In the Aloha state, all drivers must carry auto insurance in order to be on the road legally. However, drivers with a record of accidents, DUIs or other motor vehicle violations may find it hard to obtain auto insurance coverage. If you are refused auto insurance because of a less-than-perfect driving record, you can turn to the Hawaii Joint Underwriting Plan (HJUP). This plan will ensure that you receive coverage, as long as you meet several conditions described below. In Hawaii, the minimum auto insurance coverages mandated by the state are liability insurance of 20/40/10, and personal injury protection insurance of $10,000.
What is the Hawaii Joint Underwriting Plan - (HJUP)?
In 1974, Hawaii created the Hawaii Joint Underwriting Plan in order to provide auto insurance to drivers classified as high risk or those who could not find insurance through ordinary means. According to the Hawaii Department of Insurance, the Hawaii Joint Underwriting Plan is a risk pooling arrangement in which all companies in the state must participate. All auto insurers in Hawaii must be members of the JUP, which is essentially a cost-sharing arrangement. By assigning high risk drivers to a great many insurance companies across Hawaii, no one insurance company will bear all the losses that high risk drivers may bring. You may apply through any agent or broker of an insurance company that is licensed to sell auto insurance in Hawaii.
If you do find coverage through the HJUP, note that you will be assigned to an insurer. Hawaii’s Insurance Commissioner designates certain auto insurers as “servicing carriers” to provide the actual auto insurance policies and handle any claims or questions. You can express a preference for any of the 3 current servicers that you would like and the Plan will try to honor that choice. If you don’t have an insurance agent, you can contact the servicing carriers directly. Currently, the servicing carriers are Island Insurance, First Insurance, and State Farm Insurance.
You may apply for auto insurance through any agent or broker of an insurance company that is licensed to sell auto insurance in Hawaii. Note that auto insurance coverages in Hawaii extend beyond just cars to pickup trucks, vans, recreational trailers, camper bodies, motor homes and even antique autos of 25 years or more. It does not extend to motorcycles or motor scooters.
Hawaii JUP Eligibility
In Hawaii, an insurance agent will review your driving record to determine if you are eligible for coverage under the Joint Underwriting Plan. They will look back 3 years to see if you fall into one of the following 4 categories:
- Drivers whose license has been suspended or revoked within the last three years, or have records of auto-related convictions, such as driving without auto insurance.
- Drivers who have been involved in two or more accidents that resulted in someone's bodily injuries or more than $1,000 worth of property damage in the last three years.
- Drivers who are on public assistance or are permanently disabled and who want just basic auto insurance coverage through the JUP.
- Drivers who have been unable to obtain at least the minimum auto insurance coverage required by Hawaii Financial Responsibility laws on their own.
Any one of these circumstances will likely earn you a place in Hawaii’s Joint Underwriting Plan.
Hawaii Joint Underwriting Plan Coverage
Coverage options offered to drivers through the Hawaii Joint Underwriting Plan are the same as those offered to other drivers. But they may be more expensive than average. Policies through the Plan are written for one year at a time. You’d be wise to use this time to build a better driving record so that at the end of 3 years, you may qualify for lower rates in Hawaii's voluntary auto insurance market.
The table below shows Hawaii’s mandatory auto insurance coverages. The Residual Bodily Injury and Property Damage coverages - called residual because it is secondary to the injured third party's PIP coverage - are to pay for damages that you cause to other people. The Personal Injury Protection coverage (PIP) pays for your own medical expenses, regardless of who is at fault in an accident. Talk with your insurance agent to see what level of coverage is appropriate for your financial situation. Paying a higher premium for higher levels of coverage may be the smart move for your specific case.
|Mandatory Coverage||Hawaii Required Min. Limits||Hawaii JUP Maximum Limits|
|Residual Bodily Injury (RBI)||$20,000 per person / $40,000 per accident||$100,000 per person / $300,000 per accident|
|Property Damage (PD)||$10,000 per accident||$30,000 per accident|
|Personal Injury Protection (PIP)||$10,000 per person per accident||$10,000 per person per accident|
Hawaii’s Joint Underwriting Plan also offers a number of optional coverages, including insurance against uninsured motorists, for first party benefits, as well as physical damage insurance. In the case of Uninsured/Underinsured Bodily Injury, your agent MUST offer you these initially. You can reject them in writing, and if you do so they won’t be offered again. Physical damage insurance includes Comprehensive and Collision coverages that covers your car's repairs, and are offered much more at the discretion of your assigned insurer. For these coverages you don’t choose a coverage amount, but rather a deductible amount. In Hawaii, your deductible options are: $50, $100, $250, $500, $1,000, $1,500, or $2,000; you may opt for $0 deductible for your Comprehensive coverage in Hawaii, but know that premium will be higher.
|Optional Coverage||Hawaii JUP Min. Limits||Hawaii JUP Maximum Limits|
|Comprehensive||actual cash value||no stated limit|
|Collision||actual cash value||no stated limit|
|Uninsured Motorists BI (UMBI)||$20,000 per person/$40,000 per accident||not to exceed RBI limits|
|Underinsured Motorists BI (UIMBI)||$20,000 per person/$40,000 per accident||not to exceed RBI limits|
|Optional First Party Benefits|
|PIP - Wage Loss||$500 per month, up to $3000 per accident||$2,000 per month, up to $12,000 per accident|
|PIP - Death Benefits||$25,000||$100,000|
|PIP - Funeral Expenses||$2,000||$2,000|
Hawaii JUP Premiums & Payment Plans
Hawaii’s Department of Insurance suggests that premiums for auto insurance coverage obtained through the HJUP are likely to be higher than average. But there is no hard-and-fast rule for knowing exactly how much higher they may be. Auto insurance companies in Hawaii consider many factors when pricing your policy. The better you understand these factors, the easier it is for you to find coverage in the voluntary market again.
You can pay your auto insurance bill in the same way that other drivers in Hawaii do. Payment plans may vary slightly by insurance company, but you can usually pay either all at once up front for a year’s coverage, or in monthly installments over the course of the year. Just be sure to pay on or before the due date. There is no grace period for paying your auto insurance bill.
How to Apply for Insurance through the Hawaii Joint Underwriting Plan
As mentioned above, every licensed auto insurer in Hawaii should be able to help you determine if the HJUP is right for you.
To learn more about Hawaii’s Joint Underwriting Plan, you can call the Hawaii Department of Insurance at (808) 586-2790 or visit their website.