New Hampshire may be one of the smallest states in the country, but it's still home to nearly two million people. On any given day, hundreds of thousands of them are probably on the road. One of the most unique things about New Hampshire is that it doesn't have laws requiring drivers to show that they are financially responsible enough to operate motor vehicles. In other words, people can drive around without carrying valid insurance or any other form of financial responsibility. Despite that, most drivers do.
The residents of New Hampshire are known for their independence and resolve, so it comes as no surprise that their laws don't require car insurance. Why do so many people still carry it, though? It's mostly because they can still get in very big trouble without coverage. The law may not go after them, but other drivers may. Even a relatively minor crash can result in thousands of dollars in damages and injuries. The responsible party has to pay. If he doesn't have insurance, he will have to find another way to do so. By understanding these risks, drivers in the Granite State can gain a better understanding of why coverage is so important.
Who Drives in New Hampshire?
It's easy to assume that there aren't many people on the road in tiny New Hampshire, but that's not the case. The estimated population of the state in 2012, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, was 1,320,718. That's just a fraction of the population of many states, but many of those people drive. According to the Federal Highway Administration, there were 1,656,889 licensed drivers in November 2012, so a whopping 80 percent of the population of New Hampshire is legally allowed to drive.
Drivers are split fairly equally in New Hampshire in terms of gender. 527,010 people, or 49.86 percent of all licensed drivers, are women; 529,879 people, or 50.14 percent of all licensed drivers, are men. It should be noted that insurance carriers are not allowed to take gender into consideration when calculating insurance premiums. Age is a very important factor, though. According to the FHA, 25,903 people, or 2.5 percent of all licensed drivers, were aged 19 and below in November 2012. The largest group consisted of drivers between the ages of 50 and 54, and it totaled 57,333 people, or 5.4 percent of all licensed drivers.
Auto insurance Requirements in New Hampshire
New Hampshire is a standout when it comes to insurance laws. Most states have minimum requirements for establishing proof of financial responsibility. At the very least, the majority of states require people to have liability coverage. New Hampshire has no such laws. There are exceptions, however. Drivers who have had DUIs or who have been involved in accidents may be required to maintain valid insurance for at least three years. The same is true of people who have multiple reckless driving convictions or other traffic violations.
Drivers who are ordered to maintain liability car insurance have to make sure that their policies meet certainminimum requirements. They include:
- At least $25,000 in bodily injury coverage for one person
- At least $50,000 in bodily injury coverage for two or more people
- At least $25,000 in property damage coverage
Insurance companies in New Hampshire are also required to report changes in insurance to the DMV. Drivers who are ordered to maintain liability insurance must be careful. If their policies lapse, their insurance providers will notify the DMV, and various penalties may be involved at that point.
In New Hampshire, drivers who are supposed to have liability insurance and are caught driving without it may have their registrations and driver's licenses suspended. They will also have to show proof of coverage in order to have those things reinstated, and reinstatement fees will also need to be paid. It's a big hassle, and it's much smarter to simply maintain valid insurance for the entire three-year period. Besides, that period may be extended for drivers who don't bother to maintain valid coverage.