New Hampshire Auto Insurance
- New Hampshire Auto Insurance
New Hampshire is one of only two states without mandatory auto insurance laws for all residents. With the absence of cut-and-dry requirements, the expectations for coverage in the Granite State can get a little fuzzy.
Whether you’re heading to Hanover for a tour of the historic Dartmouth campus, making your way to one of the many trailheads of the White Mountains, or simply carting your kids to and from school, you’ll want to ensure you have the amount of coverage that’ll help you feel comfortable and confident behind the wheel. Let’s check out the details of auto insurance in New Hampshire, like who needs it, how much it costs, and how you can get the best deal on a great policy.
Auto Insurance in New Hampshire Explained
While a policy isn’t technically required for all drivers in the state, New Hampshire insurance rates are difficult to pass up for those looking for some protection on the road. Whether you’re binding a policy for the first time or simply curious about the types of policies available in the Granite State, you’ll want to do some research before making any major decisions. To find the best policy for your needs and budget, you’ll first need to figure out what you value more in a policy: coverage or cost.
Those who value cost over coverage will likely choose a minimum coverage policy from an insurer that offers lower-than-average base rates and plenty of opportunities for discounts. Those who value coverage over cost will likely opt for a full coverage policy from an insurer that offers a range of optional, additional coverage types. Those who value both coverage and cost equally will likely opt for a full coverage policy from an insurer with lower-than-average base rates and many stackable discounts.
Does New Hampshire Require Car Insurance?
In New Hampshire, car insurance requirements don’t apply to the vast majority of drivers. The Granite State is one of two states in the U.S. that doesn’t require all residents with cars registered in the state to have an auto insurance policy. Instead, drivers can forgo coverage if they prove they can maintain financial responsibility in an at-fault accident. Those who can’t maintain financial responsibility or have previously demonstrated reckless behavior without a policy are the only drivers in the state who must maintain a policy.
The legal minimum amount of coverage in New Hampshire for those who require policies is at least $25,000 in bodily injury liability per person, $50,000 in bodily injury liability per accident, $25,000 in property damage liability per accident (25/50/25 liability coverage), $25,000 in uninsured or underinsured motorist bodily injury coverage (UMBI/UIMBI) per person, $50,000 in UMBI/UIMBI per accident (25/50 UMBI/UIMBI), in $1,000 in medical payments coverage (MedPay). Those who lease or finance their vehicles may require a full coverage policy with collision and comprehensive coverages as a part of their legally binding leasing or financing agreement.
While most drivers aren’t required to have a policy, those who need one and choose to go without it are considered illegally uninsured. Driving without insurance in the Granite State has some serious consequences, like fines, fees, or license and registration suspension. It’s generally a far better choice to invest in a policy than risk the consequences of driving without sufficient coverage.
What Are the New Hampshire Car Insurance Laws?
New Hampshire insurance regulations don’t require all drivers to carry policies. The only drivers in the state who must have insurance coverage are those who can’t maintain financial responsibility in an at-fault accident or who have previously been in an at-fault accident while uninsured and were unable to pay the expenses they owed.
While many residents aren’t legally required to maintain an auto insurance policy, it’s often far easier to spring for the annual payments on an insurance premium than risk one’s savings when getting behind the wheel. Those who don’t have an auto insurance policy are liable for all the expenses in an at-fault accident, including their own. While drivers with minimum coverage policies have coverage for their victim’s expenses and their expenses in the event of an accident caused by an uninsured driver, they’re on the hook for all other incurred costs, including those that exceed their policy limits.
Investing in a full coverage policy is generally the wisest use of one’s savings when it comes to auto insurance. While many drivers don’t require such a policy, it can help put policyholders at ease behind the wheel, knowing that they have coverage for many different accident scenarios; thus, their savings are safe.
The Granite State treats all accidents on a modified comparative negligence basis, which is a fancy way of saying drivers over 50% at fault in an accident can’t receive insurance benefits, nor can they sue. Since the legal system works a little harder in New Hampshire than in other states due to the absence of mandatory insurance and the uptick in drivers suing each other to recover payment for damages or injuries, modified comparative negligence helps relieve some of the burden from the court systems.
How To Find the Best Car Insurance in New Hampshire
Finding the best New Hampshire auto insurance is a personal journey, as car insurance is subjective based on each driver, policy, and insurer. Figuring out what type of policy best suits your needs starts with deciding what you value most in a policy: cost, coverage, or both equally. Once that’s settled, you can gather quotes that align with your values and select a policy based on your quoted rates. Objectively, though, a full coverage policy will always be the best policy for your safety.
The best full coverage policy in the Granite State will come from one of the state’s top insurers, like State Farm, Nationwide, or Progressive, as these insurers all offer lower-than-average base rates and plenty of opportunities for stacking discounts. A full coverage policy in New Hampshire will generally include liability coverage, UMBI/UIMBI, and MedPay with higher limits than what’s required, plus optional coverages like collision coverage, comprehensive coverage, uninsured and underinsured motorist property damage coverage (UMPD/UIMPD), and gap coverage, among many others.
Remember that what’s best for one person isn’t always best for the next. The best way to get the most bang for your buck is to tailor your policy to meet your needs, whether that be cost, coverage, or both. However, a full coverage policy will always be the best and safest option since it boasts the most coverage for the policyholder, regardless of who is at fault in an accident.
