Yes. Delaware is one of 47 states where insurance companies are free to reference your credit report to calculate your so-called “insurance score.” Carriers arrive at this rating using a formula to evaluate your risk of getting into an accident/filing a claim, and thus your rates.
Sure! Plenty of car insurance providers in the state offer good-driver discounts. It helps them attract and retain the most desirable insurance customers: those with the least risk of having to file a claim. Other common discounts offered by Delaware carriers include:
- Teen Driver
- Distant Student
- Alternative Fuel
- Defensive Driver
- Good Student
- Anti-Lock Brake
- Anti-Theft Device
- Multiple Line
- Passive Restraint
- Vehicle Safety
It does. No more digging around in your glove compartment for that printed insurance card! As of mid 2014, Delaware residents can show digital proof of insurance issued by their carrier on their cell phone or other electronic mobile device.
It’s not a good idea to let your auto insurance policy expire without renewing or purchasing a new one. Having a registered vehicle without at least the minimum coverage is against the law in Delaware, and the state Department of Motor Vehicles performs audits to find uncovered vehicles. For a first offense, you’ll be fined at least $1,500, and this doubles for subsequent infractions. Also, your license will be suspended for 6 months.
It’s against the law to drive in Delaware at the following BAC percentages:
.08%+ at 21 years old or older
.04%+ for commercial vehicle drivers
.02%+ at under 21 years old
Note that in Delaware, you don’t have to register a 0.08% BAC to be arrested for DUI. If the attending law enforcement agent determines that your ability to safely operate your motor vehicle has been impaired by alcohol or any other legal or illegal substance, you can be arrested for DUI.
As is the case in most of the country, Delaware residents have given their “implied consent” to a breath, urine, or blood test simply by having a state driver’s license. Refusing the test won’t help avoid a DUI conviction. The first time you refuse a test, your driving privileges are suspended for 1 year; if you refuse on a second occasion, the suspension lasts 18 months, and then 24 months for a third refusal.
A number of considerations affect the consequences of a DUI conviction in Delaware. For example, your number of prior DUI convictions, your number of moving violations within the last 2 years, whether you caused damage or injuries while driving impaired, if your BAC was 0.15% or higher, and whether there was a minor with you at the time of your DUI are some factors in sentencing.
For a first offense without other factors at play, a DUI conviction means up to 6 months in jail, installation of an ignition interlock device, up to $1,500 in fines, and driver’s license revocation for at least 1 year.
There’s more detailed information about DUI procedures and penalties in the Delaware Office of Highway Safety’s booklet DUI Is a Total Buzzkill: Delaware DUI Laws (PDF).
Yes! Complete an in-person or online state-approved defensive driving course and you can qualify for a 10% discount on a portion of your auto insurance for 3 years. Then, take a refresher course within 180 days of the end of this 3-year period and you can get a 15% discount.
Delaware drivers have plenty of options for cutting down the cost of their automobile insurance. As a general measure, work to improve your credit score so you’ll receive a more favorable insurance score. You get a lower premium if you choose a higher deductible too, and paying upfront rather than in monthly installments earns you a better deal. Don’t forget to inquire about any available discounts. And of course, when it’s time for a new policy, shop around for the lowest quote.
Uninsured motorist coverage is a policy addition that protects you if you’re involved in a crash with someone illegally driving without coverage or who flees the scene of the accident. Similarly, underinsured motorist coverage protects you in the event of an accident caused by a driver without enough coverage. This type of coverage is not required in Delaware, but it’s strongly recommended; all carriers in the state must offer this optional coverage.