The Ultimate Delaware Car Insurance Guide (Costs + Coverage)

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Chris Tepedino

Insurance Feature Writer

Chris Tepedino is a feature writer that has written extensively about auto insurance for numerous websites. He has a college degree in communication from the University of Tennessee and has experience reporting, researching investigative pieces, and crafting detailed, data-driven features. His works have been featured on CB Blog Nation, Flow Words, Healing Law, WIBW Kansas, and ...

Insurance Feature Writer

Rachael Brennan

Licensed Insurance Agent

Rachael Brennan has been working in the insurance industry since 2006 when she began working as a licensed insurance representative for 21st Century Insurance, during which time she earned her Property and Casualty license in all 50 states. After several years she expanded her insurance expertise, earning her license in Health and AD&D insurance as well. She has worked for small health in...

Licensed Insurance Agent

UPDATED: Apr 11, 2022

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When it comes to the American states, Delaware is at the front of the line having earned the honor of being known as “The First State.” In 1787, it was the earliest of the original 13 colonies to adopt the laws of the United States Constitution. Whether this is your first car insurance research outing or even your last, many of us can spend hours digging to find a few nuggets of information.

Look no further! If you’re tired of falling down internet rabbit holes, you’ve finally reached car insurance “wonderland,” a treasure trove that is your map to the right data.

This is a virtual goldmine of details about car insurance coverage options, providers, state laws, and much more to help you reach valuable decisions. Want to find out how much car insurance is truly worth? Use our FREE online tool to compare rates in your area.

Table of Contents

Delaware Insurance Coverage and Rates

It can seem impossible to find time to research everything about Delaware car insurance companies and their rates and practices.

We’ve got you covered. You’ll find all the information you need and want – state laws, insurance coverage options, and more – to help you make the right choice for your car insurance. Along the way, we’ll guide you through important insights about insurance and driving risks. At the end, you’ll know what Delaware requires for insurance, the options available, and how you can get the best rates.

– Delaware Minimum Coverage

Liability insurance pays everyone owed money for property damage and/or injuries from a car accident — drivers, passengers, pedestrians, bicyclists, etc. —  that you or anyone under your policy has caused.

Delaware is an “at-fault” accident state, which means, if you are the driver responsible for an accident, you will be held liable for any personal injury or property claims.

The Diamond State requires that all drivers carry Personal Injury Protection (PIP). The minimum amount of PIP coverage required by law is $15,000 per person, $30,000 per occurrence. The law also requires an extra $5,000 in funeral services coverage.

Delaware requires liability insurance at these minimum coverage amounts:

  • $25,000 – for injury or death of one person in an accident you caused
  • $50,000 – to cover total injuries or the death of more than one person in an accident you caused
  • $10,000 – for property damage in an accident you caused

Delaware doesn’t require uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage, but it can protect you and your passengers if an at-fault driver isn’t insured.

Given the risks involved in not having enough insurance coverage, especially in avoiding additional accident costs and potential lawsuits, the extra up-front cost can be worth it. To protect yourself, consider increasing your liability coverage.

The Wall Street Journal recommends liability limits of 100/300/50 and offers the following advice for choosing your coverage limits:

  • Make sure you’re covered for an amount equal to the total value of your assets: your house, your car, savings, and investments.
  • Be aware that basic coverage provides you only with liability protection — it won’t pay for repairing or replacing your car in an accident you cause.
  • If you want to repair or replace your car after an accident, it’s worth investing in collision and comprehensive coverage, which include a deductible, and pays based on your car’s current value, not necessarily the price you might have paid for it.

Self-insurance is available in Delaware to individuals and businesses with 15 or more cars registered in the state.

Read on to see how much drivers in Delaware pay on average for car insurance. Of course, your own rates might vary, but the information can help you see the “bigger picture.”

Forms of Financial Responsibility

If you live in Delaware, the state law requires you to have a form of financial responsibility. A form of financial responsibility proves that you have valid insurance on your car or can pay for the costs of an accident. Anytime you are pulled over by an officer or are in an accident, you must provide proof of financial responsibility.

