Uninsured Motorist Coverage in Delaware Explained

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Delawareans aren’t required by law to have uninsured motorist coverage (UM) or underinsured motorist coverage (UIM) as drivers in many other states are. While drivers in the First State aren’t required to carry UM/UIM, the coverage is available from many insurers and can make a significant difference on one’s Delaware car insurance policy.

Let’s look at the requirements for car insurance in Delaware, how uninsured motorist coverage can make a difference on one’s policy, and how a driver might be considered uninsured or underinsured. 

Uninsured Motorist Coverage in Delaware Explained

While uninsured motorist coverage and underinsured motorist coverage aren’t required by law in Delaware, the coverages are available through many insurers and are widely used. An auto insurance policy in Delaware with UM, UIM, or both is considered a full coverage policy.

In Delaware, UM is a type of coverage drivers wish to add to their policies for coverage against drivers who lack adequate coverage. In the Diamond State, UM coverage helps the policyholder cover their medical expenses once their PIP limit is reached, should they be injured in an accident caused by an uninsured driver.

Car insurance laws in the First State require drivers to have at least $25,000 in boldly 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), and $30,000 in PIP per accident (15/30 PIP coverage). Those who finance or lease their vehicles may be required to have collision and comprehensive coverages on their policies. 

In Delaware, a full coverage policy will have higher limits of the required coverages, plus additional coverages like uninsured motorist coverage (UM), underinsured motorist coverage (UIM), collision coverage, comprehensive coverage, medical payments coverage (MedPay), or gap coverage, among others. The average cost of a full coverage policy in Delaware is about $2,040 annually, or about 20% more than the national average of $1,670 annually.

Driving without insurance in the First State is illegal. Those who fail to carry at least the minimum coverage required by law may face legal penalties like fines, fees, or license and registration suspension. The crime may also yield serious financial and insurance-related consequences, like needing to file an SR-22 and being classified as a high-risk driver who faces much higher insurance rates.

Not only are uninsured drivers on the hook for any legal penalties they may face due to the crime, but they’re also liable for all the expenses in an accident. Should the victim have a minimum coverage policy, the uninsured driver will be on the hook for their expenses once their PIP coverage reaches its limit.

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The Difference Between an Underinsured and Uninsured Motorist in Delaware

Many states have different approaches when it comes to UM and UIM coverage. In Delaware, the coverages are optional additions for those with full coverage policies to give themselves a more comprehensive range of scenarios in which they have coverage. 

UM coverage helps the policyholder cover the medical expenses and vehicle repairs they incur from an accident caused by an uninsured driver. UIM coverage helps the policyholder cover their expenses once they max out the coverage provided by the at-fault policyholder. 

A simple way to discern the two is that UM aids a policyholder involved in an accident caused by an uninsured driver. In contrast, UIM aids a policyholder involved in an accident with a driver whose coverage isn’t sufficient for the policyholder’s expenses. 

While some states combine the coverages, and others separate them further by offering bodily injury coverage and property damage coverage separately, Delaware offers drivers the option to add UM, UIM, or both coverages to their policies. 

Although Delaware is one of the most expensive states for auto insurance, drivers may still be able to find an affordable, full coverage policy with UM and UIM coverages, as well as many others, from one of the top insurers in the state. While a minimum coverage policy will always be the cheapest policy in the state, drivers don’t necessarily have to sacrifice good coverage in the name of savings if they know where to look. 

Is Uninsured Motorist Coverage Required in Delaware?

No, uninsured motorist coverage isn’t required in Delaware. All Delawareans must have at least 25/50/10 liability coverage and 15/30 PIP coverage, but any coverage that exceeds those limits will be considered optional. 

States requiring UM or UIM coverage typically have a higher-than-average number of uninsured drivers. On average, about 12% of drivers in the country are uninsured, whereas only about 9% of drivers in Delaware lack a sufficient policy. Thus, drivers aren’t legally required to carry the coverages, but it may not be such a bad idea. 

While drivers in the Diamond State don’t need UM or UIM coverages, it certainly doesn’t hurt to have them on a policy. Should a policyholder with a minimum coverage policy get into an accident caused by an uninsured driver, they would have their PIP to rely on for their medical expenses. Once they reach that limit, they would be out of luck regarding coverage. 

While drivers in the First State can sue at-fault uninsured drivers, despite the state’s no-fault law, the legal process takes far more time to payoff than an insurance policy with the right type of coverage.

How To Get an Auto Insurance Quote in Delaware

Whether you’re new to the Diamond State, are a first-time driver, or are curious about the rates you may qualify for, gathering more than one option when hunting for an auto insurance policy is essential. Getting and comparing quotes online is the most efficient way to use the resources available to ensure you’re getting a policy that meets your needs without breaking the bank.

Luckily, you’ve come to the right place for quotes. Here at Clovered, we have a free quoting tool you can use to access your unique quotes in minutes, so you don’t have to spend more time thinking about auto insurance than you need to. If you’d rather chat with a professional about your quotes, you can contact one of our licensed agents at 833-255-4117 or agent@clovered.com.

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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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