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Delaware Auto Insurance [Rates + Cheap Coverage Guide]

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Delaware Statistics Summary  
Road Miles 6,407
Vehicles 927,276
State Population 967,171
Most Popular Vehicle Silverado 1500
Percentage of Motorists Uninsured 11.4%
Rank: 28
Driving Deaths Speeding (2008-2017): 391
DUI: 119
Average Premiums (Annual) Liability: $799.30
Collision: $318.77
Comprehensive: $122.49
Combined: $1,240.57
Cheapest Provider USAA

Delaware is the second smallest state (in area) in the United States, but on December 7, 1787, it was the first state to ratify the Constitution of the United States. This event gave Delaware the nickname of “The First State”.

There are only three counties to drive through in Delaware, and while driving through the second smallest state in 2017, Delaware boasted a little over 770,000 drivers on its roads. And as most Delaware drivers will tout, a car is just meant to get you from Point A to Point B.

A fact to know:  in 2014, Delaware drivers drove 14,802 miles. This is a little more than the national average for that year of 13,476 miles.

The average Delaware resident must pay about $1,300 a year for minimum coverage. That’s a lot of dough to be throwing around!

Before you get magically whisked away to Delaware, sit down and skim through everything you need to know about car insurance in Delaware.

In this article we will discuss:

Get started comparing auto insurance rates today. Enter your zip code above to get started.

Table of Contents

Delaware Car Insurance Coverage and Rates

When we’re spending money, we want to make sure it’s going where we want it to go.

Want to know where that $1,300 a year is going, and want to know exactly what you’re paying for?

We are here to help! This guide will break down your seemingly endless policy options, talk about why coverage is important, and be the thesaurus for those terms insurance agents love to throw around.

We aren’t here to push anything on you. We’re just experts on the topic of car insurance, and we want to help YOU!

Pull up a chair, and be the first to be knowledgeable about car insurance in the state of Delaware…

– Minimum Car Insurance Requirements in Delaware

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Insurance Required Minimum Limits: 25/50/10
Bodily Injury Liability $25,000 per person
$50,000 per accident
Personal Injury Liability $10,000

Explained: Liability insurance pays any person owed compensation for property damage and/or injuries that result from a car accident that you/anyone under your policy causes.

Liability coverage takes effect when you, or anyone you’ve given permission to, drives your vehicle. Sometimes, this extends to rental cars as well.

Broken Down: The law in Delaware requires law requires this as minimum liability coverage:

  • $25,000 for injury or death per person.
  • $50,000 for injury or death per accident.
  • $10,000 for property damage liability per accident.

Remember: This is the minimum coverage you must carry if you want to drive in Delaware.

Automobile accidents that involve death do happen, and if you are found to be at faultyou alone will be held financially responsible.

Delaware is an at-fault state. This means if you are involved in an accident and it is your fault, you are ponying up the dough.

Delaware is a state that also requires you to have Personal Injury Protection, which is known as “no-fault car insurance”.

PIP pays for your medical costs no matter who caused the accident. Here are the minimum limits you must carry:

  • $15,000 for bodily injury to one person.
  • $30,000 for bodily injury to more than one person.

PIP also pays up to $5,000 for any needed funeral expenses.

Don’t risk driving without insurance, because the fines for driving without insurance in Delaware are pretty steep. If you think the yearly fee for insurance in Delaware is a lot, wait till you get a load of the fines you’ll pay if you’re caught driving without insurance!

– Required Forms of Financial Responsibility in Delaware

Insurance must be in effect at all times in the state of Delaware. The Delaware Motor Vehicle Safety Responsibility law states that any vehicle used on public roads must be insured with liability coverage from a company licensed by the Delaware Insurance Commissioner.

If you are caught driving without insurance in Delaware, the first offense carries a $1,500 fine, and subsequent offenses carry a $3,000 fine. You could also lose your license for up to six months.

For your vehicle, The Delaware Department of Motor Vehicles states that you must have proof of insurance and financial responsibility at all times. You must show proof of insurance when you:

  • Are asked for it by a police officer.
  • Get into a car accident.
  • Register or renew your car’s registration.
  • Apply or renew your driver’s license.
  • Have your car inspected.

Here are some of the acceptable Forms of Financial Responsibility:

  1. Proof-of-insurance card.
  2. A written statement stating your vehicle carries a liability insurance policy.
  3. Surety bond.
  4. $40,000 cash or securities.

Delaware can perform random audits on vehicles that don’t have insurance. If you do not respond to the audit, your registration and license can be taken away.

As of June 25, 2014, Delaware law enforcement can also accept Electronic Proof of Insurance:

Delaware law enforcement officials accept proof of auto insurance (insurance ID card) in physical or electronic format. House Bill 258 w/HA 1 states that law enforcement will now accept electronic proof of insurance on “a cellular phone or any type of portable electronic device.”

The Delaware Department of Insurance also wants to let you know this as a Delaware driver:

“While this bill (House Bill 258) made it easier for drivers in Delaware to prove that they have the proper insurance coverage, we recommend that drivers continue to keep a current physical
copy of their insurance ID card in their vehicle at all times. Now let’s take a look at how much Delaware residents are making versus how much they’re spending on car insurance.”