Some acceptable forms of financial responsibility are the following:

  • Valid liability insurance policy with the minimum coverage (25/50/10)
  • Valid liability insurance ID card – the card must include the period of coverage and the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) company identification number or code
  • Valid insurance binder (a temporary form of car insurance)

The Delaware DMV penalty for operating an uninsured vehicle is a $1,500 to $2,000 fine and a mandatory driver’s license suspension for six months. For each subsequent offense occurring within three years of a former offense, the fine is $3,000 to $4,000.

Providing false proof of insurance will incur an additional fine of $500 and/or 30 days in jail and a driver’s license suspension for six months.

Insurance cards expire every six months and need to be reissued every six months. Insurance companies are required to issue a new ID card every six months.

Owners with valid and current license plates who cancel insurance for any reason must surrender their valid license plates to the division. Those who fail to surrender their license plates before insurance cancellation will face fines.

The Division of Motor Vehicles randomly audits for proof of insurance on active registrations. The penalty for being uninsured is $100.00 for 1-30 days and an additional $5.00 per day until the driver gets insurance, surrenders their tags, or their registration expires. The DMV also imposes suspensions on the registration and on the driver’s license of all owners who fail to respond to the request. Once suspended, reinstatement fees are $50.00 for driver’s license and $50.00 per registration.

Premiums as a Percentage of Income

In 2014, the annual per capita disposable personal income (DPI) in Delaware, after taxes have been paid, was $40,256.

The average annual cost of car insurance in Delaware is $1,216, which is three percent of the average DPI.

The average Delaware resident has $3,355 each month to buy food, pay bills, etc.  Car insurance will take about $101 out of that, and possibly more if your driving record isn’t exactly spotless.

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But, if you have money to burn, American Consumer Credit Counseling suggests saving 20 percent of every paycheck. That adds up to $671 every month, and that could help you get a better deal on your car insurance.

How much are you saving every month?

Delaware law mandates that drivers must carry at least basic insurance coverage. A full coverage policy includes liability, comprehensive, and collision insurance. This is the average cost of each:

Next, let’s see some important statistics about Delaware insurance companies.

– Core Car Insurance Coverage in Delaware

Coverage Type:Annual Costs in 2015:

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The above table illustrates the most recent data provided by the leading source on the matter, the National Association of Insurance CommissionersExpect car insurance rates in Delaware to be significantly higher for 2019 and on.

Remember: Delaware has minimum requirements for liability coverage, but experts suggest drivers buy more than the state law requires, especially in “at-fault” states like Delaware.

Why should you get more coverage than required?

Comprehensive car insurance covers unforeseen incidents such as a cracked windshield, a collision with a deer, and other events beyond collisions. But, you don’t need to stop at comprehensive.

This video by Delaware Public Media features attorneys who recommend that drivers understand the coverage they’re buying and get detailed explanations about it to make sure they’re getting enough coverage before they buy it. They suggest that drivers get as much underinsured/uninsured motorist coverage as possible:

Let us show you some of the most popular coverage options to add to a basic auto insurance policy.

And beforehand, let’s learn about the concept of loss ratio.

– Additional Liability Coverage in Delaware

A loss ratio compares how much a company spends on claims to how much money they take in on premiums. A loss ratio of 60 percent indicates the company spent $60 on claims out of every $100 earned in premiums.

The largest car insurance company in Delaware, State Farm, has a healthy loss ratio of 60.02 percent. A loss ratio between 40 and 60 percent is standard. If it ends up much higher, it could mean the company is paying too many claims and might not be able to stay solvent. However, a loss ratio under 40 percent can mean that the company is earning a profit on premiums and not paying as many claims or discounts to its customers.

– Add-ons, Endorsements, Riders

Just over 11 percent of Delaware drivers don’t have insurance. Delaware ranked 28th in the nation in 2015 for uninsured or underinsured drivers.

If you don’t want any coverage, as an alternative, you can consider additional coverage options to protect yourself in case of an accident. This Instant Auto Insurance Guide by the Delaware Department of Insurance offers a quick and helpful summary of the enhancements available.

One option is medical payments coverage or MedPay. It covers reasonable and necessary medical expenses without regard to legal liability from accidental bodily injury while operating or occupying an insured vehicle or being struck as a pedestrian by a motor vehicle.

