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If you’ve been searching for cheap car insurance in Connecticut, you’ve probably discovered that rates can vary wildly from one provider to the next. The truth is that each insurance company has a different formula for calculating premiums, and if you want to find low cost auto insurance quotes, you need to find an insurer who offers affordable rates for your specific driver profile. One this page, you will find the results of our study that compared the insurance premiums of several top providers.
Cheapest Car Insurance Companies in Connecticut
The best way to find the most affordable premiums is to compare quotes from several different insurance companies. The table below provides a breakdown of our suggestions for common driver categories:
|Liberty Mutual||Safe Drivers|
|USAA||Drivers in the Military|
|State Farm||Low Annual Mileage|
|Esurance||Drivers Who Pay Their Premiums Upfront|
|Allstate||Drivers with a DUI|
Best Car Insurance Companies in Connecticut
Taking into account customer reviews and complaint data, our Geeks identified the best auto insurance companies in the state. The table below summarizes our findings:
Minimum Car Insurance Requirements in Connecticut
Connecticut drivers are required to purchase car insurance with the following minimum coverage limits:
- $20,000 for Bodily Injury Liability per Person
- $40,000 for Bodily Injury Liability per Accident
- $$10,000 for Property Damage Liability
Your insurance company is also required to offer you uninsured and underinsured motorist bodily injury coverage with at least the same limits as your liability coverage, but you can request a lesser amount in writing.
Penalties for Driving Without Auto Insurance in Connecticut
While the court may show some leniency if you forget your insurance card at home, but do in fact hold an active and compliant insurance policy, you stand to pay a lot more in fines – and to spend some time in a prison cell – if you are caught driving while uninsured.
Connecticut law defines driving while uninsured as a Class C Misdemeanor, the penalties for which are a $500 fine, up to 3 months in jail, or both. The state Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) will also suspend license and registration for a month for your first offense, and up to six months for repeat offenders.
In addition to those penalties, you will have to purchase insurance – and pay $175 in administrative fees – in order to have your driving license reinstated.
Connecticut Car Insurance FAQs
What Does Liability Car Insurance Cover?
When you are at fault for an accident, you are bound to cause physical injuries and property damage that affect other drivers, passengers, and pedestrians. The law requires you to carry basic car insurance to cover these costs.
This minimum coverage will pay the medical and car repair bills of other affected parties up to the limits defined by your policy agreement. If the costs of your accident exceed your policy limits, you will still be liable to pay the balance, which is why it is often advisable to purchase insurance over and above the mandatory minimum amount.
What Additional Insurance Options Are Available in Connecticut?
Basic insurance does not apply to your own costs. If you are involved in an accident and none of the other parties have insurance to pay for your damages, you will need to cover those costs from your own pocket – unless you purchase additional insurance.
Additional insurance options include:
- Personal injury protection (PIP);
- MedPay or medical insurance coverage;
- Collision coverage, for repairs to or replacement of your damaged vehicle.
What If I Forget to Carry Proof of Insurance?
Every time a police officer pulls you over, either at a traffic stop or for a traffic violation, he or she is allowed to ask to see proof of your insurance agreement, in the form of the declaration page of your policy or your insurance ID card. Whether you have insurance or not, leaving your card at home (if it is your first offense) could lead to a fine of $35, or $50 for the second time you are caught. You will also need to appear in court, where you may face more severe penalties at the court’s discretion.
What If My Friend Is Caught Driving My Uninsured Vehicle?
Whoever is driving the car at the time is irrelevant. If the car is registered in your name, you will carry the burden of being insured, even when you are not behind the wheel, and you will be responsible for penalties. Your friend will also be hit with anything from $100 to $1,000 in fines.
What If My Insurance Has Lapsed?
Traffic stops and violations are not the only way law enforcement officers can catch you without the proper insurance coverage. If you neglect your policy payments and allow your agreement to lapse as a result, your insurer is legally obliged to notify the DMV. Your name will then be marked in the state’s verification system, at which point you will be issued with a Notice of Registration Suspension.
To contest this suspension you can:
- Enter into a consent agreement within 30 days;
- Hand in your license plates for cancellation; or
- Show you have transferred ownership of your car.
To have your driving privileges reinstated, you will need to appear in court, show valid proof of insurance, and pay a $175 fee.
How Do I Get My Vehicle Back After Impoundment?
If you have been caught driving while uninsured and had your license suspended as a result, and continue to drive, your car will be impounded. Getting it back is tricky: you will need to provide the court with proof of valid registration, purchase active insurance, and pay a $50 confiscation fee. You will have to do all of this in 45 days or risk having your car forfeited to the state.
What Is the Connecticut Automobile Insurance Assigned Risk Plan (CT ARP)?
Convictions for driving without insurance will appear on your driving record. Insurers usually consider multiple convictions as a sign of a high-risk driver and may refuse to offer you the insurance you need. This is where the Connecticut Automobile Insurance Assigned Risk Plan (CT ARP) comes in.
The objective of this plan is to ensure all drivers in Connecticut have the proper insurance coverage. To qualify, you must have a valid driver’s license and a vehicle registered in the state. You must then first try to purchase insurance in the regular or “voluntary” market. If you have a poor driving record and are refused cover as result, you can apply to the CT ARP through any licensed insurance carrier.
