Purchasing auto insurance is mandatory in most states in the US, including Hawaii. To legally drive in the state, Hawaii requires you have at least a minimum level of coverage to protect other drivers, passengers, and pedestrians on the roads.
Hawaii falls in the lower half of the states when it comes to the cost of insurance. But it is still important to shop around and compare your options to find the best rate for you.
Read on to learn more about Hawaii’s minimum car insurance requirements:
What are Hawaii’s Minimum Car Insurance Requirements?
Having auto insurance is mandatory to drive your car in Hawaii, and the state sets forth minimum limits for several different required coverages. Each state sets its own limits, so if you are new to Hawaii, the limits may differ from your home state. The minimum limits required are:
- Bodily Injury Liability: $20,000 for one person; $40,000 for two or more people
- Property Damage Liability: $10,000 per occurrence
- Personal Injury Protection (also called No-Fault coverage): $10,000 per person for the driver and passengers in your vehicle
There are also several optional coverages you may purchase in Hawaii. While they are not required coverages, they could be a good idea to ensure you do not have coverage gaps.
It is also helpful to note that while the state may not require these coverages if you have a lien or loan on your vehicle, your lienholder may need some of these coverages.
These optional coverages are:
- Uninsured Motorist coverage/Underinsured Motorist coverage
- Wage Loss
- Alternative Care
- Death Benefits and Funeral Benefits
- Personal Injury Protection deductible
- PIP Managed Care
You can read more details about these types of coverages and others in our liability coverage section.
Cheap Liability Coverage in Hawaii
Your cheapest option in Hawaii is to purchase a policy with the state minimum limits, which means an auto policy with limits of 20/40/10 – or $20,000 per person/$40,000 per accident in bodily injury liability, with $10,000 in property damage liability coverage.
Comparing rates by shopping around is your best bet to finding the cheapest liability coverage in Hawaii for your individual circumstances. Remember that your current insurance carrier may not always offer you the best rate, so comparing options frequently, say at every renewal period or every six months, can help ensure you continue to receive the cheapest rate possible.
Rates also vary quite a bit from city to city or island to island, so whether you live in a popular area like Honolulu or somewhere more remote, your home town could influence how much you’ll pay for car insurance.
And if you want to find your cheapest rates now, just enter your ZIP code below and compare rates for free!
Hawaii Auto Insurance Discounts
Make sure you check into every discount your carrier offers – you may be surprised by how many discounts you qualify for, and each one helps lower your rate. A carrier that seemed more expensive at first might become more competitive once you have taken advantage of all the discounts that apply to you.
Your carrier likely offers many different discounts for which you may be eligible, and finding ways to save money on your car insurance is a smart move. Check with your agent or insurance company for their offerings and discount levels.
Some common discounts offered on auto policies include:
- Good student
- Student away at school
- Affinity programs
- Paperless/electronic billing
- Paid in full
- Hybrid/electric vehicle
- Safe driver
If you decide not to insure your vehicle at the required state minimum limits, you will not be able to drive it. In that case, you need to surrender your license plates and registration card to the county director of finance. If you continue to drive without carrying the required liability insurance and having proof of your insurance in your vehicle, you can be ticketed and fined.
Hawaii Auto Insurance Penalties
Driving without having the state minimum liability limits of coverage results in steep fines and punishments in Hawaii. In addition to these deterrents, your future insurance premiums will likely be higher due to getting caught driving without the required insurance coverage.
- $500 fine for the first offense and up to $5,000 for multiple offenses – Sometimes, you may be eligible for community service in lieu of a fine or part of your fine
- License suspension of 3 months – or until you can prove you have proper insurance coverage at the state minimum limits
- Multiple convictions in 5 years can result in jail time and suspension or revocation of license plates and registration
- SR-22 for 3 years for each offense
Hawaii Vehicle Fees and Other Costs
Buying a car anywhere in the country, including in Hawaii, can be costly. In addition to accounting for the sticker price of your new ride, also be sure to budget for the other fees, taxes, and costs associated with purchasing a vehicle. These include DMV fees, sales tax, registration and license charges, and documentation fees.
You may also need to pay inspection fees, emissions taxes, and a hybrid/electrical vehicle tax. You might have to pay a title transfer fee, as well. Leasing your vehicle instead of purchasing it can cause additional fees.
In Hawaii, the registration cost is $45 plus a weight-based fee, and the license plate and title fees are $5 each. If you fail to renew your registration by the expiration date, a fee of $16 will be charged.
Hawaii residents on active military duty or National Guard members assigned to units in Hawaii are exempt from motor vehicle weight taxes for a single vehicle. Out-of-state active-duty military members stationed must submit a non-resident certificate when they register their vehicle. Forms are available from your military unit or personnel office.