Car Insurance for High-Risk Drivers in Delaware

If you've been cited for unsafe driving, your car insurance could get expensive. Compare rates and save on your next policy.

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If you have caused a car crash, filed an insurance claim, or received a ticket for a major moving violation, you might be a good candidate for high-risk car insurance. Car insurance for bad drivers is typically pricey, but the price increases you receive varies based on your auto insurance company, your driving history, and the state in which you reside.

Car insurance for high-risk drivers in Delaware — table of contents:
  1. At-fault accidents
  2. Speeding
  3. Distracted driving
  4. Racing
  5. Reckless driving
  6. Delaware driving laws

Compare car insurance rates from top companies.

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What impact does an at-fault collision have on car insurance in Delaware?


If you're deemed responsible for causing an auto collision, expect your car insurance rates to jump. In Delaware, the average insurance rate after an at-fault crash is $2,417, compared to the nationwide average of $2,012. A major accident like an at-fault crash will stay on your insurance record for as long as three years.

LocationWith At-Fault Accident — Annual RateNo At-Fault Accident — Annual RateAnnual Rate Increase
National Average$2,012$1,397$615

The best insurance company after an at-fault collision in Delaware is GEICO. GEICO’s typical rate increase after a crash is $662, leading to rates 27 percent less expensive than the average among all insurers. If you’ve caused a crash in Delaware, avoid Progressive and Allstate, which typically charge more.

CompanyAnnual Rate With an At-Fault Crash
State Farm$2,775


Does getting a speeding ticket in Delaware lead to more expensive car insurance?


Among the violations that earn drivers the "high-risk" tag is speeding. In Delaware, insurance costs go up by $453 per year post-speeding ticket, to an average per-year price of $2,153.

StateWith a Speeding Ticket — Annual RateNo Speeding Ticket — Annual RateYearly Rate Increase
National Average$1,727$1,397$330

The foolproof way to get cheap car insurance after getting a ticket for speeding is to shop thoroughly and weigh the options. The cheapest auto insurance after a speeding ticket in Delaware is available through USAA, offering an average premium after a violation $1,303 lower than the statewide average. If you're caught speeding in Delaware, Progressive probably won't be your cheapest option.

CompanyAnnual Rate With a Speeding Citation
State Farm$2,131


How does a ticket for distracted driving impact car insurance prices in Delaware?


A distracted driving citation means you can expect your car insurance to get more expensive. In Delaware, car insurance costs typically increase by $85 each year. That comes out to a 5% increase from the typical annual rate in Delaware, and 51% less than the national average cost of car insurance with a ticket for distracted driving.

LocationWith Distracted Driving — Annual RateNo Distracted Driving — Annual RateAnnual Rate Increase
National Average$1,570$1,397$173

The best way to find affordable auto insurance following a distracted driving infraction is to explore your options. The most affordable auto insurance company following distracted driving in Delaware is USAA, with an average rate of just $779 per year, 56% lower than the average distracted driving insurance rate from all insurers.

CompanyAnnual Rate With Distracted Driving
State Farm$1,564


How does a ticket for racing impact Delaware car insurance prices?


Racing is considered an extremely serious offense. Car insurance carriers typically penalize racing convictions severely — in fact, Delaware auto insurance rates increase by $1,196 per year after a ticket for racing. That is a 70% increase from the average yearly auto insurance rate in Delaware.

LocationWith a Racing Citation — Annual RateNo Racing Citation — Annual RateYearly Rate Increase
National Average$2,397$1,397$1,000

If you've been pulled over for racing, do your due diligence, compare quotes, and find the most affordable rates. In Delaware, look into rates from USAA, which offers premiums 55 percent less than the state average after a racing violation.

Insurance CompanyAnnual Rate After Racing
State Farm$2,809


Does a citation for reckless driving in Delaware raise car insurance rates?


One of the most serious moving violations, reckless driving is a certain way to end up paying more for auto insurance. Insurers increase prices by an average of $1,300 per year after a ticket for reckless driving. That's 77% more than than the average car insurance rate in Delaware, and 7% less than the U.S. average price increase for reckless driving.

