From Hilo to Kona, Princeville to Poipu, Kapolei to Lanikai, Hawaii has hundreds of miles of roadways. They’re used by over nearly 900,000 licensed drivers, who each travel an average of 7,300 miles a year. Along the way, Hawaii’s drivers are involved in thousands of traffic accidents every day, including many that result in serious injury or death. Wherever you live and drive in the Aloha State, carrying adequate car insurance is both a legal requirement and commonsense protection. This is your guide to Hawaii’s basic vehicle insurance requirements and laws.
Hawaii state law requires you to carry a minimum amount of car insurance. Failure to do so can result in severe penalties that may include monetary fines and jail time. Hawaii is a no-fault state. That means your insurance will pay your injury claims up to a specified limit, regardless of who caused the accident. Under a no-fault system, you lose some of your rights to sue for damages.
The bare minimum car insurance requirement for Hawaii drivers is:
$20,000 bodily injury per person per accident
$40,000 bodily injury for all persons per accident
$10,000 property damage liability
$10,000 personal injury protection
Hawaii does not require you to carry additional coverage such as Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist or Collision and Comprehensive. However, if you own property or other valuable assets, supplementing the minimum requirements can help you protect yourself from monetary loss.
Penalties for Failure to Carry Hawaii Auto Insurance
Hawaii law requires that you carry proof of Hawaii auto insurance in your car and show it if a law enforcement officer asks to see it. Driving without insurance usually carries a fine up to $1,000 for a first offense and up to $3,000 for a second offense, and increases with each subsequent citation. It can also carry a jail sentence up to 6 months. Your driver’s license may also be suspended. You will be required to appear in court. Failure to appear may result in the issuance of a bench warrant, arrest and additional fines and imprisonment. You may also be required to surrender your registration and license plates.
Hawaii Car Insurance Premiums
Vehicle insurance premiums are regulated by the Hawaii Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs. Insurance companies are allowed to charge premiums and award discounts based on a number of factors that can include:
The type of car you are insuring
Prior auto insurance coverage
How much you drive
Your driving record
Your marital status
Your geographic location
How long you’ve been driving
Whether or not you use your car for business
Hawaii does not allows insurers to consider your credit history to determine your premium.
How to Get the Cheapest Hawaii Car Insurance Policy
You may be able to lower the cost of your premiums in the following ways:
Ask about available discounts for good driving habits, anti-theft devices, multiple cars on one policy, bundling your car insurance with your homeowners or renters policy, automatic or online payments and driving a hybrid or electric car
Compare quotes from a variety of providers on this website
Eliminate unnecessary coverage
Check to see if you qualify for any low-cost auto insurance program your state may offer
New Hawaii Driving Laws
Laws regarding driving and car insurance can change frequently. It is your responsibility to stay current about the legal requirements in Hawaii. The following laws have recently been enacted in Hawaii and may affect your insurance coverage decisions.
As of 2013, all drivers and passengers regardless of age or where they are sitting must use a seat belt or a child passenger restraint when driving on public highways in Hawaii. The driver can be fined $92 if anyone in the vehicle is not in compliance.
The use of handheld cell phones and other mobile electronic devices is prohibited while operating a motor vehicle. Texting, instant messaging, gaming and emailing are specifically prohibited. Navigation devices and hands-free devices are allowed; however, drivers under 18 may only use hands-free devices to make emergency 911 calls.
Since 2012, all Hawaii residents applying for or renewing a driver’s license must bring documents that establish their legal presence in the state. Typically, this is a birth certificate and a Social Security card. A passport, green card of certificate of naturalization or citizenship can be given in lieu of a birth certificate.