– Premiums as Percentage of Income in Delaware

In 2017, the annual disposable personal income in Delaware stood at about $40,256.

Clarification: disposable personal income (DPI) is the total amount of money available for an individual to spend (or save) after all taxes are paid. 

Annual minimum coverage car insurance in Delaware costs about $1,300 a year, which is 3 percent of the average DPI.

The average Delaware resident has about $3,400 each month to spend on the necessities. The car insurance bill alone will deduct about $100 a month out of that – and much more for anything over the minimum coverage and/or with a less-than-perfect driving record.

Now, you may be wondering:  how does that factor into rates? Keep on reading…

– Core Car Insurance Coverage in Delaware

Coverage Type Annual Costs (2015)
Liability $799.30
Collision $318.77
Comprehensive $122.49
Combined $1,240.57

The above table provides the most recent data provided by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners. Rates in Delaware will be higher in 2019, and in the coming years. 

Don’t forget: Delaware has minimum requirements for liability coverage, with coverage amounts starting at 25/50/10.

Let’s go over some of the popular coverage options to add to a minimum auto insurance policy.

–  Additional Liability Coverage in Delaware

Loss Ratio 2012 2013 2014
Personal Injury Protection (PIP) 77% 77% 72%
Medical Payments (Med Pay) 128% 86% 176%
Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist 67% 63% 72%

FactPersonal Injury Protection (PIP) is required in the state of Delaware. Delaware law does not require you to have coverage such as collision and comprehensive, but it may still be important to have. How come? Sometimes, as part of your car’s finance or lease agreement, you must have those two coverages.

In 2015, 11.4 percent of motorists in Delaware were uninsured. If you’re caught without insurance, remember those fines!

This may come as a surprise:  Delaware is ranked 28th in the nation for having a high percentage of uninsured motorists.

When it comes to loss ratios in the state of Delaware, you may notice Med Pay loss ratios are over 100 percent in certain instances? Why you may ask?

It might relate to health insurance and the Affordable Care Act. In an article by Politifact, higher-than-expected medical loss ratios mean “new benefits likely resulted in an increase in the number of claims filed with insurers and thus an increase in costs requiring an increase in premiums”.

Broken down:  More claims are filed, which means insurers have to pay out more money, which in turn results in high loss ratios and insurers have to hike up the costs.

– Add-ons, Endorsements, and Riders in Delaware

If you’re like anybody looking for a deal, getting the most coverage for the best price is your main goal.

Good news: there are lots of bargain extras you can add to your policy.

Just take a look at the list of the useful extras that are available to you in Delaware:

If you cannot afford auto insurance, read below to find out how you can afford it!

– Delaware Automobile Insurance Plan (DAIP)

The Delaware Automobile Insurance Plan, or DAIP, helps provide insurance “for those people who can not obtain insurance through the voluntary market. In this capacity, the DAIP ensures that these applicants are shared equitably among all insurers licensed to write auto insurance in the state of Delaware”.

And while the DAIP helps you if you are having trouble finding auto insurance, what might not sound so attractive are the unfair prices in terms of car insurance.

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– Male vs Female Annual Car Insurance Rates in Delaware

Popular myth:  men pay more for car insurance.

Company Married 35-year old female Married 35-year old male Married 60-year old female Married 60-year old male Single 17-year old female Single 17-year old male Single 25-year old female Single 25-year old male
Allstate P&C $3,680.77 $3,617.49 $3,230.45 $3,405.48 $13,198.18 $15,406.57 $3,876.03 $4,113.55
Geico Advantage $2,660.39 $2,952.77 $2,562.65 $2,983.93 $6,449.50 $6,710.85 $2,798.53 $2,699.68
Liberty Mut Fire Ins Co $12,287.48 $12,287.48 $12,138.88 $12,138.88 $27,326.93 $41,390.16 $12,287.48 $17,022.83
Nationwide Mutual $3,017.56 $2,994.99 $2,753.71 $2,742.95 $7,151.92 $9,060.24 $3,345.06 $3,575.26
Progressive Direct $1,994.89 $1,844.62 $1,754.37 $1,790.24 $10,102.13 $11,159.65 $2,437.17 $2,371.56
State Farm Mutual Auto $2,818.09 $2,818.09 $2,600.14 $2,600.14 $8,048.04 $10,393.68 $3,162.14 $3,294.46
Travelers Home & Marine Ins Co $1,634.80 $1,642.27 $1,610.37 $1,568.84 $9,243.54 $14,106.72 $1,745.40 $1,906.92
USAA $1,286.77 $1,265.78 $1,191.65 $1,189.30 $4,729.53 $5,556.07 $1,615.19 $1,773.54

This myth doesn’t seem to hold true in Delaware unless you are in the 17-25-year-old age bracket.

Knowing what companies offer the best rates will help to lessen the strain on your wallet…and your life.

