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Delaware Auto Insurance [Rates + Cheap Coverage Guide]

Delaware Statistics SummaryDetails
Road Miles6,407
State Population967,171
Most Popular VehicleSilverado 1500
Percentage of Motorists Uninsured11.4%
Rank: 28
Driving DeathsSpeeding (2008-2017): 391
DUI: 119
Average Premiums (Annual)Liability: $799.30
Collision: $318.77
Comprehensive: $122.49
Combined: $1,240.57
Cheapest ProviderUSAA

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Delaware is the second smallest state (in the area) in the United States, but on December 7, 1787, it was the first state to ratify the Constitution of the United States. This event gave Delaware the nickname of “The First State”.

There are only three counties to drive through in Delaware, and while driving through the second smallest state in 2017, Delaware boasted a little over 770,000 drivers on its roads. And as most Delaware drivers will tout, a car is just meant to get you from Point A to Point B.

Interesting fact: in 2014, Delaware drivers drove 14,802 miles. This is a little more than the national average for that year of 13,476 miles.

But the big question: How much is car insurance in Delaware?

The average Delaware resident must pay about $1,300 a year for minimum coverage for auto insurance in Delaware. That’s a lot of dough to be throwing around!

Before you get magically whisked away to Delaware, sit down and skim through everything you need to know about auto insurance laws and more in Delaware.

Get started comparing auto insurance rates and get Delaware auto insurance quotes today. Enter your ZIP code above to get started.

Table of Contents

Delaware Auto Insurance Coverage and Rates

When we’re spending money, we want to make sure it’s going where we want it to go.

Want to know where that $1,300 a year is going, and want to know exactly what you’re paying for?

We are here to help! This guide will break down your seemingly endless policy options, talk about why coverage is important, and be the thesaurus for those terms insurance agents love to throw around.

We aren’t here to push anything on you. We’re just experts on the topic of auto insurance, and we want to help YOU!

Pull up a chair, and be the first to be knowledgeable about auto insurance in the state of Delaware.

Minimum Auto Insurance Requirements in Delaware

Insurance RequiredMinimum Limits: 25/50/10
Bodily Injury Liability$25,000 per person
$50,000 per accident
Personal Injury Liability$10,000

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Explained: Liability auto insurance pays any person owed compensation for property damage and/or injuries that result from a car accident that you/anyone under your policy causes.

Liability coverage takes effect when you, or anyone you’ve given permission to, drives your vehicle. Sometimes, this extends to rental cars as well.

Broken Down: The law in Delaware requires law requires this as minimum liability coverage:

  • $25,000 for injury or death per person.
  • $50,000 for injury or death per accident.
  • $10,000 for property damage liability per accident.

Remember: This is the minimum coverage you must carry if you want to drive in Delaware.

The costs of these minimum coverages vary from state to state.

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Automobile accidents that involve death do happen, and when you are at fault in a car accident, you alone will be held financially responsible.

Delaware is an at-fault state. This means if you are involved in an accident and it is your fault, you are ponying up the dough.

Delaware is a state that also requires you to have Personal Injury Protection, which is known as “no-fault auto insurance”.

PIP pays for your medical costs no matter who caused the accident. Here are the minimum limits you must carry:

  • $15,000 for bodily injury to one person.
  • $30,000 for bodily injury to more than one person.

PIP also pays up to $5,000 for any needed funeral expenses.

Don’t risk driving without insurance, because the fines for driving without insurance in Delaware are pretty steep. If you think the yearly fee for insurance in Delaware is a lot, wait till you get a load of the fines you’ll pay if you’re caught driving without insurance!

Required Forms of Financial Responsibility in Delaware

Insurance must be in effect at all times in the state of Delaware. The Delaware Motor Vehicle Safety Responsibility law states that any vehicle used on public roads must be insured with liability coverage from a company licensed by the Delaware Insurance Commissioner.

If you are caught driving without insurance in Delaware, the first offense carries a $1,500 fine, and subsequent offenses carry a $3,000 fine. You could also lose your license for up to six months.

For your vehicle, The Delaware Department of Motor Vehicles states that you must have proof of insurance and financial responsibility at all times. You must show proof of insurance when you:

  • Are asked for it by a police officer.
  • Get into a car accident.
  • Register or renew your car’s registration.
  • Apply or renew your driver’s license.
  • Have your auto inspected

Here are some of the acceptable Forms of Financial Responsibility:

  1. Proof-of-insurance card.
  2. A written statement stating your vehicle carries a liability insurance policy.
  3. Surety bond.
  4. $40,000 in cash or securities.

