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The insurance cost of driving drunk in Delaware

The average annual auto insurance rate in Delaware is $1586, which is above the national average by $90. Delaware is the 16th most expensive state to buy auto insurance in the United States. Delaware, like most other states, has strict driving under the influence (DUI) laws to discourage inebriated driving. In Delaware, DUI convictions are not expunged, and stay on your record permanently. If you are being sentenced for another alcohol-related offense your first will be counted against you, however long ago it may have occurred.

Your insurance carrier will also increase your premium for a minimum of three years. Auto insurance rates range between $1384 and $2127 in Delaware. The table below shows the increase in insurance rates after a DUI conviction.

City/State Zip code Average Annual Insurance Rate ($) Average Annual Insurance Rate after a DUI Conviction ($)
Bethany Beach 19930 1,384 2,574
Rehoboth Beach 19971 1,409 2,621
Lewes 19958 1,409 2,621
Seaford 19973 1,409 2,621
Dewey Beach 19971 1,409 2,621
Dover 19901 1,462 2,719
Delaware 19706 1,586 2,950
Middletown 19709 1,594 2,965
Newark 19702 1,924 3,579
New Castle 19720 1,971 3,666
Wilmington 19801 2,127 3,956

A DUI conviction, thus, is one of the worst things on your record. Other traffic violations such as speeding tickets do not have similar long term effects on your insurance rates. Accidents, too, do not increase your premium as much as DUI convictions. In Wilmington, for example, an accident on your record in the past three years would increase your premium to $2620 from $2127, but a DUI conviction would increase your premium to a whopping $3956. Accidents may be forgiven by your insurance company, if it was a minor accident that was not caused by you. However, DUIs are never forgiven by insurance companies, and no excuses are accepted. Insurance rates remain high for at least three years after the first DUI conviction, and insurance carriers may refuse to cover you in case of subsequent convictions.

Insuring your car after an accident in Delaware

The average annual insurance rate in Delaware is $90 above the national average annual insurance rate. With an annual average insurance rate of $1586, Delaware is the 16th most expensive state to buy auto insurance.

Accidents on your driving record usually lead to an increase in your insurance rates. In Delaware, your insurance premium would increase to $1953 per year if you have one accident on your driving record. With two accidents on your record, you stand to pay an increased premium rate of $2914.

Average auto insurance rates range between $1384 and $2127 in Delaware. In Bethany Beach, the most affordable auto insurance zip code in the state, average insurance rates would increase from $1384 to $1705 after one accident and to $2543 after two accidents on your driving record.

In Wilmington, the average insurance rate is the highest in Delaware, at $2127. In this city, if you were involved in an accident in the past three years, your insurance rates would be increased to an amount between $2659 and $3191.

In addition to the above increases, most insurance companies follow the Insurance Services Office’s (ISO) surcharge schedule. The increases in insurance rates according to this schedule have been listed in the table below.

City/ State Zip code Average Annual Insurance Rate ($) Increased Insurance Rate for Multi-car Policy ($) Increased Insurance Rate for Single-car Policy ($)
Bethany Beach 19930 1,384 1,661 1,938
Rehoboth Beach 19971 1,409 1,691 1,973
Lewes 19958 1,409 1,691 1,973
Seaford 19973 1,409 1,691 1,973
Dewey Beach 19971 1,409 1,691 1,973
Dover 19901 1,462 1,754 2,047
Delaware 19706 1,586 1,903 2,220
Middletown 19709 1,594 1,913 2,232
Newark 19702 1,924 2,309 2,694
New Castle 19720 1,971 2,365 2,759
Wilmington 19801 2,127 2,552 2,978

Insuring your car after an accident can be very expensive. In the worst cases, your insurer might drop you from coverage altogether. You will have to buy insurance from another carrier. One of the best ways to lower insurance costs is to take a defensive driving course. Though the difference it makes to your insurance rates is only marginal, it helps make you a better driver and prevent accidents.

Drastic increase in insurance expenditure in Delaware between 1989 and 2010

The average expenditure on auto insurance in Delaware went up from $574.04 to $1030.98 in the 21 years from 1989 to 2010. That rise of 79.6 percent is among the highest increases in the country. In contrast, the countrywide average went up by 43.3 percent. Given that auto insurance in Delaware was already more than the countrywide average ($551.95 in 1989) this high growth rate has only widened the gap. In fact, Delaware went from being the 15th most expensive state for auto insurance to the 6th most expensive.

The Consumer Federation of America found that states that had stronger insurance regulation achieved greater success in keeping rates low. For instance, states that had a Prior Approval (PA) system (where insurers are required to file premium rates changes for the state to approve before they could be implemented in the market) had the most success in keeping rates in check. Delaware employs a File and Use system which compels insurers to file premium rates changes before implementing but there is no requirement for approval. States that employed a File and Use system had an average increase in expenditure of 60.4 percent in insurance expenditure whereas states that used a PA system showed an increase in expenditure of 48 percent.

In contrast to Delaware, California has a PA system in place along with other strong insurance regulation. This has enabled California to decrease it insurance expenditure by 0.3% in the 21 years from 1989 to 2010. California is the only state in the entire country to show a downward movement of insurance costs. California has done so by using strong regulation that controls rate changes as well as criteria that insurers use to determine premium rates in each particular case.

Currently, Delaware is the 6th most expensive state in terms of auto insurance expenditure. However, if Delaware took a leaf out of California’s book, it will be able to bring down escalating insurance costs.

Delaware Auto Insurance Rates

Below are the minimum, average and maximum insurance rate estimates for neighbourhoods in and around Delaware, DE.

Lowest Rate:$1400
Average Rate:$1600
Highest Rate:$2100

Recent Savings From Top Providers in Delaware

Rank Customer Zipcode Amount Saved
1 19706 $650
2 19701 $643
3 19702 $641
4 19703 $639

Compare Auto Insurance Companies in Delaware

Company A.M Best Rating on
Financial Strength
Year Founded
Progressive A+ 1937
State Farm A++ 1922
Allstate A+ 1931
GEICO A++ 1936
Nationwide A+ 1925

Delaware Auto Insurance Requirements

Minimum limits of liability for auto insurance in Delaware as per DE State Laws

Bodily Injury Liability

  • $15,000 for death/injury of any one person, per accident.
  • $30,000 for all persons per accident.

Property Damage Liability

  • $10,000 per accident.

Delaware Car Insurance Average Rates by Make

In addition to the location, one key factor that contributes to the insurance rates in Delaware is the vehicle's make and model. Especially the vehicle's theft rates in Delaware

MakeInsurance Average PremiumView Details
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