In Connecticut, you are financially responsible for the injury and damage your vehicle sustains in the event of an accident, or your own negligence, while driving. Under the auto insurance laws of the state, you are required to have liability coverage to meet your financial obligation.
The liability minimums in the state are 25/50/25. That is:
- $25,000 for injury sustained per person per auto accident
- $50,000 for injury sustained total per auto accident
- $25,000 for property damage per auto accident
Along with auto insurance, the state requires you to have uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage. This type of insurance coverage will assist you to pay for your medical bills after you get into an accident due to an uninsured driver or a driver with insufficient insurance coverage to pay your medical bills.
The minimum coverage about for uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage is:
- $25,000 per person
- $50,000 total per auto accident
You can also opt for additional auto insurance coverage such as:
- Collision Coverage – Pay for the damages your vehicle sustained during the accident
- Comprehensive Coverage – Pay for the damages your vehicle sustained in the event of theft for instance
- Rental Car Coverage
- Emergency Road Service Coverage
It is not necessary for you to obtain collision coverage and comprehensive coverage in Connecticut. However, if your vehicle is under a loan or lease agreement, your bank will require you to obtain both collision coverage and comprehensive coverage.
Auto Insurance for Drivers at High-risk of Accidents
Since obtaining liability insurance in the state is a requirement by law, it is important for all types of drivers to have it.
If a driver has an increased risk of getting into an accident due to their occupation, for instance, they can obtain a High Risk for Standard Auto Insurance through either the Connecticut Automobile Insurance Assigned Risk Plan or an insurance company that provides drivers with a non-standard insurance program.
Your auto insurance carrier, under the law of the state, is required to report to the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) if they cancel your insurance coverage. You will receive a Warning Notice from the DMV, informing you that you will need to obtain another auto insurance and pay a fine of $200.
Otherwise, they will penalize you for not adhering to their requirements. If you do not reply to the first Warning Notice, you will receive a Suspension Warning, which may result in a hearing. The hearing might result in the suspension of your vehicle’s registration or the loss of your right to renew or register your vehicle.
Avoid Paying Fines and Penalties
If you no longer have vehicle insurance and you want to avoid paying the fines and penalties, give your vehicle’s plates to the DMV with the option to put them on hold or cancel them. If you want to hold on your plates for a vehicle you drive seasonally, ask your insurance carrier to suspend your liability insurance. This means that you will be unable to drive your vehicle for the remainder of that duration.
To avoid paying a $50 fine for failure to show your auto insurance ID and your vehicle registration certificate, you need to have these documents on you at all times. If you are stopped for a traffic violation and you cannot produce these documents, you will need to pay the fine.
Now, that you know the background of obtaining auto insurance in the state of Connecticut, it is time to determine your auto insurance rates.
How Connecticut Establishes Auto Insurance Rates
Connecticut establishes auto insurance rates by observing the behavior of the drivers in the state. An insurance company that provides insurance coverage to drivers refer to the cost of offering coverage to drivers in the state, which includes legal fees, settlements, administrative fees, and other expenses, and divide the sum between the drivers.
The cost you pay for auto insurance is not spread out equally, but they decide on the percentage you need to pay by referring to your driving record, age, the type of car you drive, and where you reside. However, other insurance companies that offer auto insurance may determine the percentage using a different approach, meaning the same driver will be charged a different auto insurance rate.
Do not settle on buying auto insurance from the first company you come across, but consider several auto insurance companies and compare them with each other to get the best deal. To help you determine your auto insurance rates in Connecticut, you need to understand the factors they consider when establishing your insurance rates. Those factors include:
1. The Area You Reside
Where you reside affects your auto insurance rates. In the metro areas of the state, there are more drivers on the street. This leads to increased traffic and the increased likelihood of accidents, thus resulting in higher auto insurance rates.
If you live in an area where there is a high crime rate, vandalism, and vehicle theft, your auto insurance rates will be high.
Both young and senior drivers are at an increased risk of being involved in an auto accident. Young drivers are more likely to find themselves in an auto accident because of lack of driving experience whereas senior drivers have slow reaction times to situations on the roads.
Only a few states in the United States — California, Hawaii, and Massachusetts — do not allow auto insurance companies to consider age as the factor to determine auto insurance rates.
