Auto Insurance in Puerto Rico
Last Updated on December 17, 2020
Drivers in Puerto Rico must have liability insurance.
Like other parts of the United States, Puerto Rico requires drivers to carry liability insurance that covers accidents, injuries, and damage.
Today, we’re explaining everything you need to know about auto insurance in Puerto Rico, including the best car insurance in Puerto Rico, how much you should pay for car insurance in Puerto Rico, and more.
Table of Contents:
- How Does Car Insurance Work in Puerto Rico?
- Minimum Car Insurance Requirements in Puerto Rico
- How to Get Car Insurance in Puerto Rico
- Driving Without Insurance in Puerto Rico
- Types of Car Insurance in Puerto Rico
- Other Car Insurance Coverage Available in Puerto Rico
- How to Find Cheap Car Insurance in Puerto Rico
How Does Car Insurance Work in Puerto Rico?
Car insurance in Puerto Rico works much differently than car insurance in other states and territories.
However, Puerto Rico requires just $3,000 of liability coverage, which is a lower limit than any state.
And, Puerto Rico uses no-fault liability insurance, a unique type of insurance system that just 12 states use. With no-fault car insurance, your own insurance company pays for accident damage regardless of fault, and then insurers negotiate with one another to cover the incident.
Puerto Rico, like certain other no-fault states, requires drivers to carry medical liability coverage, which is similar to the personal injury protection (PIP) required in other no-fault states. This insurance covers medical bills and similar costs after an accident.
The biggest difference with Puerto Rico car insurance, however, is where you buy car insurance. Drivers buy compulsory liability insurance through the government of Puerto Rico. This liability insurance provides basic protection in an accident. You pay for this coverage when you register your vehicle. It’s part of your annual fee.
Some drivers in Puerto Rico maintain minimum car insurance requirements (included with your registration fee), although many drivers exceed minimum car insurance requirements by buying supplemental coverage, which extends your liability limits and covers your own vehicle.
Minimum Car Insurance Requirements in Puerto Rico
Puerto Rico’s car insurance laws are organized under the Seguro de Responsabilidad Obligatario system, which requires drivers to have Compulsory Liability Insurance. Some car insurance companies in Puerto Rico refer to this minimum insurance requirement as CLI.
CLI works as mentioned above: you pay for CLI in your annual vehicle registration fee ($100 to $150 per vehicle). It provides basic coverage after an accident, covering medical bills, vehicle damage repairs, and similar costs.
Puerto Rico car insurance also includes something similar to personal injury protection (PIP), which is required in no-fault states across America. In Puerto Rico, drivers buy this coverage through the Agency for the Compensation of Automobile Accidents (ACAA). This is a private corporation that provides compensation for medical bills after an accident. You buy coverage through the ACAA to meet minimum Puerto Rico car insurance requirements.
How to Get Car Insurance in Puerto Rico
Getting car insurance in Puerto Rico is easy: minimum car insurance is included with your annual vehicle registration fee.
If your vehicle is registered in Puerto Rico, then you pay a registration fee of $100 to $150 per year. This fee includes CLI, which is the minimum liability car insurance for Puerto Rico.
What happens if your vehicle is not registered in Puerto Rico but you have out-of-state license plates while driving in PR? In this situation, you must still comply with CLI requirements. Typically, any insurance you have from another state will cover you, although you may need to switch your insurance address within 6 weeks of moving to Puerto Rico (if you moved to Puerto Rico permanently).
Although CLI is included in your car registration in Puerto Rico, many drivers buy supplemental coverage.
You can buy supplemental car insurance coverage to cover your own vehicle in Puerto Rico. It can cover accident-related damages (through collision coverage) or theft and vandalism (via comprehensive coverage).
Any car insurance company licensed to do business in Puerto Rico can offer supplemental coverage above and beyond Puerto Rico’s minimum car insurance requirements.
Driving Without Insurance in Puerto Rico
Driving without insurance in Puerto Rico is illegal, just like it’s illegal in most American states and territories.
If caught driving without insurance in Puerto Rico, you may be charged with a misdemeanor, and you could have to pay a fine of up to $500.
The law enforcement officer could charge additional penalties for expired registration, no ACAA coverage, or no vehicle inspection, among other issues.
