Delaware may be one of the smaller States in the country but it has an incredible volume of traffic passing through it. The Office of Highway Safety works hard to promote road safety in the State but, with 819,000 registered motor vehicles travelling 9,177 million miles each year (2010 estimate), it is understandable that there were over 20,000 crashes in 2010, seriously injuring more than 8,000 drivers and passengers and being responsible for 103 fatalities.
Delaware is one of a small number of States in which “no-fault” insurance laws apply. This means that compulsory personal injury protection (PIP) insurance is required, and consequently rates of car insurance in Delaware are much higher than the national average. Furthermore, there are no alternatives to purchasing auto insurance in Delaware, and to get caught driving without car insurance will result in six months suspension of license and a fine of no less than $1,500.
Delaware Car Insurance Requirements
Despite the costs of auto insurance in Delaware, it is estimated that 90 per cent of drivers in Delaware have car insurance which meet the minimum requirements for the State (the national average is 84 per cent), and although uninsured/underinsured bodily injury cover is not compulsory, it is recommended for that one-in-ten chance when you may be injured due to the negligence of an uninsured driver.
Minimum compulsory liability limits for auto insurance in Delaware are:-
$15,000 for injury/death to one person
$30,000 for injury/death to more than one person
$10,000 for damage to property
$15,000 / $30,000 personal injury protection
Delaware Auto Insurance Laws
In Delaware, it is required that you carry a proof of car insurance card in your vehicle at all times. Even if you have Delaware car insurance above the required minimum limits, if you fail to show evidence of it to a police officer on request, you will receive a spot fine of $75.00. Frequent offenders, and those who collect moving traffic violations, will be categorized as “high-risk” drivers and be required to carry additional SR-22 auto insurance when driving in Delaware.
The Delaware Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) also carries out random audits where you are notified in the mail that you have to provide a certificate from your auto insurance company to prove you are insured to drive (Form FR-19). Ignoring the audit can result in a temporary suspension of your driving license and a fine, so you had better inform the DMV if you change address – otherwise you will not receive notification of the audit and be fined and suspended from driving automatically!
Recommended Delaware Car Insurance Coverage
Although compulsory personal injury protection eliminates the need to prove liability in a minor accident, the minimum limits for injury and death to other road users when an accident has been caused by your own negligence are among the lowest in the country. Therefore, it is recommended that you at least double the minimum liability coverage when buying auto insurance in Delaware. This recommendation also applies to the limit for damage to property. If you totaled somebody else´s car in an accident for which you were at fault, the bill for damage could well exceed the $10,000 coverage that is provided by car insurance companies in Delaware, and you would become personally liable.
Alternatively, you could consider taking out additional collision damage insurance, or protect yourself completely with comprehensive car insurance. This would also cover you if you were involved in an accident with an uninsured or underinsured driver.
Cheap Delaware Car Insurance Quotes
It may look on first appearance that there are no cheap options for car insurance in Delaware, but there are a number of things you can do which will encourage Delaware auto insurance companies to reduce your car insurance premiums. Cars with air-bags, automatic seatbelts and other forms of restraint are quoted lower car insurance rates in Delaware, as are those that are locked up a garage when not in use, rather than being left parked in a drive or on the highway.
Studies have revealed that showing responsibility with your finances indicates to car insurance companies in Delaware that you are a responsible person, and they will translate that responsibility into your attitude on the road. Even though you may feel that you credit score should have nothing to do with how much you are charged for your auto insurance in Delaware, it is in fact a significant factor in your car insurance rating.
Delaware Car Insurance Ratings
There are a number of other significant factors which can affect your car insurance rating in Delaware – and consequently the car insurance quotes you receive. Male drivers are statistically four times more likely to be the cause of an accident than a female driver in Delaware and, if you live in Wilmington, you are statistically more likely to have your car stolen than if you live anywhere else in Delaware.
Auto insurance companies in Delaware combine these factors, which are collated from years of historical data, and apply them to your personal circumstances when you approach them for a car insurance quote. There are many other elements which combine to make your final Delaware car insurance rating, some of which you may not have considered.