– Delaware Car Insurance Rates by Zip Code

Zipcode Average
19801 $8,265.76
19802 $8,136.26
19805 $7,939.41
19736 $7,863.61
19806 $7,806.15
19733 $7,549.45
19734 $7,434.79
19732 $7,433.65
19708 $7,393.19
19720 $7,378.97
19706 $7,358.23
19731 $7,329.63
19710 $7,199.39
19702 $7,071.81
19701 $6,949.68
19713 $6,828.11
19809 $6,824.40
19703 $6,767.07
19804 $6,656.56
19803 $6,372.49
19730 $6,354.44
19707 $6,339.10
19807 $6,326.10
19716 $6,296.25
19810 $6,291.90
19735 $6,287.71
19717 $6,279.80
19808 $6,262.76
19711 $6,243.07
19709 $6,072.84
19977 $5,983.51
19938 $5,648.66
19979 $5,466.08
19946 $5,438.33
19943 $5,434.09
19962 $5,423.18
19953 $5,411.87
19901 $5,381.28
19954 $5,367.66
19902 $5,356.71
19961 $5,351.51
19964 $5,351.45
19931 $5,351.04
19973 $5,343.52
19904 $5,341.88
19952 $5,325.34
19934 $5,320.67
19906 $5,312.12
19933 $5,310.53
19956 $5,309.29
19963 $5,309.15
19960 $5,300.74
19941 $5,296.57
19940 $5,280.34
19980 $5,279.24
19950 $5,262.52
19951 $5,058.86
19947 $5,051.49
19969 $5,009.19
19967 $4,986.08
19971 $4,983.50
19968 $4,979.39
19939 $4,974.65
19966 $4,971.33
19945 $4,966.95
19944 $4,964.30
19958 $4,962.40
19975 $4,956.80
19970 $4,954.07
19930 $4,953.79

– Delaware Car Insurance Rates by City

City Average Grand Total
WILMINGTON $8,265.76
WILMINGTON $8,136.26
WILMINGTON $7,939.41
YORKLYN $7,863.61
WILMINGTON $7,806.15
SAINT GEORGES $7,549.45
TOWNSEND $7,434.79
ROCKLAND $7,433.65
KIRKWOOD $7,393.19
NEW CASTLE $7,378.97
DELAWARE CITY $7,358.23
PORT PENN $7,329.63
MONTCHANIN $7,199.39
NEWARK $7,071.81
BEAR $6,949.68
NEWARK $6,828.11
WILMINGTON $6,824.40
CLAYMONT $6,767.07
WILMINGTON $6,656.56
WILMINGTON $6,372.49
ODESSA $6,354.44
HOCKESSIN $6,339.10
WILMINGTON $6,326.10
NEWARK $6,296.25
WILMINGTON $6,291.90
WINTERTHUR $6,287.71
NEWARK $6,279.80
WILMINGTON $6,262.76
NEWARK $6,243.07
MIDDLETOWN $6,072.84
SMYRNA $5,983.51
CLAYTON $5,648.66
VIOLA $5,466.08
FREDERICA $5,438.33
FELTON $5,434.09
MAGNOLIA $5,423.18
HARTLY $5,411.87
DOVER $5,381.28
HOUSTON $5,367.66
DOVER AFB $5,356.71
LITTLE CREEK $5,351.51
MARYDEL $5,351.45
BETHEL $5,351.04
SEAFORD $5,343.52
DOVER $5,341.88
HARRINGTON $5,325.34
CAMDEN WYOMING $5,320.67
DOVER $5,312.12
BRIDGEVILLE $5,310.53
LAUREL $5,309.29
MILFORD $5,309.15
LINCOLN $5,300.74
ELLENDALE $5,296.57
DELMAR $5,280.34
WOODSIDE $5,279.24
GREENWOOD $5,262.52
HARBESON $5,058.86
GEORGETOWN $5,051.49
NASSAU $5,009.19
MILLVILLE $4,986.08
REHOBOTH BEACH $4,983.50
MILTON $4,979.39
DAGSBORO $4,974.65
MILLSBORO $4,971.33
FRANKFORD $4,966.95
FENWICK ISLAND $4,964.30
LEWES $4,962.40
SELBYVILLE $4,956.80
OCEAN VIEW $4,954.07
BETHANY BEACH $4,953.79

This table shows the least and most expensive rates, by the city. Bethany Beach dwellers have the lowest annual rates, while Wilmington people have the worst luck when it comes to high annual rates, depending on the zip code.

Okay now that you have all that background information on car insurance requirements and rates in your state, let’s find out which insurance providers in Delaware have the best –and worst–ratings and reviews.

Read on to find out the true reputation of the insurance provider who would be lucky to have your business.

Delaware Car Insurance Companies

There are car insurance providers as far as the eye can see, and it may be confusing or stressful to try and choose one. Who can you trust? Let us help you figure it out!

Read on to find out who the best providers are (and why) across The First State.

– Ratings! How Delaware Car Insurance Companies Compare

Let’s dive right in and begin with their financial strength.

– The 10 Largest Delaware Car Insurance Companies’ Financial Ratings

Company Financial Rating
State Farm Group A++
Geico A++
Nationwide Corp Group A+
Progressive Group A+
Liberty Mutual Group A
USAA Group A++
Allstate Insurance Group A+
Hartford Fire & Casualty Group A+
Travelers Group A++
CSAA Insurance Group A

What’s just as important as how financially secure they are? How they treat YOU, the customer! Let’s see what the car insurance customers in Delaware have to say.

– Delaware’s Car Insurance Companies with the BEST Customer Ratings

“Customer satisfaction breeds loyalty.” – J.D. Power Business Consultant

A grand total of 854 out of 1,000 possible points puts the Erie Insurance company as the best auto insurance provider in Delaware to win J.D. Power’s 2018 Study.

