Last updated on April 26th, 2018
Car insurance and minimum requirements in the state of Hawaii are largely based on the state’s no-fault status, which means that fault does not have to be laid on one driver or another in an accident in order for insurance companies to financially reimburse their customers. As a no-fault sate, instead of only requiring residents to maintain various types of liability coverage, Hawaii also requires drivers to maintain personal injury coverage on their vehicle. The minimum amount of individual personal injury coverage required by state law is set at $10,000. As in every other state residents of Hawaii are also required to maintain certain levels of liability coverage on their vehicle as well with a minimum of $20,000 in individual bodily injury coverage, $40,000 in per accident bodily injury coverage and $10,000 of property damage coverage required to be active on a vehicle before it can be legally operated. Although Hawaii is a no-fault state that status covers only injuries that result from an accident and not property damage, which is why residents still have to maintain property damage coverage on their vehicle. Florida’s no-fault status also prevents drivers sewing one another over an accident, unless serious injuries are involved, which greatly reduces the amount of lawsuits involving car insurance in Hawaii. However, despite the fact that it is technically a no-fault state Hawaii maintains a $5,000 personal injury threshold, meaning that after a driver in an accident accrues more than $5,000 in medical bill they will be legally allowed to file a claim against the other driver if they were found to be at-fault in the accident. This particular loophole results in Hawaii being a no-fault state in name only when it comes to accident that results in injuries costing more than $5,000.
While most vehicles in Hawaii are typically required to meet the state’s mandatory car insurance coverage levels there are a few situations where a vehicle may be exempt from this requirement. Vehicles that are not designed to travel on the road for example, such as dirt bikes and four wheelers, do not have to comply with state insurance requirements. Also, if a vehicle is inoperable and it is registered in Hawaii or Maui counties the owner can place it in a state of official storage so that it is not required to carry insurance or active registration. An owner of a vehicle that will not be used for a long period of time can opt to place their vehicle in official storage as well. Because proof of insurance is required at the time of registration in Hawaii when a vehicle is taken out of official storage it must carry the required levels of state mandated car insurance in order for the registration to be reactivated by the DMV.
Although the vehicle owners and drivers are the ones that most often have to comply with state insurance laws Hawaii also requires insurance companies that sell auto insurance to residents of the state to meet certain requirements as well. Any car insurance company that does business in Hawaii is legally required to offer their customers every type of coverage that is required by state law as well as a few that are not. Uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage for example must be offered by every car insurance company with Hawaiian customers despite the fact that these types of coverage are not required by state law. Conversely, if uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage is purchased by a driver they are required by law to purchase a minimum of $20,000 in said coverage. Additionally, car insurance companies in Hawaii are also required by the state to offer motorcycle owners the chance to enroll in a medical expenses coverage plan that will help cover medical expenses in the cases of an accident up to $10,000. Car insurance companies are also required to offer motorcycle owners an income disability plan and bodily injury liability coverage that exceeds state minimum requirements though at the same time they are not legally required to offer motorcycle owners uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage.
Drivers in Hawaii that are found to be driving without the minimum required amounts of car insurance, or without any car insurance at all, will be susceptible to a range of different penalties. If a driver is pulled over by a law enforcement officer or they are involved in an accident but cannot produce proof of insurance they will most likely receive a citation that will add points to their license and result in a hefty fine. If a driver is convicted of driving uninsured by a Hawaiian court they could face even more fines and a possible suspension of their license. Drivers that fail to maintain the require coverage run the risk of having negative marks placed on their license in addition to all other state mandated penalties.