What Are the Best New Hampshire Car Insurance Companies?
The best auto insurance companies in New Hampshire are State Farm, Nationwide, Geico, Progressive, and Allstate. New Hampshirites loyally maintains policies with these insurers because they have the lowest average base rates compared to the state average and plenty of stackable discounts for all types of drivers.
Of course, though, the best insurance company is yet again another subjective factor when it comes to selecting an auto insurance policy. While there may be favorites among the population of drivers in the state, it’s always in your best interest to select an insurer that most closely aligns with your values.
How Much Is Car Insurance in New Hampshire?
In New Hampshire, car insurance costs vary based on the policy, insurer, and driver. While the average full coverage policy is about 30% below the national average, not every driver is eligible for the state average rate. While some drivers may be able to lower their premiums below the average rate in the Granite State, others may not be so lucky.
Insurers determine premiums by assessing a driver’s risk of filing a claim. If a driver has a higher-than-average risk of filing a claim, insurers may charge them higher-than-average rates. Insurers consider unique factors about each driver to consider their risk, like one’s driving record, insurance history, gender, age, and ZIP code, among many other risk factors.
If any of these factors point to a driver carrying a higher-than-average risk of an at-fault accident, insurers may increase their premiums to reflect the increased risk an insurer takes by binding a policy with a high-risk driver. Drivers who have had their license or registration suspended or revoked in the past or who have an SR-22 on file are the most likely to see premiums much higher than the average premium in the Granite State.
What’s the Average Car Insurance Cost in New Hampshire?
The average full coverage policy in New Hampshire costs about $1,210 annually. It’s essential to remember, though, that premiums are the only expense you’re responsible for when binding an auto insurance policy. Drivers should have enough savings to pay their premiums on time whenever they’re due and enough to pay their deductible should they file a claim. Drivers generally have a choice to bind a policy with a low premium and a high deductible or a high premium and a low deductible. One of these options isn’t better than the other. It’s just a matter of personal preference when one wants to pay what they owe.
How To Get Cheap Auto Insurance in New Hampshire
The cheapest auto insurance in New Hampshire isn’t too tough to find, considering the state is among the cheapest for auto insurance. While a minimum coverage policy will always be the most affordable, there are plenty of ways to get a full coverage policy at a lower-than-average rate. Many insurers in the state offer plenty of discounts, both criteria-based and enrollment-based, for policyholders to stack to lower their premiums.
Drivers may get the cheapest policy in the state if they know how to use stackable discounts to their benefit. Many insurers offer discounts that fall into two categories: criteria-based and enrollment-based. Criteria-based discounts require policyholders to meet a set of standards when binding or renewing a policy, whereas enrollment-based discounts require policyholders to actively participate in their savings.
In contrast, enrollment-based discounts typically require policyholders to participate in their savings by enrolling in a program or class their insurer offers. Some insurers offer a usage-based discount that requires policyholders to use a telematics device to track and share their driving data. Some insurers offer a pay-per-mile discount for those who drive fewer than 12,000 miles annually.
Is New Hampshire a No-Fault State?
No, New Hampshire isn’t a no-fault state but, instead, a tort state. This means that at least one driver must be considered at fault in every accident. Tort states typically require drivers to carry liability coverage, which extends to any victims injured in an accident caused by the policyholder.
While New Hampshire isn’t a no-fault state, drivers with an auto insurance policy must have MedPay, a common no-fault coverage type. Technically, MedPay is a first-party medical benefit that covers the policyholder’s medical expenses regardless of who’s at fault in an accident. Drivers are required to carry this coverage no because of a no-fault law but because of the higher-than-average number of uninsured drivers who wouldn’t be able to extend liability coverage to a minimally insured driver who only has liability coverage and a limit on their UMBI/UIMBI coverage.
The Penalties for Driving Without Insurance in New Hampshire
While auto insurance isn’t required for all New Hampshirites, those who must have a policy that fails to bind one are considered illegally uninsured and face severe legal penalties. Driving without insurance in the Granite State may result in hefty fines, fees, or license and registration suspension. Those who drive uninsured also risk filing for a New Hampshire SR-22, which can cause a significant increase in insurance premiums for years to come.
Is Uninsured Motorist Coverage in New Hampshire Required?
Yes, those who require a car insurance policy in New Hampshire must have uninsured or underinsured motorist bodily injury coverage. Specifically, a minimum coverage policy must have at least 25/50 UMBI/UIMBI. Those with an auto insurance policy must have UMBI/UIMBI because driving uninsured is legal for many drivers in the Granite State.
However, those who drive without insurance must be able to pay for any expenses they owe in the event of an accident. Those who require a car insurance policy because they can’t maintain financial responsibility must have UMBI/UIMBI because they admit they can’t cover the costs of an accident without insurance.
How To Find New Hampshire Auto Insurance Quotes
Whether you’re a fresh New Hampshirite or binding a policy for the first time, the best way to see all your options in one place is to get and compare quotes online. By getting and comparing quotes, you can see all the policies you’re eligible for and make the most informed choice for your lifestyle and budget.
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The editorial content on Clovered’s website is meant to be informational material and should not be considered legal advice.