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Car insurance in New Hampshire

Minimum requirements and how to get cheap auto insurance in New Hampshire

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Before getting auto insurance in New Hampshire

If you live in New Hampshire or you’re planning to move there, you should know the ins and outs of what the state requires when it comes to car insurance. Read on to learn more about the state’s laws and regulations, as well as some ways you might find a favorable rate on your coverage.

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Details Features
Liberty Mutual Car Insurance
Liberty Mutual Car Insurance
Car insurance through Liberty Mutual will give coverage options for almost any situation.
  • Multi-car discount
  • Bundle discount for combining auto and home policies
  • New vehicle discount
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Esurance offers a modern online and mobile experience that helps you take your insurance on the go.
  • CoverageMyWay® helps you make smarter choices
  • Gain peace of mind with 24/7 claims service
  • Manage your policy on the go with Esurance Mobile
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Allstate Auto Insurance
Allstate Auto Insurance
With a range of coverage options at affordable prices, Allstate auto insurance can be personalized to your needs as a driver.
  • Reward System for Safe Drivers
  • Bumper-to-Bumper Basics® Tool
  • Comprehensive Tools to Design a Customized Insurance Plan
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Average car insurance costs in New Hampshire

New Hampshire lands on the cheap side of the national average for car insurance costs, typically in the range of $1,100 to $1,200 per year. This means if you’re looking for standard coverage, you could pay a price close to that range.

New Hampshire has midsize cities like Manchester with 110,000 residents and small hamlets like Hancock with just 1,500. With many rural areas and more empty acres of land than there are people, there tends to be a variety in insurance costs.

Within a small state like this one, the rule of thumb is if you live in a more rural area, you’re likely to pay less. If you live in cities like Manchester and Concord you’re likely to pay more to insure your car.

How can I save on my car insurance?

Looking for some ways to save money on your auto insurance in New Hampshire? No matter what state you’re in, you can use our general tips to lower your premiums and get a better value out of your coverage.

State minimum requirements in New Hampshire

This is where things get really interesting. New Hampshire is one of a few states that actually doesn’t require car insurance coverage to drive. So what is required? If you cause an accident involving another car, you’re liable for damages and injuries resulting from the accident — so whether you have insurance or not, there’s probably a big bill to pay.

Despite having no legal obligation, most New Hampshire drivers opt to get car insurance anyway so they’re covered if an accident happens. And the state’s 9.9% rate of uninsured drivers is actually lower than the 13% national average in 2015.

If you do decide to carry car insurance in this state, your policy should include at least:

  • Liability coverage. You must carry at least $25,000 for bodily injury, per person; $50,000 for bodily injury, if multiple people are injured in an accident; $25,000 for property damage.
  • Medical payments coverage. Must be for at least $1,000.
  • Uninsured motorist coverage. Must match your liability coverage amounts.

You can also get additional types of insurance to better protect yourself, including:

  • Collision. Helps pay for repairs if your car is damaged in an accident.
  • Comprehensive. Covers you in case your car is damaged by something other than an accident — for instance, a fire or vandalism.
  • Medical and funeral services. Assists in paying for medical bills or funeral services as a result of an accident.
  • Rental. Covers some of the costs of renting a car while waiting for your car to be repaired after an accident.

What happens if I drive in New Hampshire without insurance?

Unless you’re in an accident, nothing much.

The state has no laws requiring drivers to be insured, but you’ll be held liable for damages resulting from any accident you cause on the road. You’ll also have to pay for repairs to your own vehicle, whether the damages occur in a traffic accident, if you hit a deer or if your car is flooded.

If you cause an accident in New Hampshire without insurance coverage or the means to pay for all the damages, here’s what you can expect:

  • Plates, registration and license suspended until you demonstrate your ability to pay for damages.
  • Driver’s license reinstatement fee of $100.
  • Registration reinstatement fee of $25.
  • SR-22 filing mandated for three years.

For these reasons, more than 90% of drives in New Hampshire choose to have car insurance anyway. And unless you have a large reserve of cash to cover accident costs, you may want to have a safety net if the worst-case scenario happens.

Uninsured motorist insurance in New Hampshire

All car insurance policies in New Hampshire are required to include uninsured motorist coverage. This might seem strange, imposing minimums on a state where car insurance isn’t required, but the aim is to make sure you’re covered even if an uninsured driver doesn’t have their own policy or the cash to pay for all damages and injuries.

Can I get temporary insurance in this state?

