Delaware Auto Insurance Basics


Each state has its own mandatory insurance coverage that is required of their drivers. The mandatory coverage is only a part of the automobile insurance that is available to protect you, your family and other drivers on the road. Here is some basic information to help you in deciding the levels of coverage you may want to include in your auto insurance policy.

There are six major areas of coverage for automobile insurance. The minimum levels of coverage vary from state to state. In general, these areas are: Bodily injury liability, Property damage liability, Personal Injury Protection, Collision, Comprehensive, Uninsured/Underinsured motorist’s coverage.

The Insurance Commissioner in the State of Delaware requires drivers to carry three forms of liability insurance, bodily injury liability, property damage liability, and personal injury protection, or PIP.

The minimums that are required are the highest amount that your insurance company will pay out due to injuries or death to you or any other people involved in an accident, as well as any property damage. These amounts are only what are required by the state and you can certainly select higher levels of coverage.

Bodily injury liability covers any damages that you may have caused another person if an accident were to occur. This coverage includes medical bills and loss of income. Property damage liability covers the repair and/or replacement of any property that was destroyed as a result of an accident. Property damage liability also covers any “pain and suffering” claims.

If you take out a loan when you are buying a car or if you still owe money on your current vehicle you must carry the proper insurance required by the lender to protect their investment. You cannot let the insurance lapse on a vehicle that is being financed. You will probably be required to carry collision and comprehensive coverage. If you do not provide adequate or proof of insurance, the lender will take matters into their own hands and find insurance coverage for you and bill you for it in addition to your regular car payment.

Collision insurance covers any damage to your car that was a result of hitting another vehicle, a tree, a telephone pole, etc.  Comprehensive coverage protects the value and replacement of your car in the event that it is damaged as a result of anything other than an accident, for example if your car is stolen, someone breaks into it or there it suffers flood damage.

And uninsured motorist coverage pays for any damages that are a result of an uninsured motorist or a hit and run driver. This coverage has an automatic $250 deduction for property damage independent of what you deductions are for other coverages on the policy.

Under-insured motorist coverage comes into play if the other driver, who is at fault, does not have enough insurance to cover you. However, this coverage is not used to cover damages to your car.

Knowing what the different types of auto insurance coverage are and what they cover will give you a head start when deciding on your insurance needs.