A Comprehensive CT Auto Insurance Guide

Jan 19, 2022

Auto Ins

A Comprehensive CT Auto Insurance Guide

Most drivers know they're supposed to buy insurance if they drive in the state of Connecticut. However, some people still try to game the system, only to learn how expensive it can get for failing to comply with state law. Getting an auto insurance quote for Bristol, CT, and securing the right car insurance will save you from all kinds of hassles down the road. Here's a comprehensive auto insurance guide to help you.

Connecticut's minimum insurance requirements

To meet the state's minimum requirements, motorists must carry at least the following auto insurance:

  • Bodily injury coverage of $20,000 per person per accident
  • Bodily injury coverage of $40,000 for all persons per accident
  • Property damage liability of $10,000
  • $20,000 Uninsured/$40,000 underinsured motorist coverage

While it's not necessary to carry personal liability or collision and comprehensive coverage in the state, you should consider additional coverage if you own valuable assets. In addition, be aware that the state has repealed its no-fault policy, which opens the door to more outstanding liabilities.

Penalties for failure to carry auto insurance in Connecticut

Failure to carry proof of insurance in your vehicle upon request by an officer can lead to a fine of $110 and three months in jail in some cases. Other penalties include officials impounding your vehicle, in which you'll have to pay storage fees until you prove you've enrolled in auto insurance. It's also possible that your license and registration can get suspended.

You can face another fine of $200 with a suspended registration for not providing proof of insurance to Connecticut DMV within 30 days. Additionally, you'll have to pay the DMV to reinstate your registration.

Connecticut car insurance premiums

The Connecticut Insurance Department oversees auto insurance premiums in the state. The state permits insurance agencies to charge premiums and offer discounts for the following criteria:

  • Vehicle year, make, and model
  • Auto insurance history
  • Number of annual miles you drive
  • Clean driving record is discounted
  • Driving record with violations and accidents raises rates
  • Demographic information such as age, gender, and marital status
  • Location of your residence
  • Credit score and history

How to purchase the cheapest Connecticut car insurance policy?

First, you need to make sure you have the right car insurance coverage that fits your needs. It would help if you did not assume that a standard personal auto plan covers everything from towing to using your vehicle for commercial purposes. Most insurance companies require that you purchase extensions to your standard plan to cover towing.

To get all the coverage you need and save money, you should eliminate coverage features you don't need. Then talk with your insurance agent about possible discounts. Even though insurance agencies rarely promote discounts, they still may offer rewards for good driving and minimal driving if you ask. One of the most common ways to cut insurance costs is to bundle different insurance plans together.

Investigate low-cost auto insurance programs offered by the state. Get auto insurance quotes for Bristol, CT from various auto insurers, then compare premiums. You shouldn't aim for the cheapest possible insurance because that might be money down the drain. Those are the kind of policies with minimal coverage and particular conditions.

Another option is to find an insurer in the state that offers usage-based insurance, where the insurer monitors your driving miles and behavior with wireless technology known as telematics. These programs reward drivers for safe driving behavior and document mileage, lowering your insurance rates if you don't drive often.

New Connecticut driving laws

State laws on auto insurance change over time. Even if these changes get little media coverage, it's still your responsibility to be aware of them. Violating the following new laws can adversely affect your insurance rates:

  • Talking or texting on a cell phone while driving is prohibited, except when in emergencies or interacting with a law enforcement agent. The ban on texting while driving has spread to all but a few states. About half the states prohibit cell phones while driving. Connecticut law prohibits drivers from using any hand-held electronic mobile device.
  • Drivers caught being distracted while driving may face getting a point on their driving record and paying a fine. The first violation will cost $200, the second one will cost $375, and the fine for three or more traffic violations jumps to $625. In 2019, about 3,142 traffic accidents in the US were due to distracted driving, which is one of the reasons for stricter penalties.
  • If you are convicted of speeding at 75 mph or more in a work zone, you will be required to go to an operator retraining class. Additionally, you'll get two points on your driving record and face paying a fine. The maximum speed in the state for cars and trucks is 65 mph. If workers and warning signs are present in the work zone, you may pay double the fine for any moving violations.

A recent new federal law requires all new vehicles to include anti-drunk driving technology, as standards will be set by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) by 2024. Vehicles with the latest technology may be available as soon as 2026-2027. The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety suggests this new law may save over 9,400 lives. Another new CT law requires driver education programs to mention driver safety responsibilities related to work zones.

Understanding Connecticut insurance requirements for drivers is essential for choosing the right auto insurance plan. From there, you need to understand the factors that determine insurance costs. Contact our experts at C.V. Mason Insurance Agency to learn more about getting the right car insurance in Connecticut.