Delaware can perform random audits on vehicles that don’t have insurance. If you do not respond to the audit, your registration and license can be taken away.

As of June 25, 2014, Delaware law enforcement can also accept Electronic Proof of Insurance:

Delaware law enforcement officials accept proof of auto insurance (insurance ID card) in physical or electronic format. House Bill 258 w/HA 1 states that law enforcement will now accept electronic proof of insurance on “a cellular phone or any type of portable electronic device.”

The Delaware Department of Insurance also wants to let you know this as a Delaware driver:

“While this bill (House Bill 258) made it easier for drivers in Delaware to prove that they have the proper insurance coverage, we recommend that drivers continue to keep a current physical
copy of their insurance ID card in their vehicle at all times. Now let’s take a look at how much Delaware residents are making versus how much they’re spending on auto insurance.”

Premiums as Percentage of Income in Delaware

In 2017, the annual disposable personal income in Delaware stood at about $40,256.

Clarification: disposable personal income (DPI) is the total amount of money available for an individual to spend (or save) after all taxes are paid.

If you are curious, you can use this handy calculator to find your DPI:


Annual minimum coverage auto insurance in Delaware costs about $1,300 a year, which is 3 percent of the average DPI.

The average Delaware resident has about $3,400 each month to spend on the necessities. The auto insurance bill alone will deduct about $100 a month out of that — and much more for anything over the minimum coverage and/or with a less-than-perfect driving record.

Now, you may be wondering: how does that factor into rates? Keep on reading…

Average Monthly Auto Insurance Rates in DW (Liability, Collision, Comprehensive)

Coverage TypeAnnual Costs (2015)
Combined $1,240.57

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The above table and chart provides the most recent data provided by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners. Rates in Delaware will be higher in 2019, and in the coming years. 

Don’t forget: Delaware has minimum requirements for liability coverage, with coverage amounts starting at 25/50/10.

Let’s go over some of the popular auto insurance coverage options to add to a minimum auto insurance policy.

Additional Liability Coverage in Delaware

Loss Ratio201220132014
Personal Injury Protection (PIP)77%77%72%
Medical Payments (Med Pay)128%86%176%
Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist67%63%72%

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Interesting fact: Personal Injury Protection (PIP) is required in the state of Delaware. Delaware law does not require you to have coverage such as collision and comprehensive, but it may still be important to have. How come? Sometimes, as part of your car’s finance or lease agreement, you must have those two coverages.

In 2015, 11.4 percent of motorists in Delaware were uninsured. If you’re caught without insurance, remember those fines!

This may come as a surprise: Delaware is ranked 28th in the nation for having a high percentage of uninsured motorists.

When it comes to loss ratios in the state of Delaware, you may notice Med Pay loss ratios are over 100 percent in certain instances? Why you may ask?

It might relate to health insurance and the Affordable Care Act. In an article by Politifact, higher-than-expected medical loss ratios mean “new benefits likely resulted in an increase in the number of claims filed with insurers and thus an increase in costs requiring an increase in premiums”.

Broken down: More claims are filed, which means insurers have to pay out more money, which in turn results in high loss ratios and insurers have to hike up the costs.

Add-ons, Endorsements, and Riders in Delaware

If you’re like anybody looking for a deal, getting the most affordable auto insurance rates is your main goal. Learn more here: where can I compare several affordable auto insurance rates.

Good news: there are lots of bargain extras you can add to your policy.

Just take a look at the list of the useful extras that are available to you in Delaware:

  • Guaranteed Auto Protection (GAP)
  • Personal Umbrella Policy (PUP)
  • Rental Reimbursement
  • Emergency Roadside Assistance
  • Mechanical Breakdown Insurance
  • Non-Owner Auto Insurance
  • Modified Auto Insurance Coverage
  • Classic Auto Insurance

If you cannot afford auto insurance, read below to find out how you can afford it!

Delaware Automobile Insurance Plan (DAIP)

The Delaware Automobile Insurance Plan (DAIP), helps provide insurance “for those people who can not obtain insurance through the voluntary market. In this capacity, the DAIP ensures that these applicants are shared equitably among all insurers licensed to write auto insurance in the state of Delaware”.

And while the DAIP helps you if you are having trouble finding auto insurance, what might not sound so attractive are the unfair prices in terms of auto insurance.

Average Auto Insurance Rates by Age & Gender in DW

Popular myth: men pay more for auto insurance.

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This myth doesn’t seem to hold true in Delaware unless you are in the 17-25-year-old age bracket.

Knowing what companies offer the best rates will help to lessen the strain on your wallet…and your life.

