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Connecticut Auto Insurance Rules and Regulations

Connecticut auto insurance rules and regulations govern the requirements state drivers must abide by in the purchase and maintenance of adequate insurance coverage. Living in a tort state has specific consequences for CT drivers. Fortunately, the state also requires auto insurance, meaning that anyone complying with the law will be ready for whatever may come after an at fault accident. Many drivers in the state choose to carry more than just the minimum levels of coverage in their policies, and some also add other optional coverage to protect themselves even more. Understanding the law in the state and also what's available beyond these requirements can help you decide what to you with your own Connecticut auto insurance policy.

CT a Tort State

Connecticut is a tort state. In tort states, someone must be found completely liable or at fault for a car accident. It does not matter whether a crash involved one car or several. CT's status as a tort state makes auto insurance that much more important. Drivers in tort states who are deemed responsible for accidents must pay all victims' expenses including bodily injury and property damages. And victims in these cases have the legal right to file court claims against the negligent drivers for additional compensation for pain and suffering and lost wages. Clearly, having the right auto policy is critical. The first logical step toward that goal is understanding what's required according to state law.

Minimum Acceptable Coverage in Connecticut

Connecticut requires all drivers to carry auto insurance policies. Since it is a tort state and negligent drivers have all the burden of paying for damages in auto accidents, liability insurance is mandatory. This type of policy takes care of financial obligations up to the limits of the policy in at fault accidents. The provisions of a liability auto policy include both bodily injury and property damage coverage.

In the state of Connecticut, the three part split form liability policy is in use. The three different parts each have their own limits of coverage, as well as their own individual deductibles. This means that the money set aside for one area cannot be used to fulfill the driver's obligation in another. Split limit policies are cheaper, but obviously more restrictive than single limit plans in use in some other states.

For drivers in the state, the minimum acceptable auto liability policy includes $20,000 in per person bodily injury, $40,000 in per accident bodily injury, and $20,000 in per accident property damage liability protection [1]. These are only minimum levels, and drivers are free to increase their coverage as they wish; in fact, they are urged to consider doing so, because so many liability claims far exceed these limits.

On top of liability protection, Connecticut drivers are also required to carry combined uninsured and underinsured motorist bodily injury coverage. The minimum limits mandated are the same as the minimums for bodily injury liability in the state, but drivers can carry up to double the minimum if they desire.

Drivers in the state must show proof of valid auto insurance when registering a vehicle. A vehicle cannot be registered without this proof of insurance. Additionally, they are required to carry proof of auto insurance with them in their vehicle at all times. Failure to do so can lead to punitive consequences.

Additional Important Coverage worth Noting

Beyond what is required for every motorist, there are other modes of coverage worth noting as well. Collision and comprehensive insurance are probably the most important remaining form of protection for Connecticut drivers. In fact, although they are not required by state law, they may be required by lien holders in cases where cars are financed or leased. Typically in these scenarios the bank or other lender wants to see their investment protected while their interest in the vehicle is being paid back.

The good news about all of this is that in most cases, these are the cars that drivers would be most likely to insure with collision and comprehensive regardless of the lien holder's wishes. Carrying this extra coverage protects your interest and investment in the vehicle as well. If you get into an accident and the vehicle is totaled, for example, it would be a whole lot easier to pay the thing off if you have a collision policy to write you a check for your loss. The logic behind lien holders' demands is the same logic that makes collision and comprehensive a wise investment while a car is being financed.

Auto owners and motorists in the state of Connecticut are well advised to read up on their state's auto insurance law so that they can get a better feel for these requirements and make sure to remain compliant.

[1] http://www.ct.gov/cid/cwp/view.asp?q=254618 Retrieved 2010-04-05.

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