Residents of Delaware ranked Geico as being “better than most”.

It’s good to know the positives, but it’s also good to know the negatives, and when customers are unhappy. A bad review every once in a while? You can’t please everyone.

Multiple bad reviews? Start paying attention!

– Delaware’s Car Insurance Companies with the MOST Customer Complaints

Company Number of Complaints
State Farm 1,482
Geico 0
Nationwide 25
Progressive 120
Liberty Mutual 222
USAA 0
Allstate 163
Hartford 9
Travelers 2
CSAA 6

With 129 complaints in 2017 alone, State Farm is not high in the thoughts of the people of Delaware.

– Delaware’s Car Insurance Rates by Company

Company Average
Allstate P&C $6,316.07
Geico Advantage $3,727.29
Liberty Mut Fire Ins Co $18,360.01
Nationwide Mutual $4,330.21
Progressive Direct $4,181.83
State Farm Mutual Auto $4,466.85
Travelers Home & Marine Ins Co $4,182.36
USAA $2,325.98

Liberty Mutual has one of the most expensive annual rates. In this case, cost may be related to overall customer satisfaction.

Be assured in knowing that the state of Delaware has your back if you have any questions about insurance. Go to the Consumer Services Division of the Delaware Department of Insurance to learn more.

– Coverage Rates in Delaware by Company

Group Coverage Type Annual Average
Liberty Mutual High $19,461.69
Liberty Mutual Medium $18,149.05
Liberty Mutual Low $17,469.29
Allstate High $6,780.70
Allstate Medium $6,390.63
Allstate Low $5,776.86
State Farm High $4,756.42
Progressive High $4,650.79
State Farm Medium $4,477.15
Nationwide High $4,427.19
Travelers Medium $4,310.79
Nationwide Low $4,306.39
Travelers High $4,274.89
Nationwide Medium $4,257.06
Progressive Medium $4,231.00
State Farm Low $4,166.98
Geico High $4,053.82
Travelers Low $3,961.39
Geico Medium $3,781.75
Progressive Low $3,663.70
Geico Low $3,346.29
USAA High $2,478.30
USAA Medium $2,322.08
USAA Low $2,177.57

Liberty Mutual  is the company with the highest coverage rates, regardless of level of coverage. USAA has the lowest coverage rates, regardless of the level of coverage.

– Commute Rates in Delaware by Company

Group Commute (in miles) Annual Mileage Annual Average
Liberty Mutual 25 12,000 $18,868.27
Liberty Mutual 10 6000 $17,851.76
Allstate 10 6000 $6,316.06
Allstate 25 12,000 $6,316.06
State Farm 25 12,000 $4,619.47
Nationwide 10 6000 $4,330.21
Nationwide 25 12,000 $4,330.21
State Farm 10 6000 $4,314.22
Travelers 10 6000 $4,182.36
Travelers 25 12,000 $4,182.36
Progressive 10 6000 $4,181.83
Progressive 25 12,000 $4,181.83
Geico 25 12,000 $3,786.48
Geico 10 6000 $3,668.09
USAA 25 12,000 $2,350.62
USAA 10 6000 $2,301.33

Liberty Mutual tops a lot of the lists as being the most expensive, and this list is no exception. It is up to you, as the consumer, to decide if expensive means the same to you as quality. 

– Credit History Rates in Delaware by Company

Group Credit History Annual Average
Liberty Mutual Poor $24,846.46
Liberty Mutual Fair $16,738.18
Liberty Mutual Good $13,495.40
Allstate Poor $8,105.13
State Farm Poor $6,836.26
Geico Poor $5,781.10
Allstate Fair $5,748.80
Allstate Good $5,094.26
Nationwide Poor $5,022.69
Progressive Poor $4,674.19
Travelers Poor $4,666.75
Nationwide Fair $4,170.85
Progressive Fair $4,090.99
Travelers Good $4,028.81
Travelers Fair $3,851.51
USAA Poor $3,809.76
Nationwide Good $3,797.09
Progressive Good $3,780.31
State Farm Fair $3,767.83
Geico Fair $3,205.19
State Farm Good $2,796.45
Geico Good $2,195.57
USAA Fair $1,841.00
USAA Good $1,327.18

USAA offers the best rates if you have good credit.

– Driving Record Rates in Delaware by Company

Group Driving Record Annual Average
Liberty Mutual With 1 DUI $26,825.11
Liberty Mutual With 1 accident $16,885.42
Liberty Mutual With 1 speeding violation $15,044.50
Liberty Mutual Clean record $14,685.04
Allstate With 1 DUI $7,464.16
Allstate With 1 accident $6,398.38
Nationwide With 1 DUI $6,329.52
Allstate With 1 speeding violation $6,062.01
Travelers With 1 DUI $5,847.26
Allstate Clean record $5,339.71
State Farm With 1 accident $4,885.02
Geico With 1 DUI $4,842.11
Progressive With 1 accident $4,773.89
State Farm With 1 DUI $4,466.85
State Farm With 1 speeding violation $4,466.85
Progressive With 1 speeding violation $4,247.32
Progressive With 1 DUI $4,103.13
Nationwide With 1 speeding violation $4,081.55
State Farm Clean record $4,048.67
Geico With 1 accident $3,960.12
Travelers With 1 speeding violation $3,744.85
Progressive Clean record $3,602.97
Travelers With 1 accident $3,573.78
Travelers Clean record $3,563.54
Nationwide Clean record $3,454.89
Nationwide With 1 accident $3,454.89
USAA With 1 DUI $3,280.40
Geico With 1 speeding violation $3,247.89
Geico Clean record $2,859.02
USAA With 1 speeding violation $2,189.94
USAA Clean record $1,916.79
USAA With 1 accident $1,916.79