Delaware Auto Insurance Rates by ZIP Code

Like all states, insurance rates vary across Delaware. Let’s take a look at how the rates change based on ZIP code:

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ZIP CodeAnnual Average

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Delaware Auto Insurance Rates by City

This table shows the least and most expensive rates, by the city. Bethany Beach dwellers have the lowest annual rates, while Wilmington people have the worst luck when it comes to high annual rates, depending on the ZIP code.

CityAnnual Average
DOVER AFB$5,356.71
NEW CASTLE$7,378.97
OCEAN VIEW$4,954.07
PORT PENN$7,329.63

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Okay now that you have all that background information on auto insurance requirements and rates in your state, let’s find out which insurance providers in Delaware have the best — and worst — ratings and reviews.

Read on to find out the true reputation of the insurance provider who would be lucky to have your business.

Delaware Auto Insurance Companies

There are auto insurance providers as far as the eye can see, and it may be confusing or stressful to try and choose one. Who can you trust? Let us help you figure it out.

The General Car Inusrance offers plans in Delaware, and there are many other top insurance companies that over coverage in the First State including:

  • Nationwide Insurance
  • Root Insurance
  • Progressive Auto Insurance

Read on to find out who the best auto insurance companies are (and why) across The First State.

Ratings! How Delaware Auto Insurance Companies Compare

Let’s dive right in and begin with their financial strength.

The 10 Largest Delaware Auto Insurance Companies’ Financial Ratings

CompanyFinancial Rating
Allstate Insurance GroupA+
CSAA Insurance GroupA
Hartford Fire & Casualty GroupA+
Liberty Mutual GroupA
Nationwide Corp GroupA+
Progressive GroupA+
State Farm GroupA++
Travelers GroupA++
USAA GroupA++

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What’s just as important as how financially secure they are? How they treat YOU, the customer! Let’s see what the auto insurance customers in Delaware have to say.

Delaware’s Auto Insurance Companies with the BEST Customer Ratings

A grand total of 854 out of 1,000 possible points puts the Erie Insurance company as the best auto insurance provider in Delaware to win J.D. Power’s 2018 Study.

“Customer satisfaction breeds loyalty.” — J.D. Power Business Consultant

Residents of Delaware ranked Geico as being “better than most”.

It’s good to know the positives, but it’s also good to know the negatives, and when customers are unhappy.

A bad review every once in a while? You can’t please everyone. Multiple bad reviews? Start paying attention!

Delaware’s Auto Insurance Companies with the MOST Customer Complaints

CompanyNumber of Complaints
Liberty Mutual222
State Farm1,482

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With 129 complaints in 2017 alone, State Farm is not high in the thoughts of the people of Delaware.

Delaware’s Auto Insurance Rates by Company

Allstate P&C$6,316.07
Geico Advantage$3,727.29
Liberty Mut Fire Ins Co$18,360.01
Nationwide Mutual$4,330.21
Progressive Direct$4,181.83
State Farm Mutual Auto$4,466.85
Travelers Home & Marine Ins Co$4,182.36

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Liberty Mutual has one of the most expensive annual rates. In this case, the cost may be related to overall customer satisfaction.

Be assured in knowing that the state of Delaware has your back if you have any questions about insurance. Go to the Consumer Services Division of the Delaware Department of Insurance to learn more.

Coverage Rates in Delaware by Company

GroupCoverage TypeAnnual Average
Liberty MutualHigh$19,461.69
Liberty MutualMedium$18,149.05
Liberty MutualLow$17,469.29
State FarmHigh$4,756.42
State FarmMedium$4,477.15
State FarmLow$4,166.98

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Liberty Mutual is the company with the highest coverage rates, regardless of the level of coverage. USAA has the lowest coverage rates, regardless of the level of coverage.

Commute Rates in Delaware by Company

If you are a commuter, the length of your drive will have an impact on your insurance rate. Here’s some data on what that impact may be:

GroupCommute (in miles)Annual MileageAnnual Average
Liberty Mutual10 6000$17,851.76
Liberty Mutual2512,000$18,868.27
State Farm106000$4,314.22
State Farm2512,000$4,619.47
USAA10 6000$2,301.33

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Liberty Mutual tops a lot of the lists as being the most expensive, and this list is no exception. It is up to you, as the consumer, to decide if expensive means the same to you as quality.

Commute times aren’t everything though! Take a look at some of the other factors that affect your rates.

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Credit History Rates in Delaware by Company

Your credit history is another factor that insurance companies look at when setting rates. The better your credit, the less you are likely to pay.

