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In New Hampshire, driving without insurance, with some exceptions, is legally allowed — the only state in the U.S. where this is the case. While that might sound like great news if you are trying to save money, there is a catch: you are still liable for injuries and damage that you cause in an accident. And one of the most effective ways to protect yourself financially from that liability is by having a robust car insurance policy. While not mandatory, New Hampshire does have suggested insurance minimums for drivers in the state.
Minimum insurance required in New Hampshire
New Hampshire’s suggested minimum coverage is 25/50/25, which covers liability and medical payments for those involved in an at-fault collision. Note that this is suggested, not required. Here is what that means:
- $25,000 of bodily injury liability: this is the maximum your insurer will pay for the injuries of a single person in an at-fault collision.
- $50,000 total bodily injury per accident: this is the maximum your insurer will pay for all the injuries of more than one person in an at-fault incident.
- $25,000 property damage liability: this would pay for damage to the other person’s car or any property that you damage, such as a wall or fence, in an at-fault incident.
- $1,000 medical payments (MedPay): this coverage is for your own injuries or injuries to your passengers.
There are also additional optional coverages, such as collision and comprehensive, that you may want to consider, even though these are also not a legal requirement. These provide financial compensation for damage to your own vehicle in the event of a covered loss, up to policy limits.
Penalties for driving without insurance in New Hampshire
Driving without insurance in New Hampshire will not result in penalties for most people. If you are stopped by a police officer, they will not write you a ticket or levy a fine against you, in most cases. If you are at-fault in an accident, however, you are financially responsible for paying for damages and injuries.
Although most drivers are not required to have coverage, there are a few exceptions. Drivers required to have an SR-22 certificate of insurance with them when driving for a certain period (usually three years) will need to have a policy in place that satisfies the requirements set in place by the state for liability coverage. The New Hampshire SR-22 exceptions include the following circumstances:
- Drivers who have been convicted of a DWI
- Anyone who has been decertified as a habitual offender
- Those convicted of leaving the scene of an accident or with other driving infractions
- Those at-fault in an uninsured accident
In these circumstances, New Hampshire will add “proof of financial responsibility is required” to the person’s driving record report. Anyone required to carry an SR-22 who is found not to have it when driving will be subject to penalties. These may include multiple fees, depending on the circumstances, four points added to the driver’s license and possible suspension of the license.
Fees from new-hampshire’s online insurance verification system
New Hampshire offers an online verification service for the public to check the license status of drivers. With this service, you can search for any New Hampshire licensee and verify their insurance status. This system allows officials to monitor those who are required to carry proof of insurance and respond accordingly if they are not covered. This system also indicates what fees may be associated with license and registration reinstatement or restoration.
|Reason for fee||Fee amount|
|License/operation privilege reinstatement fee||$100|
|Registration restoration fee||$25|
|Reinstatement of license within two years of expiration||$300|
Getting into an accident without insurance
If you are in a driving-without-insurance accident in New Hampshire, there may be several outcomes. If you are determined to be at fault for the incident, you are liable to pay for the other driver’s costs — whether for medical care or to repair their vehicle or other property. If it is a serious accident or the vehicles involved are newer, these costs could exceed thousands of dollars. If the other driver is found at-fault, having supplemental MedPay coverage would aid you in paying for medical expenses associated with your own injuries.
You will typically also be required to carry SR-22 insurance following the accident, if you are at-fault and uninsured. New Hampshire requires uninsured at-fault drivers to carry SR-22’s for three years following the incident. Being a high risk driver (which can be indicated to insurers by the need for an SR-22) may result in higher insurance costs as well. Driving without insurance means you also risk suspension of your license and associated fees in getting it back.
Frequently asked questions
What if you provide false insurance information?
It is never a good idea to provide false insurance information to anyone, whether to law enforcement or to an insurer. Because of the state’s online insurance verification system, it is easy for law enforcement or insurers or even other drivers to verify the validity of your insurance information. Being dishonest about your insurance coverage may result in additional penalties, or could lead to policy termination with your insurer.
How much is car insurance in New Hampshire?
The average cost of car insurance in the U.S. is $1,674 a year based on quoted annual premiums. New Hampshire drivers only pay an average of $1,275 for full coverage, which includes collision and comprehensive coverage. Your own rates will vary based on multiple personal and circumstantial variables.
Is driving without insurance in New Hampshire illegal?
Although you will not receive a ticket for having no insurance in New Hampshire, being found at-fault in an incident with no insurance can have longer-term consequences. New Hampshire does make insurance recommendations based on the fact you are still liable for damages and injuries if you are at fault for an incident.
Is New Hampshire’s suggested minimum coverage of 25/50/25 enough?
Insurance experts typically recommend you consider carrying more than the state minimum liability coverage, since medical costs or vehicle damage can add up quickly and leave you financially compromised. Given your preferred level of financial protection, comprehensive and collision coverages may provide better peace of mind in the event of a loss.