Drivers in New Hampshire are not required to have auto insurance. However, according to RSA§ 264:2 and RSA§ 264:3, if your driver’s license is suspended due to a conviction of a motor vehicle law violation, you are required show proof of financial responsibility to get your license back. New Hampshire minimum car insurance requirements are:

  • Liability insurance with the limits of at least 25/50/25 — meaning:

RSA § 264:20

  • $25,000 for bodily injury to another person
  • $50,000 for bodily injuries to two or more other persons in any one accident
  • $25,000 for injury to or destruction of property of others in any one accident
  • Uninsured/Under-insured Motorist and Hit-and-Run coverage:

RSA§ 264:15

  • $25,000 for bodily injury to one person in your vehicle
  • $50,000 for bodily injuries to two or more people in your vehicle in any one accident

Although additional coverage, such as personal injury protection, collision, and comprehensive, is not required by the state of New Hampshire, many drivers choose to purchase them in order to cover any additional expenses resulting from an accident.

Alternative Options to Insurance:

In New Hampshire, you have the option of using a deposit of money or security as proof of financial responsibility instead of purchasing an insurance policy, if the following requirements are met:

RSA§ 264:22

  • Money or security deposit of at least $75,000 filed first with the State Treasurer and then with the Department of Safety

Required Proof of Insurance in New Hampshire

Insurance Card provided by an insurance company including all of the following:

  • Name of the insurance company
  • Insurance policy number
  • Effective date and expiration date of the policy
  • Accurate description of year, make, model and vehicle identification number of registered vehicle
  • Name of insured driver

Certificate of Deposit

  • Certificate number issued by the Department of Safety
  • Effective date of the certificate
  • Name of driver covered by certificate of deposit

New Hampshire Department of Safety
33 Hazen Drive
Concord, NH 03305

Obtaining a Driver License

Here are the requirements to obtain your driver license for residents under the age of 18:

  • Be at least 16 years old
  • Complete a driver education course
  • Complete at least 40 hours of behind-the-wheel driving practice, 10 of which must be at night, while supervised by a licensed driver who is at least 25 years old
  • Driver must be at least 15 ½ years old
  • Complete the Driver Out of Class Log Sheet
  • Pass the vision test
  • Pass the written test based on the New Hampshire Driver’s Manual
  • Pass the road test
  • Pay the driver license fee

The following documents are required for application for residents under the age of 18:

Here are the requirements to obtain your first driver license for residents over the age of 18:

The following documents are required for application for residents over the age of 18:

Completing Driver Education

Anyone under the age of 18 who is applying for a driver license in New Hampshire must complete a driver education course that has been approved by the Commissioner of Safety and the Commissioner of Education. According to RSA§ 263:19, driver education courses must meet the following requirements:

  • Be given at a New Hampshire high school or a commercial driving school that has been licensed by the Division of Motor Vehicles
  • Contain at least 10 hours of classroom and behind-the-wheel instruction that has been approved by the Commissioner of Education and the Commissioner of Safety

The classroom instruction must include:

  • 45 minutes of motorcycle safety that been approved by the Director of Motor Vehicles and the Motorcycle Rider Education Program Advisory Committee
  • 45 minutes of tractor-trailer safety and awareness that has been approved by the Director of Motor Vehicles

If you have any questions concerning a driver education course or school, contact the Department of Education at 603-271-3494 or the Division of Motor Vehicles at 603-227-4075.

Knowing the Rules of the Road

New Hampshire provides an overview of their rules of the road in the New Hampshire Driver’s Manual. You can also review all of the state’s traffic laws in the New Hampshire Statutes and Rules of the Roads. In order to qualify for the lowest possible car insurance rates, abide by all of the state’s traffic laws, which include, but are not limited to the following:

There are three general insurance coverage markets that residents of New Hampshire typically fall into: the preferred, the standard, or the non-standard market. The preferred market offers the lowest auto insurance rates in New Hampshire and is reserved for drivers with immaculate driving records. The standard market still offers affordable auto insurance in New Hampshire and is reserved for drivers with fair driving records. The non-standard market offers the highest premiums and is reserved for drivers with less experience and those with multiple infractions, including traffic tickets, accidents, and drunken driving offenses.

