Car Insurance Requirements in Delaware (2024)

Delaware state law requires drivers to carry bodily injury liability, property damage liability, and personal injury protection (PIP) coverage.

Sarah Sharkey
Written bySarah Sharkey
Sarah Sharkey
Sarah SharkeyInsurance Writer
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  • Contributor to top media, including USA Today

A passionate personal finance advocate, Sarah’s writing has graced the pages of many of the personal finance and insurance industries’ top web publications.

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Katie Powers
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Updated February 26, 2024 at 11:00 AM PST

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It’s important for Delaware drivers to understand the specific insurance requirements in the First State. You must purchase a minimum of bodily injury and property damage liability insurance to help cover the other party’s damage and injury if you cause a car accident. Delaware also requires you to buy PIP coverage for the injuries and losses of you and your passengers.

Delaware drivers caught driving without insurance can face significant penalties because it’s illegal to drive without a minimum amount of coverage. For more protection, some drivers may choose to purchase more coverage to better protect their finances.

Here’s what you need to know about car insurance requirements in Delaware.

Quick Facts
  • The minimum fine for driving while uninsured in Delaware is $1,500.[1]

  • Delaware is an at-fault state for car insurance, meaning the driver that causes the accident is liable for the other party’s resulting damage and injury.[2]

  • The personal injury protection coverage required in the state can pay for your medical expenses, lost income, and more following a car accident.

Delaware car insurance requirements

Delaware requires drivers to carry the following types and amounts of car insurance to drive legally in the state:

Bodily injury liability

Delaware drivers must carry a minimum of $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident in bodily injury liability coverage. If you cause an auto accident, this coverage helps you pay for the other party’s injuries.

For example, if you cause an accident that injures another driver, the insurer will cover up to $25,000 in medical bills for that person. If another person in the other vehicle also requires medical treatment, the insurance policy would cover up to $50,000 for the entire accident.

Important Information

If the cost of injuries you cause exceeds the policy limits, you’ll need to pay the remaining medical costs. The risk could put a strain on your wallet, which is why many insurance experts recommend purchasing more liability insurance to protect your finances.

Property damage liability

Property damage liability insurance pays for property damage you cause during an accident. If you cause a car accident, this type of insurance will help the other driver pay to repair or replace their vehicle.

This type of insurance coverage won’t help you repair or replace your own vehicle after an accident you cause. If you need an insurance policy designed to help you replace your own vehicle, then you should consider a full-coverage policy with both collision coverage and comprehensive coverage.

Personal injury protection

Delaware law requires drivers to carry at least $15,000 in personal injury protection (PIP) per person and $30,000 per accident. Although Delaware requires PIP coverage — something typical in no-fault states — it’s still an at-fault state because injured parties retain the unlimited right to sue for damages.

PIP coverage can help cover a wide range of your and your passengers’ costs after an accident, including medical expenses, lost wages, child care, household expenses, funeral expenses, and more.[4]

For example, if you have an injury from a car accident, PIP coverage might kick in to cover your lost wages or hospital bills until you recover. Keep in mind the policy will only cover costs up to the limit. So if you have $20,000 in medical bills, you’ll need to pay $5,000 of that if you choose the minimum coverage limit of $15,000.

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Do you need more than state-minimum coverage in Delaware?

A liability-only policy meets the state’s minimum coverage requirements. But this option might not provide enough protection for your situation. With a liability-only car insurance policy, the insurer will help you cover the costs of repairing or replacing the other driver’s vehicle. But it might not be enough to cover all the damage, and it won’t cover damage to your own vehicle.

For example, let’s say you cause a bad accident that seriously damages both vehicles. If you have a minimum-coverage policy, your insurance policy will only pay $10,000 toward repairing the other person’s vehicle, which means the leftover balance will come out of your pocket. Plus, you need to cover the costs to repair or replace your own vehicle.

Most insurance experts recommend buying a policy beyond the minimum coverage. The limited support from a minimum-coverage policy might provide enough coverage for drivers who can cover repairs after an accident. But buying full coverage can help you pay for repairs after an incident. And your lender or leasing company may require you to purchase this type of policy.

Although paying for more robust coverage is the right choice for many drivers, it does mean you’ll face higher premiums. In Delaware, the average cost of a full-coverage policy is $209 per month, which is significantly higher than the $128 per month average cost for a liability-only policy.

The cost of liability-only car insurance in Delaware

Delaware drivers pay an average of $128 per month for a liability-only car insurance policy. USAA has the cheapest liability coverage in Delaware, with an average monthly premium of $55.

The table below shows the average cost of liability-only car insurance policies by company in the state of Delaware.

The below rates are estimated rates current as of: Monday, February 26 at 11:00 AM PST
Insurance CompanyAverage Monthly Quote
USAA55
State Farm86
GEICO107
National General127
Midvale Home & Auto130
Travelers132
Progressive154
Liberty Mutual160
CSAA172
Nationwide179
Allstate182
Dairyland182
Direct Auto210
Disclaimer: Table data sourced from real-time quotes from Insurify's 50-plus partner insurance providers and quote estimates from Quadrant Information Services. Actual quotes may vary based on the policy buyer's unique driver profile.

