Car insurance is a required mandate in nearly every state in the nation, including Washington D.C. Yet in New Hampshire, the laws are a little more obscure. If you live in New Hampshire and are considering going without car insurance, it is important that you understand the implications and how you are responsible in the event of an accident.
Motor Vehicle Financial Responsibility Law
New Hampshire does not require car insurance per se, but they do have a financial responsibility law that you need to understand. This law requires that you are able to financially cover damages and medical bills to a driver, pedestrian, or bicyclist in the event that you are responsible for an accident. If you have a car accident and you do not have insurance, you will still need to pay all of the damages and medical expenses relating to the accident. If you are unable to do so you will face stiff penalties and fines, up to losing your driver’s license.
Reasons to Get Car Insurance in New Hampshire
There are a lot of good reasons to have car insurance in New Hampshire even though it is not state mandated. If there is an accident and you are found to be at fault, you could wind up paying a lot of money out of pocket. Car accidents can cause thousands of dollars of property damage and medical expenses for both you and the other driver.
Another good reason to get car insurance is that if anything does happen, you will have your own expenses covered. New Hampshire does not require that you pay your own damages and medical bills in the case of an accident, but these are expenses that you will incur. In addition, if you have an accident and the at-fault driver doesn’t have insurance, the right insurance coverage could protect you and get you back on the road faster.
Cases Where Car Insurance Is Required
There are some instances in which car insurance is legally required in New Hampshire. If you are convicted of certain violations, such as a DUI, you may be legally required to carry car insurance. You may also be required to carry car insurance if you are at fault in an accident and were unable to pay the required damages.
Minimum Insurance Requirements
Whether you opt to have car insurance, which is wise, or you are required to have car insurance for some reason, New Hampshire has specific rules about the minimum coverage you should have. If you have car insurance in New Hampshire you must have liability coverage in 25/50/25 amounts. This means that you must be protected for up to $25,000 property damage, $50,000 bodily injury, and $25,000 per person bodily injury. You also must have medical payment coverage, also called MedPay, of $1,000 per person per incident.
In addition to this liability only coverage, New Hampshire requires that you have uninsured motorist coverage in equal amounts to your liability coverage. This means if you go with the state required minimums you will need 25/50/25 uninsured motorist coverage.
The Car Insurance You Need
It is a good idea to have more than the minimum coverage amounts if you get car insurance in New Hampshire. Serious accidents can lead to more damages and injuries than what is listed in the minimum required coverages. You can, and should, purchase additional coverage to raise your coverage maximums. Remember that if you raise the coverage maximums on your liability coverage, you also have to raise those coverage maximums for your uninsured motorist coverage.
It is also a good idea to have comprehensive and collision coverage on your car insurance policy. These additional types of car insurance protect you against damages in case you are at fault in a car accident and sustain damages and injuries. It also protects you in case of theft of your vehicle, natural disasters that cause property damage, and other types of damages.
You may be required to have full coverage car insurance on your vehicle if you took out a loan to purchase it. Most lien holders require that you have full coverage car insurance to protect them in case of an accident. This coverage ensures that they will be paid even if the car is totaled. You may also need to have gap insurance if you owe more on your vehicle than it is worth.
The Bottom Line
Car insurance is not required by law in New Hampshire. But if you have an accident and you are found to be at fault, and you don’t have car insurance, it can ruin you financially. It can also result in you losing your driving privileges and facing additional fines and penalties. It is a good idea to always have car insurance to protect yourself just in case.