This insurance also covers the insured or another driver at fault, and even when the insured or the insured’s family are pedestrians struck by another motorist.

Usage-Based Insurance programs (UBI) are available in Delaware. Drivewise from Allstate or Snapshot from Progressive and CoverageMyWay from Esurance are among the programs that offer discounts to drivers based on how well and how often they drive.

We know getting the complete coverage you need for an affordable price is your goal.

Read below for more powerful, but cheap extras you can add to your policy:

– Male Vs. Female Rates in Delaware

Though it shouldn’t, your gender can sometimes affect your car insurance rates — clearly, there are some differences between rates for males and females.

Let’s check them out.

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To give you a better picture of the costs, these are the most expensive demographic rates in the Blue Hen State.

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Regardless of your age or gender, coverage with Liberty Mutual Fire Insurance Company will cost a lot.

– Delaware Insurance Rates by Zip Code

Let’s see the most expensive zip codes in the Diamond State. These 25 zip codes have the highest average annual premiums in Delaware:

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And, by comparison, here are the 25 zip codes with the lowest average annual premiums:

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-Delaware Insurance Rates by City

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How does your city rank?

Enter your ZIP code below to compare auto insurance rates.

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Delaware Car Insurance Companies

So many car insurance carriers compete for your business these days that it’s hard to know which ones actually come through on their promises.

No need to worry — we’ve got you covered!  Keep scrolling to find out what the 10 best providers are across the state.

Ready to go? Let’s get this show on the road…

– Financial Ratings

When you consider car insurance companies, you should look at their public reputations closely. Reviews can sometimes be a strong indicator of the kind of rates they offer their customers. See how the largest companies rank for financial stability and customer satisfaction below.

AM Best  gives insurance companies financial ratings. A good score means they are highly likely to stay solvent and can pay customer claims. These are the 10 largest insurance companies in Delaware with the Best ratings:

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– Customer Satisfaction Ratings

Besides premiums, customer ratings should be another factor when you choose an insurance carrier.  Want to find out what customers really think about the top Delaware car insurance carriers?

Here we go!

– Delaware Companies with the Most and Least Complaints

The complaint ratio measures how many complaints a company receives per one million dollars of business. Companies that have a complaint index higher than one are worse than the average insurer in Delaware, and those with an index below one are better than average.

Trust is a major factor in ensuring the success of any long-term relationship, and both parties must work together to achieve satisfaction.

Unfortunately, that can’t always be achieved in every relationship. When a consumer is dissatisfied, they can file a complaint, which is factored into a company’s complaint ratios.

Complaint Ratios for Delaware’s 10 Largest Auto Insurers

If you want to file a complaint against an insurance company in Delaware, fill-out this form.

– Largest Car Insurance Companies in Delaware

This chart shows the car insurance companies with the largest market share in Delaware.

Wondering about the differences between domestic and foreign insurance? Basically, domestic insurance is formed under Delaware law, but foreign insurance is formed under the laws of any state in the U.S.

– Delaware Car Insurance Rates by Company

Next, let’s look at which carriers, on average, offer the best rates statewide.
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Delaware Rates by Carrier and Commute

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Delaware Rates by Carrier and Coverage Level

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Delaware Rates by Carrier and Credit History

According to a study by Experian, the average Delaware resident has a credit card VantageScore of 672, around three credit cards in their name, and a credit card balance of $6,366.

If you think your credit card debt and car insurance rates have no connection, think again! Insurance carriers run credit checks on their insured to assess the likelihood of them filing a claim at any point.

If your credit score doesn’t meet their standards, you might just see a spike in your rates, whether you’ve had an accident or not. Your credit score obviously plays an important role in determining your car insurance rates.

Next, we’ll cover another important factor insurers use to calculate your rates – your driving record.

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Delaware Rates by Carrier and Driving Record

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At many of these companies, a single DUI or accident will raise your rates. Keep a clean driving record so that they’ll stay low!

Delaware Rates by Carrier and Demographic

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Carriers’ insurance rates can vary by age. For example, a married 60-year-old female will pay $1,610.37 on average with Travelers, but a 17-year-old single female will pay $9,243.54 with the same company.

Choose the company offering the best rates. The best way to ensure you get the best possible coverage at the best rates is to compare rates from multiple carriers.