GroupCredit HistoryAnnual Average
Liberty MutualGood$13,495.40
Liberty MutualFair$16,738.18
Liberty MutualPoor$24,846.46
State FarmGood$2,796.45
State FarmFair$3,767.83
State FarmPoor$6,836.26

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USAA offers the best rates if you have good credit.

Driving Record Rates in Delaware by Company

How is your driving record? Any offenses you may have had could drive up the cost of your insurance.

GroupDriving RecordAnnual Average
AllstateClean record$5,339.71
AllstateWith 1 accident$6,398.38
AllstateWith 1 DUI$7,464.16
AllstateWith 1 speeding violation$6,062.01
GeicoClean record$2,859.02
GeicoWith 1 accident$3,960.12
GeicoWith 1 DUI$4,842.11
GeicoWith 1 speeding violation$3,247.89
Liberty MutualClean record$14,685.04
Liberty MutualWith 1 accident$16,885.42
Liberty MutualWith 1 DUI$26,825.11
Liberty MutualWith 1 speeding violation$15,044.50
NationwideClean record$3,454.89
NationwideWith 1 accident$3,454.89
NationwideWith 1 DUI$6,329.52
NationwideWith 1 speeding violation$4,081.55
ProgressiveClean record$3,602.97
ProgressiveWith 1 accident$4,773.89
ProgressiveWith 1 DUI$4,103.13
ProgressiveWith 1 speeding violation$4,247.32
State FarmClean record$4,048.67
State FarmWith 1 accident$4,885.02
State FarmWith 1 DUI$4,466.85
State FarmWith 1 speeding violation$4,466.85
TravelersClean record$3,563.54
TravelersWith 1 accident$3,573.78
TravelersWith 1 DUI$5,847.26
TravelersWith 1 speeding violation$3,744.85
USAAClean record$1,916.79
USAAWith 1 accident$1,916.79
USAAWith 1 DUI$3,280.40
USAAWith 1 speeding violation$2,189.94

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The 10 Largest Auto Insurance Companies in Delaware

Let’s take a look at the largest insurers in Delaware:

CompanyDirect Premiums WrittenMarket Share
Liberty Mutual$65,8877.71%
State Farm$208,11324.36%

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Remember, when it comes to loss ratio, you are looking for companies with a higher pay loss ratio. Geico and USAA hold the spots on the list as the companies with the highest loss ratios.

Number of Insurers in Delaware

Delaware has a great number of providers to choose from! Domestically, Delaware has 101 providers, whereas when it comes to foreign providers, there are 766! 

Now that you’re an expert on auto insurance in Delaware, let’s get you up to speed on the laws!

Laws in Delaware

In order to keep your auto insurance rates low, you must follow the law. And pleading ignorance on anything involving the law won’t work anywhere in Delaware

Pleading ignorance also won’t get you out of a fine for breaking the law!

Well saddle on up and let’s get going! Let’s take a look at the laws in Delaware and commit them to memory.

Delaware’s Auto Insurance Laws

Okay, there are a lot of laws to know and commit to memory. But, bear with me! They are important, as they keep dangerous drivers off the road and hold the insurance providers accountable.

This means that it’s good for you as a safe and responsible Delaware driver.

How Delaware’s Insurance Rates and Laws are Determined

The Delaware Department of Insurance has several factors that help determine rates:

  • Age.
  • Type of vehicle.
  • Driving record.
  • Discounts.
  • Amount of coverage.
  • Deductible amount.
  • Usage of the vehicle.
  • Where you live.
  • Your credit score.

According to Delaware law, “companies can only take your credit score into consideration when you are applying for a new policy, except upon the request of the insured”.

The Delaware Department of Insurance has a Rates/Forms Division that is “responsible for reviewing and regulating insurance contracts and rate filings”. Each filing is reviewed “in order to determine compliance with applicable actuarial standards, statutory provisions, and regulations. Of most importance is assuring that the rates are not inadequate, excessive or unfairly discriminatory.”

High-Risk Insurance in Delaware

In Delaware, a high-risk driver must apply through the Delaware Auto Insurance Plan (DAIP).

The DAIP has been around since 1947. It was created to ensure insurance coverage for drivers in the First State who can’t find insurance. You will indeed get coverage through this plan, but you will not be able to choose your provider. This and the fact that the DAIP’s premiums are at a higher price than normal is the reason that the DAIP is recommended as a last resort for Delaware drivers.