– The 10 Largest Car Insurance Companies in Delaware

Company Direct Premiums Written Market Share
State Farm $208,113 24.36%
Geico $149,130 17.46%
Nationwide $117,716 13.78%
Progressive $71,536 8.37%
Liberty Mutual $65,887 7.71%
USAA $65,690 7.69%
Allstate $50,794 5.95%
Hartford $22,107 2.59%
Travelers $16,349 1.91%
CSAA $13,997 1.64%

Remember, when it comes to loss ratio, you are looking for companies with a higher pay loss ratio. Geico and USAA hold the spots on the list as the companies with the highest loss ratios.

– Number of Insurers in Delaware

Delaware has a great number of providers to choose from! Domestically, Delaware has 101 providers, whereas when it comes to foreign providers, there are 766! 

Now that you’re an expert on car insurance in Delaware, let’s get you up to speed on the laws!

Laws in Delaware

In order to keep your car insurance rates low, you must follow the law. And pleading ignorance on anything involving the law won’t work anywhere in Delaware

Pleading ignorance also won’t get you out of a fine for breaking the law!

Well saddle on up and let’s get going! Let’s take a look at the laws in Delaware and commit them to memory.

– Delaware’s Car Insurance Laws

Okay, there are a lot of laws to know and commit to memory. But, bear with me! They are important, as they keep dangerous drivers off the road and hold the insurance providers accountable.

This means that it’s good for you as a safe and responsible Delaware driver.

– How Delaware’s Insurance Rates & Laws are Determined

The Delaware Department of Insurance has several factors that help determine rates:

  • Age.
  • Type of vehicle.
  • Driving record.
  • Discounts.
  • Amount of coverage.
  • Deductible amount.
  • Usage of the vehicle.
  • Where you live.
  • Your credit score.

According to Delaware law, “companies can only take your credit score into consideration when you are applying for a new policy, except upon the request of the insured”.

The Delaware Department of Insurance has a Rates/Forms Division that is “responsible for reviewing and regulating insurance contracts and rate filings”. Each filing is reviewed “in order to determine compliance with applicable actuarial standards, statutory provisions, and regulations. Of most importance is assuring that the rates are not inadequate, excessive or unfairly discriminatory.”

– High-Risk Insurance in Delaware

In Delaware, a high-risk driver must apply through the Delaware Auto Insurance Plan (DAIP).

The DAIP has been around since 1947. It was created to ensure insurance coverage for drivers in the First State who can’t find insurance. You will indeed get coverage through this plan, but you will not be able to choose your provider. This and the fact that the DAIP’s premiums are at a higher price than normal is the reason that the DAIP is recommended as a last resort for Delaware drivers.

Why might you, as a Delaware driver, need to go through the DAIP for insurance?:

  • If you’ve been involved in multiple accidents.
  • If you’ve received multiple tickets for moving violations.
  • If you had an accident involving involuntary manslaughter.
  • If you’ve received a DUI.
  • If you are a criminally negligent driver.
  • If you drive without a license or with a suspended license.

The above events are just a sampling of reasons a motorist would be required to carry this more expensive, high-risk insurance as proof of their liability in Delaware. You will have to carry this coverage for at least three years.

The eligibility is simple:

  • You are licensed in Delaware.
  • You have tried and failed to obtain insurance coverage within the past 60 days.
  • Insurance premiums from other customers are higher than what DAIP quotes you.

– Low-Cost or Low-Income Insurance in Delaware

There are no special programs for low-cost car insurance in Delaware, so it is your responsibility to shop around for the best rates!

– Delaware’s Windshield and Glass Repair Laws

There are no specific laws when it comes to windshields and repair of windshields in Delaware. Insurance companies may offer this with comprehensive coverage, however.

According to Car Windshields Info, “You can choose where the repair is done (but may have to pay the difference in price). Aftermarket or used parts can be used in a repair, but you can insist on OEM parts (if you pay the difference).”

– Automobile Insurance Fraud in Delaware

Delaware takes auto insurance fraud very seriously, and it is considered a crime.

Fact:  Insurance fraud is one of the most costly white-collar crimes in America, ranking second to tax evasion.

Don’t risk it. In 2018, a couple was arrested for $100,000 in insurance fraud.

There are two types of common insurance fraud in Delaware:  application fraud, and filing false claims.

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– Delaware’s Laws Against Insurance Fraud

Everyone pays for insurance fraud:

The National Insurance Crime Bureau estimates that property and casualty based insurance fraud cost Americans $30 billion per year…the average household pays an additional $200 to $300 in insurance premiums every year to offset the cost of fraud. The ‘hidden fraud tax’ paid in the form of higher prices for goods and services, may increase the cost to $1,000 per year, per family.