Know Your Rates

If you choose to purchase insurance in New Hampshire, whether to get your license back after being convicted if a motor vehicle law violation or just to cover yourself in the event of an accident, you should understand how insurance companies determine the rate you will pay. Several factors are used to evaluate drivers and adjust their rates, including:

  • Gender. Recent studies have shown that of men and women in the same age group, men are involved in more accidents. Therefore, men have to pay higher insurance rates than women.
  • Age. Statistics show that drivers younger than 25 are involved in more accidents than drivers over the age of 25. For this reason, drivers under the age of 25 have to pay higher insurance rates because they are considered a higher risk by insurance companies.
  • Marital status. Statistical evidence proves that drivers who are married tend to make fewer insurance claims than drivers who are not married. Therefore, drivers who are married may have low cost car insurance in New Hampshire.
  • Geographical area. Drivers who live in areas that have high crime rates have an increased chance of having their vehicles vandalized or stolen. Thus, they have to pay higher insurance rates to make up for the increased risk. People living in areas known to have a high number of traffic accidents have to pay higher insurance rates because of the increased likelihood that they will have a collision.
  • Vehicle use. The amount that you drive your vehicle can be used to help determine your insurance rate. Driving long distances and driving frequently increase your chances of having an accident. For this reason, people may have to pay higher insurance rates if they have long daily commutes. Where you park your vehicle can also be used to help determine what your insurance rate will be. You lessen the risk of theft and damage to your vehicle by parking in a safe location, such as a garage or guarded parking lot, which can lower your insurance rate.
  • Vehicle make, model, and year. There are certain vehicles that tend to get stolen more than others, such as expensive and high-performance vehicles. If you choose to drive a vehicle that has a high risk of theft, you will have to pay more to insure it. In contrast, driving a more run-of-the-mill car will likely qualify you to receive low cost car insurance in New Hampshire, as long as you also have a clean driving record.
  • Driving record and claims history. A good driving record can keep your insurance rate low. If your record is free from multiple accidents, tickets, and insurance claims, you are considered a lower risk to insure and will have a lower rate to pay than drivers with poor driving records.
  • Credit history. Insurance companies may use your credit history to determine how likely you are to make your payments. If you have a history of not making payments on time or at all, you will most likely have a higher insurance rate. The Insurance Department provides an online brochure with detailed information pertaining to insurance companies using your credit history to adjust your rate.

Lower Your Rates

Purchasing the cheapest policy you can find isn’t always the best idea. Just because a policy is cheap doesn’t mean it’s worth the money. You want to find the best insurance coverage for the best price, so shop around and compare auto insurance rates in New Hampshire. Speak with different insurance agents and brokers and find out the type of coverage each one will offer you and how much they want you to pay for it. You should ask questions and make sure you understand the coverage before you pay for it. The Insurance Department provides an online automobile insurance price comparison that you can use to get an idea of what you might have to pay for insurance. The prices will not be customized to you specifically, but they will give you a good foundation to compare to any quotes you may receive from agents and brokers.

When shopping for insurance, ask each broker or agent about discounts that you may be eligible for. There are several discounts available, such as discounts for having anti-theft devices on your vehicle, for drivers who have completed an accident prevention course, and drivers who are accident free. The Insurance Department can provide you with information about insurance discounts if you contact them at 1-800-852-3416.

Before you choose to work with an agent or broker, make sure they are licensed by the Insurance Commissioner. You can check the license status of an insurance agent, broker, or company by using the Insurance Department’s Licensee Look-up, or by calling the Insurance Department at 1-800-852-3416. In addition, if an agent, broker, or company attempts to sell ERISA or union plans, contact the Insurance Commissioner to report the activity.

Also, be mindful of the possibility that some plans, such as medical insurance, can overlap in coverage areas with your auto insurance policy.

Picking an Insurance Agent or Broker

Insurance agents and insurance brokers are the two types of professionals that you will most likely be working with when shopping for insurance. An insurance agent earns commission by selling policies for the insurance company he or she works for. An insurance broker is hired by individual clients. The broker will then assess the needs of each client and find the right insurance policy from the right insurance company to fit each client’s needs. Brokers earn commission from the insurance companies whose policies they sell. One thing to keep in mind while you are discussing your rates with an agent or broker is that their commission is based on your premium. The more money you pay, the more money they make.

According to RSA § 402:10, insurance companies must be licensed by the Insurance Commissioner to do business in New Hampshire. Therefore, in order to avoid a scam or fruad, before you purchase a policy from an insurance company, agent, or broker, make sure they are licensed by the Commissioner. You can check the license status of an agent, broker, or company by using the Insurance Department’s Licensee Look-up or by calling the Insurance Department at 1-800-852-3416. You should also check with the Insurance Department to see if any disciplinary actions have been taken against that person or company. Even if a company, agent, or broker is licensed, you may not want to work with them if they have a history of violations and complaints.

