The state of Delaware requires that all drivers carry liability automotive insurance, or “financial responsibility,” in order to operate a vehicle legally and maintain vehicle registration. This law applies to any passenger vehicle that is operated on public roadways in Delaware.

The minimum financial responsibility requirements for private individuals under Delaware law is as follows:

  • A minimum of $15,00 per person, for bodily injury or death. This means you’ll need to carry a minimum of $30,000 to cover the lowest possible number of people involved in an accident (the two drivers).

  • A minimum of $10,000 for property damage liability

This means that the total minimum amount of financial responsibility you will need is $40,000 for both bodily injury and property damage liability.

Types of insurance

While the liability insurance and bodily injury insurance listed above is the only type of auto insurance required in Delaware, the state also recognizes these types of additional coverage:

  • Collision Insurance, which covers damages to your vehicle caused by a traffic accident.

  • Comprehensive Coverage, which covers damage that your vehicle may sustain due to non-traffic elements like inclement weather or vandalism.

  • Uninsured Motorist Insurance, which helps cover the costs of an accident in which the other driver was not insured, or was under-insured.

  • Personal Injury Protection, which helps pay for medical bills, lost wages, or funeral costs that were the result of an auto accident.

  • Towing and Labor Coverage, which helps cover the cost of towing your vehicle to a service bay in the event of an accident.

  • Rental Reimbursement Coverage, which helps pay for the cost of a rental vehicle after an accident.

Proof of insurance

Any driver who is operating a vehicle registered in Delaware must carry proof of insurance with them. Proof of insurance is also required in order to register a vehicle with the DMV.

Acceptable documents to prove insurance include:

  • An insurance card from an authorized insurance provider

  • An electronic version of your insurance card, such as a photograph on a mobile phone

  • An SR-22 Proof of Financial Responsibility document, which verifies that you have insurance, and is usually only required of drivers who have previously had their licenses suspended for reckless driving or DUI charges.

Violation penalties

If you fail to produce proof of insurance when requested by a law enforcement officer during a traffic stop or at the scene of an accident, or fail to prove you have insurance when asked by the state, you could be facing some very stiff penalties in Delaware:

  • A minimum fine of $1,500 for the first offense

  • Further offenses can result in a minimum fine of $3,000, as well as a license suspension of up to six months

In order to clear a registration suspension, and gain possession of your registered plates again, you must provide a current proof of insurance.

For more information, contact the Delaware Department of Motor Vehicles through their website.

This article originally appeared on YourMechanic.com as Insurance Requirements for Car Registration in Delaware and was authored by Valerie Johnston.


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