Here are several ways the state of Delaware works to fight fraud and protect insurance customers:

  1. Delaware law states that insurance fraud is a crime.
  2. Delaware has established a fraud unit, and where you can report cases online.

In addition, Delaware Code Title 18, Chapter 24, states what they consider the different types of insurance fraud and the ways that they help protect consumers.

– Only in Delaware

There are unusual laws on the books in every state. If you happen to be stopping in Rehoboth Beach be aware that under Local Ordinance 198-14 it is illegal to change your clothes or dress in your car. You will face a fine if you get caught.

– Delaware’s Vehicle Licensing Laws

Are you frustrated with how expensive car insurance in Delaware is? You aren’t alone!

But let’s face it, it’s better to pay for the coverage than to break the law and drive without car insurance.

It’s not worth it drive without insurance. Why?

Because the fines are seriously steep!

The fines amount to:

  • $1,500 for the first offense.
  • $3,000 for subsequent offenses.
  • Six-month suspension of driving privileges.

– Teen Driver Laws in Delaware

Driving is a privilege – don’t lose it! 

Delaware has strict restrictions when it comes to teen drivers in Delaware.

In the state of Delaware, teens can get a learner’s permit, at the age of 16.

A teenager might think that they are home free once they get a license, but there are certain restrictions:

  • Have to have 50 hours of supervised driving time, 10 of which must be at night.
  • Have to have a minimum age of 16 years and 6 months.
  • Cannot drive from 10 p.m. – 6 a.m.
  • Cannot have more than one passenger of any age.
  • Cannot use a cell phone or text while driving.

The leash will be loosened eventually:  any restrictions listed above (with the exception of the cell phone/texting ban) expire at the age of 17.

– License Renewal Procedures and Older Drivers in Delaware

Did you know? No matter how old you are, every driver in Delaware must get their license renewed every eight years.

Delaware is unique that it doesn’t matter how old you are, license renewal takes place every eight years.

In addition:

  1. You cannot renew through online or mail, no matter your age (this changed in 2018 with the passing of House Bill 146).
  2. You must provide proof of adequate vision with every renewal, no matter your age.

These procedures are a small price to pay for the freedom and mobility of driving a vehicle!

– New Residents of Delaware

Very Important! You have 60 days from the time you move to Delaware to register your vehicle.

If you move to Delaware from another state, here are the steps for what you must do to register your vehicle and update your license.

– Driving Record Points in Delaware

Racking up the points is good if you’re trying to win a game. They’re not so good when you’re talking about your driving record.

Because Delaware wants you to be a responsible driver, they also want to inform you in a timely manner of the actions taken when you reach a certain amount of points on your driving record. This chart is from the Department of Motor Vehicles of Delaware site:

 

– Delaware Rules of the Road

After reading through all of the violations, penalties, and ways you can quickly pile on the points, don’t you want to do all you can to stay above the law?

We’re here to help!! Scroll down to quickly learn the must-know laws in Delaware that every driver needs to follow or else they’ll pay – in more ways than one.

– Fault vs No-Fault

Delaware is a “Fault State” in regards to car insurance. But what does this mean??

When a car accident occurs in Delaware, one of the drivers will be found to be at-fault by the police. The at-fault driver will have to pay for medical expenses, damages, and all other costs caused by the collision.

The liability limits are as follows:

  • $25,000 for injury or death per person.
  • $50,000 for injury or death per accident.
  • $10,000 for property damage liability per accident.

Keep in mind:  This is just the bare minimum of coverage required in Delaware!

– Speed Limits in Delaware

Delaware has the following speeds you must keep in mind:

  • 65 mph on rural interstates.
  • 55 mph on urban interstates
  • 65 mph on limited access roads.
  • 55 mph on all other roads.

Be careful when it comes to speeding violations in Delaware. With serious ones, according to the Delaware DMV, these steps will be taken:

  1. Advisory letter sent to the driver when convicted for speeding 20-24 MPH over the posted speed limit.
  2. The driver will be suspended for one (1) month when convicted of driving 25 MPH over the posted speed limit. The length of suspension will increase by one month for each additional 5 MPH over the initial 25-MPH threshold. The driver may elect to attend the behavior modification/attitudinal-driving course in lieu of license suspension when driving 25-29 MPH over the posted limit. For speeding 30 MPH over the posted limit or more, the suspension is mandatory.
  3. One-year suspension when convicted of driving 50 MPH or more over the posted speed limit or driving 100 MPH on a highway.

– Seat Belt and Car Seat Laws in Delaware

Since January 1, 1992, seat belt rules in Delaware have been primary laws, meaning that police officers can pull over drivers if anyone in the car appears to be breaking the restraint requirements. When it’s a secondary law, officers need another, bigger reason to pull the driver over.

That’s not all! When it comes to riding in the cargo area of a truck, Delaware has no specific state law.

When it comes to children, Delaware residents MUST put their child in a car seat if they are 7 years and younger and less than 66 pounds. There is a preference for the rear seat for children 11 years and younger. 65 inches or less also must be in the rear seat if passenger airbag is active.

– Ridesharing in Delaware

Delaware has a special state commuter service known as Rideshare Delaware, a part of the DART First State initiative.