Yes, you can. You might need temporary insurance coverage for a short period for a borrowed car or rental car. And while it’s perfectly legal to purchase short-term car insurance for less than six months, most insurance companies won’t offer this option. Call your insurance provider or contact an online provider to find out your options. You may want to look for a policy that lets you cancel for no or low fees and transfer to a more long-term option when you’re ready.

New Hampshire’s driving laws

While most states have similar road and traffic laws, New Hampshire has a few regulations that stand out.

  • If you’re at least 15½ years old, you can practice driving on public roads as long as a licensed driver older than 25 is in the passenger seat — no learner’s permit or special license is required.
  • If the car in front of you is about to make a left turn, you’re legally allowed to pass on the right, though not recommended.
  • All drivers in this state are prohibited from texting while driving, with a minimum fine of $100.

Not all of New Hampshire’s driving laws are going to apply to you — for example, it’s illegal to inhale the exhaust fumes of a bus for pleasure, but you weren’t going to do that anyway, were you? Regardless, it’s good to know the laws of the land before you find yourself with a citation for something you didn’t realize was regulated.

Drunk driving laws in New Hampshire

New Hampshire’s drunk driving laws use the same standards as the rest of the US — having a blood alcohol content (BAC)over 0.08% is enough to get charged with driving while intoxicated (DWI), and if you’re a commercial driver, all it takes is a BAC of 0.04%.

Here are the penalties for getting a first, second and third DWI offense in New Hampshire.

  • First offense: $500 to $1,200 fine; driver’s license suspension for minimum of six months.
  • Second offense: Minimum 30 days in jail; fines of at least $750; driver’s license suspension for minimum of three years; ignition interlock device (IID) possible.
  • Third offense: 180 days minimum jail sentence; fines of at least $750; driver’s license suspended indefinitely or revoked; IID possible.

New Hampshire also has laws for Aggravated DWI that involves driving drunk and the following crimes:

  • Driving more than 30mph over the speed limit.
  • Causing a collision resulting in serious injury.
  • Attempting to elude a police officer.
  • Having a passenger younger than 16 in the vehicle.
  • BAC over 0.16%

Conviction of Aggravated DWI is likely to result in steeper fines, longer jail sentences and longer license suspensions than a standard drunk driving offense.

Can I get SR-22 insurance in New Hampshire?

Yes, and if you’ve been in an accident without car insurance or if you’ve had other serious violations on your record like a DWI, the state can mandate an SR-22 filing.

An SR-22 certificate tells the state you have at least the minimum required insurance to get back on the road.

What happens after a car accident in New Hampshire?

Car accidents can be unsettling, even a small fender bender. Try to stay calm and follow these steps to keep the process as simple and safe as possible.

  1. Get to safety. Check the people around you for injuries and your surroundings for any additional potential dangers. If someone is injured or you see a danger, call 911 right away. If not, it’s still usually a good idea to inform the local police of what’s happened as quickly as possible. If you’re blocking the road and feel comfortable moving your car, that’s a good idea too.
  2. Exchange information. Exchange information with the other people involved in the accident including names, driver’s license numbers, addresses and cell phone numbers. Also, write down information about their car’s make, model, year, registration and insurance policy details.
  3. Notify your insurance agent. Call your insurance company before you leave the scene. Tell them what’s happened and ask about any other additional steps.
  4. Document the scene. Take pictures of the accident from all angles, especially the areas that got damaged. Take down the names of police officers and any potential witnesses to better protect your claim.

Who’s at fault after an accident?

New Hampshire is an at-fault or tort state. This means if you cause an accident and injure someone else or damage their vehicle, you’re held liable for those damages or injuries.

When should I report an accident to the authorities?

If anyone is injured, dies or if there is property damage greater than $1,000, you’re required to report the accident to local law enforcement right away. Failing to report an accident with serious damages or injuries can be considered a crime, and leaving the scene of an accident before the police arrive can also get you into serious legal trouble.

If law enforcement is not called to the scene of an accident, you’ll need to complete a Motor Vehicle Accident Report with the Division of Motor Vehicles within 15 days of the accident.

Bottom line

If you drive in New Hampshire without car insurance, you aren’t breaking the law, but you’re opening yourself up to some very large risks. And if you’re involved in an accident, the financial and legal consequences could be far more painful than paying regular insurance premiums. Consider your car insurance options in New Hampshire to find the best coverage for you and your vehicle.

To learn more about what you’ve read here, from laws in your state to special discounts and provider options, visit our comprehensive guide to car insurance.

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