Depending on your state of residence, you face varying minimum requirements for car insurance. In Connecticut, you can’t legally drive unless you carry liability insurance that includes at least:
- $20,000 bodily injury liability coverage per person.
- $40,000 bodily injury liability coverage per accident.
- $10,000 property damage liability coverage per accident.
When shopping for car insurance, you may see these liability limits written as 20/40/10.
Some 20 states mandate that its drivers also carry uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage, which protects a driver if they’re involved in an accident with another driver that isn’t adequately covered by a car insurance policy. Connecticut is one of those states, requiring:
$20,000 uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage per person.
$40,000 uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage per accident.
Most car insurance providers in Connecticut offer optional coverage for additional financial protection and peace of mind:
Even a fender bender can rattle your senses, making it difficult to clearly plod out your next steps. If you’re in an accident, you’ll want to ensure you’re OK and then line up your info to process a car insurance claim.
- Stay at the scene. Confirm that everybody involved is safe. If you, your passengers or other people involved in the accident are hurt, immediately call 911.
- Call your insurance provider. After you’ve confirmed that participants are OK, call your insurance agent to report the accident. Ask to be walked through the process and any required information.
- Document the accident. To protect your claim against a rattled memory, take down the names of police officers and any witnesses at the scene. This information can be valuable over the process of your claim.
- Exchange information. Record the full names, complete contact details and insurance policy information of the drivers involved. Include car types, colors, models and license plate numbers and the exact address of the incident.
When you talk to other drivers involved in the accident, avoid admitting or implying fault. If you suggest to anybody that you caused it, your car insurance provider could refuse to pay your claim.
What if I don’t have insurance?
When it comes to uninsured motorists, Connecticut does not mess around. If you’re in an accident or even stopped by the cops and you unable to provide proof of car insurance, you face fines and the suspension of your license, registration and plates — even jail time.
- Failure to provide proof of insurance. You’ll pay $35 for the first offense and $50 for subsequent offenses, with a required court appearance.
- Driving while uninsured. The car’s owner faces a $500 fine, while the driver is penalized with $100 to $1,000 in fines and the suspension of their license that requires another $175 to reinstate. Both parties also face up to three months in jail.
- Failure to maintain insurance. You face a $200 civil penalty to start, followed by license suspension and the possible loss of your privilege to renew or register any car in the state. You also face a $175 fee to reinstate your license.
Connecticut is not one of the 12 states that requires drivers to carry no-fault insurance. In states without no-fault coverage, insurance claims are typically paid out:
- If you’re injured in an accident caused by another driver. The at-fault driver’s bodily injury liability coverage could help reimburse your medical expenses up to policy limits.
- If you’re injured in an accident you cause. Your medical payments coverage, if you have it, could help reimburse your medical expenses up to your limit.
Connecticut is a tort state, which means that you’re required to pay the medical expenses of any victim of an accident you’re at fault for. Further victims can pursue compensation for lost wages and “pain and suffering” — the legal term for physical and emotional stress resulting from an injury.
In Connecticut, you are required to report an accident to the police immediately if anybody is hurt or killed or if there’s any property damages to any party involved in the accident, regardless of the damage amount.
The police officers at the scene will complete the reports necessary for notification.
Uninsured drivers in Connecticut
Connecticut requires auto insurance coverage for all registered vehicles in the state, regardless of who’s driving the car. Combined with the state’s harsh penalties, the payoff is some of the lowest rates of uninsured motorists in the nation: a mere 8% of all Connecticut drivers. This percentage is well below the national average of 12.6%.
Connecticut is one state where you don’t want to take the risk of driving without car insurance. You’ll need to purchase both liability insurance and uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage to remain legal under state laws or face a suite of stiff penalties that include fines, suspensions and even a stint in jail.
To get the cheapest coverage for your needs, carefully research your car insurance options when driving in the Nutmeg State.