Before you drive off the lot with a new car, you need to purchase automobile insurance. In 2018, more than 930,600 registered vehicles occupied the roads and highways of the Diamond State, according to the Delaware State Police. That year, nearly 29,000 traffic accidents occurred statewide, resulting in more than 8,100 injuries and 110 fatalities, causing an estimated $1 billion in economic losses. It’s easy to understand the economic need for purchasing Delaware car insurance, but it’s also required by law.
When shopping for the cheapest car insurance in Delaware:
- Get quotes from several companies to find the lowest rate.
- Determine how much coverage you need based on legal requirements, lender requirements and the value of your vehicle.
- Use the National Association of Insurance Commissioner’s insurance provider lookup tool to make sure the company you choose holds a license in Delaware.
- Ask insurance agents about discount programs for which you might qualify.
Best car insurance companies in Delaware
Insurance rates are important, but also look for a Delaware car insurance company with a firm financial footing and a good track record of customer care. Marketing research company J.D. Power conducts an annual survey of auto insurance companies. Using a five-star rating system, J.D. Power rates companies based on their performance in billing process, claims handling, customer interaction, policy information, policy offerings and overall satisfaction.
We chose our list of best car insurance providers in Delaware based on their J.D. Power rankings, AM Best rankings, discounts and affordability. Here are the top choices:
- Geico ranked third in the J.D. Power survey, with five-star ratings in billing process, policy information, policy offerings and price. We give Geico a thumbs up for its broad portfolio of insurance products, which includes home and renters policies, along with a host of coverages for small business owners. Geico also operates in every state, allowing you to keep your coverage if you need to move.
- Nationwide ranked eighth in the J.D. Power rankings, with three-star ratings for claims handling and customer interaction. We’re impressed by Nationwide’s full portfolio of financial products, including homeowners and renters insurance, boat and motorcycle insurance, life insurance, investment products and mortgages. Nationwide also makes it easy for you to file a claim, giving you the option to submit online, over the phone or from the Nationwide mobile app.
- Progressive earned three-star ratings in most J.D. Power categories, including claims handling, policy offerings and price. We like Progressive’s discount programs, including Snapshot, which uses a mobile app to monitor your driving habits. If you follow the rules of the road and avoid accidents, Snapshot could help reduce your insurance rate.
- State Farm ranked fifth in the J.D. Power study, with three-star ratings in all categories. We like State Farm’s commitment to customer service. Unlike some insurance companies, State Farm continues to operate local agencies, offering you a dedicated agent to help you with claims. That personal touch appeals to older drivers, but State Farm also offers 21st-century tools that younger folks expect. With the State Farm mobile app, you can access your policy information, call for roadside assistance, contact your agent or start a claim.
- USAA scored five-star ratings in all J.D. Power’s categories. However, because USAA only offers products for members of the military and their families, it does not qualify for J.D. Power’s ranking. For folks who qualify, USAA offers an impressive selection of financial products, including checking and savings accounts, credit cards, home mortgages, investment accounts and retirement plans. USAA is a great option for many men and women in uniform.
|J.D. Power Overall Satisfaction Rating||AM Best Financial Rating||BBB Rating|
|USAA||5 out of 5 stars||A++ (Superior)||F|
|Geico||4 out of 5 stars||A++ (Superior)||A+|
|State Farm||3 out of 5 stars||A++ (Superior)||A+|
|Progressive||2 out of 5 stars||A+ (Superior)||C-|
|Nationwide||2 out of 5 stars||A+ (Superior)||A+|
Finding the right cheap car insurance in Delaware for you
Insurance companies base your rate on a complex set of criteria, which can include your age and driving record. Some companies offer better rates than others do for people with certain rating factors. That’s why it’s important to get quotes from several companies, especially if you know of factors that will increase your rate.
Best Delaware car insurance for teen drivers: Geico
Teen drivers pay substantially more for car insurance than adult drivers do. Based on a 2019 nationwide study by The Zebra, a private organization that researches the car insurance industry, Geico offers the best rates for teenage drivers. On average, teen drivers pay around $1,420 per year with Geico, substantially less than with other insurance providers.
