If you’re searching for cheap car insurance in Delaware, it’s easy to feel lost with so many companies competing for your business. To save you time and a major headache, our Geeks evaluated the best insurance quotes from nine leading providers in DE.
To make our study even more helpful, we crunched the numbers and determined the most affordable rates for these driver types:
Best Rates For Drivers With No Recent Accidents
We found that State Farm offers the lowest rates for drivers in Delaware who haven’t caused any accidents recently. Drivers in this group are less of a risk to insurance companies, so it’s easier for them to find low cost auto insurance. But even if your traffic record is spotless, the quotes you get from one provider can be significantly different from another, so we recommend that you check rates from both State Farm and Allstate.
Our estimates are based on coverage limits that are above the state’s minimum requirements (see Methodology section below). The driver we used in this part of our study was a 29 year old who had a clean driving record and drove 12,000 miles per year.
Best Rates For Teen Drivers
Since teenagers have the highest rate of accidents out of all drivers, they’re viewed as a higher risk by insurance companies. Auto insurance prices for teenagers can vary widely from one company to the next. In our study, the hypothetical driver was an 18 year old with a clean record. The estimates for this driver category are based on the state’s minimum required coverage.
Best Rates For Drivers With A DUI
If you’ve been convicted of drunk driving, the fines, legal expenses, and attorneys’ fees are just the beginning. You might also see a substantial increase in your car insurance premiums.
We found that State Farm offered the lowest rates for drivers who have a DUI or DWI conviction on their record in Delaware. Our hypothetical motorist was age 29 and had a clean driving record except for one DUI conviction with a BAC of 0.08.
Best Rates For Senior Drivers
Our study used a driver age 65 who commuted one-third the number of miles as our 29-year-old test driver. If you’re looking for cheap car insurance for seniors in Delaware, consider getting quotes from State Farm and Allstate.
The vehicle used in our study was a 2014 Toyota Corolla that was driven 12,000 miles per year. Our data incorporated monthly auto insurance premiums from five zip codes for both males and females. With the exception of the “teenage driver” category, all estimates are based on having liability coverage limits of 50/100/25 and the same limits for uninsured motorist coverage.
What Is The Minimum Car Insurance Requirement For Drivers In Delaware?
In the state of Delaware, drivers must carry auto insurance that meets the following minimum limits:
- $15,000 for Bodily Injury Liability Per Person
- $30,000 for Bodily Injury Liability Per Accident
- $10,000 for Property Damage Liability
- $15,000 in Personal Injury Protection (PIP) for Bodily Injury Per Person
- $30,000 in PIP Coverage for Bodily Injury Per Accident
Delaware Car Insurance FAQs
What Kinds of Car Insurance Do I Need in Delaware?
According to Delaware’s Motor Vehicle Safety Responsibility law states, you must have liability insurance coverage if you want to operate a vehicle on public roads in the state. The purpose of this insurance is to pay for costs incurred in an accident you have caused, including expenses related to bodily injuries and physical damage.
You also need to carry personal injury protection (PIP) insurance, even though Delaware is not a no-fault state. This kind of coverage pays for your medical costs, regardless of who caused the accident, up to the limits of your policy agreement.
What If I Choose to Drive Without Insurance?
In Delaware, if you are stopped on the road by a law enforcement officer – for any reason – he or she may ask to see valid proof of your insurance on your vehicle. This proof can be your insurance card, policy certificate, or an electronic copy of either.
You’re not just at risk of being caught on the road. Each year, Delaware’s Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) audits at least 10 percent of all registered vehicles, at random. If you are chosen in this audit, you will be asked to show proof of your insurance agreement.
If you are audited, contact your car insurance carrier immediately. Ask them to submit Form FR-19, which states that your vehicle has been continuously insured, and that your coverage is in effect.
Penalties for Driving While Uninsured in Delaware
Without insurance, it is illegal in Delaware to operate a motor vehicle. You will need to carry proof of your insurance policy whenever your drive, in case you are pulled over by traffic authorities for a traffic violation, however minor. If you are caught driving without the minimum required insurance, you could face serious penalties.
How serious? The first time you are caught driving without insurance in Delaware, the resulting fines can be anywhere between $1,500 and $2,000, and have your driver’s license suspended for as long as six months. The next time you are caught, if it is within three years of your previous conviction, that fine goes up to anywhere between $3,000 and $4,000.
Those are small numbers in comparison to the financial hit of causing an accident while uninsured. In that case, you will need to cover the hospital bills and car repair expenses of the other drivers involved from your own pocket.
How Does Delaware’s Auto Insurance Compliance Auditing Work?
Each year, Delaware’s DMV issues insurance inspection notices to a certain number of registered motorists, who are chosen at random. If the DMV finds any reason to doubt your insurance compliance status, you may be asked to verify your insurance details – and if you are unable to do that before the due date on the notice, your registration will be suspended.
