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Car Insurance in New Hampshire
New Hampshire Car Insurance
New Hampshire is among a small handful of states that has no mandatory car insurance laws.
State law, however, does require you to pay for costs of bodily injury or property damage resulting from a car accident you caused. The best way to meet this requirement is by purchasing New Hampshire car insurance.
New Hampshire Car Insurance Requirements
Although auto insurance is not mandatory in New Hampshire, most drivers opt to purchase it anyway. New Hampshire's uninsured driver rate is, in fact, lower than the national average.
If you do decide to carry car insurance in New Hampshire, your policy must include:
- Liability coverage.
- Medical payments coverage.
- Uninsured motorist coverage.
Your New Hampshire car insurance policy must include liability coverage, which will help you pay for costs associated with bodily injury or property damage to others resulting from an accident you caused.
Your liability insurance must meet the following minimums:
- $25,000 for bodily injury, per person.
- $50,000 for bodily injury, if multiple people are injured in an accident.
- $25,000 for property damage.
Your policy must also include medical payment coverage to help pay for your own medical costs in case of a car accident.
You must have at least $1,000 in medical payments coverage.
Although New Hampshire has a relatively low rate of uninsured drivers, your insurance policy must include uninsured motorist coverage to help cover your injuries and damage to your property that may result from being in an accident with an uninsured driver (or a driver whose insurance is not sufficient to cover your costs).
Your uninsured motorist coverage must match your liability coverage amounts. See above for the minimum requirements.
If you do decide to purchase car insurance in New Hampshire, there are some types of coverages that are not legally required but will offer you more protection and peace of mind.
You can typically choose from the following optional coverage types:
- Collision – Helps pay for damages to your car resulting from a car accident.
- Comprehensive – Provides coverage for damages to your car resulting from non-accident-related events, such as fire, theft, or vandalism.
- Towing and labor.
- Rental reimbursement.
NOTE: Collision and comprehensive coverages may be required as part of your loan or lease agreement.
Mandatory Insurance Filing (SR-22)
There are some instances where you will be required to have car insurance in New Hampshire.
Insurance filing requirements generally apply to drivers who have been involved in car accidents or have been convicted of serious traffic violations (e.g., DWI).
If you are required to purchase insurance, you will need to file an SR-22 with the DMV through your insurance company.
An SR-22 serves as a guarantee that you will hold New Hampshire car insurance for a set amount of time (typically 3 years).
Your NH driving record will indicate whether or not you need to provide your proof of insurance to the DMV.
If you do not comply with your car insurance filing requirement, you face:
- Suspension and revocation of your driver's license.
- Suspension of your registration privileges.
While New Hampshire does not have a mandatory insurance law, the state does require you to pay for costs of bodily injury or property damage resulting from a car accident you caused. Your driver's license will be suspended until you can show that you can meet the costs of the offending accident.
If you have car insurance that meets New Hampshire's standards, you would already be meeting the state's financial responsibility laws, and the above suspension would not apply to you.
For more information about how you can meet New Hampshire's financial responsibility laws, contact the DMV at (603) 227-4010.
New Hampshire Automobile Insurance Plan
Car insurance companies have the right to turn down coverage to drivers they consider to present an unreasonably high risk, based on driving history.
As a way to help ensure that all eligible drivers have access to car insurance, New Hampshire laws have mandated the formation of the New Hampshire Automobile Insurance Plan.
Under this plan, insurance companies in the state equally share the risks of covering high-risk drivers among each other.
You can apply for the plan through any New Hampshire car insurance company that participates in it. You'll need to certify on an application form that you've tried and failed to obtain auto insurance on the open market after applying through the plan.
Other Car Insurance Issues
Because insurance can be very complicated, the New Hampshire Insurance Department (NHID) has programs to help consumers.
Through the insurance department, you can file complaints against insurance companies and also report suspected insurance fraud.
If you have a dispute with your car insurance company that you are unable to resolve, you may file a complaint with the NHID. The department is primarily responsible for enforcing the state's insurance rules and laws.
You can file your complaint online at the NHID website.
Additionally, you can print out a Consumer Complaint form and submit it:
- By mail to the address on the form.
- By fax at (603) 271-1406.
Insurance companies lose a large amount of money annually due to insurance fraud. Those losses get passed down to you through increases in premium rates.
Car insurance fraud often involves:
- Staging car accidents.
- Exaggerating or falsifying injuries.
- Exaggerating or falsifying property damage.
If you suspect insurance fraud, you can report it to the NHID fraud unit at (800)-852-3416.
Determining Your NH Car Insurance Rates
Several factors go into determining your car insurance rates in New Hampshire.
When getting car insurance quotes, consider that the following will factor into your premium:
- Driving record.
- Credit history.
- Deductibles (your out-of-pocket costs towards a claim).
- The higher your deductibles, the lower your premium.
Car Insurance Discounts
A great way to save on car insurance in New Hampshire is by taking advantage of the various discounts offered by insurance companies.
When comparing auto insurance rates, inquire about the following discounts:
- Good driver.
- Safety device.
- Security device.
- Good student.
- Senior citizen.
While discounts are a good start towards getting low-cost car insurance, the best way to save on car insurance is by following all traffic laws to avoid accidents and maintain a violation-free driving record.
Most Stolen Cars in New Hampshire
If you own a car that is highly targeted for theft, you may have to pay higher than normal car insurance rates.
The following is a list of the most stolen cars in New Hampshire for 2013, according to www.nicb.org:
- Ford Pickup (Full Size).
- Honda Civic.
- Chevrolet Pickup (Full Size).
- Jeep Cherokee/Grand Cherokee.
- Honda Accord.
- Dodge Caravan.
- Ford Focus.
- GMC Pickup (Full Size).
- Toyota Corolla.
- Dodge Pickup (Full Size).
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