Auto insurance requirements in Hawaii
The state of Hawaii, like most others in the US, requires that every driver carry a certain amount of auto insurance coverage. Proof of this coverage is required as well and must be surrendered to any law enforcement officer who wants to see it. Below, we explore the required insurance coverage types in the state of Hawaii, as well as optional coverages that can provide extra protection.
|Personal Injury Protection (PIP)|
Bear in mind that these limits are only what is required by the state. Your bank or leasing company may require physical damage coverage — full coverage — if you are financing or leasing your vehicle.
Personal Injury Protection requirements in Hawaii (PIP)
Hawaii is considered a no-fault state, meaning that each driver is required to pay for their own medical expenses, as well as those of their passengers, up to the limits of their Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage. PIP coverage takes care of the medical costs that you and your passengers incur in an accident regardless of fault. Drivers can still file lawsuits in the event of excessive medical costs or serious injury or death resulting from an auto accident.
Liability coverage in Hawaii
Liability coverage is legally required in Hawaii. It pays the other driver if you are found at-fault in an accident, covering their injuries, lost wages, and damage to the other driver’s vehicle. The coverage limits are determined by each individual state.
What are state-mandated car insurance limits?
The term limits refers to the total amount that an insurance company will pay in the event of an accident. The state of Hawaii requires that you keep your minimums set a certain level in an effort to protect both you and other drivers. Most of the time these limits can be increased for a moderate increase in your premium.
Hawaii’s minimum liability limit is split into three categories, typically listed as 20/40/10. These numbers refer to bodily injury per person, bodily injury per accident, and property damage. See our breakdown of what each covers below:
- $20,000 in bodily injury coverage per person is how much that your insurer will pay toward the injuries you cause to another driver or their passengers in an accident in which you are at-fault.
- $40,000 in bodily injury coverage per accident is the total dollar amount available from your insurer to pay for all injuries that you cause in an at-fault accident.
- $10,000 in property damage per accident refers to the limit of what your insurance company will pay to fix property that is damaged in an accident that you cause.
Do Hawaii’s required minimums provide enough coverage?
Hawaii’s car insurance requirements fall on the lower side when compared to many other US states. In short, carrying the legally required amount of car insurance doesn’t automatically mean you are appropriately covered.
Let’s look at the minimum liability requirements. A limit of $20,000 to cover injuries for someone you harm in an accident may seem like a lot, but this amount can be reached quite quickly, especially if the injuries are serious. The $40,000 total for all injured parties poses a similar problem, as multiple people facing injuries could quickly exhaust that total. Furthermore, $10,000 in property damage coverage barely scratches the surface of what it costs to replace a new vehicle in the US.
Luckily, these limits can typically be increased for a relatively small addition to your premium. It’s a good rule of thumb to raise your limits to the highest amount that you can reasonably afford. This amount should always be higher if you have significant assets or own a home.
Hawaii’s penalties for driving without proof of insurance
If you get caught driving without car insurance in Hawaii, you can expect there to be consequences, including the following:
Optional car insurance coverage in Hawaii
Though Hawaii law only requires that drivers carry liability and personal injury protection, there are a number of other helpful coverage types that can help to keep you protected. Here’s a list of some of the more common optional car insurance coverages:
- Comprehensive: This option covers physical damage to your vehicle resulting from weather events or damage that comes from non-collisions (though it does cover animal collisions) This coverage also covers your vehicle in case of theft.
- Collision: As its name suggests, this coverage type pays for damages resulting from a collision with another car or a stationary object. Collision coverage pays regardless of fault.
- Loan/Lease Payoff: If you finance your vehicle and have a wreck in which it is totaled, loan lease payoff can help. Otherwise known as gap coverage, it pays the difference between the actual cash value — the value of your car with depreciation factored in — and what you still owe on your loan.
- Wage loss: This coverage helps in the event that an accident renders you unable to work.
- Death and Funeral Expense: This steps in to help pay for your funeral expenses in a fatal car accident.
- Rental Car Reimbursement: This coverage pays toward the cost of a rental car if your vehicle is damaged and unable to be driven. Limits vary by carrier.
- Roadside Assistance: If you find yourself broken down on the highway, this coverage can go toward reimbursing you for towing costs, flat tire fixes, and even overnight stays in some situations, though this can vary by carrier and by insurance plan.
- Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Bodily Injury: Sadly, some drivers choose not to carry insurance coverage — or at least not enough to cover the full extent of damages that they cause. If you are injured by a driver who cannot pay, this coverage steps in to help with medical expenses like hospital bills and rehabilitation costs.
- Uninsured Motorist Property Damage: Similar to the coverage above, if you are in an accident with a driver who cannot pay for the damage that they cause to your vehicle or property, this coverage steps in to help.
Why it's important to adhere to Hawaii’s car insurance requirements
On top of being a legal requirement, following Hawaii’s insurance laws is a smart decision financially as well. It can protect you and your assets both from damage that you cause as well as damage inflicted on you. If you are worried about how to afford more coverage, it may be time to start shopping around. The Zebra can help you find quotes from a number of top insurance companies, allowing you to compare coverage options as well as cost so that you can find the right auto policy for your specific needs.
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