New Hampshire and Virginia are the only states that don't require drivers to carry auto insurance. New Hampshire does, however, require drivers to accept financial responsibility for any damage that they cause.

So strictly speaking, legally, you don't need car insurance if you live and drive in New Hampshire. As a practical matter, though, it makes a lot of sense to carry basic coverage that protects you from liability. Without insurance, a severe accident that causes bodily harm and property damage could cost you hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Somewhat surprisingly, New Hampshire doesn't have a large percentage of uninsured drivers. The latest data from the Insurance Information Institute says that 9.9% of New Hampshire drivers don't carry insurance. Florida, which has minimum insurance laws for all vehicle owners, has about 26.7% uninsured drivers.

Perhaps the people of New Hampshire understand that auto insurance provides important protection that will save them money over the long run.

While New Hampshire doesn't require you to buy insurance, it does have minimum standards for drivers that choose to purchase policies. These standards give drivers the basic protection that they need from the expense of medical services and repairing property.

New Hampshire's Minimum Auto Insurance Coverage

If you buy auto insurance in New Hampshire, your policy should give you:

  • $25,000 in bodily injury liability coverage per person.
  • $50,000 in bodily injury liability protection per accident.
  • $25,000 in property damage liability coverage.
  • $1,000 in medical payments coverage.

Bodily injury liability coverage pays for the medical services that someone in another vehicle needs after an accident. Bodily injury liability also covers lost wages and the financial damages caused by pain and suffering.

Property damage liability coverage pays to repair the damage that the other vehicle experiences after an accident caused by you.

Keep in mind that these minimum levels of auto insurance coverage may not pay for all medical expenses, lost wages, and property damage. The minimum gives you quite a bit of protection, but you may still need to pay victims out of your pocket when you cause an accident that significantly affects their health.

Other Insurance Policies for New Hampshire Drivers

You may notice that New Hampshire's auto insurance minimums only cover other people. They don't pay for your medical services or vehicle repairs.

For more complete coverage, you should consider buying additional policies.

Options popular in New Hampshire include:

  • Collision coverage
  • Comprehensive coverage
  • Uninsured or under-insured motorist bodily injury coverage

Collision Coverage

Collision coverage pays for the repairs that your vehicle may need after an accident. Buying collision coverage can protect you from high repair costs. If you lease a vehicle, the owner will likely require you to carry collision coverage.

Comprehensive Coverage

Comprehensive coverage protects your vehicle from damage caused by things other than auto collisions. For example, you can use a comprehensive coverage policy to pay for damage caused by vandalism, theft, or severe weather.

Uninsured or Under-insured Motorist Bodily Injury Coverage

New Hampshire has a relatively low level of uninsured drivers. Still, nearly 10% of people on the road don't carry any insurance. If those people cause an accident that damages your vehicle or hurts your body, the state requires them to compensate you.

What happens when the other driver doesn't have enough money to pay for medical bills, physical therapy, lost wages, and other expenses?

The court can't make someone give you money that they don't have.

When you carry an uninsured or under-insured motorist bodily injury policy, your insurance company will pay for your medical bills and lost wages. Instead of fighting for reimbursement while you recover from an injury, you can get treated and let your insurance company worry about the at-fault driver.

How New Hampshire Car Insurance Companies Set Premiums

New Hampshire auto insurance companies use a range of factors to determine how much to charge you.

The amount of coverage that you want to buy has the most influence over your premiums. A person that wants $100,000 in property damage liability coverage will pay a higher price than someone that wants the $25,000 minimum.

Your deductible will also play a significant role. The higher your deductible is, the less money you will spend on your monthly premiums.

Before you choose a high deductible, remember that the insurance company will not pay you anything until you exceed that amount. If you cannot afford to pay $1,000 out of your pocket, then you should not choose a $1,000 deductible. Try to find a balance that helps lower your premium while keeping repairs within your budget.

Other factors that may influence your premium include:

  • Where you live.
  • How many people of driving age live in your home.
  • Your age, marital status, and sex.
  • Your vehicle's value.
  • Your credit history.

Use Discounts to Lower Insurance Premiums

Many insurance providers have discounts that some people can use to lower their premiums. You may qualify for a discount by:

  • Following local laws to avoid tickets.
  • Using the same company to insure multiple vehicles.
  • Installing anti-theft devices on your vehicle.

Discounts can vary greatly from company to company, so make sure you ask about any options that might affect you.

Finally, you should compare rates from several insurance companies before you buy a policy. Insurance companies use different formulas to determine their premiums. You may find that you can save a lot of money by comparing offers from reputable auto insurance providers in New Hampshire.