Last updated on April 26th, 2018
In the state of Connecticut every vehicle, except for those that are not running and those that were designed for off road use, must meet state minimum auto insurance requirements in order to be driven legally. Vehicles that do not meet the following insurance requirements are considered to be illegally operated and both the driver and/or owner could face still penalties. A large portion of the car insurance laws in the state of Connecticut are focused on imposing mandatory minimum levels of liability coverage on vehicles registered within the state. The minimum coverage levels required by Connecticut State law are as follows; $20,000 in individual bodily injury coverage, $40,000 in bodily injury coverage per accident and $10,000 in property damage insurance per accident. These minimum liability amounts are meant to prevent the policy holder from being financially liable if they are involved in an accident that is legally their fault. Without liability car insurance a driver in Connecticut, or in any of the other states, would have to pay for any damages they caused in an at-fault accident. Liability auto insurance also prevents a driver from causing an accident and leaving the other drivers involved with the bill for damage that they didn’t cause.
In addition to maintaining these minimum coverage levels the state of Connecticut also requires that all drivers have car insurance on their vehicle at the time of registration. Some states provide drivers with a small grace period after registration to obtain insurance but in Connecticut the only way to legally register a vehicle is to have it insured beforehand. Whenever the registration is renewed every year the DMV will automatically check to see if the insurance on the vehicle is still valid and if it has been canceled or expired the owner of the vehicle will not be able to renew the registration until a new policy is purchased that satisfies Connecticut’s minimum car insurance requirements.
Connecticut State law also requires insurance companies that sell auto insurance in the state to inform the Department of Motor Vehicles when a customer has allowed their policy to lapse or has canceled it altogether. This prevents drivers from purchasing insurance on a vehicle just to have it registered, or to meet some other legal requirement such as providing proof of insurance to the court or impound, and then canceling it afterwards in an attempt to skirt the law. Drivers that allow their car insurance to lapse could potentially face a fine and suspension of the vehicle’s registration if they do not immediately have their auto insurance reinstated. Before a Connecticut resident has their vehicle’s registration suspended and/or issued a fine the DMV will send out a notice that the vehicle must be insured immediately or their registration will be suspended. Drivers who have their registration suspended for a lapse in coverage must pay the accompanying $200 fine and provide proof of insurance to the DMV before they can get the suspension lifted and the vehicle’s registration reactivated. Drivers that do not pay the fine may have their ability to register vehicle with the state in the future suspended until the situation is rectified. If a vehicle breaks down or is not longer being driven the owner cannot just allow the insurance policy to lapse and the registration to expire without notifying the DMV of the vehicle’s status. If a vehicle is reported as inoperable or is placed in storage and will not be driven the DMV will require the owner of the vehicle to turn in the license plates for the vehicle and they will be placed on hold until the vehicle’s registration is reactivated.
In addition to registering a vehicle and allowing the insurance to lapse Connecticut drivers that are driving without insurance can also be found through random checks conducted by the DMV that are meant to ensure that the insurance of all active registered vehicles are on file. With three different ways to prevent people from driving without insurance Connective is one of the most proactive states in the country in that regard though the maximum fine of $200 is also one of the lowest and does not increase for subsequent offenses. In Connecticut drivers are also required to carry proof of insurance with them at all times. In the event of an accident or a traffic stop a law enforcement officer will request to see a driver’s proof of insurance. A driver that is involved in an accident or is pulled over for a traffic stop and cannot provide proof of insurance will face the same fine and suspension of registration penalty as those that are found to have an uninsured vehicle through any other method. Proof of insurance most often comes in the form of an insurance ID card though in Connecticut the actual policy can be used as well.