New Hampshire Car Insurance
Under the laws of the State of New Hampshire, the only automobile owners who are exempt from carrying automobile insurance are those who meet the strict Financial Responsibility Requirements for Motor Vehicles. That information is contained in Statute RSA 264, or can be obtained by contacting the New Hampshire Division of Motor Vehicles. However, most people would not meet those requirements so motor vehicle insurance would be legally required on all vehicles registered in the state.
State Mandated Coverages
In New Hampshire there are actually three state mandated coverages and all others are considered optional, even if they are in your best interest to carry them. You are legally required to carry:
- Medical Payments
- Uninsured Motorist
Each of those coverages has very specific minimum amounts that you must carry, but for better protection you have the option to increase those limits as your budget allows.
In New Hampshire, liability insurance is actually divided into two parts which are bodily injury (BI) and property damage (PD). The minimum limits by law are written as 25/50/25. The first two numbers translate to a maximum of $25,000 per person up to a limit of $50,000 if two people are injured and you are found at fault. Of course if there are more people in the other vehicle, then each person would receive less BI payment because the maximum per accident is $50k. The final 25 refers to a maximum of $25,000 in property damage if you are at fault. Property damage includes not only the other vehicle but any other property that sustains damage as a result of an at-fault accident.
Medical payments insurance, commonly referred to as “Med Pay,” has a minimum requirement of $1,000 in coverage. This type of coverage provides payment for medical costs involving injuries sustained regardless of which driver is found to be at fault. It is a first party coverage, meaning it covers injuries in the insured vehicle. Most insurance companies set the term at a time up to one year from the date of the accident, but this may vary from company to company. Although the minimum coverage required by law is $1000, many insured motorists opt to increase the limits.
In New Hampshire, Uninsured Motorist (UI) is really a two-fold coverage. Other states break it down to Uninsured Motorist and Underinsured Motorist (UIM). This covers injuries sustained to you and/or your passengers in the event that the other vehicle doesn’t have sufficient coverage or is uninsured altogether, and found to be at fault. This coverage must be up to the limits of your liability coverage.
Although collision and comprehensive are not required by law, they are good to have in the event that you are found to be at fault or your vehicle sustains damage due to an act of nature. Also, if your vehicle is leased or financed, the lender may require these coverages to protect their investment. Other good coverages to have would be Roadside Assistance and Rental Reimbursement.
Keep in mind that the cost of automobile insurance will be affected by certain factors such as the insured’s age, driving record and the number of accidents within a certain timeframe which varies among insurance companies. These accidents can be at-fault or not-at-fault and will almost always affect the premiums you pay. Other things which have an impact on cost are whether or not you have had continuous coverage without a lapse and your credit score! Financial responsibility does play a role in the price you pay. However, the best way to find affordable rates is to do a little comparison shopping online.