Why might you, as a Delaware driver, need to go through the DAIP for insurance?:

  • If you’ve been involved in multiple accidents.
  • If you’ve received multiple tickets for moving violations.
  • If you had an accident involving involuntary manslaughter.
  • If you’ve received a DUI.
  • If you are a criminally negligent driver.
  • If you drive without a license or with a suspended license.

The above events are just a sampling of reasons a motorist would be required to carry this more expensive, high-risk insurance as proof of their liability in Delaware. You will have to carry this coverage for at least three years.

The eligibility is simple:

  • You are licensed in Delaware.
  • You have tried and failed to obtain insurance coverage within the past 60 days.
  • Insurance premiums from other customers are higher than what DAIP quotes you.

Low-Cost or Low-Income Car Insurance in Delaware

There are no special programs for low-cost auto insurance in Delaware, so it is your responsibility to shop around for the best rates!

Delaware’s Windshield and Glass Repair Laws

There are no specific laws when it comes to windshields and the repair of windshields in Delaware. Insurance companies may offer this with comprehensive coverage, however.

According to Car Windshields Info, “You can choose where the repair is done (but may have to pay the difference in price). Aftermarket or used parts can be used in a repair, but you can insist on OEM parts (if you pay the difference).”

Automobile Insurance Fraud in Delaware

Delaware takes auto insurance fraud very seriously, and it is considered a crime.
Interesting fact: Insurance fraud is one of the most costly white-collar crimes in America, ranking second to tax evasion.

Don’t risk it. In 2018, a couple was arrested for $100,000 in insurance fraud.

There are two types of common insurance fraud in Delaware: application fraud, and filing false claims.

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Delaware’s Laws Against Insurance Fraud

Everyone pays for insurance fraud:

The National Insurance Crime Bureau estimates that property and casualty based insurance fraud cost Americans $30 billion per year…the average household pays an additional $200 to $300 in insurance premiums every year to offset the cost of fraud. The ‘hidden fraud tax’ paid in the form of higher prices for goods and services, may increase the cost to $1,000 per year, per family.

Here are several ways the state of Delaware works to fight fraud and protect insurance customers:

  1. Delaware law states that insurance fraud is a crime.
  2. Delaware has established a fraud unit, and where you can report cases online.

In addition, Delaware Code Title 18, Chapter 24, states what they consider the different types of insurance fraud and the ways that they help protect consumers.

Only in Delaware

There are unusual laws on the books in every state. If you happen to be stopping in Rehoboth Beach be aware that under Local Ordinance 198-14 it is illegal to change your clothes or dress in your car. You will face a fine if you get caught.

Delaware’s Vehicle Licensing Laws

Are you frustrated with how expensive auto insurance in Delaware is? You aren’t alone!

But let’s face it, it’s better to pay for the coverage than to break the law and drive without auto insurance.

It’s not worth it drive without insurance. Why?

Because the fines are seriously steep!

The fines amount to:

  • $1,500 for the first offense.
  • $3,000 for subsequent offenses.
  • Six-month suspension of driving privileges.

Teen Driver Laws in Delaware

Driving is a privilege — don’t lose it!

Delaware has strict restrictions when it comes to teen drivers in Delaware.

In the state of Delaware, teens can get a learner’s permit, at the age of 16.

A teenager might think that they are home free once they get a license, but there are certain restrictions:

  • Have to have 50 hours of supervised driving time, 10 of which must be at night.
  • Have to have a minimum age of 16 years and 6 months.
  • Cannot drive from 10 p.m.–6 a.m.
  • Cannot have more than one passenger of any age.
  • Cannot use a cell phone or text while driving.

The leash will be loosened eventually: any restrictions listed above (with the exception of the cell phone/texting ban) expire at the age of 17.

License Renewal Procedures and Older Drivers in Delaware

Did you know? No matter how old you are, every driver in Delaware must get their license renewed every eight years.

Delaware is unique that it doesn’t matter how old you are, license renewal takes place every eight years.

In addition:

  1. You cannot renew through online or mail, no matter your age (this changed in 2018 with the passing of House Bill 146).
  2. You must provide proof of adequate vision with every renewal, no matter your age.

These procedures are a small price to pay for the freedom and mobility of driving a vehicle!

New Residents of Delaware

Very Important! You have 60 days from the time you move to Delaware to register your vehicle.

If you move to Delaware from another state, here are the steps for what you must do to register your vehicle and update your license.

Driving Record Points in Delaware

Racking up the points is good if you’re trying to win a game. They’re not so good when you’re talking about your driving record.