3. Driving Experience
If you are an inexperienced driver, you will have higher auto insurance rates. It does not matter what your age is here. If you lack driving experience, your auto insurance rates will be high. If you have years of driving experience and have a good driving record, your auto insurance rates will be low.
4. Driving Record
If you want lower auto insurance rates, your driving record matters. To receive low auto insurance rates, you need to maintain a good and clean driving record. If your driving record shows that you have a history of auto accidents and traffic violations, you can expect to have higher auto insurance rates. Whether you have a big or a small violation, they will affect your auto insurance rates.
If you have received several traffic violations or the violation was of severe nature, auto insurance company may see as a high-risk driver and decline your request for auto insurance. If you want to receive discounts from auto insurance companies, try to keep your driving record as clean as you can.
5. Claims Record
If you have made several claims in the past, this will too affect your auto insurance rates.
Gender plays a vital role in auto insurance companies deciding what rates to charge you. According to statistics, the likelihood of men getting into an auto accident is more than women, thus making them on the receiving end of higher auto insurance rates.
The difference in the auto insurance rates usually only applies to young, inexperienced drivers because gender differences in the probability of getting into an auto accident decreases as a driver gains more experience with age. Only five states in the United States — Hawaii, Massachusetts, Michigan, Montana, North Carolina, and Pennsylvania — do not allow auto insurance companies decide the auto insurance rates based on gender.
7. Marital Status
According to statistics, marital status of a person figures into determining auto insurance rates, stating that single and unmarried people are more likely to find get into an accident than drivers who are married. Therefore, auto insurance companies will consider your marital status when determining your auto insurance rates.
Married couples, on the other hand, can qualify for discounts if they combine their policies. In the United States, the only state that forbids auto insurance companies to consider the martial status of drivers when determining auto insurance rates is Massachusetts.
8. Previous Auto Insurance Coverage
Gaps in auto insurance coverage can result in auto insurance companies to offer you higher auto insurance rates. The reason why auto insurance companies tend to give drivers higher auto insurance rates when they see gaps is because they are more likely to get into an auto accident than drivers with no gaps in between.
9. Type of Car
The type of vehicle you drive, how you use your vehicle, and the age of your vehicle all play a role in determining your auto insurance rates. Auto insurance companies will consider the model of your car, the likelihood of thieves targeting it for thefts, the price your bought it for, the repair costs, and how safe it is for you to drive as factors in deciding your auto insurance rates.
How you use your car will also be considered. If you use your car for business, to travel to work, or go to school, the auto insurance company will look at these factors to determine your auto insurance rates. For instance, if you use your car to travel to school or work, the probability of you getting into an auto accident increases because you will on the road more often.
If you seldom use your car, you will have lower auto insurance rates. If you start using your car less or for other purposes that can result in lower auto insurance rates, notify your auto insurance company of the change.
The age of your car is another thing that affects your auto insurance rates. Vehicle depreciation reduces repair costs, which means lower auto insurance rates. If your car is expensive to repair, your auto insurance rates will be high. However, the only exception to this rule are collectibles and vintage cars, as they are expensive to repair. If you need to insure them, you need to obtain specialized coverages, exclusively designed to cover such cars.
10. Car’s Annual Mileage
If you drive your car frequently, your auto insurance rates will be high. This will be determined by the number of miles your car has accumulated or will accumulate on annually depending on your usage.
11. Auto Insurance Coverage and Deductibles
If you have multiple insurance coverages with higher limits, your auto insurance rates will be higher. The auto insurance company views you as a risk and to protect themselves, they will give you higher insurance rates.
12. Credit History
Auto insurance companies can use your credit history to determine your auto insurance rates. Even though most people find auto insurance companies using the driver’s credit history as a controversial move, research has discovered that drivers with low credit scores are likely to inflate claims, file claims, and attempt to defraud the auto insurance company.
In the United States, three states — Massachusetts, California, and Hawaii — forbid auto insurance companies from using the driver’s credit history to determine their auto insurance rates.
If you are unsure on what auto insurance rates you might receive, you can consider these factors to give you a ballpark figure on the expected auto insurance rates you can expect to receive when you visit several auto insurance companies. Just be sure to visit more than one so you can compare them and apply from auto insurance from a company that gives you the best rates.
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