What Factors Determine the Cost of Auto Insurance Premiums in Connecticut?
In Connecticut, insurance companies will take many factors into consideration when calculating your risk profile and premium rate, including:
- Your driving record;
- How often your drive, and for what purpose;
- Your deductible: the amount of money you pay towards a claim;
- The make, model, and year of your car;
- Where you live;
- Where you park overnight; and
- Your credit score.
What Does It Mean to Pay a “Deductible?”
Even though you have insurance coverage for your vehicle, you may still have to pay a certain amount of money each year before your insurer pays your claims. This amount is called a deductible. So if you’ve sustained $2400 in damage to your car and have a $1000 deductible, you’ll have to cover the first $1,400 out of your own pocket (your policy will cover the remaining $1000).
However, any additional claims filed within that period (either calendar year or a term stated in the policy) will be covered in full. Once the term ends, you’ll have to pay down the deductible for future claims.
Keep in mind that policies with remarkably low premiums often have high deductibles. The key is to purchase a policy with a reasonable deductible; affording the premiums is just part of the equation. Ask yourself whether you could reasonably cover the deductible to pay for an accident claim (do you have that amount in the bank?).
Also, you want to consider the value of the vehicle, since a more expensive vehicle will cost more to insure in general. Likewise, it may not make sense to have a high deductible for an older car that has lost much of its value.
What Is Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage?
It may not seem fair that Connecticut (like most other states) requires motorists to purchase coverage for uninsured and underinsured drivers. But without this coverage, property damage or injuries to yourself or passengers that’s caused by an uninsured (or underinsured) driver may not be compensated at all. And it’s a safe bet that a motorist without adequate insurance may not have the means or inclination to pay for such damages out-of-pocket.
The whole point of insurance is to prepare for contingencies. Getting involved in an accident that’s caused by an uninsured driver is a distinct possibility, so it pays to be prepared (and it’s the law). Connecticut law requires automobile insurance policies to carry the following coverage for uninsured and underinsured drivers:
- $25,000 per individual; and
- $50,000 per accident (total).
What Is an SR-22 Insurance Certificate and When Would I Need it?
The term “SR-22” refers to a form used to provide proof of insurance to the Connecticut DMV after being convicted of operating under the influence (OUI), driving without proof of insurance, or other offenses. Your driver’s license will remain suspended until you obtain an SR-22 insurance policy, after which the insurer will notify the DMV.
Drivers who are ordered by the court to get an SR-22 insurance policy must do so for at least three years, even for a first offense. Connecticut drivers who commit a second offense will have an additional five years tacked onto the SR-22 requirement (this period doubles for each successive offense thereafter).
Most but not all insurance companies offer SR-22 policies, since they’re associated with high-risk drivers. If you’re ordered to get SR-22 insurance, be prepared to pay roughly twice your previous rate.
What Traffic Laws Should All Drivers Know in Connecticut?
Seat Belt Laws in Connecticut
The Connecticut Department of Transportation encourages all drivers to wear a seatbelt while on the road. When used properly, safety belts reduce the number of serious accident-related injuries by 50 percent – and fatalities by 60 to 70 percent.
In Connecticut, it is illegal to drive without wearing a safety belt. It is also illegal to sit in the front seat as a passenger without being buckled up. Anyone under the age of 18 is required to wear a seatbelt while the car is moving no matter where they are seated, even if they are licensed to drive.
Distracted Driving Laws
You may not use cell phones or mobile electronic devices – including laptop computers, personal digital assistants and paging or text-messaging devices – at all while driving on any public highway in Connecticut. The law also prohibits you from using these devices if your car is stopped on the roadway, at a traffic control sign or signal.
In Connecticut, you may only use your cell phone or mobile electronic device once you have parked safely on the side or shoulder of the highway. The only exception to this rule would be in an
emergency situation: you may use your cell phone to contact an emergency response operator, hospital, doctor’s office, health clinic, ambulance response company or fire or police department, when necessary.
If you are a registered driver under the age of 18, you are not permitted to use any type of cell phone or mobile electronic device, including a hands-free device.
Connecticut’s Implied Consent Law
Just by operating a motor vehicle in the state, you consent to chemical analyses of your blood, breath, or urine, by a police officer. These tests look for signs of alcohol, drugs, or other controlled substances. If you refuse a chemical analysis, your driving privileges may be suspended.
In Connecticut, if your BAC reaches 0.08 percent or higher, you are considered to be driving while under the influence. This is known as a “per se” BAC limit law, which means the reading is all that is needed to convict you of a DUI violation.
If you are caught driving while under the legal drinking age of 21 years old, your BAC limit is set al lot lower, at 0.02 percent. This “zero tolerance law” was implemented with the aim of curbing and punishing underage drinking and driving.
Car Accident Statistics in Connecticut
In 2016, 293 people were killed in road accidents in Connecticut, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) – an increase of 8.5 percent from the year before.
Between 2003 and 2012, 1,039 people were killed in crashes involving a drunk driver in Connecticut.
In Connecticut, 45 pedestrians were killed in road accidents in 2015, while 50 motorcyclists lost their lives in accidents in 2016, according to research by the NHTSA. A total of 29 fatal crashes involving large trucks took place in Connecticut in 2016.