Delaware Laws

And, to keep your rates low, drive safely — remember and stick to the rules of the road. Next up, we’ll cover the laws of the land to help keep you informed, and your driving record clean.

Keep reading to learn about the laws specific to Delaware.

– Car Insurance Laws

Car insurance laws vary nationwide, and like other states, Delaware has a number of laws worth noting.

Delaware insurance laws are subject to the regulations set by that state insurance commissioner. Ultimately, all rates and regulations must meet the fair competition standards the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) sets.

High-Risk Insurance

Drivers who have committed violations or have many penalties, uninsured drivers, and others must file an SR-22 form. Also, if your license has been revoked or suspended, you may need to file an SR-22 to have it reinstated.

The form is available from your insurance company but isn’t part of an insurance policy.

If you require the SR-22 insurance proof in Delaware, that means your license is or will be suspended or revoked and you cannot legally drive in the state. Filing the correct documentation and meeting other requirements per the DMV can help you restore your driving privileges.

Be sure to have the correct address on your driver’s license to ensure that you receive the notice.

These are some of the major violations that will earn points on your license or even a suspension in Delaware:

  • Passing a stopped school bus: 6 points
  • Reckless driving6 points
  • Aggressive driving6 points
  • Speeding 20 MPH over the posted speed limit: 5 points
  • Disregarding a stop sign or a red light3 points

AAA Mid-Atlantic has found that nearly 63,000 aggressive driving-related arrests were made in 2016, which is a 10 percent increase over 2014. This Delaware TV station video reveals how road rage can increase — especially when temperatures rise — and offers ways to cool down:

See more violations that can result in a license suspension or points on your record.

Low-Cost Insurance

Though Delaware doesn’t have a low-cost insurance program, there are plenty of ways to shop around for the best coverage options and rates to lower costs.

Most insurers will provide discounts. Ask insurers if they offer the following discount options:

  • Being a home-owner
  • Having insurance on multiple cars
  • Paying your premium in full
  • Being a good student (it pays to study)
  • Switching insurance providers often comes with a discount
  • An accident-free record

Having an accident-free record is the best way to have reduced rates. Accidents will greatly increase your premiums, especially if you are at fault.

– Windshield Coverage

Delaware doesn’t have specific laws requiring insurance companies to offer special glass coverage or no-deductible windshield replacement. Your insurance company may require you to use a specific repair shop to get windshield coverage. As a consumer, you have the right to choose the repair vendor, but you may need to pay the difference in the quote.

This article offers a detailed summary of windshield and glass coverage in Delaware.

– Automobile Insurance Fraud in Delaware

Insurance fraud is the second largest economic crime in America. It affects premium rates and the prices consumers pay for goods and services. The DMV’s insurance fraud prevention division investigates suspected fraud.

And if those fraud numbers continue to rise, it’s more likely that the companies will continue to pass some of that cost onto you, the consumer, in the form of higher premiums.

But, if companies didn’t have to waste your premium dollars on false claims, you could pay lower insurance rates.

There are two classifications of fraud: hard and soft.

  • Hard fraud – A purposefully fabricated claim or accident
  • Soft fraud – A misrepresentation of information to the insurance company

Soft fraud is more common than hard fraud. Twenty to 40 percent of consumers admitted to lying to their insurer about one of the following:

  • Number of annual miles driven
  • Number of drivers in the household
  • How the vehicle would be used

Any way you slice it, insurance fraud is a crime. Any deliberate misrepresentation of facts is known as “rate evasion”, and it costs auto insurers $16 billion annually.

If you suspect insurance fraud or have been the victim of fraud, contact the Delaware Department of Insurance to report it.

– Statute of Limitations

statute of limitations is the limit on the amount of time you have to bring a lawsuit to court. Different states have different statutes of limitations for personal injury and property damage matters.

If you are ever in an auto accident involving extensive injuries and damages, you need to know your rights in the matter.

Delaware’s statute of limitations for filing a claim is two years for both personal injury and property damage.

– Vehicle Licensing Laws

Don’t make the mistake of driving in the state of Delaware without proper registration and insurance. It would be unwise and potentially costly to do so.

