Connecticut Car Insurance Requirements
Connecticut car insurance requirements are set and enforced by the CT Department Of Motor Vehicles (DMV) in Wethersfield. They can be contacted online at ct.gov/dmv or by phone . Of course, you can always contact us anytime and we’ll be happy to help. Once you understand the specific rules, it is very easy to “stay legal.”
Connecticut Car Insurance Minimum Limits
It is the law in Connecticut that all registered motor vehicles have insurance and you must pay for the damages you cause in an accident. When there is an active registration on the vehicle, insurance must be in-force. The state law also requires minimum bodily injury of $20,000 per person and $40,000 per accident with an additional minimum limit of $10,000 on property damage.
Often, this is referred to as 20/40 10 limits. Of course, these are the MINIMUM required limits, and you should always consider higher limits. With medical costs and legal representation getting more expensive each year, it’s critical to maintain adequate coverage. Raising your benefits is often not costly, since it only impacts a portion of the policy.
Providing Proof Of Insurance
When your vehicle is registered, you must provide proof of coverage to the DMV. If your prior insurer notifies the DMV that your insurance has lapsed, you may also be asked to provide proof of coverage. A valid permanent insurance card that identifies the vehicle or a declarations page is an acceptable form of verification. Bills, binders and temporary ID cards are not considered acceptable.
The Connecticut mandatory insurance reporting law requires insurance companies to report records of all cancelled policies. After a matching process is completed, vehicles in violation are reported to the DMV. Also, if you are ever stopped by a police officer, you may be asked to show your policy ID card. Therefore, it’s always a good idea to keep one copy in your glove compartment and and an extra copy at home.
Lapse In Coverage
If your Connecticut auto insurance policy is cancelled, the insurance company notifies the DMV and the registered owner of the vehicle is mailed a “warning notice.” At that time, the registrant has the opportunity to enter into a consent agreement, obtain valid coverage and pay a fine of $200. No further action will be taken as long as the insurance stays in force.
If the “warning notice” is ignored, a “suspension notice” will be mailed. It’s possible that a hearing will be requested possible resulting in a suspension of license and loss of privileges to register a motor vehicle. This is a situation you want to avoid, since it could have a negative impact on the rates you pay for many years. The difference between “high risk” and “standard” rates is very large.
Sale Of Your Vehicle
If you sell your vehicle, you must bring your plates to the DMV and place them on “hold” until the car is ready to be driven again. You may also elect to cancel the plates. You may be eligible for a refund of unused registration fees if you have more than 12 months left on the registration. However, you must keep insurance on the vehicle until the registration has been canceled.
Before you actually sell the car, you may ask for a suspension of the liability coverage, and just keep comprehensive (fire and theft) coverage in force. If this occurs, you can keep the plates on the vehicle until it is sold. However, the vehicle can NOT be driven without current liability coverage. Of course, always be careful when accepting payment from someone you do not know. A certified bank check (that has cleared the bank) is one of the best ways to conduct that type of business.