The cost of full-coverage car insurance in Delaware

A full-coverage auto insurance policy costs an average of $209 per month for Delaware drivers. This type of policy includes both comprehensive and collision insurance. After your vehicle sustains damage in an accident or other covered event, a full-coverage policy will help you pay for your repairs.

The table below breaks down the average costs for a full-coverage policy by insurance companies in the state.

The below rates are estimated rates current as of: Monday, February 26 at 11:00 AM PST
Insurance CompanyAverage Monthly Quote
USAA79
State Farm123
GEICO153
Travelers184
Midvale Home & Auto186
Progressive220
National General228
CSAA239
Liberty Mutual254
Nationwide256
Allstate261
Direct Auto316
Dairyland317
Disclaimer: Table data sourced from real-time quotes from Insurify's 50-plus partner insurance providers and quote estimates from Quadrant Information Services. Actual quotes may vary based on the policy buyer's unique driver profile.

Penalties for driving without proof of insurance in Delaware

If you receive a conviction for driving without the minimum amount of car insurance in Delaware, you can face severe penalties. Below is a closer look at the penalties you might face for driving without a minimum amount of insurance:

  • Fines: Uninsured drivers face a penalty of at least $1,500 for a first offense. Subsequent offenses can result in a fine of $3,000.

  • Suspended vehicle registration: The Delaware Division of Motor Vehicles can suspend your driving license and privileges for six months if you drive without a minimum amount of insurance.

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Optional car insurance coverages to consider

Beyond minimum-coverage car insurance, Delaware drivers can choose to purchase optional coverage types. Opting for additional coverage can better protect your finances, but it comes at a cost.

Here are a few common coverage add-ons you can consider:

  • illustration card https://a.storyblok.com/f/162273/x/169fdfde11/liability-coverage.svg

    Collision coverage

    Collision coverage pays for damages to your car after a collision with another vehicle or object. If your vehicle is a total loss, collision coverage will reimburse you for the actual cash value of your vehicle.

  • illustration card https://a.storyblok.com/f/162273/x/665da91bf7/comprehensive-coverage.svg

    Comprehensive coverage

    Comprehensive insurance covers damage to your vehicle that occurs during a non-collision event. This may apply in situations of vandalism, theft, weather damage, or a run-in with an animal.

  • illustration card https://a.storyblok.com/f/162273/x/5285c4cd74/uninsured-or-underinsured-motorist-coverage.svg

    Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage

    If an uninsured (or underinsured) driver causes an accident and you suffer bodily injury, uninsured motorist coverage will cover your medical expenses.

Delaware car insurance requirements FAQs

Understanding how much coverage you need is important. Here’s what you need to know about car insurance requirements in Delaware.

  • Does Delaware require car insurance?

    Yes, Delaware drivers must carry a minimum amount of car insurance. The minimum coverage requirements are a 25/65/10 liability policy and PIP coverage.

  • What is the minimum liability insurance in Delaware?

    Delaware drivers must carry a minimum of $25,000 in bodily injury liability per person, $65,000 in bodily injury liability per accident, and $10,000 in property damage liability. Plus, drivers must carry a minimum of $15,000 in PIP coverage per person and $30,000 per accident.

  • Why is car insurance mandatory in Delaware?

    Delaware laws make car insurance mandatory in the state. Mandatory liability coverage can help you pay for damage and injuries you cause to others in a car accident.

  • Do you need car insurance to register a car in Delaware?

    Yes. You need to show proof of an insurance policy that meets the state’s minimum requirements at the time of registration.

  • Does insurance follow the car or the driver in Delaware?

    In general, car insurance follows the vehicle. This means if someone borrowing your vehicle has an accident, your policy should cover the resulting damage.

Sources

  1. Delaware Division of Motor Vehicles. "Vehicle Services FAQ's." Accessed November 27, 2023
  2. NOLO. "Delaware Car Insurance Requirements." Accessed November 27, 2023
  3. Delaware Division of Motor Vehicles. "Insurance Requirements." Accessed November 27, 2023
  4. Insurance Information Institute. "What is covered by a basic auto insurance policy?." Accessed November 27, 2023
Sarah Sharkey
Sarah SharkeyInsurance Writer

Sarah Sharkey is a personal finance writer who enjoys helping people make savvy financial decisions. She covered insurance and personal finance topics. You can find her work on Business Insider, Money Under 30, Rocket Mortgage, Bankrate, and more. Connect with her on LinkedIn.

Katie Powers
Edited byKatie PowersAuto and Life Insurance Editor
Photo of an Insurify author
Katie PowersAuto and Life Insurance Editor
  • Licensed auto and home insurance agent

  • 3+ years experience in insurance and personal finance editing

Katie uses her knowledge and expertise as a licensed property and casualty agent in Massachusetts to help readers understand the complexities of insurance shopping.

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