If you cause an accident in Puerto Rico and have no insurance coverage, then you are required to pay for all damage out of pocket. Typically, insurance would cover any medical bills or damage caused by the accident. If you don’t have insurance, then you’re still liable, but you need to pay these costs out of pocket.
Types of Car Insurance in Puerto Rico
If all of the above sounds confusing to you, then that’s okay. Typically, drivers in Puerto Rico don’t need to worry about the specific types of coverage, as it’s all bundled up through your insurance company – and your vehicle registration fee.
Most car insurance companies that serve Puerto Rico offer three types of car insurance packages, including:
Compulsory Personal Liability Coverage: This is the most basic type of car insurance coverage available in Puerto Rico. It covers physical damage inflicted to third party vehicles after an accident you caused. It’s similar to the basic car insurance provided by the Asociación de Suscripción Conjunta (ASC).
Public Liability: This insurance covers physical injuries and property damage after an accident you caused. It could cover medical bills, vehicle repair expenses, and other costs after an accident for which you were responsible.
Full Coverage: Full coverage car insurance includes liability coverage (to cover the expenses of other drivers) and collision and comprehensive coverage (to cover your own vehicle). Full coverage in Puerto Rico also comes with coverage for medical bills.
Many insurance companies will also offer medical expenses coverage, which is labeled in different ways. Some insurers call it personal injury protection (PIP) coverage, for example, while others call it medical expenses insurance.
Other Car Insurance Coverage Available in Puerto Rico
Puerto Rico car insurance companies may also offer additional coverage, including roadside assistance or extended warranty coverage.
Some of the bonus car insurance products offered by Puerto Rico car insurance companies include:
Extended Warranty or Mechanical Breakdown Insurance: Also known as MBI, mechanical breakdown insurance covers the cost of repairing or replacing certain parts of your vehicle after the warranty expires. If your new vehicle breaks down within the first few years of ownership, then you can make a claim through your extended warranty or MBI coverage.
Roadside Assistance Coverage: Most major car insurance companies in Puerto Rico offer roadside assistance coverage. You can pay a few extra dollars per month to cover fuel delivery, tire changes, basic towing, and other emergency costs if your vehicle breaks down.
Uninsured or Underinsured Motorist Coverage: Puerto Rico car insurance limits are low, and many drivers go without supplemental coverage. That could leave you underinsured in an accident. Some drivers purchase uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage to protect themselves after an accident.
GAP Coverage: Many insurers in Puerto Rico offer guaranteed auto protection (GAP) coverage, which covers the ‘gap’ between the value of your vehicle (as assessed after an accident) and the amount of money remaining on your loan or lease. If your vehicle is a total loss, then your insurer might send you a check for $12,000 – even though you still owe $20,000 to the dealership for your vehicle. If you have GAP coverage, then it covers the gap between the value and the amount remaining.
Single Interest and Double Interest Coverage: Puerto Rico is one of the few places in the United States with “single interest” and “double interest” car insurance options. Double interest covers both you and a creditor after an accident, and it works similar to GAP coverage. Single interest covers one party’s interest after an accident.
How to Find Cheap Car Insurance in Puerto Rico
Drivers in Puerto Rico have plenty of options for car insurance. It’s easy to shop around for car insurance in Puerto Rico to find the right plan – at the right price.
To find cheap car insurance in Puerto Rico, follow these tips:
Shop around and compare quotes with different providers. Most car insurance companies in Puerto Rico have online quote request forms, allowing you to quickly receive an estimate online in seconds.
Take advantage of discounts. All insurers offer discounts for various things – like safe driving, bundling, or insuring multiple vehicles. By taking advantage of discounts, you could cut car insurance premiums in half.
Adjust coverage as needed. If you have an older vehicle, then Puerto Rico’s government car insurance may be sufficient for you. As your vehicle gets older and loses value, you might be okay dropping full coverage while maintaining liability coverage.
Final Word: Compare Quotes to Find the Best Puerto Rican Auto Insurance
Puerto Rico auto insurance requirements can seem confusing. Fortunately, it’s easy to compare car insurance premiums in Puerto Rico by shopping online.
Take a few minutes to compare quotes from different insurers covering Puerto Rico. Some insurers have a reputation for offering good-value car insurance and complete coverage, while other insurers charge high premiums for average coverage.
To learn more or to find the best car insurance in Puerto Rico, compare quotes online today.