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Delaware Car Insurance Guide

Here's what you need to know...
  • In the state of Delaware, you’re required to carry Bodily Injury and Property Damage Liability insurance on your car
  • If you’re caught driving without insurance, your license may be suspended and you will be assessed a fine
  • Drivers between 16 and 18 in Delaware must complete a graduated driver license program
  • One of the factors that will affect your insurance premiums in Delaware is your credit-based insurance score
  • It’s important for vehicle owners to consider buying optional forms of coverage in addition to the state requirements

Delaware has mandatory auto insurance laws. If you’re going to register a vehicle in your name, you need to have your insurance in place before you make the trip to your local DMV office.

Enter your zip code above to compare car insurance rates from multiple companies in Delaware at once!

You could buy your insurance in a rush, but it’s better for you to set aside time to get familiar with how insurance works. If you don’t know what you’re buying, you’ll never know if you have sufficient protection.

Auto Insurance Laws and Requirements in Delaware

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Auto insurance laws are drafted and enacted at a state level. Since it’s the state legislature’s duty to set requirements, the type of insurance and limits of insurance that are required will vary all around the country. What’s needed is often dependent on whether the state runs under a no-fault or at-fault system.

In the Diamond State, you’re legally required to carry motor vehicle liability insurance when you own a vehicle that’s registered and operated in Delaware.

This is because all drivers can be held liable for third-party damages that they cause. The only way to truly ensure someone will be compensated for their damages is to require third-party insurance.

– Minimum Requirements

There are two forms of third-party coverage included under a standard car insurance policy.

These forms of coverage are called Bodily Injury Liability and Property Damage Liability. Bodily Injury refers to coverage that pays for third-party medical treatment and pain and suffering. Property Damage refers to coverage that pays to repair someone else’s property.

Here are the minimum limits that are required in Delaware:

  • $15,000 per person in Bodily Injury
  • $30,000 per accident in Bodily Injury when multiple people are injured
  • $10,000 per accident in Property Damage

– Licensing Laws for New Drivers

No one can drive a vehicle in Delaware if they haven’t gone through the licensing process through the Driver Services Department of the Division of Motor Vehicles.

In the state, residents who are 16 and older are eligible to apply for a first-time driver’s license. Anyone between 16 and 18 must complete a graduated license program.

The graduated license program is an effective way to help drivers who are under 18 learn how to drive from experience. They must first apply for their permit by taking a written exam. Once they have passed the exam and a sponsor signs their application, they will hold their restricted learner’s permit for six months.

Once the learner driver has met the supervised driving requirements for the last 12 months, they will be eligible for their Class D operator’s license. You must be at least 17 before you can apply for an unrestricted driver’s license.

If you wait until you are 18 to apply for your license, you don’t have to go through the graduated license program.

– Licensing Process for Drivers New to the State

If you’re relocating to Delaware and you already hold a license, you’ll have to go through a different licensing process. You’ve already passed a driving test in the past so you’ll be completing an application for a New Resident Transfer License. You must complete the application within 60 days of moving.

You need to have the right documents to prove your identity when you’re transferring your license. Be sure to bring your out-of-state license because it has to be surrendered. Other documents that you have to provide before you can get your new license includes:

  • Certified copy of your driving record (if you don’t have your license)
  • Proof of your social security number
  • Proof of your legal identity (birth certificate, passport, etc.)
  • Proof of residency in Delaware

In most cases, you won’t be required to take a written and road test as long as your prior license is valid.

You will have to pass the vision screening to ensure that you don’t need contacts or eyeglasses to drive. If you own a vehicle as well, you’ll have to transfer your registration and buy insurance in DE within 30 days of moving.

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Additional Coverage Options

You don’t have to buy anything more than liability insurance to comply with Delaware’s state law. If your car is financed, the lender will require additional coverage that will pay to repair the car. Having higher limits of liability and additional first-party coverage will safeguard you from having uninsured losses.

Options available to you include:

  • Comprehensive
  • Collision
  • Medical Payments
  • Uninsured Motorist Protection
  • Rental Car Reimbursement
  • Towing and Labor

Shopping for Car Insurance in Delaware

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If you want to find the best policy, the best thing to do is shop around.

You’ll have to decide if you want to buy a basic policy that includes only state requirements or a comprehensive policy that includes a broad level of protection. Once you’ve decided on your limits and the expanded coverage options, you can solicit quotes.

When you’re looking for a value-priced insurance policy, you need to compare at least three to four quotes from different providers. Every provider has its rating systems and rates, so a thorough comparison is a great way for you to see which carrier you’ll like the most.

Shopping for an Insurance Company in Delaware

Insurance companies don’t just have to sell products; they have to sell themselves. Consumers who do their research should always look for carriers that are worth trusting.

Price is important but it’s not everything. If you don’t look past price, you could have trouble collecting if you ever file a claim.

There are a few things that you should look for in an insurer in Delaware so that you’ll have peace of mind.

First, you should look at a carrier’s financial strength. Only stable companies can be trusted to fulfill their promises. You can visit websites like A.M. Best or J.D. Power to find out more about a company’s stability in order to make an informed decision.

It’s also crucial to find a company with a valid license in the state and good customer satisfaction ratings.

The Best Discounts You Can Get

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You can get price breaks on your insurance premiums if you’re eligible for discounts. Some companies offer more discounts than others. You should always ask the agent you’re dealing with for a list of possible discounts you can have applied to your rates.

Some of the best options include:

  • Good Student – for drivers under 25 who get good grades in high school or college
  • Good Driver – for drivers who have less than one ticket or accident
  • Pay in Full – offered when you pay the total premium upfront
  • Low Mileage – for vehicles that are driven less than 3,000 miles per year
  • Alarm – for vehicles with a passive or active alarm system
  • Experienced Driver – for drivers with more than nine years of experience
  • Prior Insurance – for drivers who have maintained auto insurance with no lapses
  • Loyalty – for policyholders who have been with the same carrier for multiple terms

What Car Insurance Companies Look For

Car insurers want to get an idea of the type of risk they are taking on when they offer coverage to a driver. Since the company is on the line for thousands of dollars if there’s a claim, underwriters have to spot possible risks before the policy is issued. Some factors that will affect your rates include:

  • Zip Code – the claims data and crime rate in your zip code will be used to set your premiums
  • Car Make/Model – vehicles with bad safety ratings or high repair costs will come with higher premiums
  • Driving History – tickets and accidents found on every driver’s record will be used to classify the driver

If you want to lower your auto insurance rates, you need to shop around. Make sure you have your declarations page handy so that you can do a real comparison. Enter your information in your online quoting tool to solicit quotes and you’ll have several options to review instantly.

In fact, you can enter your zip code below to get started using our online quote tool right now!

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