Best Delaware car insurance for older drivers: State Farm and USAA
Drivers often see an increase in their car insurance rates when they reach their 60s and 70s, even if they have a history of safe driving. But senior State Farm policyholders pay an average of around $1,180 per year. Senior military members enjoy an even lower rate with USAA at just under $865 per year.
Best Delaware car insurance for people with an at-fault accident: State Farm and USAA
If you’re found at fault for an accident, you can count on a rate increase. Once again, State Farm and USAA offer the best rates. State Farm policyholders with no accidents on their record pay an average annual premium of around $1,330 per year for car insurance, while drivers with at-fault accidents pay just over $1,600. USAA policyholders with no accidents on their records pay around $915 annually and those with at-fault accidents pay about $1,215.
While no rate increase is welcome, State Farm and USAA at-fault accident increases are much lower than other companies.
Best Delaware car insurance for people with a DUI conviction: Progressive
Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol is one of the most serious traffic violations a driver can commit, which is why such offenses lead to insurance rate increases. Nationwide, Progressive policyholders pay an average annual premium of around $1,550, while Progressive customers with a history of DUI pay under $1,940.
Average cost of car insurance in Delaware
According to a The Zebra study, Delaware car insurance rates are on the rise. In 2019, Delaware drivers paid an average annual premium of around $1,830, an increase of $110 from the previous year. In fact, Delaware car owners pay nearly 60% more for coverage than the national average.
|Liability only||Comprehensive coverage with $1,000 deductible|
However, maintaining a good driving record can help you save money on your car insurance. In Delaware, drivers with clean driving records can save big.
|Average % savings|
|No traffic tickets||18%|
Teen drivers pay an average of around $6,685 per year for Delaware car insurance acccording to The Zebra. Typically, Delaware teenagers can get better rates if their parents add them to their existing policies, at least for the first couple of years.
|Age||Average annual rate of the parents’ policy||Average annual rate standalone policy|
Most states, including Delaware, allow insurance companies to use credit scores as a rating factor. Car owners with bad credit pay an average of 48% more for Delaware car insurance.
Traffic violations and accidents are another factor that can greatly increase the price of your Delaware auto coverage, even when you are not at fault.
|Traffic violation||% Rate increase|
Car insurance discounts in Delaware
You don’t have to settle for high insurance premiums. 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.
- Up to a 10% discount for customers who purchase home and auto insurance.
- Up to a 40% discount for safe drivers who enroll in its SmartRide program.
- Affinity discounts for customers who are members of certain organizations.
State Farm offers multiple education-related discounts, such as:
- Defensive driver course discounts up to 40% for policyholders who complete a motor vehicle accident prevention course.
- Good student discounts for people under 25 years of age who earn a 3.0 or higher grade point average.
Geico offers an impressive number of vehicle equipment discounts, including:
- Up to a 40% discount for cars equipped with full-front seat airbags.
- Up to a 25% discount for automobiles that have anti-theft systems.
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 in bodily injury insurance to pay the medical or death expenses of one person in one accident.
- $50,000 in bodily injury coverage to pay the death or medical expenses of more than one person in a single accident.
- $10,000 in property damage insurance to cover property damage in one accident.
Delaware also requires automobile owners to carry minimum amounts of personal injury protection coverage. PIP coverage pays the lost wages and medical expenses of your passengers and you, regardless of who is at fault for an accident. To comply with Delaware law, you must have:
- $15,000 in PIP insurance to pay the medical expenses of one person in one accident.
- $30,000 in PIP insurance to pay the medical expenses of more than one person in a single accident.
- $5,000 in PIP insurance to pay for funeral expenses.
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 require you to purchase comprehensive and collision policies.
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.
Frequently asked questions
What is the cheapest car insurance in Delaware?
The price of Delaware car insurance depends on your 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, get quotes from several insurance providers.
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.
How do Delaware car insurance rates compare with the rest of the United States?
Delaware car insurance is not cheap. In fact, Delaware car owners pay nearly 60% higher rates than the national average.
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.