Delaware State law requires that all residents of the state must maintain a certain level of liability coverage on their vehicle in order for it to be legally drivable. The first type of coverage that the state requires is individual bodily injury coverage which will pay for injuries sustained by a single individual in an accident where the policyholder was at fault. All Delaware residents are required to have at least $15,000 in individual bodily injury coverage in order to meet state requirements though drivers are free to exceed that amount and purchase more if they wish. The second type of coverage required by Delaware is per accident bodily injury coverage which will pay a specified amount towards the injuries sustained by all other in an accident and not just a single person. At $30,000 the amount of per accident bodily injury coverage required to meet state regulations is exactly double the amount of individual bodily injury insurance required. The last type of coverage that is required by the state is property damage insurance, which at $10,000 is the lowest of all three figures. Property damage insurance will help pay for any damage to a vehicle or other property resulting from an accident caused by the policyholder.
Unlike most other states, which only require drivers to maintain a minimum level of liability insurance on their vehicle the state of Delaware also requires its residents to purchase personal injury protection coverage. This type of coverage is designed to protect the policyholder and anyone driving with the policyholder should there be injuries resulting from an accident. Personal injury protection coverage typically pays for the medical bills and any loss of income that resulted from an accident up to the amount of coverage purchased. The minimums set for this type of coverage are the same as the minimum amounts of bodily injury liability coverage that drivers in Delaware are required to purchase. Since the only types of insurance required by the state of Delaware are personal injury and liability coverage vehicle owners are not required to carry insurance that will cover their own vehicle should they be involved in a wreck that was either their fault or the fault of an underinsured or uninsured motorist. If Delaware residents wish to purchase these types of insurance they are generally free to do so, though their insurance company may not offer them this coverage if they have a history of accidents or a less than the stellar driving record. Because Delaware is a tort state, which means that the driver found to be responsible for an accident is financially responsible for all injuries and damages that are caused in the process, drivers often carry more coverage on a vehicle than is required by state law.
To ensure that the residents of Delaware have enough incentive to abide by state car insurance regulations the penalties for failing to do so tend to be rather harsh, especially in comparison to other states. A driver in Delaware that is caught driving without insurance, whether they are caught through a routine traffic stop or were involved in an accident, will typically receive a citation and an order to appear in court. If the driver of convicted of driving without insurance they will be fined a minimum of $1,500 for a first offense and $3,000 for each subsequent offense that occurs within a three year period. In most cases, the driver’s license will also be suspended for a period of six months and they will be required to pay all fines and show proof of insurance before the suspension can be lifted at the end of the period. Delaware is also a proactive state when it comes to catching vehicle owners that allow their insurance to lapse. Throughout the year the Delaware Department of Motor Vehicles constantly audits drivers to ensure that their insurance is still active an up to date. The DMV will send out random requests for proof of insurance in order to make sure that a vehicle’s insurance has been maintained and kept up to date. This proof can be obtained from the insurance company in the form of an FR-19, which states that coverage on a vehicle has been continuous and the policy is currently active. If a resident of Delaware ignores this request or cannot provide sufficient proof they will be at risk of having both their license and vehicle registration suspended until proof of a car insurance policy that meets Delaware requirements can be furnished. In addition to any other fees or penalties incurred the driver will also have to pay a reinstatement fee in order to have their license and registration reinstated. These high fees, fines and lengthy suspensions are intended to dissuade drivers in the state of Delaware from taking the risk of driving around uninsured.
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Delaware was one of the original 13 colonies and was the first state created in the United States. It is the second smallest state by geography in the country, has only 3 counties, and has a population of 950,000. Check out our DMV & Emissions Testing Locations in Delaware pages below to find a local Delaware DMV office or smog check location in your area.