LocationWith Reckless Driving — Annual RateNo Reckless Driving — Annual RateYearly Rate Increase
National Average$2,395$1,397$998

If you're dealing with a reckless driving conviction, shop around to find the cheapest price. In Delaware, the most budget-friendly insurance company with a reckless driving ticket is USAA.

Insurance CompanyAnnual Rate After Reckless Driving
State Farm$2,809

If you are seeking auto insurance as a high-risk driver, the best course of action is to do plenty of research and find an affordable policy.

Start your search by comparing rates quickly and easily.

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Delaware driving laws

Traffic laws in Delaware are designed to encourage safe driving and penalize unsafe and dangerous driving habits. To that end, Delaware enforces strict speed limits, prohibits reckless and distracted driving, disallows racing, and requires drivers to be insured and attentive to prevent accidents — and worse.


Speeding in Delaware

When are you speeding In Delaware?

Delaware requires drivers to drive at a “reasonable and prudent speed” for the conditions and taking into account any special hazards or incidents.

You are speeding in Delaware if your speeds exceed:

  • 25 miles per hour in business districts
  • 25 miles per hour in residential districts
  • 20 miles per hour in school zones where signs are posted
  • 50 miles per hour on two-lane roadways
  • 55 miles per hour on four-lane and divided roadways
  • 65 miles per hour on Delaware State Route 1 between the Red Lion Creek and the Appoquinimink River

Speed limits may be adjusted in various jurisdictions by a local authority, so it’s important for drivers in Delaware to pay attention to posted signs.

Drivers must also ensure they are not driving at a slow speed that impedes the normal flow of traffic. In some places, minimum speed limits may be posted.

Penalties for speeding In Delaware

The base fine for speeding in Delaware is $20 for a first offense and $25 for each subsequent offense within two years of a previous offense.

On top of the base fine, speeders must pay an additional:

  • $1 per mile for driving five to 15 miles per hour over the speed limit (or $2 per mile for a subsequent offense)
  • $2 per mile for driving 16 to 19 miles per hour over the speed limit (or $3 per mile for a subsequent offense)
  • $3 per mile for driving 20 or more miles per hour over the speed limit (or $4 per mile for a subsequent offense)


Reckless driving in Delaware

What counts as reckless driving in Delaware?

Reckless driving in Delaware is classified as driving a vehicle with a “willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property.” In other words, driving in an unsafe and hazardous manner, in spite of laws and common sense, may lead to a charge of reckless driving.

Drivers are guilty of aggressive driving in Delaware when violating three or more laws related to:

  • Obedience to traffic control devices
  • Traffic control signals
  • Overtaking on the right or overtaking and passing school buses
  • Driving within a lane
  • Following too closely
  • Yielding to the right-of-way
  • Vehicles entering the roadway
  • The use of turn signals
  • Stop signs and yield signs
  • Speed restrictions and specific speed limits

Penalties for reckless driving in Delaware

A driver’s first conviction for reckless driving in Delaware results in:

  • 10 to 30 days in jail
  • $100 to $300 in fines

Subsequent offenses for reckless driving in Delaware within a period of three years of a prior conviction lead to:

  • 30 to 60 days in jail
  • $300 to $1, 000 in fines

The first conviction for aggressive driving in Delaware leads to:

  • 10 to 30 days in jail
  • $100 to $300 in fines

A second conviction for aggressive driving results in:

  • 30 to 60 days in jail
  • $300 to $1, 000 in fines
  • License suspension for 30 days

Drivers convicted of aggressive driving in Delaware may also be required to enroll in programs and courses at their own expense.


Distracted driving in Delaware

What constitutes distracted driving in Delaware?

Like many other states, Delaware has strict laws outlining the use of wireless electronic devices while driving.