If you have been wronged or have a problem with an insurance company, agent, or broker, you can file a complaint online with the Insurance Commissioner. The Commissioner will investigate the issue and notify you if any additional information is needed or if any formal disciplinary actions will take place.

After an Accident

According to RSA§ 264:25, drivers who are involved in an accident have to meet certain requirements in order to comply with the law. If you are involved in a collision resulting in injury, death, or property damage, you must to stop and provide the other driver(s) involved in the accident with your name, address, vehicle registration number, and driver’s license number, as well as the name and address of each person in your vehicle, even if the other driver(s) has no car insurance in New Hampshire. The other driver(s) must provide you with the same information. If you have a collision with an unattended vehicle, you have to attempt to locate the owner. If the owner cannot be located, you must leave a note with your name and address on or in the vehicle. You are required to immediately notify the police of the accident. Inform the police of any injuries or deaths that may have occurred so they can make sure emergency medical services are called to the scene. Be prepared to give a thorough account of the events leading up to the collision and the outcome of the collision to responding police officers.

If the police respond to the accident, they will file a report. However, if police officers do not respond to the scene, you are required to report the accident to the Division of Motor Vehicles within 15 days of the accident. Failure to report an accident, stop at the scene of the accident, or exchange the required information with the other driver(s) involved can result in misdemeanor charges, felony charges, fines, imprisonment, and the suspension or loss of your license.

For your own accident report, you should take down the information from the other driver(s), as well as the names and contact information of responding police officers and witnesses you spoke with. If you have a camera, even a cell phone with a camera, you should take pictures of all vehicle and property damage resulting from the accident.

If you have insurance, you are required to report the accident to your insurance company as soon as possible. You can call your company and speak to a representative about filing a claim, or check to see if you can file a claim online. Your insurance company should have procedures that you can follow to file a claim. Provide your insurance company with the name, address, vehicle registration number, and driver’s license number of the other driver(s) involved in the accident. Explain, in as much detail as possible, how the accident happened and how much vehicle and property damage was caused by the collision. If you took any pictures, give them to your insurance company. Also, supply the names and contact information of any police officers or witnesses that you spoke with. Any police report filed must also be copied and sent to your insurance company.

Your insurance company will investigate your claim and notify you of their decision within 30 days of receiving all of the information they need. If your claim is delayed, your insurance company must notify you. If your claim is denied, your insurance company will notify you in writing. Contact your insurance company if there is an unreasonable delay without notification. If the issue is still not resolved, contact the Insurance Department at 1-800-852-3416.

In the event that the other party involved in the accident is at fault and you had to use your insurance to cover your medical bills, repair bills, and any other expenses resulting from the accident, your insurance company may seek subrogation. Your insurance company will contact the at-fault driver or the at-fault driver’s insurance company in order to be compensated for the costs. To help this process go smoothly, you should provide your insurance company with your full cooperation. Notify your insurance company if you intend to settle with the at-fault driver or their insurance company.

Insurance for High-Risk Drivers

If your driving record contains several infractions, such as accidents, tickets, or drunken driving offenses, insurance companies may consider you to be too high of a risk and deny coverage for you. However, New Hampshire offers the New Hampshire Automobile Insurance Plan to cover drivers who have tried and failed to find insurance coverage due to their driving records.

SR-22 insurance is another option for multiple-violation drivers to show proof of financial responsibility. Drivers may need to obtain SR-22 insurance if they have been convicted of motor vehicle violations, such as driving under the influence, being at fault for an accident, having too many traffic tickets within a short time span, or having your license suspended or revoked. Some insurance companies will provide SR-22 insurance, but not all companies do.

Additional Help

The New Hampshire Insurance Department is willing to assist consumers in anyway they can. If you have any question or concerns, you can contact the Department by phone at 1-800-853-3416, by e-mail at requests@ins.nh.gov, or you can mail them or visit them in person at 21 South Fruit Street, Concord, NH 03301. They will answer questions related to insurance, inform you of ways for you to lower your rates and keep them low, investigate complaints about specific companies, agents, or brokers, help you understand insurance laws and procedures, and enforce insurance law on the consumer’s behalf if needed. The Department also offers an online guide to help you gain an understanding of insurance in New Hampshire.

Online resources include: