New Hampshire, home of the license plate declaration “Live Free or Die,” is one of the very few U.S. states that allows its residents to register their vehicles without providing evidence of auto insurance. That is, if your driving record is spotless, with no accidents or DUIs, you can legally drive without insurance.
This doesn’t mean that auto insurance in the Granite State isn’t required. While the state does not require proof of auto insurance when registering a vehicle, it does require that New Hampshirites have the ability to provide satisfactory funds to meet New Hampshire’s Motor Vehicle Financial Responsibility Requirements if involved in a car accident and found to be at fault.
According to New Hampshire law, if you fail to carry auto insurance and are the at-fault driver in an accident, unless you can meet the state’s Financial Responsibility Requirements, you may lose the privilege to drive.
If you have financed your vehicle through a commercial lender or if you lease a vehicle, you are more than likely going to be required by that lender or leaser to carry full coverage including liability, collision and comprehensive, in order for the lender or leaser to protect their investment.
Auto insurance coverage in New Hampshire
While it is legal for eligible residents to drive without insurance, it is hardly wise.
Responsible motorists in the Granite State who do purchase auto insurance are required to purchase an auto insurance policy with the following minimum coverages:
- $25,000 – bodily injury, per person
- $50,000 – bodily injury, per accident
- $25,000 – property damage
Medical Payments Coverage (MPC)
According to New Hampshire statutes, you must also purchase Medical Payments Coverage in the amount of $1,000 minimum, when purchasing an auto insurance policy for personal use.
Uninsured Motorists (UM) Coverage
New Hampshire statutes also state that if you purchase auto insurance, in addition to liability and MPC, you must also carry uninsured motorist coverage. In the Granite State, UM coverage must be equal to your liability limits.
It is important to note that any expenses you incur as a result of an accident that are above the coverages stated in your New Hampshire auto insurance policy will come out of your pocket.
It only makes sense to purchase adequate coverage to protect you and the members of your household who drive, to ensure that you do not place yourself in a financially vulnerable position.
Discuss your needs with your New Hampshire auto insurance or company. If you feel you cannot afford adequate coverage, investigate auto insurance premium costs with a number of New Hampshire licensed agents and companies. Auto insurance rates vary widely. With careful shopping, if you have a good driving record, it is very possible to find affordable auto insurance.
New Hampshire auto insurance FAQ
Q: What if I have had a DUI conviction?
A: In New Hampshire, if you have been cited with DUI, it is mandatory for you to carry SR-22 insurance on your vehicle for a minimum period of 36 months following your DUI. If you receive a second DUI conviction, the required time period to carry SR-22 vehicle insurance coverage.
Q: If I am in an automobile accident, who determines who is at fault?
A: The state of New Hampshire operates under a “comparative negligence” law. According to this law, an amount of negligence may be assigned to one or more drivers involved in a car crash. If you have been found to be fifty percent or less at fault for an accident, you are able to be compensated for damages by the at-fault motorist’s insurer. However, your portion of the negligence, if any has been assigned, will affect your compensation.
The state of New Hampshire Insurance Department suggests that motorists make a claim directly with your insurer in the event that you have adequate auto insurance, which then sets in motion your insurer sorting out the negligence issues with the at-fault motorist’s auto insurance provider.
Q: If a friend borrows my car, will my New Hampshire auto insurance policy cover my friend?
A: As long as you have given your friend permission to use your car, all New Hampshire vehicle liability policies protects what are called “non-owner operators.”
Average annual insurance premium cost
The 2011 the average annual auto insurance premium cost for New Hampshirites is $1,334, which is lower than the national average of $1,561.
New Hampshire Insurance Department
Tel 603-271-2261 or 800-852-3416