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What are the car insurance requirements in Delaware?

While every state requires drivers to carry auto insurance, each state is free to set its own mandates for type of coverage, monetary limits, penalties for lack of coverage, and other issues related to auto insurance.

How Auto Insurance Policies Work

Auto insurance policies are intended to protect all drivers in case of an accident. Accident victims can obtain compensation to heal physically and financially after an injury, and those responsible can protect their own financial interests. When you pay the premium on an auto insurance policy, the insurance company will cover any damages after an accident, shielding a driver from possible financial ruin. Typically, your auto insurance policy will have a deductible—a specific amount you pay out-of-pocket when your insurer has to pay for an accident. Your deductible can be as little or as much as you specify when you begin your relationship with your insurance company. Typically, a policy with a higher deductible will have a lower premium, or monthly payment.

Auto Insurance Minimums Required by Delaware Law

The amount of money your policy is worth can depend on where you live. While it is ultimately up to the insured to decide how large of an auto insurance policy they’d like to purchase, the state of Delaware does require at least minimum amounts and different types of coverage, including:

  • Bodily Injury Protection – This covers the injury or death of another person in an accident. Delaware minimums are:
  • $15,000 to one person
  • $30,000 to all people involved in an accident, with no more than $15,000 to any one person
  • Property Damage – This covers damage to another’s property from an accident, such as a car, personal property inside a vehicle, or any other items that are damaged as a direct result of the accident. Delaware minimums are:
  • $10,000 for one accident
  • Personal Injury Protection (PIP) – In Delaware, regardless of fault, your insurance will pay for medical expenses and lost wages by you and your passengers. Delaware minimums are:
  • $15,000 to one person
  • $30,000 to all people involved in an accident, with no more than $15,000 to any one person
  • $5,000 for funeral expenses

These amounts are the minimum coverage required, and drivers can, and should, elect to pay for more coverage if they wish. State law does mandate auto insurance coverage, though, and the penalties for driving without insurance can be severe, including steep fines and loss of driving privileges.

Optional Coverage for Additional Protection for Delaware Drivers

While the state does not require that drivers carry any additional insurance other than what is stated above, insurance companies do typically offer other types of coverage for a number of situations. These optional coverages can include:

  • Collision – Collision coverage would pay for the damage done to your car in a crash with another object.
  • Comprehensive – Comprehensive coverage would pay for damage from almost any other reason outside a crash, including fire, severe weather, theft, and more.
  • Uninsured/underinsured motorist – Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage would protect you if you are involved in a hit and run accident or an accident with a driver who does not carry adequate insurance.

Other optional coverage can include rental car reimbursement, vehicle towing and repair coverage, and underinsured bodily injury coverage.

Dealing With Delaware Insurance Companies After an Accident

With respect to auto insurance, Delaware is an at-fault state. This means that when an accident occurs, the at-fault driver is responsible for paying for the accident-related expenses of anyone else involved.

In many cases the at-fault driver and/or his insurance company will dispute the claim of responsibility in an attempt to minimize the financial consequences. The insurance company will look for any way to keep from paying accident victims the full amount they are due, so it is important for victims to act quickly to protect their rights.

If you or someone you love has suffered injuries in a Delaware car accident, the experienced lawyers at the Morris James Personal Injury Group can help you work with your insurance company or negotiate with the responsible driver’s to achieve the best outcome possible. Take a moment to fill out our online contact form, and you’ll receive a prompt response from a member of our team who can answer your questions and schedule a free, no-obligation consultation.

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