With the 5th cheapest insurance in the country, New Hampshire seems to be doing something right. Although with low congestion rates, mandatory insurance coverage, an at fault system, low car thefts and low car crash fatalities; they all have a role to play in keeping rates low.
Tort Law State
An at fault state can also often be referred to as a “tort” law state. It allows for legal precedence as set through the history of the courts to set precedence for different situations. With an at fault state, most injurious auto crashes or those involving death or significant property damage are dealt with in the court system. New Hampshire offers drivers a number of alternatives to the court system if they choose, especially for minor accidents.
Drivers have the option to claim their own insurance, claim the offending party’s insurance provider through a third-party claim or to settle the matter privately and outside of the court system.
Required Insurance includes Medical
Like most states, New Hampshire does have a requirement for insurance coverage, or at least proof of financial responsibility in case of an accident. Although it does not have a mandatory insurance law. The minimum requirements for insurance in the state are considerably higher than in most states and even includes a minimum amount of medical payments coverage as well. The minimums are stated below.
$25,000 per person for a single injury accident
$50,000 per accident when more than 1 person is injured
$25,000 per accident to cover property damage
$1,000 for medical payments to cover your own medical payments
These higher minimums help keep drivers protected and may actually help keep insurance in the state lower as insurance companies have to pay out less in settlements and lawsuits beyond coverage amounts. The state also makes Uninsured coverage a mandatory part of any insurance policy in the state. These minimums are required in order to register any vehicle in the state.
New Hampshire’s SR-22
If you prefer not to get insurance in New Hampshire you can avoid it by getting an SR-22, essentially a form that states you have the financial capability to cover the same minimum costs as laid out in the insurance minimums above. You must be willing to prove that you have the assets or income to cover these state set minimums.
This form is also used for those involved in DUIs in the state for proof that they carry insurance for coverage for future accidents and are mandatory for a certain number of years for these drivers. If you are caught driving without the ability to prove your financial responsibility, you may be required to submit this form as well.
In New Hampshire there are also two very important coverages that most drivers also retain from insurers. These include collision and comprehensive coverages. If you drive a car less than 5 years old, these coverages might as well be seen as mandatory for your financial security. If you finance a car, used or new, most financial institutions will also require these coverages to protect their investment. Collision covers your own car in the case you are in an accident, ensuring its repair or replacement, while comprehensive coverage covers vandalism, theft and acts of nature that can damage your car. With a newer car it is often smart to get these coverages.
State Insurance Pool
For those that are refused insurance from an insurer there is the New Hampshire Automobile Insurance Plan that guarantees all residents the option to be insured. All insurers must pay into this insurance pool for these high risk drivers, but they all benefit from the mitigated risk. As a high risk driver this provides an option for insurance although it will generally be more expensive.