Penalties for Driving Without Insurance

At the Delaware DMV’s online portal, residents can renew their registrations and drivers’ licenses, update or change their addresses, and access their driving records, including vehicle registration and insurance information.

Delaware penalties for driving without insurance:

  • first offense: A minimum $1,500 fine and license suspension for six months for a first offense.
  • second offense (within three years): a minimum $3,000 fine and license suspension for six months.

Teen Driver Laws

Delaware’s Graduated Driver License program for young drivers is intended to reduce the high accident and fatality rate among teen motorists. It gives young drivers supervised driving experience to help them earn their level 1 permit and class D license.

To be eligible for Delaware’s level 1 permit, teen drivers must be at least 16 years old and under 18 years old. Learner permit candidates must present proof that they have completed a certified Delaware driver’s education course. When applying for a learner permit, the teen drivers must have a sponsor sign the permit application. The sponsor is responsible, together with the teen drivers, for any negligence the permit holders may cause until they’re 18.

While driving, the supervisor or sponsor must sit beside the teen driver while the vehicle is in motion — no other passengers are allowed to sit there. This mandatory supervision is in effect for the first six months that the teen driver holds the permit.

Level 1 permit holders must have certified documentation showing 50 hours of driving, 10 of which must be at night. When the level 1 permit driver has been driving for a full year and is in good standing (without suspension, revocation etc.), the permit will automatically convert to a Class D license.

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Older Driver License Renewal

Like younger drivers, elderly drivers in Delaware must get their licenses renewed every eight years and show proof of adequate vision at every renewal. They also can’t renew online or by mail — all Delaware drivers must renew their licenses in person.

The Delaware DMV explains in this video the concerns elderly drivers face and the steps they take to keep elderly drivers and those around them safe:

New Resident Licensing

The DMV and Department of Transportation in Delaware have provided first-time residents in the First State useful Guidelines for New Residents.

To get your new Delaware driver’s license, bring all required documentation to a driver’s licensing location.

License Renewal

Driver’s licenses must be renewed every eight years in person. Don’t wait until your license expires.

This Delaware DMV video details how you can “save time and skip the line” through accessing their services online:

– Rules of the Road

Every driver should know the rules of the road and pay attention. Not only do the rules keep drivers safe, but they prevent you from racking up fines and points on your record. We are going to dig into the most important rules you need to know.

Scroll down to learn how to avoid breaking the law!

Fault vs. No-Fault

Delaware is a “no-fault” state — all drivers must seek compensation for damages from their own insurance companies.

Keep Right and Move Over Laws

Delaware law requires that you keep right if you drive slower than the average speed of traffic surrounding you.

Delaware adopted a new “Move Over” law on January 1, 2007 that requires drivers to move over for emergency vehicles and also lower their speed as they pass. The law prevents drivers from driving in the lane into shoulders where emergency and non-emergency workers are present.

Speed Limits

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Seat Belt & Car Seat Laws

Delaware law requires drivers and all front-seat passengers 16 and older to wear seat belts. A violation is not a primary offense. The law lets passengers in the back seat ages 8-15 or who weigh 66 pounds or more use an adult safety belt.

Also, Delaware seat belt laws are under secondary enforcement only which means an officer must enforce a primary law before issuing a seat belt citation. If the police stop you for another traffic violation, you can be ticketed for failure to wear a seat belt, and the minimum fine is $25.

All children 7 years old or younger, or who weigh less than 66 pounds, must be in a child safety seat. It’s illegal for them to use an adult seat belt.

Delaware doesn’t have any state laws about riding in the cargo areas of pickups but make sure you take care to maintain the safety of yourself and others on the road.


No auto insurers in Delaware offer insurance specifically for ridesharing services. Rideshare services like Uber and Lyft mandate that all their drivers carry personal car insurance policies that align or exceed the minimum coverages state laws dictate.

Automation on the Road

According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS),

Automation is the use of a machine or technology to complete a task or a function a human once performed. In driving, automation involves using radar, camera, and other sensors to gather information about a vehicle’s surroundings, which computer programs use to perform all or part the driving on a regular basis.

Currently, Delaware has no restrictions on autonomous vehicles.

– Safety Laws

But wait, there’s more! Let’s dig deeper into the safety laws in Delaware to protect you on the open road.