Your ZIP Code – As well as looking at accident black spots and cities which have a poor record for vehicle theft, car insurance companies in Delaware will also consider you more kindly if you live in a rural area rather than an urban one.
Age – Statistically young drivers in Delaware are more likely to be involved in an accident than their older counterparts. According to the Delaware State Police Report for 2009/10, drivers under the age of 24 years accounted for over 20 per cent of all accidents on the States´ roads.
Marital Status – In (almost) the same way as having a good credit score indicates responsibility, so does marriage in the State of Delaware. Car insurance companies will discount your car insurance premiums when you get married.
Model of Vehicle – Some types of vehicles are involved in proportionately more accidents than others (sports utility vehicles for example) or more likely to get stolen by car thieves (see below). Newer, “insurance friendly” vehicles with a higher level of driver and passenger protection will attract cheaper auto insurance rates in Delaware.
Vehicle Usage – If you commute to work by public transport and only use your car for going to the mall or collecting the kids from school, you will receive a discount for low mileage. Pay-as-you-drive insurance schemes are soon to be introduced in Delaware, so it may well be worth asking your insurance company if you qualify for participation in this plan.
Most Stolen Cars in Delaware
The National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) produces a report each year on the most commonly stolen vehicles by State. If your car appears on this list, you need to install additional security devices – not only to deter potential car thieves, but also to get a reduction on your car insurance rates in Delaware.
The most commonly stolen cars in Delaware for 2009 were:-
1. Honda Civic
2. Honda Accord
3. Ford Explorer
4. Cherokee Jeep
5. Dodge Caravan
6. Acura Integra
7. Ford Taurus
8. Toyota Camry
9. Chevrolet Cavalier
10. Dodge Neon
Where Your Car May be Stolen in Delaware
The NICB also produces a report on the 360 districts nationwide in which your car is most likely to be stolen. National rankings are based on the number of vehicles stolen per capita, and Delaware had an excellent record in 2009, with only two districts qualifying for inclusion in the report (National ranking in brackets).
1. Wilmington (137)
2. Dover (183)
Typical Delaware Car Insurance Rates
Despite the low crime rate – at least in respect of vehicle theft – car insurance rates in Delaware are typically 40 per cent higher than the national average of $1,440.The list below provides details of what the average car driver paid for their Delaware car insurance in 2009. Your own individual car insurance quotation will be influenced by your personal circumstances.
Car Insurance in Seaford – $1,930
Car Insurance in Dover – $1,942
Car Insurance in Milford – $1,960
Car Insurance in Smyrna – $1,998
Car Insurance in Bear – $2,053
Car Insurance in Middletown – $ 2,213
Car Insurance in Newark – $2,296
Car Insurance in Claymont – $2,327
Car Insurance in Wilmington – $2,338
Car Insurance in Hockessin – $2,448
Delaware Car Insurance Companies
Although there are a great number of car insurance companies in Delaware, some may be able to provide cheaper car insurance rates than others. This is because some will provide discounts if (for example) you belong to a certain profession or, if you are a young driver, achieve good grades in school. The list below is a fairly comprehensive list of the companies that provide auto insurance in Delaware, and those which we have reviewed are underlined.
|AAA Mid-Atlantic||First Liberty||Omni|
|American||Goodville Mutual Casualty||Pennsylvania General|
|American Bankers||Great Northern||Phoenix|
|American International||Hartford||Property & Casualty Insurance|
|American Modern||Horace Mann||Company of Hartford|
|AMICA Mutual||Liberty Mutual||State Farm|
|Charter Oak Fire||MeraStar||Travelers|
|Donegal Mutual||National General||Vigilant|
|Encompass||New Hampshire Indemnity||Westfield|
|Farm Family Casualty||NGM|
The best way to locate the cheapest car insurance rates in Delaware, which provide adequate coverage for you and your family, is to shop around the many auto insurance companies. Our interactive tool at the top of the page will help you to shop around quickly and efficiently and, once you have found a satisfactory quote for your car insurance in Delaware, ask to see if you qualify for any further discounts.