You are guilty of distracted driving in Delaware if you are holding an electronic device in your hand while:

  • Viewing or sending images or data
  • Playing games
  • Sending, browsing, or retrieving electronic data like emails and text messages
  • On a phone call

Electronic devices are considered:

  • Cell phones
  • PDAs
  • Devices with mobile data access
  • Laptops
  • Pagers
  • Two-way messaging devices
  • Portable computers
  • Electronic games

Drivers in Delaware are permitted to use hands-free technology to communicate so long as they are not actually holding the device (but are allowed to activate or deactivate a hands-free function).

Learn more about texting and driving statistics in the U.S.

Penalties for distracted driving in Delaware

The fine for a first distracted driving offense is a civil penalty of $100.

Subsequent fines for distracted driving in Delaware within two years of a prior offense are $200 to $300.


Racing in Delaware

What is racing in Delaware?

Speed exhibitions, drag races, and speed contests are all considered types of racing in Delaware.

Drivers are committing an offense of racing in Delaware if:

  • Accelerating or attempting to accelerate a vehicle at a rate that causes the drive wheels to spin or slip on the road surface
  • Participating in a speed or acceleration contest, an exhibition of speed or acceleration, drag race, or test of physical endurance

Those aiding, abetting, participating in, promoting, or assisting in a race in Delaware are also subject to the same penalties as those actively racing.

Penalties for racing in Delaware

The first conviction for racing in Delaware leads to:

  • 10 to 30 days in jail
  • $25 to $200 in fines
  • License suspension for up to six months

Subsequent offenses for racing in Delaware subject violators to:

  • 15 to 60 days in jail
  • $50 to $400 in fines
  • License suspension for up to one year


At-fault accidents in Delaware

What is an at-fault accident in Delaware?

As a fault-based state, Delaware uses a system of “moderate comparative fault” for determining compensation following an accident. In such a system, a driver is only entitled to compensation from another at-fault driver if the at-fault party is more than 50 percent at fault. The driver who deserves compensation will receive compensation based on their own percentage of fault for an accident.

For example, if Driver A is found at 70 percent fault for an accident and Driver B is at 30 percent fault, driver B will only receive compensation equal to 70 percent of their damages.

Delaware drivers must maintain active car insurance coverage amounts of:

  • $15,000 per person for bodily injury to one person
  • $30,000 for total bodily injury
  • $10,000 for property damage

Delaware drivers must also be covered by personal injury protection (or PIP) insurance equaling:

  • $15,000 per person for bodily injury
  • $30,000 for total bodily injury
  • $5,000 for funeral expenses

Penalties for at-fault accidents in Delaware

Drivers must make an immediate report to the local police department for any accidents involving:

  • Injury or death to any person
  • A collision on a public highway that results in property damage of $500 or more
  • Any driver involved in an accident who may be impaired by drugs, alcohol, or both

Failing to report an accident that leads to property damage in Delaware leads to:

  • 60 days to six months in jail
  • $230 to $1,150 in fines
  • License revocation for six months

Failure to report an accident that leads to an injury is an unclassified misdemeanor in Delaware and results in:

  • One to two years in jail
  • $1,000 to $3,000 in fines
  • License revocation for one year

Failure to report an accident that leads to death is a class E felony and leads to:

  • At least one year in jail
  • License revocation for two years

Driving without insurance in Delaware subjects violators to:

  • At least $1,500 in fines
  • License suspension for six months

Each subsequent offense of driving while uninsured within three years of a prior offense in Delaware results in:

  • At least $3,000 in fines
  • License suspension for six months


Sources and references:

Kristine Lee
Kristine LeeManager, Content and Data

Kristine is a licensed insurance agent who joined The Zebra in 2019 as an in-house content researcher and writer.

She is an authority on all things insurance and covers the ins and outs of auto, home, life and renters insurance. Her specialty is in providing data-backed insights and information to help insurance shoppers make informed decisions.

Kristine's insurance expertise and research have been cited by publications such as CNBC, Car and Driver, Business Insider, Yahoo!, The Balance, Nationwide and Elephant.

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