If the DMV finds that your insurance policy has lapsed or been cancelled, they will assume you are uninsured, and calculate an appropriate penalty. Usually, a lapse between one and 30 days will cost you $100, and $5 will be added to that amount for every day you remain registered without legally required insurance.
What Is the FR-19?
When you are selected for insurance verification by the Delaware DMV, you will be asked to file a FR-19 Delaware Insurance Certification. This form is issued by your insurance carrier and certifies that you did carry liability insurance coverage at the time of being asked for verification. It can only be used once.
Are There Other Kinds of Car Insurance Offered in Delaware?
Delaware requires that you carry at least bodily injury and property damage liability coverage, together with personal injury protection cover, in order to drive a car in the state. You may find it useful to purchase policy limits greater than the minimum required by law, or to opt in to additional coverage options.
Optional car insurance in Delaware includes:
- Collision coverage, which pays for damage to your car sustained in a collision;
- Comprehensive coverage, which covers car damage from causes other than an accident;
- Underinsured motorist bodily injury coverage, which protects you in an accident caused by a driver whose policy is not sufficient to cover your losses;
- Uninsured motorist coverage, which pays for damages caused by a driver who does not have auto insurance, or a driver who has fled the scene of the accident;
- Towing and labor coverage, which pays the cost of towing your vehicle after a crash; and
- Rental reimbursement coverage, which pays for a rental car after your accident.
The Delaware Automobile Insurance Plan
If you have been caught driving while uninsured in Delaware, or allowed your insurance to lapse, you may find insurance companies now consider you a high-risk driver, and may refuse to offer you a policy. In that case, you may apply to purchase your policy through the Delaware Automobile Insurance Plan (DAIP). This scheme ensures all drivers in the state are able to comply with the law, by assigning high-risk drivers to certain insurers.
What Is the Benefit of Taking a Defensive Driving Course?
Because they are considered less likely to be involved in an accident due to reckless or dangerous driving, defensive drivers may qualify for premium discounts from certain car insurance companies. To prove you are a defensive driver, take part in one of the approved courses available through the Delaware DMV website.
All insurers in Delaware must participate in the DAIP. If you are deemed a high-risk driver and cannot negotiate an insurance policy agreement in the voluntary market, speak to your insurer about applying for the insurance you need through the DAIP. You may not be assigned the insurance carrier of your choice, but you will be able to drive legally.
How Are Car Insurance Premiums Calculated in Delaware?
Insurance companies will look at a variety of factors to determine your risk profile. This profile determines how likely you are to make a claim, and how much you may cost your insurer over time. The higher your risk, the more they will charge you.
Insurance companies usually ask these 7 questions:
- How old are you? Very young and very old drivers tend to have the most accidents;
- What car do you drive? Luxury cars, for example, may require very expensive parts;
- Are you a good driver? Your driving record is the best predictor of your future driving behavior;
- Where do you live? Densely populated, urban areas tend to see higher crime rates;
- Do you drive for work? The more you are on the road, the higher your risk;
- What is your deductible? A higher deductible may reduce your premium, but will cost you more in the event of an accident; and
- What’s your credit score? Insurers, like all credit-based companies, are highly interested in your history of making regular payments.
Delaware Car Accident Statistics
A total of 119 people were killed in car accidents in Delaware in 2016, according to data released by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Over a third of those were alcohol-related.
Between 2003 and 2012, 427 people were killed in crashes involving a drunk driver in Delaware, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
DUI Laws in Delaware
Delaware has enacted strict laws to curb driving under the influence in the state. Like most of the country, it is illegal to drive with a BAC of over 0.08 percent. In Delaware, it is also implied that by becoming a licensed driver, you consent to random roadside drug and alcohol testing.
In Delaware, the DMV may suspend your license for either driving a BAC above the legal limit or for refusing to take a drug and alcohol test. First offenders face a suspension of up to 3 months, while second and third offenders may go a 18 months without being able to drive.
What Should I Do If I’m in an Accident in Delaware?
Car accidents are scenes of chaos. In a time like this it is important to stay as calm as possible, and remember to follow these XX steps.
- Find somewhere safe to stop your car;
- Call an ambulance for urgent medical help;
- Call the police;
- Cooperate with law enforcement authorities as and when they arrive;
- Hand over your personal details and insurance information to the police;
- Exchange insurance and registration information with the other driver;
- Look for witnesses who may have seen what happened, and ask for their contact details;
- Call your insurance company to notify them of the incident – this is a good time to confirm the details of your coverage and verify your policy arrangements;
- Make careful notes of your bodily injuries and property damage;
- Take pictures of yourself, your car, and the scene, if possible; and
- Watch out for scammers who may try to call you to make fraudulent offers and demands. Speak to the Department of Insurance if you are unsure if a caller is legitimate.