Delaware Car Insurance Requirements
If you live in Delaware you may already be aware that your state has one of the most restrictive compulsory car insurance laws in the nation. Delaware’s law takes into account resident drivers, those visiting from outside the state, and even those who register vehicles in jurisdictions without compulsory auto insurance. Furthermore, penalties for violating the insurance laws in Delaware are stiff.
To begin with, liability limits for a minimum Delaware car insurance policy include:
- $15,000 per accident — single victim injury or death
- $30,000 per accident — multiple victims injury or death
- $10,000 per accident — property damage liability
Though uninsured/underinsured motorist (UM) and personal injury protection (PIP) are not required in Delaware, they are an option for drivers who want them. You can also choose to include collision, comprehensive, and med-pay coverages.
Compliance with Insurance Law
In order to be in compliance with Delaware’s car insurance law drivers must obtain a liability policy before registering a vehicle. As long as that vehicle’s registration remains active insurance must also be maintained. If the driver intends to cancel his insurance policy or allow it to lapse he must surrender his license plates and registration prior to doing so.
One of the unique aspects of Delaware’s compulsory insurance law comes by way of surrendering your plates prior to canceling your insurance policy. If you plan to get a new insurance policy in the near future, you may inform the DMV and they will hold your plates temporarily. The plates will be returned to you at no charge once you provide proof of insurance.
Penalties for Violations
The penalty for violating car insurance laws in Delaware can be severe. A first offense garners a minimum fine of $1,500. Subsequent offenses raise the fine to $3,000 and include a mandatory six-month suspension of your driving privileges.
If you’re a driver in Delaware keep in mind your state utilizes an electronic reporting system to keep track of all car insurance policies. You must be able to provide proof of insurance upon the request of a police officer and at the time of registration. Furthermore, if you’re involved in an accident you are required to show your proof of insurance to any other parties involved if they request it.
Lastly, Delaware has implemented a random audit system by which they contact drivers by mail to check on insurance status. Those who receive audit notices must respond in a timely manner by providing appropriate proof of insurance. A driver who fails to respond to an audit will automatically have his license and registration suspended. A $25 reinstatement fee will apply to the license and a $50 fee to the registration.