The U.S.’s only island state, and the only state not located in the America’s, is a land of stunning beauty. Hawaii has the fourth longest coastline of all the states, at about 750 miles, and its beaches are unbeatable.
When driving around the islands, it’s mandatory that you carry car insurance. Average rates in the state are in the mid range relative to the rest of the country. But there are plenty of ways to get your monthly payments down, many of which we’ll go over on this page.
Comparison shopping among Hawaii’s leading auto insurance providers when it’s time to buy a new policy is the most effective way to minimize your payments. And that’s where SmartFinancial enters the picture. We connect you to competing quotes on coverage customized to your needs and lifestyle in an objective, carrier-neutral way. It’s fast, simple, and totally free!
There’s no one car insurance company that offers all drivers the best rate. Premiums are calculated using all sorts of personal factors. For example, your age, sex, location, marital status, driving record, and type of vehicle all come into play. Beyond that, each carrier has its own methods as to how much it weighs each consideration.
The key to scoring the lowest possible rates is to diligently comparison shop among Hawaii’s leading insurers when it’s time for a new policy. Just make sure you’re always getting quotes for the same levels of coverage for fair comparisons.
SmartFinancial makes it efficient and easy to get this done. Just answer a few simple questions and we set you up with competing quotes so you can hone right in on the lowest price for coverage that’s tailored to your needs.
Get started by clicking on your hometown in the list below. Or, if it isn’t there, just click here instead.
Carrying car insurance is the legal obligation of all Hawaii residents with a registered vehicle. This protects every driver from financial problems—or even ruin—in the event of a serious accident. And by having everyone pay into the system, it also keeps insurance costs down for everyone.
Sooner or later, most drivers experience at least a minor crash. Your coverage should afford you some peace of mind. Remember: no matter how cautious, defensive, and responsible a driver you may be, other drivers, weather and road conditions, and other factors are never fully under your control.
Hawaii Driving Safety
Hawaii has one of the nation’s lowest crash fatality rates per capita. Speeding is a significant problem in the state, accounting for more than 40% of traffic accident deaths in 2015. Add in alcohol-related deaths where one of the drivers had a BAC over the legal limit—which accounted for 33 fatalities in 2015—and these two factors contribute to almost 8 out of 10 accident deaths over the course of the year.
Environmentally conscious drivers in Hawaii have a variety of rewards and incentives they can benefit from—especially those who drive electric vehicles. We’ve listed just a few of the opportunities below. Also, keep in mind that there are Federal and State tax credits offered under certain circumstances, so check with your tax prep professional about what might be available to you.
If you drive an electric vehicle, you’re welcome in Hawaii’s high-occupancy vehicle (HOV) lanes regardless of whether you’re transporting passengers. You just need to get a special electric vehicle license plate from the state to take advantage of this option.
Once you have the Hawaii-issued electric vehicle license plate mentioned above, you can park for free at all city and county meters in the state for up to 2.5 hours.
Most car insurance companies have some discounts for eco-friendly vehicles and driving habits. For example, many offer a break on your premium if you drive an electric, hybrid, alternative fuel, or economy vehicle. It’s also pretty common to get a discount if you keep your mileage below a certain limit over the course of the year, and some carriers have pay-as-you-drive options, too.
The minimum liability coverage limits in Hawaii are $20,000 bodily injury per person and $40,000 bodily injury per accident, as well as $10,000 property damage per accident.
Hawaii is a no-fault state. That means only your own car insurance provider pays for injuries sustained by you and any of your passengers. You can’t file a claim through another party’s carrier if they’re at fault, nor can you pursue personal injury litigation unless there are serious injuries. You’re paid through another mandatory type of coverage called personal injury protection (PIP). All Hawaii drivers must also carry at least $10,000 per person PIP coverage. The at-fault driver is responsible for vehicle and other property damage, though.
Maximum payment for serious or permanent injury or death to a single person
Coverage for multiple people injured in a single accident
Maximum payment for all damaged property in an accident caused by you
Some people choose to stick with the minimum legal requirements, but many drivers who can afford it opt to extend their limits higher. Minimums aren’t always enough following a serious crash. If you look at your auto coverage as an investment rather than just another monthly cost, you may very well decide that it makes sense to buy more protection.
Optional coverages are another way to gain more peace of mind and greater financial protections, too. They offer coverage for a variety of vehicle repair and service expenses outside the scope of the required liability and PIP coverages.
Some exclusions may apply.
If you financed your vehicle, the lender generally requires you to carry comprehensive and collision coverage, so these are often not technically “optional.”
Our article 12 Things You can do to Lower Your Auto Insurance Premium can help you reduce your premium to help balance out the expense of picking up optional coverages.