Because Delaware wants you to be a responsible driver, they also want to inform you in a timely manner of the actions taken when you reach a certain amount of points on your driving record. This chart is from the Department of Motor Vehicles of Delaware site:

Calculated PointsAction Item
8The Division of Motor Vehicles sends the driver an advisory letter.
12Driver must complete a behavior modification/attitudinal-driving course within 90 days after notification (unless extended by DMV). Failure to comply or upon preference of the driver, mandatory 2-month suspension will be imposed.
14Mandatory 4-month license suspension. To become eligible for reinstatement, the driver must complete or have completed a behavior modification/attitudinal driving course within the previous two years, as of the time of reinstatement.
16Mandatory 6-month license suspension. To become eligible for reinstatement, the driver must complete or have completed a behavioral modification/attitudinal-driving course within the previous two years, as of the time of reinstatement.
18Mandatory 8-month license suspension. To become eligible for reinstatement, the driver must complete or have completed a behavior modification/attitudinal driving course within the previous two years, as of the time of reinstatement.
20Mandatory 10-month license suspension. To become eligible for reinstatement, he driver must complete or have completed a behavior modification/attitudinal driving course within the previous two years, as of the time of reinstatement.
22Mandatory 12-month license suspension. To become eligible for reinstatement, the driver must complete or have completed a behavior modification/attitudinal driving course within the previous two years, as of the time of reinstatement.

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Delaware Rules of the Road

After reading through all of the violations, the penalties for a drunk driving conviction in Delaware, and the ways you can quickly pile on the points, don’t you want to do all you can to stay above the law?

We’re here to help!! Scroll down to quickly learn the must-know laws in Delaware that every driver needs to follow or else they’ll pay — in more ways than one.

Fault vs No-Fault

Delaware is a “Fault State” in regards to auto insurance. But what does this mean??

When a car accident occurs in Delaware, one of the drivers will be found to be at-fault by the police. The at-fault driver will have to pay for medical expenses, damages, and all other costs caused by the collision.

The liability limits are as follows:

  • $25,000 for injury or death per person.
  • $50,000 for injury or death per accident.
  • $10,000 for property damage liability per accident.

Keep in mind: This is just the bare minimum of coverage required in Delaware!

Speed Limits in Delaware

Delaware has the following speeds you must keep in mind:

  • 65 mph on rural interstates.
  • 55 mph on urban interstates
  • 65 mph on limited-access roads.
  • 55 mph on all other roads.

Be careful when it comes to speeding violations in Delaware. With serious ones, according to the Delaware DMV, these steps will be taken:

  1. Advisory letter sent to the driver when convicted for speeding 20-24 MPH over the posted speed limit.
  2. The driver will be suspended for one (1) month when convicted of driving 25 MPH over the posted speed limit. The length of the suspension will increase by one month for each additional 5 MPH over the initial 25-MPH threshold. The driver may elect to attend the behavior modification/attitudinal-driving course in lieu of license suspension when driving 25-29 MPH over the posted limit. For speeding 30 MPH over the posted limit or more, the suspension is mandatory.
  3. One-year suspension when convicted of driving 50 MPH or more over the posted speed limit or driving 100 MPH on a highway.

Seat Belt and Car Seat Laws in Delaware

Since January 1, 1992, seat belt rules in Delaware have been primary laws, meaning that police officers can pull over drivers if anyone in the car appears to be breaking the restraint requirements. When it’s a secondary law, officers need another, bigger reason to pull the driver over.

That’s not all! When it comes to riding in the cargo area of a truck, Delaware has no specific state law.

When it comes to children, Delaware residents MUST put their child in a car seat if they are 7 years and younger and less than 66 pounds. There is a preference for the rear seat for children 11 years and younger. 65 inches or less also must be in the rear seat if the passenger airbag is active.

Ridesharing in Delaware

Delaware has a special state commuter service known as Rideshare Delaware, a part of the DART First State initiative.

According to their website: “We work with employers, employees, colleges, and students to improve air quality and reduce traffic congestion by championing clean commutes, including:

  • Transit.
  • Carpooling and vanpooling.
  • Walking.
  • Biking.
  • Teleworking.
  • Compressed workweeks.”

Automation on the Roads in Delaware

There are no specific laws related to automated vehicles in the state of Delaware. However, in 2017, Delaware governor John Carney established an Advisory Council to develop recommendations to innovative tools and strategies to prepare Delaware’s transportation network for Connected and Automated Vehicles, or CAVs.

Keep Right and Move Over Laws in Delaware

Delaware Code Chapter 41 states:
Upon all roadways any vehicle proceeding at less than the normal speed of traffic at the time and place and under the conditions then existing shall be driven in the right-hand lane then available for traffic, or as close as practicable to the right-hand curb or edge of the roadway, except when overtaking and passing another vehicle proceeding in the same direction or when preparing for a left turn at an intersection or into a private road or driveway.

