Delaware may be one of the smallest states in the country in terms of area, but it's still home to hundreds of thousands of people. All of them must share local roads and freeways. Like anywhere else, accidents happen on a daily basis. There's no telling when or where they'll occur, which is why it's so important to have decent auto insurance. Besides, no one can drive legally in the state without maintaining valid liability coverage. Drivers who flout the law face very serious consequences.
Shopping for auto insurance in Delaware doesn't have to be expensive or confusing. It's easy to collect free car insurance quotes to compare and contrast the best and most affordable options. However, drivers shouldn't base their decisions on price alone. It's important to keep the minimum insurance requirements for the First State in mind. It also helps to have a basic understanding of the kinds of drivers who share the state's highways and byways. By being as educated as possible, Delaware residents can pinpoint policies that offer exceptional protection for very competitive rates.
In 2012, the U.S. Census Bureau reports that Delaware had a population of 917.092. Out of that number, 716,109 people were legally registered to drive in the state. In other words, 78 percent of all residents have driver's licenses. This information comes from the Federal Highway Administration. That agency maintains all kinds of statistics about drivers in various states. One thing to keep in mind is that insurance companies take many things into consideration while determining premiums, but they don't consider gender. In Delaware as of November 2012, 349,979 people, or 48.87 percent of all registered drivers, were men. 366,130 people, or 51.13 percent of all registered drivers, were women.
Most people know that insurance companies pull their driving records to calculate premiums. Safe drivers are awarded lower rates while drivers with many accidents and moving violations have to pay a lot more. That's not all that concerns insurance companies, however. They also look at a driver's age. Younger drivers don't have as much experience behind the wheel as older drivers, so they tend to pay a lot more. In November 2012, there were 35,499 drivers aged 19 and under in Delaware, which equaled about 5 percent of all registered drivers. The largest group, which consists of people who are between the ages of 45 and 49, included 67,683 licensed drivers and accounted for 9.5 percent of everyone who legally drives in the state.
Auto Insurance Requirements in Delaware
People who move to Delaware from other states are often surprised to learn that there's only one way to prove financial responsibility, which is required to drive legally: liability insurance. In other states, drivers can sometimes file bonds and take other steps to fulfill the requirement. This may be a blessing in disguise, though. Auto insurance is the best way for a driver to protect his financial best interests.
Drivers should be careful when buying auto insurance in Delaware. In order to fulfill the requirements of the law, policies must meet or exceed certain minimums. In the state of Delaware, the minimum requirements for liability insurance are:
- At least $10,000 in property damage coverage
- At least $15,000 in bodily injury coverage for one person
- At least $30,000 in bodily injury coverage for two or more people
Just because these minimum requirements allow a person to drive legally in the state doesn't mean they're sufficient. Most people get more extensive coverage to avoid major financial burdens in the event of a car accident.
Insurance companies in Delaware notify the DMV when drivers cancel their policies. In fact, a driver who is just switching from one carrier to another needs to notify the DMV to avoid problems. If the DMV determines that no insurance is on file, a driver may face a suspension of six months and a fine of $1,500 or more. The DMV sometimes performs audits to ensure that drivers are compliant. Ignoring a request for an audit can result in suspension and at least $75 in fines.