Keep in mind that different people can get very different quotes on the same policy from the same carrier. Because so many individual considerations affect each offer, it’s up to every consumer to perform their due diligence when shopping around for a new policy.
SmartFinancial makes it simple to see what’s available to you from leading car insurance companies in Hawaii. It’s free, no strings attached, so just click here to get started now.
Under Hawaii law, all kids up to age 4 must be properly secured in a car seat, and all kids 4 through 7 years old must be properly secured in a car or booster seat. If you fail to properly restrain a child passenger, you’ll have to take a 4-hour safety course and may face fines of $100 to $500.
Leave children in a rear-facing car seat until they reach its size limit, then switch to a forward-facing car seat until it’s outgrown. Place car seats in the back seat of the vehicle; never use them in a front seat with an active airbag.
Use an appropriately rated booster seat at least until the age of 8, but preferably until the child can be safely secured in the auto’s factory-installed seat belts. This is usually at 4 feet 9 inches tall. When the child sits up straight, his or her knees should bend over the front of the seat and the lap belt should cross over the upper thighs and the shoulder belt should pass over the shoulder and chest—not the neck or face.
You can get a $25 Hawaii State tax credit for purchasing a car or booster seat.
Hawaii law prohibits leaving a child under the age of 9 alone in a vehicle (without the supervision of someone at least 12 years of age) for more than 5 minutes. The law stems from recognition of the dangers an unattended child faces in a car, SUV, van, or truck.
These can include self-injury, victimization by a passing stranger, and hyperthermia. The latter is capable of causing serious and permanent damage, as well as death, in relatively little time. Note that pets are also at risk of overheating if left in a vehicle.
Nope! Hawaii, along with California and Massachusetts, is one of only three states that prohibits car insurance providers from using consumer credit scores as part of their formula for determining rates.
Lots of car insurance companies offer good-driver discounts to attract safe drivers as customers and to incentivize responsible driving. If you’re careful to keep a clean driving record for a certain amount of time (often 3 years with no accidents or moving violations), your carrier may give you a break on your premium. You’ll have to ask if this is available and what the criteria are. And while you’re at it, inquire about other possible discounts, like:
Yes. As of mid 2016, the option of showing digital proof of coverage on a mobile device became available to Hawaii residents. Make sure you get an official electronic insurance card from your carrier.
If at any time you don’t have coverage on a registered vehicle, you’re legally obligated to surrender its registration and license plate to your County Director of Finance. Failure to do so and driving without coverage will result in a license suspension, fines, and fees.
It’s against the law to operate a motor vehicle in Hawaii with the following BAC percentages:
.08%+ at 21 years old or older
.04%+ for commercial vehicle drivers
.02%+ at under 21 years old
Hawaii’s OVUII (operating a vehicle under the influence of intoxicants) laws state that you do not need to be obviously impaired to be arrested and convicted if your BAC is at least 0.08%. At the same time, you can be arrested and convicted with a lower BAC level if the arresting officer believes that your ability to safely operate a motor vehicle is impaired by a legal or illegal substance.
Like the rest of the country, Hawaii has an implied consent law. It establishes that all drivers in the state have, just by the act of acquiring a driver’s license, consented to take a breath, urine, or blood test at the request of a police officer who suspects impaired driving. Failure to comply results in a 1-year license suspension for the first offense, and lengthier suspensions for subsequent refusals.
The more prior convictions you have, the harsher the DUI or OVUII penalties. For a first-time offense, you may face penalties such as at least 72 hours of community service and/or 2 to 5 days imprisonment, license suspension for 90 days to 1 year, mandatory installation of an ignition interlock device, $150 to $1,500 in fines, and surcharges and fees.
Drivers who complete a defensive driving course voluntarily—not in conjunction with a court order or traffic ticket—frequently get a break on their premium from their carrier. Ask your agent if this sort of discount is available to you, and make sure to get a list of State-approved classes that qualify.
Indeed there are. If you’ve followed along over the course of this page, you’ve picked up on numerous incentives and discounts that may be available to you. Keeping a clean driving record and maintaining continuous coverage help, too. Also, if you’re able and willing to pay for a complete coverage term upfront, instead of on a monthly payment plan, you’ll get a slightly lower rate. Reduced premiums are offered in exchange for higher deductibles, as well.
Most importantly, though: Comparison shop for the lowest quotes on auto coverage in Hawaii every time your policy comes up for renewal. It’s the most effective way to lower your car insurance costs without sacrificing quality of coverage.
Uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage are both optional in Hawaii, not required. They offer payment for injuries caused by a driver with no auto insurance, or not enough auto insurance, respectively. Uninsured motorist coverage is also applied in hit-and-run accidents.
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