New Hampshire is the only state in the U.S. that does not require residents to maintain minimum levels of coverage on their vehicles. Every other state requires that a vehicle owner meet certain coverage requirements but in New Hampshire residents get to decide for themselves just how much, if any, insurance coverage they want to purchase for their vehicle. The only exceptions to this rule are drivers that have been found guilty of drunk driving or have committed some other driving violation. Drivers with a DUI or other blemishes on their driving record may be required to maintain certain amounts of liability coverage for a set period of time. If a driver is convicted of a qualifying violation they will be notified by the state in writing that they are required to obtain liability insurance. If a driver is convicted of drunk driving for example they will be notified by the state that they are required to maintain liability insurance for a period of three years. A second DUI conviction will result in a New Hampshire motorist having to maintain liability coverage on their vehicle for at least 5 years.
Although car insurance is not required by law in the state of New Hampshire most residents still maintain at least some sort of coverage on their vehicles thanks to the car insurance requirements for banks that supply auto loans. Like most states the institutions that provide auto loans in New Hampshire require that a certain amount of coverage be maintained on the financed vehicle until it has been completely paid off. New Hampshire lenders require buyers to maintain car insurance on financed vehicles in order to protect both the owner and the institution that financed the vehicle purchase. If a vehicle is totaled in a wreck and it is only two months old, if the owner does not have insurance they will not be financially reimbursed for their loss and will still be legally obligated to continue paying for a vehicle that is no longer drivable. Drivers that voluntarily purchase car insurance for their vehicle are encourage by the state to purchase certain amounts of liability coverage with their policy, including $25,000 in individual bodily injury coverage, $50,000 in per accident bodily injury coverage and $25,000 in property damage coverage. These are the levels of coverage that the state estimates every driver should have in order to satisfy any financial responsibility requirements that may result from an accident. The state also recommends that New Hampshire car insurance policies include uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage that is at least equal to the suggested minimum levels of bodily injury coverage. New Hampshire residents that for one reason or another are required to purchase an auto insurance policy must meet these minimum levels for liability, uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage in order for the policy to satisfy state requirements.
Despite the fact that most New Hampshire residents are not legally required to have car insurance on their vehicle if a driver is in an accident and are found to be at-fault they can still be held financially liable for any injuries or damages sustained in the accident. If the at-fault driver in an accident does not have the coverage necessary to cover the injuries and damages to other drivers and their property they will be required to post a bond or cash that is equal to the estimated cost of the accident. New Hampshire motorists that drive without insurance are also susceptible to lawsuits filed by other drivers involved in an accident. An uninsured driver that is responsible for an accident is completely at the mercy of the other drivers in the accident and if fault of the driver can be proven in court they could be hit with financially debilitating penalties. The state may also require an at-fault uninsured driver to file an SR-22 insurance form while also requiring them to purchase an insurance liability policy if they wish to continue to legally operate a vehicle on public roads.
Once a New Hampshire auto insurance policy is purchased by a resident of the state it can be rather hard to cancel, especially if the policy has been active for over 60 days. According to New Hampshire car insurance law an auto insurance policy that has been active for 60 days or more cannot be cancelled except in specific situations. Such a situation includes the failure of the policy holder to pay the policy premiums, though even then the insurance company is required to send advanced notice to the policy holder before the policy can actually be terminated. A policy can also be cancelled upon request of the policy holder or if the policy holder fails to sin a residency form attesting to the fact that they are a legal resident of the state.