The Risks of Driving Without Insurance in Delaware

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Whether you’re moving to Newark to attend school at the University of Delaware or are going about your daily hustle and bustle in one of the Diamond State’s many suburbs, drivers with vehicles registered in the state must ensure they always maintain adequate car insurance in Delaware

Let’s investigate the penalties for drivers who fail to carry a sufficient car insurance policy in Delaware, how to navigate accidents with an uninsured driver, and other nuances of driving without insurance in the First State.

The Risks of Driving Without Insurance in Delaware

The primary penalty for driving without insurance in Delaware is license and registration suspension, but other risks include fines, fees, and various financial penalties related to an accident while uninsured. 

While drivers in the First State won’t face jail time for the crime, driving uninsured is still considered a criminal offense. To avoid the penalties associated with the crime, drivers must always have a car insurance policy that at least meets the state’s minimum requirements.

Auto insurance laws in the Diamond State state drivers must have at least $25,000 in bodily injury liability per person, $50,000 in bodily injury liability per accident, $10,000 in property damage liability per accident (25/50/10 liability coverage), $15,000 in personal injury protection (PIP) per person, and $30,000 in PIP per accident (15/30 PIP), since the First State is a no-fault state

People who finance or lease their vehicles will be required to have comprehensive and collision coverage.  Additionally, drivers who opt for a full coverage policy may opt for higher limits of liability and PIP coverages and add optional coverages to their policies, like uninsured motorist coverage (UM) and underinsured motorist coverage (UIM) to protect against reckless residents who might not have insurance coverage.

Drivers who fail to carry the minimum coverage risk serious financial and insurance-related consequences on top of legal penalties. Failing to provide proof of insurance when caught is far more expensive than an insurance premium would be, so driving without insurance in Delaware isn’t worth it.

While Delaware does tend to be a costly state for auto insurance for good and bad drivers alike, there are plenty of ways to secure a cheap policy. A minimum coverage plan will almost always be the cheapest option, but a full coverage policy from one of the state’s top insurers may come at a surprisingly low base rate for some drivers. 

High-risk drivers, or those who’ve been caught driving uninsured in the past, will typically pay above-average premiums because of the risk they pose. The uptick in insurance premiums for several years in the future is one of many consequences uninsured drivers face.

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What’s the Driving Without Insurance Penalty in Delaware?

The legal penalties for driving uninsured in Delaware range from fines and fees to license and registration suspension, depending on the severity and frequency of the incident. The fines and fees may range from $1,500 to $4,000, and the license and registration suspension can last up to six months.

However, the legal consequences are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the penalties for driving uninsured in the Diamond State. Drivers who forgo coverage put their savings at significant risk, as uninsured drivers who cause accidents are on the hook for most of the expenses incurred by each party. 

While drivers with minimum coverage policies carry a minimum limit of PIP to invoke to cover the medical expenses they incur following an accident, uninsured drivers are on the hook for the remaining costs the victim’s policy doesn’t cover, not to mention their own expenses, too.

If an uninsured driver can’t cover all the victim’s expenses, the victim may sue the uninsured driver. Should legal action be pursued, the uninsured driver may have to pay for damages, pain, and suffering, plus legal defense fees. 

On top of the financial consequences of an at-fault accident, while uninsured, those who fail to provide proof of insurance may risk a significant increase in insurance premiums for years following the incident.

The average full coverage policy in the Diamond State is about $2,040 annually, or about 20% more than the national average of $1,670 annually. Those caught with insufficient coverage may be considered high-risk drivers by their future insurers, thus earning themselves premiums at double or triple the average rate.

When calculating premiums, insurers look at many factors to assess a driver’s risk of filing a claim. If a driver has a higher-than-average risk of filing a claim, especially if they have a poor insurance history or driving record, insurers will quote them above-average premiums. 

What Happens in an Accident in Delaware Without Insurance? 

Since Delawareans must have auto insurance, those in an accident while driving uninsured will face significant financial and legal consequences. While the Diamond State is a no-fault state, fault may be assigned in an accident if a driver requires more coverage than their PIP can provide. 

Should an uninsured driver be at fault in an accident, they’re on the hook for all the victim’s expenses and their own. Not only are uninsured drivers liable for all the expenses incurred in an accident, but the victim may sue for pain and suffering. Should the court support the victim, the uninsured driver will owe damages and legal defense fees, further tallying the cost of driving uninsured.

While SR-22 insurance isn’t issued in Delaware, drivers caught without proof of insurance will likely face an increase in insurance premiums, just as those with SR-22 insurance. Uninsured drivers will face several consequences, ranging from legal to financial and insurance-related, which will be far more expensive than an annual insurance premium. 

How To Find Delaware Auto Insurance Quotes

Whether you’re looking for a minimum coverage policy to ensure you have just enough coverage to avoid the legal penalties for driving uninsured or a full coverage policy to ensure you’re covered in any scenario, you’ll want to find a policy that best suits the needs of your lifestyle and budget.

The best way to find the right policy for you is to get and compare quotes online. Getting and comparing quotes online is a quick and easy way to see all your options in one place, so you don’t miss out on coverage or a great deal.

Luckily, you’ve come to the right place for quotes. Here at Clovered, we have a free quoting tool you can use to view and analyze your unique quotes in minutes. If you’d rather chat with a professional about your quotes, you can contact one of our licensed agents at 833-255-4117 or [email protected].

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The editorial content on Clovered’s website is meant to be informational material and should not be considered legal advice.

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