Delaware Car Insurance Laws
Delaware, like many other states, considers vehicle coverage a necessary part of driving. To be considered adequately insured, motorists in the First State must purchase a vehicle protection plan that includes liability coverage for bodily injury with limits of at least $15,000 for one person, $30,000 for a single accident, as well as $15,000 for property damage. Drivers must also carry Personal Injury Protection (PIP) designed to cover medical expenses, loss of wages, or injuries sustained by the policyholder or their passengers during an accident regardless of fault. The minimum limits of this PIP must be at least $15,000 for a single person, and $30,000 per accident, and also includes up to $5,000 for potential funeral expenses.
Motorists that are caught without coverage, or with an insufficient amount of vehicle protection that does not meet the state minimum requirements, may face a series of penalties that can get increasingly severe for repeat offenders. These motorists may face a fine of $1,500 for the first offense, and $3,000 for subsequent offenses that take place within three years of the first. Additionally, such a motorist may also receive a license suspension for a period of six months. To increase the chances of catching uninsured motorists, vehicle owners are randomly checked for coverage by the Department of Insurance, and policy providers will typically notify the state in the event that a motorist’s coverage is dropped.
In the event that an individual wishes to cancel their Delaware auto insurance they must first surrender their license plates. If this should happen, a motorist’s tags may be returned if the driver in question is able to provide proof that they have met state coverage requirements and that their vehicle is properly registered. Failure to surrender one’s plates after becoming uninsured may result in a $100 fine per vehicle for being without coverage for less than 30 days, with an additional $5 per vehicle for every day after the initial 30 days. This penalty will generally continue to accrue until the driver in question surrenders their tags and vehicle registration, a suitable amount of coverage is acquired, or until the registration tags expire.
Residents should note that the limits set by the Department of Insurance are simply the minimum levels required in order to legally operate an automobile, and that motorists are encouraged to consider improving upon these limits for greater protection. Typically, this can be done for only a slight increase in one’s premium price, and raising policy limits also has a tendency to translate into a smaller chance getting caught with an insufficient amount of coverage after a particularly serious accident. Residents are also encouraged to consider comprehensive and collision coverage designed to cover damages to one’s own vehicle in the event of an accident, up to the limits of the policy. Also included in this form of additional vehicle protection is coverage against damages sustained outside of a collision, generally including those caused by falling objects, fire, flooding, vandalism, or even theft.