If you drive in Delaware and have a driving record that includes incidents like DUIs or traffic accidents, it may be a challenge to find auto insurance coverage. That’s because auto insurers have many years of data showing that a record like this makes you a higher risk for filing auto insurance claims. If a less-than-stellar driving record results in you being turned down for auto insurance, you can look into the Delaware Automobile Insurance Plan (DAIP). As long as you meet the eligibility criteria shown below, this Plan will ensure that you get auto insurance coverage. In Delaware, all drivers must have liability auto insurance coverage of at least the legal minimum of 25/50/10.
What is the Delaware Automobile Insurance Plan (DAIP)?
The Delaware Auto Insurance Plan has been around as Delaware’s assigned risk plan since 1947. It was created to ensure insurance coverage for drivers in the “First State” who can’t find auto insurance otherwise. The Delaware AIP assigns such drivers to existing licensed insurers in Delaware, who are the actual coverage providers. The assignment is based on those companies’ market share in the state. So while you will get coverage, you won’t be able to choose your insurance provider as you would in the voluntary market. This, and the fact that your premiums are almost always higher than the voluntary high-risk auto insurance cost, is why the Plan is recommended as a last resort for Delaware drivers.
Every agent and broker who holds a valid Delaware license as an automobile insurer can walk you through your options, as well as giving you a DAIP quote, if you decide to consider the Plan. Note that even if you own a pickup truck, van, trailer, motor home, motorcycle and even antique auto (25 years or older), you can still be eligible for assigned coverage through the DAIP.
Delaware AIP Eligibility
The eligibility critiria to enter the DAIP assigned risk pool is simple:
- You are licensed in Delware.
- You have either tried and failed to obtain insurance coverage within the past 60 days before your DAIP application, or that the insurance premiums is higher than what your DAIP quote is.
You must also agree to a few things in order to maintain your eligibility: you will pay your bills on time, and that you have provided all your information in truth on the application. You won’t be eligible for coverage – even through the DAIP – if you have failed to pay an auto insurance premium to any company within the last 12 months. If you pay the outstanding insurance bill, your application can proceed. Similarly, if you apply for Physical Damage coverage (Comprehensive and Collision) but don’t bring your car in for a visual inspection by an insurance representative within 30 days of receiving a policy, your assigned insurer can cancel your coverage. If you bring you vehicle in for inspection (and it passes), then your policy can be reinstated.
You will pay more for the auto insurance coverages you receive through the DAIP than safer drivers in Delaware pay – but at least you will be covered and, thus, on the road legally. That coverage will last for 3 years, as long as you pay your auto insurance bills and maintain your eligible status. Ideally you will use this time to improve your risk as a driver in order to be able to find cheap auto insurance on your own again. At the end of 3 years, if you are still considered a high risk driver by Delaware insurers, you can reapply to the DAIP and be considered a new applicant. This means your application will be reviewed again, and you will likely be assigned a different insurer.
The following mandatory coverages are available through the DAIP. Both the minimum and maximum levels of coverage are shown; there are usual a couple of levels in between to choose from. Talk with your insurance agent about what limits are appropriate for you. While the minimum level may cost the least, you may regret choosing it if you are in an accident that results in damages that are higher than your coverage level. The difference is your responsibility. Note also that Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage is required in Delaware.
|Mandatory Coverage||Delaware Required Min. Limits||Delaware AIP Maximum Limits|
|Bodily Injury (BI)||$25,000 per person / $50,000 per accident||$100,000 per person / $300,000 per accident|
|Property Damage (PD)||$10,000 per accident||$50,000 per accident|
|Personal Injury Protection (PIP)||$25,000 per person / $50,000 per accident||$100,000 per person / $300,000 per accident|
The table below shows optional coverages that your assigned Delaware insurer may offer you. Uninsured Motorist Bodily Injury and Uninsured Motorist Property Damage must be offered to you. You can choose one or both, or reject one or both on the application. Your Physical Damage coverages come with a choice of deductibles: $100, $250, $500, or $1,000 for each loss. One way to lower your insurance premium is to pay a higher deductible; just make sure your finances can handle it.
|Optional Coverage||Delaware AIP Min. Limits||Delaware AIP Maximum Limits|
|Physical Damage (Collision and Comprehensive)||actual cash value||actual cash value|
|Uninsured Motorist Bodily Injury||$25,000 per person/$50,000 per accident||$100,000 per person/$300,000 per accident|
|Uninsured Motorist Property Damage||$10,000 per accident||$50,000 per accident|
Delaware AIP Premiums and Payments
According to the Delaware Department of Insurance, drivers who find coverage through the DAIP can expect to pay more for their insurance than safer drivers do. Delaware auto insurers look at many different criteria when they assess you as a risk. The more you understand the factors they consider, the more you can take action to lower your risk, and consequently your auto insurance premiums over time.
There are generally 3 options for paying your premium to your assigned insurer. One is to pay 30% of the annual premium up front with your application and the full balance within 30 days of receiving your policy in the mail. The second is an installment plan, in which you pay 25% of the full annual premium up front, and the remainder in 5 equal monthly installments. Note there is a $4 service fee added to installment payments. Finally, you can pay the entire annual premium to you Delaware insurer up front. Remember that your assigned insurer handles all the billing and renewal notices, not the Delaware AIP.
How to Apply for the Delaware Automobile Insurance Plan
You can talk with any licensed auto insurance agent or broker in Delaware for information about this Plan. Again, premiums through the DAIP are usually more costly than if you found high risk auto insurance in the voluntary market. If you are a student and receiving high auto insurance quotes, check out the insurers who usually provide cheap student auto insurance coverage in the U.S.
To learn more about the Delaware AIP, call the Delaware Department of Insurance at 302-674-7310 or visit the DAIP website.
Last Updated: January 2016