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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 several of the leading providers in DE.
Cheapest Car Insurance Companies in Delaware
Comparing insurance quotes from multiple insurance providers is the best way to find the cheapest rates in Delaware. Below are our suggested carriers for common driver categories:
|Cheapest Insurer||Driver Category|
|Liberty Mutual||Safe Drivers|
|USAA||Drivers in the Military|
|State Farm||Low Annual Mileage|
Best Car Insurance Companies in Delaware
Our Geeks looked at complaint data and policyholder reviews to identify the best car insurance providers in Delaware. The table below summarizes the results of our analysis:
Minimum Car Insurance Requirements 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
Penalties for Driving Without Auto Insurance in Delaware
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.
Without insurance, it is illegal in Delaware to operate a motor vehicle. 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.
Delaware Car Insurance FAQs
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.
What Is 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.
What Are Delaware’s Distracted Driving Laws?
The only time it’s legal to use a mobile handheld device while driving is in conjunction with a hands-free device when making or receiving phone calls or other functions, such as navigation apps or podcasts (provided the driver isn’t touching the phone or looking at its screen). As such, it’s never okay to send or receive text messages, send or receive emails, surf the Internet, or engage in other distractions via a handheld device while you’re driving.
If you violate Delaware’s handheld device ban, you can be fined as much as $100 for your first offense, with subsequent violations resulting in fines of between $200 and $300. You’ll also be responsible for any related court costs. Regardless, your driver’s license will not be assessed motor vehicle points for such a violation.
There are a few exceptions, though, including the use of handheld devices by police and other emergency professionals as part of their official duties; to report an emergency or hazardous situation to the police; and the use of unregistered farm equipment (such as tractors).
What Is a Deductible?
When you file a claim for an automobile accident, you’ll most likely have to pay a deductible before the insurer will begin paying for your claims. This amount usually resets each year (either calendar year or the period indicated in your policy).
For example, if you have a $500 deductible and your first claim of the year is for damages totaling $2,000, then you’ll have to pay the first $500 and the insurance company will pick up the rest. But if you file another claim within the year, the insurer will pay it in whole.
What Will Happen to My Auto Insurance Policy If I’m Convicted of a DUI?
The bottom line is that your insurance premiums probably will increase – perhaps by double – after getting a DUI in Delaware. This is because the insurance company will move you in their “high risk” driver category or they could drop you altogether.
If you’ve committed a DUI or some other driving-related crime (such as driving without insurance), you will need to file an FR-19 form. Similar to the SR-22 forms used in other states, the FR-19 notifies the Delaware DMV that you’ve been issued the required amount of insurance coverage. The DMV won’t reinstate your suspended license until this form is processed.
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 11 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.
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.