New Hampshire state seal

Living in New Hampshire means you’re never short of beautiful sights to see. The granite rock formation and the White Mountains add character to the countryside. Ample snow in winter draws skiers from all over New England, and a trip to the woods can fill your winter with magic. But a car accident can spoil the fun pretty quick - especially if you don’t have the coverage you need.

Luckily, car insurance in New Hampshire can be very affordable. The cost is below the national average for most residents, and you can easily find the best deal by taking the time to compare car insurance quotes from multiple insurance companies. This can all be done from the comfort of your home with OnlineAutoInsurance.com’s free car insurance rate comparison services.

But before you start to shop, make sure you know the basics. What are the legal requirements? What other policies should you consider? And how much coverage do you need to stay protected?

New Hampshire Car Insurance Laws

Under normal circumstances, state car insurance laws don’t require you to carry any car insurance to be legal to drive. While this may sound like a dream come true, it’s not all it’s cracked up to be. Whether or not you maintain an insurance policy, any damages you may cause in an at-fault accident are still your financial responsibility.

If you do cause a car accident without an active insurance policy and the damages exceed $1,000, you will be required to file an SR-22, and carry the following insurance policies with the stated minimum limits:

Liability Insurance

  • $25,000 Bodily Injury Coverage per person injured in an at-fault accident.
  • $50,000 Bodily Injury Coverage for multiple injuries, not to exceed the per person limit.
  • $25,000 Property Damage Liability to pay for damage to vehicles and structures in an at-fault accident.

Liability policies only pay out medical expenses and damages you caused in an accident. They won’t help you pay for injuries to you or your passengers, and they won’t pay to repair your vehicle. Though it may seem like a lot of money, a serious accident involving multiple cars can cause a lot of property damage. Emergency medical service can be outrageous. And if injuries lead to lost wages, you will be responsible for covering those as well. A few dollars a month can sometimes double your limits, which will protect you and your assets in the worst-case scenarios.

Uninsured Motorist Coverage

  • $25,000 Bodily Injury Coverage per person injured in an accident with an uninsured motorist.
  • $50,000 Bodily Injury Coverage for multiple injuries, not to exceed the per person limit.
  • $25,000 Property Damage Liability to pay for damage to your vehicle.

An Uninsured Motorist policy acts in lieu of another driver’s liability insurance when the other driver doesn’t have insurance or in hit-and-run situations. It also will pay damages caused by an underinsured motorist. Since many drivers in New Hampshire don’t carry insurance, this policy will ensure you don’t have to wait around for reimbursement from a driver who may never be able to pay up.

Medical Payments

  • $1000 Medical Payments Coverage per incident.

Also known as MedPay, this is a type of no-fault insurance that will cover medical expenses for injuries you or your passengers sustain in a car accident. This policy will also pay medical bills if you’re ever hit by a vehicle as a pedestrian. Though it may not be much, the money can help if your health insurance has a large deductible. If you don’t have very good health insurance, increasing the limits on this policy can be a good investment.

These policies aren’t available to pick and choose. You may elect to forgo insurance protection or purchase all of them. However, certain traffic violations, like a DUI or fleeing the scene of an accident, will also require you to file an SR-22 and maintain insurance.

Although the impact of an SR-22 will vary depending on the offense, it will raise your insurance premiums. The best bet is to drive safe and sober and maintain at least liability insurance. It could save your life, and it will certainly save you money if you’re in a car accident.

Comprehensive and Collision Coverage

As noted above, your liability coverage won’t help you pay to repair your vehicle or replace it if it’s totaled. But comprehensive and collision policies will make sure your vehicle is protected no matter who is at fault. Though it’s not required by law to purchase one of these policies, your lender will require you to maintain them until you’ve finished paying off your vehicle.

Comprehensive insurance will pay to repair your vehicle if it’s damaged from fire, hail, falling limbs, or anything else outside of human control. It will also cover you if your vehicle is stolen or vandalized, or if your car is damaged in a collision with an animal.

Collision insurance will pay for damages caused in an accident or if you hit a stationary object. It will pay out no matter who is at fault, so even if you’re in an accident with a hit and run driver, you’re covered.

Although these policies cost more than liability insurance, they also offer much broader protection to your vehicle. While it may not seem to matter much now, every dent and scratch will reduce your car’s value if you ever try to sell it or trade it in.

How much coverage do you need?

Before you start comparing car insurance quotes, you should decide how much protection you really need. Remember, the minimum limits on your liability policies can easily be exceeded. So consider how much you could lose. If you have assets and you’re sued by another driver, you could lose everything from a costly accident. But even if you don’t have assets, the debt you incur could be a financial setback that follows you for years.

If your car has a low dollar value, comprehensive and collision coverage may not be worth it to you. But if you need your car for work, and couldn’t afford to replace it, then it could save you from being without a vehicle. Take some time to explore different levels of coverage, and don’t skimp because you think it will save you money. Being underinsured in an accident isn’t much better than having no insurance at all.

Finding the cheapest coverage

The best way to find cheap car insurance is to compare car insurance quotes from as many different companies as possible. Because different insurance companies will use your personal factors differently, there is no one company that has the best rates for everyone.

All you have to do is answer some basic questions about yourself and the vehicle you’re covering. This includes your age, address, credit score, and driving history, as well as the year, make, and model of your vehicle. Insurance carriers use this information to determine the risk to insure you and determine the cost of your car insurance premiums. Customers with a clean driving record will pay less, so avoiding citations will save you money.

Once you submit the form, you’ll be able to compare car insurance quotes from multiple insurance companies in your area within a few moments. Because the quotes are free and there is no obligation to buy, you can experiment with lower deductibles, higher maximum limits, and other options to find the best value for you.

Make sure you take advantage of all the discounts you may qualify for to get the best deal. Safe driving, maintaining a good GPA, and bundling multiple policies are just a few ways to snag a discount. Not all insurance companies have the same discounts, so don’t hesitate to ask for more.

For more tips and additional details, view the Insurance Department’s New Hampshire Auto Insurance Guide, where readers can find information on factors that affect premiums and much more for The Granite State.

The Bottom Line

Finding the right car insurance policy is more complex than choosing the cheapest one. You need to make apples-to-apples comparisons on comparable policies. Once you find the insurance policy that works for you, you can print out proof of insurance within minutes.

Even if you already have insurance, you should compare rates regularly to make sure you always have the best deal. Your insurance premiums are not set in stone and are liable to change even within the policy period. As your driving history and credit score change over time, your premiums will adjust, and you might find a better deal elsewhere. Start comparing quotes today!