Delaware Car Insurance Laws

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Ross Martin

Insurance Writer

  • 4+ years in the Insurance Industry

Ross joined The Zebra as a writer and researcher in 2019. He specializes in writing insurance content to help shoppers make informed decisions.

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Kristine Lee

Insurance Analyst

  • Licensed Insurance Agent — Property and Casualty
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Kristine is a licensed insurance agent who joined The Zebra in 2019 as an in-house content researcher and writer. Before joining The Zebra, she was a…

Auto insurance requirements in Delaware

Drivers in Delaware must carry car insurance in order to be legal. Proof of insurance must also be carried, which must be shown at the request of law enforcement insurance. Have a look at Delaware’s required car insurance minimums below.

Minimum Liability Coverage: 25/50/10 Personal Injury Protection (PIP)
$25,000 for bodily injury per person $15,000 per person
$50,000 for bodily injury per accident $30,000 per accident
$10,000 for property damage per accident

Those who finance or lease a vehicle could face further requirements for physical damage coverage — sometimes called full coverage — from their bank or leasing company.

Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage in Delaware

PIP covers medical costs you or your passengers sustain in an accident. PIP will cover medical expenses such as hospital bills, rehabilitation costs, and even work loss resulting from an accident. One of the important things about this coverage is that you can use it regardless of who is at fault.

PIP will way up to $15,000 in medical expenses for any one person injured in your vehicle. The per accident limit is $30,000, meaning that PIP will only cover up to $30,000 total regardless of the number of passengers injured.

Delaware PIP coverage also includes up to $5,000 in funeral expenses.

Liability coverage in Delaware

Liability coverage is legally required in Delaware. It pays for injury or lost wages incurred by another driver or their passengers in an accident that you cause. It also covers damage to the other driver’s vehicle. Each state determines the coverage limits, which are normally split into three categories: bodily injury per person, bodily injury per accident, and property damage.

What are Delaware's state-mandated car insurance limits?

In short, the “limit” is the bare minimum amount of car insurance that you can carry in a state and still be considered legal. It is also the maximum amount that your car insurance company will pay out in a claim. The following numbers reflect the minimum limits required in Delaware, though keep in mind that higher coverage amounts are available with most companies.

In Delaware, the minimum liability coverage is 25/50/10[1] and explained below:

  • $25,000 in bodily injury coverage per person is the upper limit of what your insurer will pay for a single person injured by you in a car accident.
  • $50,000 in bodily injury coverage per accident refers to the maximum amount that your insurer will pay for all injuries that you cause in an accident when more than one person is harmed.
  • $10,000 in property damage per accident is the maximum dollar amount an insurer will pay for property damage caused by you in an accident.

Minimum PIP limits are as follows:

  • $15,000 in personal injury protection per person refers to the limit that your insurer will pay for a single person injured inside your vehicle, including the driver.
  • $30,000 in personal injury protection per accident is the total amount your insurer will pay out for all injuries sustained inside your vehicle in an accident in which more than one person is hurt.

Do Delaware's required minimums provide enough coverage?

Delaware’s minimum insurance requirements are about average for states in the United States. However, that does not mean that it provides all the coverage that you need. This is especially true with liability coverage. Bodily injury limits can be reached quickly with even moderate injuries, particularly if multiple people are involved. The $10,000 in property damage can also leave you exposed to risk, as that is barely a third of what it costs to purchase a new vehicle in the US.

For these reasons, it’s a good idea to increase your insurance limits in order to further protect yourself from risk. This can usually be done with a relatively small increase in your premium. 

Delaware's penalties for driving without proof of insurance

Car insurance is legally required by the state. Driving without insurance in Delaware usually results in a significant fine and license suspension[2].

Penalty First Offense Subsequent Offenses (Within Three Years)
Fines $1,500-$2,000 $3,000-$4,000
License suspension 6 months 6 months

Optional car insurance coverage in Delaware

Delaware requires both liability and PIP coverage for all drivers. However, there are a number of other options available that can extend your coverage.

  • Comprehensive: Comprehensive insurance covers your vehicle against non-collision perils such as weather damagetheft, and hitting an animal.
  • Collision: If you are involved in a collision with another driver or object (aside from animals), this coverage pays for physical damages to your vehicle.
  • Loan/Lease Payoff: Often referred to as gap coverage, loan/lease payoff can be very helpful to those who total a vehicle they are financing. This coverage factors in your vehicle’s depreciation and covers the difference in the actual cash value and what you still owe on the loan.
  • Rental Car Reimbursement: Many companies offer some form of reimbursement for rental cars should your own vehicle be rendered undrivable. Limits vary by company.
  • Roadside Assistance: Most insurance companies provide an option for roadside assistance, which steps in to help cover common roadside issues such as towing, tire changes, and even lodging in some cases.
  • Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Bodily Injury: Unfortunately, there are still drivers who get behind the wheel without carrying enough coverage insurance — or any at all. These coverages help in the event that an uninsured — or underinsured — driver causes an accident and is unable to pay your medical expenses.

Why adhering to Delaware's car insurance requirements is important

On top of being a legal requirement, carrying the right amount of car insurance in Delaware can keep you and your assets protected from unnecessary risk. Most insurance experts would suggest adding coverage beyond these legal requirements to better protect your vehicle and to possibly increase your coverage for certain medical expenses. If you are concerned about how much these coverages will add to your overall total, it might be time to shop for a new policy.

The Zebra can help you gather quotes from a number of top insurance companies to find the right policy at the right price.

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About The Zebra

The Zebra is not an insurance company. We publish data-backed, expert-reviewed resources to help consumers make more informed insurance decisions.

  • The Zebra’s insurance content is written and reviewed for accuracy by licensed insurance agents.
  • The Zebra’s insurance editorial content is not subject to review or alteration by insurance companies or partners.
  • The Zebra’s editorial team operates independently of the company’s partnerships and commercialization interests, publishing unbiased information for consumer benefit.
  • The auto insurance rates published on The Zebra’s pages are based on a comprehensive analysis of car insurance pricing data, evaluating more than 83 million insurance rates from across the United States.