In other words, keep right if driving slower than the average speed of traffic around you.

Delaware’s Laws Against Driving Impaired

Delaware comes in at number 32 for states with the drunkest driving incidents. And in 2017, Delaware had 37 alcohol-impaired driving fatalities. This number, fortunately, is low.

And in 2017, no teens under 18 were arrested for Driving Under the Influence!

Something else you need to know: what the heck is a look-back period?: the look-back or washout period is the amount of time an offense remains on your record.

In regards to a DUI, Delaware is one of about a dozen states where if you are caught Driving Under the Influence, it is on your record for the rest of your life. Ignition interlocks are mandatory for all offenders.

So think about whether it’s worth it to get in a car in Delaware if you are intoxicated.

Now, how about marijuana? Surely that’s safer than alcohol, right?

Don’t even think about it. Possession of marijuana and its use is illegal in the state of Delaware.

Distracted Driving Laws in Delaware

Crash data proves that driving distracted can be just as deadly as driving impaired.

And Delaware takes distracted driving VERY seriously, as it has the second-highest rate of vehicle deaths tied to distracted driving. Its hands-free cell phone law has been in effect since 2011, and it is the 30th state in the nation to have a texting ban, and the 8th to also ban the use of hand-held cell phones while driving.

According to the Office of Highway Safety in Delaware:

All drivers [are banned] from using hand held smart phones, cell phones, tablets, laptops, games or other portable computers while driving. Drivers are not allowed to talk without using a hands-free device, read, write or send text messages, email or use the Internet while operating a motor vehicle. Drivers caught using a hand-held device will be fined $100 for their first offense. Subsequent offenses will be no less than $200 and no more than $300.

Delaware Can’t-Miss Facts

We have given you quite a bit of information in this Delaware Auto Insurance Guide so far. Skimming through the above guide would allow you to have a good understanding of the laws surrounding auto insurance in The First State.

So you know how auto insurance works and the laws governing drivers, but do you know the risks involved with driving and owning a car in Delaware?

As much as we want you to have insurance for when things go wrong, it’s more important to us that you know how to avoid having things go wrong in the first place.

The section below will give you quick, clear facts to help you know what dangers to look out for as a responsible car owner and operator in Delaware.

Vehicle Theft in Delaware

What car do you drive? Check out these stolen vehicles totals for 2015:

CarYearNumber Stolen
Honda Civic200053
Honda Accord200443
Chevrolet Pickup (Full Size)200536
Ford Pickup (Full Size)199931
Chevrolet Impala200728
Nissan Altima200623
Honda CR-V200123
Ford Taurus200222
Toyota Corolla201021
Toyota Camry201220

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Seems like Delaware thieves love Hondas, as they take the top two spots for the most stolen vehicles.

Most people think this stuff doesn’t happen where they live . . . hate to break it to you, but it does.

Here are the totals provided by the FBI for 2013:

Top Ten Cities in Delaware With Most Vehicle TheftsNumber of Stolen Vehicles
Rehoboth Beach7

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It is no surprise that Wilmington takes the top spot, as it is the most populated city in Delaware, with a population of 72,846.

Delaware’s Deadly Car Crash Statistics

Let’s dive right into an alarming 10-Year Trend of Deaths resulting from car crashes on Delaware roadways.

Road Types2008200920102011201220132014201520162017
Rural 74686558575164626961

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Rural roadways tend to have the most incidents of traffic deaths than urban roadways over the course of 10 years in Delaware.

Big Question: “Where are these deadly crashes happening?”

Here is a five-year trend for the three counties in Delaware about car crashes resulting in deaths:


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Okay, we have covered the WHERE, now let’s move on to WHO.

What were these people doing when they were killed? Walking, riding a bike, travelling by car (and what type?), driving a motorcycle?

Here’s a five-year trend for Delaware traffic deaths by who exactly was killed:

Person Type20132014201520162017
Passenger Car3045504244
Pickup Truck69588
Utility Truck1013111414
Large Truck24210
Bicyclist and Other Cyclists13225

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Now let’s answer another big question: “What types of crashes are killing all these people in Delaware?”

Check out this very telling five-year trend for Delaware’s traffic fatalities:

Delaware Traffic Deaths by Crash Type20132014201520162017
Single Vehicle Crash5167717162
Large Truck Involved101212914
Speeding Involved3745353933
Rollover Involved1323162013
Roadway Departure Involved3963485747
Involving an Intersection2526363739
State Total 99124131119119

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Look below to see where specifically in Delaware speeding is the biggest problem.

