As the first state to ratify the Constitution, Delaware will always hold a cherished place in the country’s history. Delaware has continued to grow its industry since it was first settled in the 1600s, and is now recognized as the #2 state in the nation for scientists and engineers in the workforce, and for the number of patents issued to the state’s companies. Let’s take a look at Delaware auto insurance and what drivers in the state need to know when insuring their cars.
Delaware Car Insurance Laws And Requirements
Delaware follows most states in the country by operating its auto insurance system under the “tort” system. This means that when an accident occurs, one of the drivers will be determined to have caused the accident (the “at fault” party) and this driver and their insurance will be subject to claims and lawsuits. Drivers in the state must also purchase a minimum amount of insurance coverage in a number of different areas to be considered as “fully covered” and legally allowed to drive.
Bodily Injury Liability coverage helps cover the medical treatment costs, lost wages, rehabilitation and other claims resulting from injuries that parties suffer in an accident that you cause. Note that BIL doesn’t cover the insurance policy holder – it only covers other parties in the accident and only if you were at fault. The minimum amount of BIL coverage in Delaware is $15,000 per party, per accident and $30,000 for all parties in a single accident.
Property Damage Liability coverage works much like the above BIL insurance, except instead of covering people and injuries it covers damages to property, such as other automobiles, fences, lamp posts and the like. The minimum amount of Property Damage Liability insurance that one can have in Delaware is $10,000. It’s worth noting that this is quite low and may be worth purchasing more if it’s in your budget.
Finally, Delaware has a somewhat unique requirement in that drivers must also purchase Personal Injury Protection or “PIP” coverage. PIP coverage insures you and your passengers and helps to cover medical treatment costs regardless of who caused the accident which led to the injuries being claimed. This is considered a “tort add-on” as the PIP coverage won’t kick in until the other party’s BIL is exhausted, ensuring that you won’t suffer higher PIP premiums as a result of someone else causing an accident. The minimum required PIP coverage is the same as Bodily Injury Liability – $15,000 per party, per accident and $30,000 total for a single accident.
Car Insurance Rates In Delaware
It’s an unfortunate reality that those who live in Delaware end up paying much more than the nationwide average for their car insurance. The statewide median insurance rate is $2100 per year, which is considerably more than the national average of $1440. Those that live in Delaware’s major cities do not fare much better, with residents of Dover paying about $1950 per year and those in Wilmington paying a whopping $2340 per year. With rates this high, it’s critical for drivers to shop around through the dozens of different car insurance companies that provide insurance to Delaware residents.
Auto Theft And Crash Statistics
Auto thefts saw a massive decline across the Delaware in 2009, the most recent year for which stats are available. Total instances of grand theft auto dropped more than 25% to 1,907, down from a total of 2,557 the year prior. This is a spectacular drop for a single year and represents the hard work that both drivers and law enforcement officials have put in to reducing auto thefts across the state. A continued focus on reducing vehicle thefts will help bring down Delaware’s auto insurance premiums for nearly all drivers.
Unfortunately, the news isn’t so bright when auto crashes are considered. Delaware was one of the few states to see an increase in vehicle crashes in 2010, and the jump was rather large at 9%. There were a total of 20,697 crashes in 2010, up from 18,927 in 2009. This unfortunate spike is considered to be an anomaly, and crash rates are expected to resume their downward trend in the years to come. The one point of good news here is that fatalities actually managed to drop 13% in 2010, going from 118 deaths in 2009 down to 103. While this is definitely positive news, reducing the total number of crashes will do much more to help bring down Delaware auto insurance rates.
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Delaware Auto Insurance Agents
- Bethany Beach
- Delaware City
- Dewey Beach
- Fenwick Island
- Long Neck
- New Castle
- North Star
- Ocean View
- Rehoboth Beach
- South Bethany
Additional Information For Delaware Auto Insurance
- Delaware Department of Insurance – Official website from the state of Delaware
- Compare Rates In Delaware – Find the best auto insurance rates in Delaware (.gov website)
- Delaware DMV – Delaware division of motor vehicles
- Delware DMV Insurance FAQ - Vehicle liability insurance FAQ
- Delaware Highway Safety Laws