Insurance in the State of Hawaii is mandatory as outlined by the state’s laws. In order to own, register and drive a motor vehicle in Hawaii you must also have insurance on the vehicle for the entire duration of the registration. However, although the state is considered a “no-fault” state, it is only considered so for injury and not property damage.
No Fault Insurance
Hawaii has mandated that every vehicle must possess insurance in the state. The no-fault portion of the insurance means that if you are involved in a motor vehicle accident your insurance company is responsible for paying the bills for you and your passengers for bodily injury caused in the accident, as well as certain rehabilitative services. This coverage from the insurance is payable up to the limit that you have paid for in your insurance coverage but must start at a minimum of $10,000 per person.
This type of no fault insurance is considered Personal Injury Protection (PIP) insurance. Since fault is still considered in Hawaii, beyond your insurance coverage, it is also legislated that you must also have liability insurance to cover injuries and property damage for the other party involved in an accident. These minimum coverage requirements for other parties include:
$10,000 for property damage
$20,000 for bodily injury, per person
$40,000 for total bodily injury if multiple persons are involved in an accident.
In this way, Hawaii is in fact a hybrid system of no fault and at fault.
At Fault Portion
The vehicles or property involved in a motor vehicle accident however are considered an at-fault portion also of the insurance system in Hawaii. In this regard, property damage and vehicle damage as a result of an accident is open to litigation to recoup the cost of these expenses for Hawaii drivers over any optional insurance coverage they may have. Many drivers are encouraged to get optional insurance coverage above the state’s minimum requirements to ensure effective insurance coverage.
Optional Insurance Coverages
The optional insurance coverages offered in Hawaii by insurers include collision, comprehensive, uninsured (UM), underinsured (UIM), wage loss, alternative care, death benefits, funeral benefits, PIP deductible and PIP managed care.
As minimum requirements do not adequately cover motorists in an accident some or all of the above optional coverages are encouraged to protect drivers against catastrophic loss resulting from an accident.
Collision – covers you for property damage to your vehicle when it is involved in an accident.
Comprehensive – deals with property damage to your vehicle when it is not involved in an accident, such as fire, theft, vandalism and others.
Uninsured Motorist (UI) – although insurance is mandatory in Hawaii, there are people that still drive uninsured or underinsured (UIM). UI and UIM are often combined in coverages offered by insurers and ‘must’ be offered by insurers although drivers can decline the coverage. If you are involved in an accident with an uninsured or underinsured driver; this coverage will cover the difference up to the limit of your policy.
Other – other insurances mentioned above help cover ancillary issues involved in auto accidents such as death or funeral expenses. Speak to your insurer about your specific needs.
Common Insurance Levels in Hawaii
According to one major insurer in Hawaii, the following are common insurance levels selected by motorists in the state: bodily injury liability of $100,000 per person and $300,000 per accident, $50,000 for property damage liability, UI of $20,000 per person/ $40,000 per accident, PIP $10,000, Collision with a $500 deductible, and a $250 deductible for comprehensive.
Although these are common or suggested insurance coverages, make sure to get the coverage to suit your needs. General insurance costs in Hawaii for these suggested levels can vary significantly based on the insurer. Be sure to comparison shop when looking for insurance.
For example on Hawaii Island, a 4-door Honda Accord ranges from $370 to $918 per policy for the common insurance levels. The same specifications ranges from $352 to $891 on Oahu, $371 to $826 on Maui and $278 to $693 on Kauai according to the State of Hawaii’s Sample Annual Motor Vehicle Insurance Premiums for 2013. These figures are based on a clean driving record with no accidents or traffic violations and for pleasure use, not commercial.
Hawaii also has a Hawaii Joint Underwriting Plan (HJUP) for high risk drivers. This plan is state run to provide insurance for high risk drivers, whereby every insurer in the state is included in the insurer pool to share the risk across all providers. If you are unable to get insurance at a Hawaiian provider you may need to ask about the HJUP plan.
Finding a quality insurer in Hawaii is just as easy as on the mainland with the use of online quoting websites or by phoning local companies directly.