According to their website: “We work with employers, employees, colleges, and students to improve air quality and reduce traffic congestion by championing clean commutes, including:

  • Transit.
  • Carpooling & Vanpooling.
  • Walking.
  • Biking.
  • Teleworking.
  • Compressed Work Weeks.”

– Automation on the Roads in Delaware

There are no specific laws related to automated vehicles in the state of Delaware. However, in 2017, Delaware governor John Carney established an Advisory Council to develop recommendations to innovative tools and strategies to prepare Delaware’s transportation network for Connected and Automated Vehicles, or CAVs.

– Keep Right and Move Over Laws in Delaware

Delaware Code Chapter 41 states:

Upon all roadways any vehicle proceeding at less than the normal speed of traffic at the time and place and under the conditions then existing shall be driven in the right-hand lane then available for traffic, or as close as practicable to the right-hand curb or edge of the roadway, except when overtaking and passing another vehicle proceeding in the same direction or when preparing for a left turn at an intersection or into a private road or driveway.

In other words, keep right if driving slower than the average speed of traffic around you.

– Delaware’s Laws Against Driving Impaired

Delaware comes in at number 32 for states with the most drunk driving incidents. And in 2017, Delaware had 37 alcohol-impaired driving fatalities. This number, fortunately, is low.

And in 2017, no teens under 18 were arrested for Driving Under the Influence!

Something else you need to know:   what the heck is a look-back period?: the look-back or washout period is the amount of time an offense remains on your record.

In regards to a DUI, Delaware is one of about a dozen states where if you are caught Driving Under the Influence, it is on your record for the rest of your life. Ignition interlocks are mandatory for all offenders.

So think about whether it’s worth it to get in a car in Delaware if you are intoxicated.

Now, how about marijuana? Surely that’s safer than alcohol, right?

Don’t even think about it. Possession of marijuana and its use is illegal in the state of Delaware.

– Distracted Driving Laws in Delaware

Crash data proves that driving distracted can be just as deadly as driving impaired.

And Delaware takes distracted driving VERY seriously, as it has the second highest rate of vehicle deaths tied to distracted driving. Its hands-free cell phone law has been in effect since 2011, and it is the 30th state in the nation to have a texting ban, and the 8th to also ban the use of hand-held cell phones while driving.

According to the Office of Highway Safety in Delaware:

All drivers [are banned] from using hand held smart phones, cell phones, tablets, laptops, games or other portable computers while driving. Drivers are not allowed to talk without using a hands-free device, read, write or send text messages, email or use the Internet while operating a motor vehicle. Drivers caught using a hand-held device will be fined $100 for their first offense. Subsequent offenses will be no less than $200 and no more than $300.

Delaware Can’t-Miss Facts

We have given you quite a bit of information in this Delaware Auto Insurance Guide so far. Skimming through the above guide would allow you to have a good understanding of the laws surrounding car insurance in The First State.

So you know how car insurance works and the laws governing drivers, but do you know the risks involved with driving and owning a car in Delaware?

As much as we want you to have insurance for when things go wrong, it’s more important to us that you know how to avoid having things go wrong in the first place.

The section below will give you quick, clear facts to help you know what dangers to look out for as a responsible car owner and operator in Delaware.

– Vehicle Theft in Delaware

What car do you drive? Check out these stolen vehicles totals for 2015:

Car Year Number Stolen
Honda Civic 2000 53
Honda Accord 2004 43
Chevrolet Pickup (Full Size) 2005 36
Ford Pickup (Full Size) 1999 31
Chevrolet Impala 2007 28
Nissan Altima 2006 23
Honda CR-V 2001 23
Ford Taurus 2002 22
Toyota Corolla 2010 21
Toyota Camry 2012 20

Seems like Delaware thieves love Hondas, as they take the top two spots for the most stolen vehicles.

Most people think this stuff doesn’t happen where they live . . . hate to break it to you, but it does.

Here are the totals provided by the FBI for 2013:

Top Ten Cities in Delaware With Most Vehicle Thefts Number of Stolen Vehicles
Wilmington 371
Dover 86
Milford 20
Newark 14
Smyrna 9
Seaford 9
Middletown 9
Elsmere 9
Rehoboth Beach 7
Georgetown 6

It is no surprise that Wilmington takes the top spot, as it is the most populated city in Delaware, with a population of 72,846.

– Delaware’s Deadly Car Crash Statistics

Let’s dive right into an alarming 10-Year Trend of Deaths resulting from car crashes on Delaware roadways.

Road Types 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017
Rural 74 68 65 58 57 51 64 62 69 61
Urban 47 48 36 41 57 48 60 69 50 56

Rural roadways tend to have the most incidents of traffic deaths than urban roadways over the course of 10 years in Delaware.

Big Question: “Where are these deadly crashes happening?”

Here is a five-year trend for the three counties in Delaware about car crashes resulting in deaths:

County 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017
Kent 14 21 27 31 21
Newcastle 48 59 63 53 59
Sussex 36 44 41 35 39

Okay, we have covered the WHERE, now let’s move on to WHO.

What were these people doing when they were killed? Walking, riding a bike, travelling by car (and what type?), driving a motorcycle?

