Hawaii was inducted as the last state to join the Union in 1959. Prior to this, Hawaii had been a US territory, and before that was its own Polynesian kingdom with a rich culture and heritage, which remains strong today. The “Aloha State” is one of the most popular vacation spots in the world. The cost of living in Hawaii is one of the highest in the US, and part of every budget is auto insurance. Here is a guide to driving and Hawaii car insurance.
Driving Hazards in Hawaii
Since Hawaii is a tropical island chain in the South Pacific, it is exempt from many of the weather problems that are common on the mainland. The biggest weather concern that affects Hawaii car insurance are the yearly monsoon rains, which can cause flooding and vehicle damage. Other natural hazards in Hawaii are the rougher roads on certain islands, and towns close to the larger volcanoes have been known to see lava flows that cause property damage, and, of course, tsunamis caused by offshore and volcanic earthquakes.
Hawaii Driving Facts and Figures
- Total number of vehicle crashes in 2001: 10,848, with 140 fatalities. That number has fallen in the past years, with the number of accident fatalities down to 109. (HIDOT)
- Hawaii had 4,819 reported vehicle thefts in 2009. (NTSB)
- Hawaii has one of the highest drunk-driving crash fatality rates in the country, with 52 (48%) of its 109 deaths in 2009 due to DUI. (HIDOT)
- Hawaii ranks as number 12 on the best auto insurance prices list for 2010, with an average auto premium for a six-month liability-only policy costing $552. This makes Hawaii car insurance more affordable than the majority of the other states. (InsWeb)
Mandatory Insurance Coverage
Every driver has to have basic Hawaii car insurance, which consists of bodily injury and property damage liability plus PIP (Personal Injury Protection) insurance. Hawaii is one of the few states that has adopted no-fault auto insurance, meaning that in a vehicle crash each driver’s insurance pays for their medical bills. No one is allowed to sue for medical damages unless their injuries are very serious. “No fault” does not apply to property, however, so the at-fault driver’s property damage liability insurance will pay for any repairs up to the limits of their coverage.
Minimums and Penalties
Hawaii’s liability minimums are 20/40/10 with $10,000 in PIP coverage, which means:
- Up to $20,000 per person in bodily injury liability
- Up to $40,000 per incident in bodily injury liability
- Up to $10,000 per incident in property damage liability
- Up to $10,000 per person (driver and/or passengers) for bodily injury coverage in the at-fault vehicle in Personal Injury Protection (PIP)
Hawaiians are encouraged to carry more than the minimum amounts of liability coverage, since the average cost of vehicle accident repairs can often top the $10,000 property damage limit, and medical expenses can be extremely expensive. Any overage would be the driver’s responsibility to pay for on his or her own. Not carrying the required Hawaii car insurance can result in fines, loss of their driver’s license, suspensions of license plates and denial of state inspection stickers. Drivers must even carry insurance if their licenses are suspended or their car is totaled.
Other Insurance Coverage
There are no other mandatory requirements for Hawaii car insurance, but it is always a good idea to invest in more than just the basic level of protection. Car prices are higher on average in Hawaii due to the cost of importation and gasoline, and repairs are comparatively high as well. If your vehicle is leased or financed you will probably need to purchase collision and comprehensive coverage, which pays for any damages caused by at-fault accidents, natural events or theft/vandalism. Increase the deductibles to at least $500 or more to decrease your monthly payments.
Getting Cheap Hawaii Car Insurance
Just like in every other state, there are ways to get cheap Hawaii car insurance. This is much easier for drivers with good records, as well as for those whose vehicles have good performance test ratings and safety features like anti-theft systems, anti-lock brakes and airbags. Young drivers who have gone through the Hawaii GDL (Graduated Driver’s License) program will find they have better rates for car insurance because they successfully finished the program. Bundling your car insurance with other policies through the same company can yield discounts, too.
Hawaii is a beautiful place to live, and its residents are lucky to call this paradise home. However, auto insurance in Hawaii is mandatory, and not carrying the required coverage can lead to severe legal penalties. Find the cheapest car insurance that meets your needs by allowing us to find multiple quotes from several great auto insurers in Hawaii. You can also look for cheap auto insurance quotes online. It’s simple, fast and completely free.