Is Car Insurance with Uninsured Motorist Coverage Required in New Hampshire?Residents who own motor vehicles in New Hampshire are not required by law to purchase auto insurance, but they do have to meet the state’s financial responsibility requirements. This is because at-fault drivers need to be able to pay for damage from a crash either through their automobile coverage, with cash or by posting a bond. If drivers are unable to do so, the offending residents may lose their license or have their vehicle registration suspended. Most vehicle owners in the Granite State choose to purchase automobile coverage instead of risking any potential expenses after an accident, and state law says that these policies must include uninsured motorist coverage that is equal to the liability limits.
Uninsured motorist protection kicks in when the policyholder suffers damages caused by an uninsured driver, a hit-and-run driver or an insured motorist whose liability limits are lower than the policyholder’s own liability limits. And uninsured motorists may still have to pay for damages or injuries entirely out-of-pocket if taken to court, which can quickly become very expensive.
Choosing not to purchase a New Hampshire auto insurance policy may sound like an excellent way to save money, but being uninsured after an accident could be financially devastating. Motorists without coverage may have to pay for their own vehicle repairs, as well as their own medical expenses even if they are struck by another driver.
According to NH 2005 Hospital Discharge Data, there were 639 patients treated for crash-related related injuries in 2005 alone, amounting to $26.7 million in direct hospital costs. Of this amount $13.77 million was billed to insurers, and $4.58 million was paid by patients. (The remainder was paid by the federal government and through Medicaid.) With the rising cost of health care and the risks involved in driving, vehicle owners are encouraged to take the time to gather free auto insurance quotes and purchase an affordable policy that can help cover these potential costs.
Although vehicle protection plans are technically optional, the Insurance Research Council estimates that in 2009 only 11 percent of drivers within New Hampshire were uninsured. If one of these drivers is at-fault for an accident and is unable to cover the damages, or is convicted of a DUI, they may be forced to obtain an SR-22 certificate. This document is usually required for three years and states that the motorist in question has purchased enough automobile coverage to meet NH financial responsibility requirements. These documents can usually be obtained from car insurance companies that are licensed to do business within the state. Drivers may wish to note that a required SR-22 may be relieved by submitting a request to the New Hampshire Department of Motor Vehicles.