require that drivers carry a form of no-fault coverage in the form of PIP. PIP pays for your medical bills and the medical bills of your passengers, in addition to other qualifying expenses, regardless of fault. However, unlike no-fault states, there are fewer restrictions on your ability to sue the at-fault driver for compensation for your injuries if you are injured in an accident.
How to get the best car insurance in Delaware
To find the best auto insurance in Delaware, there are a few steps you may want to take. Insurance is a personalized purchase, meaning that premiums and coverages will vary based on your individual circumstances. If you are shopping for a car insurance policy in Delaware, you may want to:
- Evaluate your needs: Everyone has a different set of wants and needs when shopping for insurance. Maybe you have a few accidents on your record, a teen driver to insure or a strict budget to adhere to. Understanding what you need from your auto insurance might help you to narrow down your options.
- Consider state factors: You have to carry at least the minimum levels of coverage in order to drive legally in Delaware, but there are other state- and location-specific factors you may want to think about. Is your area at a particularly high risk for vehicle theft? Is hail or tornado damage common, and will your vehicle be stored outside, where it is at risk for such damage? By understanding the geographically specific factors in your area, you might better understand what coverages are appropriate for you.
If you are unsure how much coverage or what kinds of coverage you need, talking to a licensed agent could help.
Car insurance discounts in Delaware
Although auto insurance is generally more expensive in Delaware than it is nationally, you may be able to save with discounts. Delaware auto insurance companies have discount programs that can sometimes offer substantial savings for qualified policyholders. The cheapest car insurance Delaware has for you may depend on which discounts you are eligible for. Some common auto insurance discounts in Delaware are:
- Multi-policy and multi-vehicle discounts: Most companies will give you a discount if you insure more than one line of business, like your auto and home insurance, with the same company. This discount typically applies to both policies. You might also get a discount if you insure more than one car with the same company.
- Telematics discounts: Many companies offer telematics programs, which track your driving via a plug-in device or a mobile app and offer personalized discounts based on your driving habits.
- Safety features discounts: If your car has safety features like side curtain airbags, an anti-theft system and anti-lock brakes, you may qualify for a discount.
- Payment discounts: You may get a discount for paying in full, paying by automatic withdrawal or signing up for paperless billing statements.
Every insurance company has its own set of discounts. Researching discounts on a company’s website or talking to one of its agents may help you to find ways to save.
Frequently asked questions
What is the cheapest car insurance in Delaware?
The price of Delaware car insurance depends on your individual rating factors. Your age, driving history and credit rating can all impact the price you pay for coverage. To find the cheapest car insurance in Delaware, getting quotes from several insurance providers and comparing them may be a good practice.
What information is needed to get car insurance in Delaware?
When shopping for Delaware car insurance, agents will need to know your age, information about your driving record, the type of car you drive and your annual mileage. They might also ask for your Social Security number to check your credit.
What insurance coverages does Delaware require?
Delaware requires all car owners to carry bodily injury liability, property damage liability and personal injury protection coverage. Delaware does not require you to purchase uninsured and underinsured driver coverage.
Bankrate utilizes Quadrant Information Services to analyze 2021 rates for all ZIP codes and carriers in all 50 states and Washington, D.C. Quoted rates are based on a 40-year-old male and female driver with a clean driving record, good credit and the following full coverage limits:
$100,000 bodily injury liability per person
$300,000 bodily injury liability per accident
$50,000 property damage liability per accident
$100,000 uninsured motorist bodily injury per person
$300,000 uninsured motorist bodily injury per accident
$500 collision deductible
$500 comprehensive deductible
To determine minimum coverage limits, Bankrate used minimum coverages that meet each state’s requirements. Our base profile drivers own a 2019 Toyota Camry, commute five days a week and drive 12,000 miles annually.
These are sample rates and should only be used for comparative purposes.
Bankrate Scores primarily reflect a weighted rank of industry standard ratings for financial strength (AM Best, S&P, Moody’s) and customer experience (J.D. Power, NAIC), in addition to average quoted rates from Quadrant Information Services. The J.D. Power studies utilized include the 2020 Auto Insurance Study and the 2020 Auto Claims Study. Our Bankrate editorial team’s extensive research and analysis provided a secondary assessment of each insurer’s online and mobile resources and policy management options, which also contributed to overall ratings.