From Concord to Manchester, Keene to Plymouth, New Hampshire has thousands of miles of roadways. They’ll take you from the White Mountains to Weirs Beach, through the Lakes Region and the Merrimack Valley and along the Piscataqua River to Portsmouth. They’re used by over 1 million licensed drivers, who each put in an average of 9,600 miles a year. Along the way, those drivers are involved in thousands of traffic accidents every year, including many that result in serious injury or death. Wherever you live and drive in the Granite State, carrying adequate car insurance is both a legal requirement and commonsense protection. This is your guide to New Hampshire’s basic vehicle insurance requirements and laws.
New Hampshire is a bit different from other states. While it does not specifically require you to have vehicle insurance, it does require that all drivers meet their financial responsibilities in the event of an accident. Failure to do so can result in severe penalties that may include monetary fines and jail time. Under New Hampshire’s tort system, you may also be liable for actual damages (expenses associated with property damage and medical costs), economic damages (lost wages and earning capacity) and emotional and physical pain and suffering.
The bare minimum car insurance requirement for New Hampshire drivers is:
$25,000 bodily injury per person per accident
$50,000 bodily injury for all persons per accident
New Hampshire does not require you to carry additional coverage such as personal liability insurance 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 New Hampshire Auto Insurance
New Hampshire law does not require that you carry proof of New Hampshire auto insurance in your vehicle. However, if you cause a car accident and do not have insurance or proof of financial responsibility on file you will be required to carry the minimum amounts noted above and file an SR-22 form with the Division of Motor Vehicle for 3 years showing that you have complied. You will also pay a $500 fee to restore your license and registration.
Once your driving privileges have come under the scrutiny of New Hampshire law enforcement – you’ve caused a car accident or been convicted of DUI – the state Division of Motor Vehicles will alert you in writing that you must file proof of insurance for a specified time. If you are decertified as a habitual offender, you must file proof of insurance for a minimum of 3 years from the date of your decertification period.
New Hampshire Car Insurance Premiums
Vehicle insurance premiums are regulated by the New Hampshire Division of Insurance. 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
New Hampshire also allows insurers to consider your credit rating to determine your premium.
How to Get the Cheapest New Hampshire 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 New Hampshire Driving Laws
Laws regarding driving and car insurance can change frequently. It is your responsibility to stay current about the legal requirements in New Hampshire. The following laws have recently been enacted in New Hampshire and may affect your insurance coverage decisions.
There is a ban on texting for all drivers in New Hampshire. The penalty is suspension of your driver’s license.
Children must be a safety seat until they are 7 years old or 57 inches tall, whichever comes first.
Effective 2014, the speed limit on New Hampshire’s main north-south highway has been raised to 70 mph from mile marker 45 in Canterbury to the Vermont Border, excepting the stretch through Franconia Notch.