Is my credit score a factor when obtaining car insurance in Delaware?
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.
Does Delaware offer a good-driver discount?
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:
- Full Pay
- Multiple Car
- Multiple Policy
- Good Student
- Resident Student
- Accident Free
- Vehicle Safety
- Anti-Lock Brake
- Anti-Theft Device
- Home Ownership
- New Car
- Passive Restraint
- Utility Discount
- Affinity (qualifying organization membership
Does Delaware allow the use of digital insurance cards?
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.
What happens if my coverage lapses?
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.
What are Delaware’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC) percentage limits under the state's driving under the influence (DUI) laws?
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.
What are the chemical test refusal penalties in Delaware?
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.
What are the consequences of being convicted of a DUI?
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).
Does Delaware offer driver improvement courses to reduce my insurance premium?
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.
Is there any way I can reduce the cost of my Delaware car insurance?
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.