New Hampshire is one of the few states in the U.S. that does not require all drivers to carry automobile insurance. However, if you incur “points” on your driving record in the Granite state, for anything from multiple speeding tickets to DWIs, then your previously optional auto insurance becomes required. New Hampshire makes sure that you will still get covered, even if you have points on your record, behind the scenes by the New Hampshire Automobile Reinsurance Facility (NHARF). This organization makes sure that you will find at least the minimum coverages for liability, first-party and uninsured motorists insurance.
What is the New Hampshire Automobile Reinsurance Facility (NHARF)?
New Hampshire established the Automobile Reinsurance Facility in 1982 to ensure auto insurance for eligible drivers who can’t find it in the voluntary market. These are typically high risk or inexperienced drivers – such as a student driver. It does so by sharing the losses and expenses from high risk drivers across member auto insurance providers. It’s a mandatory risk-sharing plan in which all New Hampshire auto insurers must participate. According to the New Hampshire ARF, less than 500 drivers were ceded to them in 2014 – a number that has been dropping for some years. The Facility accepts insurance premiums from auto insurers and then shares the losses and expenses from these drivers equitably across all members of the Facility.
In 2014, some 572 New Hampshire auto insurance companies were paying members of the Facility. Those insurers can “cede” your policy to the Automobile Reinsurance Facility as long as you are a New Hampshire resident and have at least one point on your driving record. When an auto insurer cedes your policy, all the premiums they receive from you is transferred to the Facility. If you have an accident or make a claim, the auto insurer who ceded your policy will pay your claim, and then ask the Facility to reimburse them. The Facility also accepts policies for trucks, motorcycles, campers and even antique autos older than 25 years.
You can approach any licensed auto insurer in New Hampshire, and they cannot refuse to provide you with an auto insurance policy that meets your needs. If you driving record improves to the point where you have zero points on your driving record, your auto insurer is required by law to offer you an insurance policy at the lower rates found in the voluntary market.
New Hampshire ARF Coverage Limits
Since your insurance is still handled by your insurer of choice, you will not notice much difference on your end even when your policy is ceded over. Assuming that you are required to obtain coverage because you've gotten into an accident, the auto insurance requirements in New Hampshire apply on you.
|New Hampshire Minimums and Limits||New Hampshire Required Min. Limits||New Hampshire ARF Maximum Limits|
|Bodily Injury (BI)||$25,000 per person / $50,000 per accident||$250,000 per person / $500,000 per accident|
|Property Damage (PD)||$25,000 per accident||$100,000 per accident|
|Medical Payments Coverage||$1,000||$10,000|
|Uninsured/Underinsured Motorists BI (UM/UIMBI)||$25,000 per person / $50,000 per accident||same as your BI limits|
Note that apart from the compulsory coverage, you also have the option to add Comprehensive and Collision coverages, which can be purchased separately or together. You can choose among deductibles of $100, $200, or $500. There is no stated limit for this coverage, but your insurance agent will consider the car’s actual cash value – i.e. what you could get if you sold the car – in determining how much to pay for repairs should you make a claim.
New Hampshire Automobile Reinsurance Facility Policy Premiums
According to New Hampshire’s ARF, higher risk drivers who find coverage through them are likely to pay more for their insurance than average cost of auto insurance in New Hampshire. The Facility sets its own rates for policies, and all member insurers must use the Facility's rating methods to determine the premiums of each ceded policy.
The Facility also has its own set of surcharges corresponding to the number of Safe Driver Incentive Points (SDIP) that you have on your record. The ARF assigns 1 point – and adds a surcharge of $90 to your premium – for failure to have your license and registration on you if you are stopped by law enforcement. The Facility assigns 3 points – and adds a surcharge of $330 – for texting while driving. And so on, up through 8 points - and a $1,240 surcharge – for 2 charges like being convicted of Driving While Impaired (DWI) or convicted of leaving the scene of an accident. Points last for 3 years on your driving record, so ideally you want to work to improve your driving record as soon as possible.
In New Hampshire, auto insurance policies that are ceded to the Facility are not eligible for any safe driver discounts.
Getting Auto Insurance in New Hampshire as a High Risk Driver
As a consumer, you don’t actually contact the New Hampshire Automobile Reinsurance Facility for auto insurance. Any licensed New Hampshire insurance agent can explain your coverage options, premiums and payment plans from different companies. Remember that even if you receive coverage through the Facility, your normal interactions relating to premium payments, renewal notices or claims will be conducted with whatever insurer you have chosen.
For more information about the New Hampshire Automobile Reinsurance Facility, you can call the New Hampshire Insurance Department at 1-603-271-2261 or talk to any licensed New Hampshire insurance agent or broker.