New Castle1327181216

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Even though the number of deaths involving speeding might seem low, it’s still no excuse to speed. Shaving a few minutes off of your commute isn’t worth killing someone! 

See for yourself. Compare the speeding death counts above with the drunk driving death counts below.

Drunk Driving Deaths in Delaware

As John R. Garey, a Delaware lawyer, talks about in this video, driving under the influence is definitely not worth it.

It can result in injury of yourself — and others — and even death.

But good news! Drunk driving deaths in Delaware have been on a steady downward trend since 2006. Why, might you ask? The state of Delaware has taken steps to reduce the number of drunk driving crashes and deaths by instituting a greater number of DUI checkpoints across the state.

And in 2018, Delaware lawmakers introduced a bill that would lower the legal blood-alcohol threshold from .08 to .05.

However, even with all these instituted, deaths caused by drunk drivers still happen in Delaware, as this chart shows:

New Castle1623191615

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Though this chart does not show the age of the drivers, it seems that Delaware is taking steps to reduce the number of not just adult drunk drivers, but teen drunk drivers as well, as the stats below indicate.

Here’s some Under Age Drunk Driving stats for Delaware in 2016:

  • Under 18 DUI Arrests: 0
  • Under 18 DUI Arrest Rate: 0 percent
  • Under 21 Drunk Driving Death Rate: 1.7

Note: The above drunk driving arrest rate is for every 100k residents under the age of 18, while the death rate listed is per 100k Delaware residents of all ages.

EMS Response Time in Delaware

Let’s see how fast Delaware’s Emergency Medical Services are to arrive on the scene of an accident, or how fast they’d get to your home.

If you’re hurt in a car accident, the state is well equipped with medical teams to help!

LocationTime of Crash
to EMS Notification
EMS Notification
to EMS Arrival
EMS Arrival at
Scene to
Hospital Arrival
Time of Crash
to Hospital Arrival
Rural3 minutes7 minutes39 minutes48 minutes
Urban2 minutes4 minutes20 minutes27 minutes

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Both rural and urban areas fare well in response time, as it takes seven minutes for rural areas and four minutes for urban areas. In a rural area, it can take 48 minutes to get you to the nearest hospital — this is cut nearly in half in an urban area, as it takes about 27 minutes.

The average EMS response times in Delaware listed above were provided by the NHTSA for urban fatal car crashes in 2016.

Delaware Transportation

Car Ownership

So, how many cars does the average Delaware resident own?
Interesting fact: In Delaware, an overwhelming amount of people have two cars gracing their driveways.

In 2016, over 20 percent of Delaware households had one car, 42.6 percent had two, and 21 percent had three. Check out this four-year trend comparing Delaware to the U.S. average:

Commute Time

Employees in Delaware find that it doesn’t take them too much time to get to work.

The average commute time for Delaware is 25 minutes, and only 2.5 percent of the Delaware workforce report has “super-commutes” of 90 minutes or more.

Interesting fact: About nine percent of the Delaware workforce have super-commutes, and a little over 21,000 Delaware residents have commutes that span all three counties.

Commuter Transportation

On the topic of commutes, most Delaware residents seem to like to go at it alone:

81 percent of Delaware residents put themselves first and drive to work alone.

While we are on the topic of traffic, let’s look at what parts of Delaware have it the worst.

Traffic Congestion in Delaware

While Delaware is a state that ranks seventh in the United States for overall general economic opportunity and is a state that is third in holding the most IT jobs, traffic does not seem to be an issue in Delaware, according to research.

Some Delaware residents beg to differ.

In Sussex County, tourism has increased, and with it, so has traffic congestion and issues. Other residents tout issues such as population growth, beach season (especially around Rehoboth Beach, a popular summer destination), and the government not willing to listen to the Delaware citizens regarding solutions. Some even blamed the Pope.

Delaware residents love the convenience the roads offer, and love tourists, but hate traffic jams.

Don’t wait a minute longer to protect what’s most important — start comparing DE auto insurance quotes today


  1. https://www.dmv.de.gov/
  2. https://insurance.delaware.gov/wp-content/uploads/sites/15/2018/03/Auto-Insurance-Guide-2018.pdf
  3. https://www.aipso.com/Plan-Sites/Delaware
  4. https://insurance.delaware.gov/divisions/consumerhp/
  5. https://delcode.delaware.gov/title18/c024/index.shtml
  6. https://ohs.delaware.gov/distracted.shtml

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