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Manchester Auto Insurance

Manchester isn't just the largest city in New Hampshire, it's also the largest city in the northern New England area.

With a population of 110,065, nearly one-third of all residents in New Hampshire live in Manchester city. Even though the area is so highly populated, it's still ranked 13th on CNN Money's Best Places to Live and Launch list because of a strong economy where there's no income or sales tax.

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When you live in Manchester, you're required to follow New Hampshire's financial responsibility laws.

Unlike almost every state in the country, drivers aren't automatically required to buy auto insurance when they register a vehicle in the state. In fact, most drivers are given the option to buy coverage. Here's what you need to know before rejecting coverage:

No Mandatory Insurance Requirements in New Hampshire

New Hampshire is only one of two states in the entire United States that doesn't either explicitly or indirectly require auto insurance. Since auto insurance laws are enforced statewide, you don't technically need auto insurance as a resident of Manchester.

Not being required to carry it and not needing it are two different things.

The Confusion Behind the Freedom to Choose

If you're a resident of New Hampshire, it might be exciting to learn that you don't have to pay income tax, state tax on goods, and auto insurance premiums.

While it's true at surface level, there are still consequences for making the wrong choice when it comes to auto liability coverage.

The only time it pays off to not have insurance is when you don't have an accident.

Since you can't predict if and when an accident will happen, it's important to know the consequences you'll have to face if you have an accident and can't prove you're financially responsible. Anyone in an accident who can't present an ability to pay may have their license or registration suspended.

How can you prove your financial ability to pay restitution?

While insurance isn't mandatory, it can be required as the result of a crash or a moving violation.

If you've had an accident and a report has been filed, it's your duty to come to an agreement with the injured party. If you can't reach a mutual agreement because you don't have the ability to pay, your license can be suspended at the victim's request.

To have your license reinstated, you need to post restitution with the DMV for the full amount requested.

You can't pay restitution with insurance if you're guilty of being uninsured. Instead, you'll have to pay using one of the following methods:

  • Pay with a certified check or money order made out to the NH DMV
  • Pay with an interest bearing savings account with a signed withdrawal order
  • Pay in cash

Proving Financial Responsibility with Insurance

If you don't have the cash or savings to provide security to satisfy a judgment for damages sustained in an accident that you've caused, the only other option to prevent license suspension is to provide proof of your ability to pay in the form of auto liability insurance.

As long as you have a minimum amount of coverage that pays for personal injury damages and property damages, you're not in violation of the law.

How much insurance do you need after an accident?

You can't just be expected to have the ability to pay for limitless damages.

That's why carrying a specific limit of liability insurance can help you avoid losing your license and license plates even after an at-fault accident. While most states call these figures the state minimums, in NH the limits are the amounts you must be able to pay at any given time.

Liability insurance consists of both Bodily Injury in Property Damage. Each of these will pay the third-party in an accident where you're deemed primarily negligent.

To avoid suspension measures and other fines, you must have the ability to pay for damages up to:

  • Bodily Injury: $25,000 per person, $50,000 per accident
  • Property Damage: $25,000 per accident

Why should you buy insurance even if you don't have an accident?

No one wants to have a loss, but could you imagine what it'd be like to have a loss without any financial benefits through an auto insurance carrier? If you're opting out on insurance, you're basically putting all of your assets, your future income, and your family at risk.

Not only will you be responsible for paying for damages on your own as an uninsured driver, you'll also have to pay court costs if the victim pursues litigation.

In some cases, court costs are higher than the settlement itself. With an insurance, you have a company footing your legal bill. Without insurance, you're left footing the bill on your own.

Is there any case where you're required to have insurance?

If you have a bad driving history or you've been in uninsured accidents in the past, the Department of Safety in New Hampshire will put a proof of financial responsibility requirement on your license. There are only a few scenarios where proof will be required on your Driver Record Report.

Here are those scenarios:

  • Drivers convicted of driving under the influence and are mandated to file proof of insurance for 3 or more years
  • Habitual offenders must file proof of insurance for 3 years before they can earn back the licensing privileges
  • Drivers who've been seen in court for certain offenses like Demerit Points may be required to file proof of insurance to avoid a revocation
  • Drivers who've been at-fault in an accident where they didn't have insurance or ability to pay may have to file proof for 3 years if damages exceeded $1000

Is there coverage to protect against uninsured drivers?

If you're living in Manchester, there's undoubtedly some drivers who've taken advantage of the chance to save on auto insurance expenditures.

Some of these people know the risks and others are oblivious to them. Because being uninsured isn't technically against the law, it's important to protect yourself.

The best way to protect yourself against the damages that you can incur from a loss with someone who can't compensate you is to buy Uninsured Motorist Protection coverage.

This coverage will provide you with protection to pay for your medical bills, rehabilitation costs, and lost wages when someone who doesn't have liability insurance or other financial resources to pay your bills.

How many drivers in Manchester are uninsured?

You'd think that the uninsured motorist rates would be really high in a state where auto insurance isn't required.

What can be surprising to you is that NH is ranked 34th on the list of states with the highest uninsured motorist rates.

Only about 9.3 percent of the population in the state doesn't have coverage by choice.

If you look at the population in Manchester, it's easy to do the math to estimate how many of your neighbors throughout your community are taking the risk. While the rates are low, there are still over 10,000 drivers in the area who have no liability coverage.

There's not telling if these drivers would have the financial ability to pay.

How much in auto insurance in New Hampshire?

Most drivers in New Hampshire have insurance, but since it's optional you might expect the rates to be exorbitantly high.

In actuality, the rates in New Hampshire are lower than you might expect. That's because many accidents are settled away from insurance companies so the rates are surcharged and rates aren't hiked up.

Based on the latest reports released by the Insurance Research Council, the average expenditure for auto insurance in the state is $733.02 per year for full coverage. Based on the national average, this is very low. In fact, New Hampshire's premiums rank 31st on the list of the highest expenditures.

How are your insurance rates calculated?

If you're leaning towards buying auto insurance, your premiums depend on the coverage options that you carry and your own personal factors. There's a long list of rating factors that can affect your risk profile. Some of these contributing factors include:

  • Age, gender, marital status
  • Coverage limits and types
  • Household members and driving records
  • Driving history and accident history
  • Location
  • Credit
  • Use of the car and miles driven
  • Type of car

It's now time to shop for coverage. The only way to really see how much you'll pay for your coverage is to get a quote.

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