Here’s a five-year trend for Delaware traffic deaths by who exactly was killed:

Person Type 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017
Passenger Car 30 45 50 42 44
Pickup Truck 6 9 5 8 8
Utility Truck 10 13 11 14 14
Van 4 6 3 8 3
Large Truck 2 4 2 1 0
Bus 1 3 0 0 0
Motorcycle 20 15 19 14 10
Pedestrian 25 26 36 27 33
Bicyclist and Other Cyclists 1 3 2 2 5

Now let’s answer another big question: “What types of crashes are killing all these people in Delaware?”

Check out this very telling five-year trend for Delaware’s traffic fatalities:

Delaware Traffic Deaths by Crash Type 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017
Single Vehicle Crash 51 67 71 71 62
Large Truck Involved 10 12 12 9 14
Speeding Involved 37 45 35 39 33
Rollover Involved 13 23 16 20 13
Roadway Departure Involved 39 63 48 57 47
Involving an Intersection 25 26 36 37 39
State Total 99 124 131 119 119

Look below to see where specifically in Delaware speeding is the biggest problem.

County 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017
Kent 8 5 3 14 8
New Castle 13 27 18 12 16
Sussex 16 13 14 13 9

Even though the number of deaths involving speeding might seem low, it’s still no excuse to speed. Shaving a few minutes off of your commute isn’t worth killing someone! 

See for yourself. Compare the speeding death counts above with the drunk driving death counts below.

– Drunk Driving Deaths in Delaware

As John R. Garey, a Delaware lawyer, talks about in this video, driving under the influence is definitely not worth it.

It can result in injury of yourself–and others–and even death.

But good news! Drunk driving deaths in Delaware have been on a steady downward trend since 2006. Why, might you ask? The state of Delaware has taken steps to reduce the number of drunk driving crashes and deaths by instituting a greater number of DUI checkpoints across the state.

And in 2018, Delaware lawmakers introduced a bill that would lower the legal blood-alcohol threshold from .08 to .05.

However, even with all these instituted, deaths caused by drunk drivers still happen in Delaware, as this chart shows:

County 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017
Kent 8 10 7 7 10
New Castle 16 23 19 16 15
Sussex 14 18 14 14 7

Though this chart does not show the age of the drivers, it seems that Delaware is taking steps to reduce the number of not just adult drunk drivers, but teen drunk drivers as well, as the stats below indicate.

Here’s some Under Age Drunk Driving stats for Delaware in 2016:

  • Under 18 DUI Arrests:  0
  • Under 18 DUI Arrest Rate: 0 percent
  • Under 21 Drunk Driving Death Rate:  1.7

Note: The above drunk driving arrest rate is for every 100k residents under the age of 18, while the death rate listed is per 100k Delaware residents of all ages.

– EMS Response Time in Delaware

Let’s see how fast Delaware’s Emergency Medical Services are to arrive on the scene of an accident, or how fast they’d get to your home.

If you’re hurt in a car accident, the state is well equipped with medical teams to help!

  Time of Crash to EMS
Notification
EMS Notification to
EMS Arrival
EMS Arrival at Scene
to Hospital Arrival
Time of Crash to Hospital
Arrival
Rural 3 minutes 7 minutes 39 minutes 48 minutes
Urban 2 minutes 4 minutes 20 minutes 27 minutes

Both rural and urban areas fare well in response time, as it takes seven minutes for rural areas and four minutes for urban areas. In a rural area, it can take 48 minutes to get you to the nearest hospital–this is cut nearly in half in an urban area, as it takes about 27 minutes.

The average EMS response times in Delaware listed above were provided by the NHTSA for urban fatal car crashes in 2016.

– Delaware Transportation

So, how many cars does the average Delaware resident own?

Interesting Fact: In Delaware, an overwhelming amount of people have two cars gracing their driveways.

In 2016, over 20 percent of Delaware households had one car, 42.6 percent had two, and 21 percent had three. Check out this four-year trend comparing Delaware to the U.S. average:

Employees in Delaware find that it doesn’t take them too much time to get to work. Check out the average commute times for 2016:

The average commute time for Delaware is 25 minutes, and only 2.5 percent of the Delaware workforce report have “super-commutes” of 90 minutes or more.

Interesting Fact:  About nine percent of the Delaware workforce have super-commutes, and a little over 21,000 Delaware residents have commutes that span all three counties.

On the topic of commutes, most Delaware residents seem to like to go at it alone:

81 percent of Delaware residents put themselves first and drive to work alone.

While we are on the topic of traffic, let’s look at what parts of Delaware have it the worst.

– Delaware Cities with the Most Traffic Congestion

While Delaware is a state that ranks seventh in the United States for overall general economic opportunity and is a state that is third in holding the most IT jobs, traffic does not seem to be an issue in Delaware, according to reserach.

Some Delaware residents beg to differ.

In Sussex County, tourism has increased, and with it, so has traffic congestion and issues. Other residents tout issues such as population growth, beach season (especially around Rehoboth Beach, a popular summer destination), and the government not willing to listen to the Delaware citizens regarding solutions. Some even blamed the Pope.

Delaware residents love the convenience the roads offer, and love tourists, but hate traffic jams.

Don’t wait a minute longer to protect what’s most important — start comparing car insurance today

References:
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  2. https://www.thehartford.com/aarp/car-insurance/delaware/state-driving
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