All safety laws should ensure the well-being of everyone on the road. The Delaware Department of Transportation (DelDOT) has compiled a list of helpful safety resources regarding traffic and safety laws. And there’s also the Delaware Strategic Highway Safety Plan.

DUI Laws

The Blood-Alcohol Content (BAC) limit in Delaware is 0.08 percent; the High BAC limit is between 0.15 and 0.2 percent.

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Drug-Impaired Driving Laws

Currently, Delaware has a zero-tolerance policy on THC and metabolites.

Distracted Driving Laws

Distracted driving is as dangerous as impaired driving. The main cause of distracted driving is smartphone use, which is why Delaware has banned texting and handheld use for all drivers.

– Delaware Can’t-Miss Facts

You now have a good understanding of the laws in Delaware, so let’s examine some of the must-know driving facts. There are unique risks to owning and operating a vehicle in Delaware, and it can be difficult to know what all these risks are.

If you know the risks of the road, it will help keep you keep a wary eye out on Delaware’s roads.

No one wants to be in an accident, so we have covered everything you need to know about vehicle theft, risky behavior, EMS response time, and other facts.

– Vehicle Theft in Delaware

Find out which cars in Delaware are most popular among car thieves in the chart below.

– Vehicle Theft by City

Below is a breakdown of the top cities for car theft in the state of Delaware.

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– Risky and Harmful Behavior

The best way to stay safe while driving is to always keep your eyes on the road and stay aware of common risky driving issues. In 2017 alone, 119 traffic incident-related fatalities occurred in Delaware, comprising a 12.37 percent fatality rate per 100,000 of the population.

These are lists of all driving-related fatalities in Delaware.

Traffic Fatalities by County

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Fatality Rates Rural Vs. Urban

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Fatalities by Person Type

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Fatalities by Crash Type

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Fatalities Involving Speeding by County

County NameFatalities 2013Fatalities 2014Fatalities 2015Fatalities 2016Fatalities 2017Fatalities Per 100K 2013Fatalities Per 100K 2014Fatalities Per 100K 2015Fatalities Per 100K
Fatalities Per 100K 2017
Kent County8531484.732.911.738.014.52
New Castle County13271812162.374.893.242.152.86
Sussex County1613141397.756.176.515.913.99

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Fatalities in Crashes Involving an Alcohol-Impaired Driver by County

County NameFatalities 2013Fatalities 2014Fatalities 2015Fatalities 2016Fatalities 2017Fatalities Per 100K 2013Fatalities Per 100K 2014Fatalities Per 100K 2015Fatalities Per 100K
Fatalities Per 100K 2017
Kent County81077104.735.834.044.015.66
New Castle County16231916152.914.163.422.872.68
Sussex County1418141476.788.546.516.363.11

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Teen Drinking and Driving

Teens and Drunk DrivingDetails
Alcohol-Impaired Driving Fatalities Per 100K Population1.7
Higher/Lower Than National Average (1.2)Lowest in the Nation
DUI Arrest (Under 18 years old)0
DUI Arrests (Under 18 years old) Total Per Million People0

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EMS Response Time

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– Transportation

The Diamond State, combined with southeast Pennsylvania and southern New Jersey, forms the congested tristate corridor of the Delaware Valley.

Just how bad is the commute for Delaware drivers, and how does rush-hour traffic compare to the rest of the country? How do Delaware commuters get to work? Find answers to these questions and more below.

Car Ownership

Commute Time

At 25 minutes, Delaware motorists meet the national average of 25.3 minutes of commute time. Only 2.48 percent of Delawareans have a “super commute” of 90 minutes or more.

How’s that for drive time?

The good news is that NONE of Delaware’s cities made into on INRIX’s Global Traffic Scorecard, which lists the worst cities for traffic congestion worldwide.

Commuter Transportation

Now you’re well-equipped to exercise your personal economic and social freedom to consider your car insurance options in the Diamond State! You can now put all that knowledge to good use to get the best insurance quotes.

Don’t waste another minute! Enter your zip code below to compare car insurance quotes and to ensure you’re getting first-rate rates from the top auto insurance companies in Delaware.

Free Auto Insurance Comparison

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