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Hawaii shows second best performance in the country in keeping auto insurance costs down between 1989 and 2010

The average auto insurance expenditure in Hawaii went from $673.36 in 1989 to $765.83 in 2010. The 2010 average represents a 13.7 percent rise in costs for residents in Hawaii and is the second best performance in the country at keeping rates down. In the same period the countrywide average went up by 43.3 percent to $791.22. In fact, Hawaii went from being the 7th most expensive to 19th most expensive state in terms of auto insurance expenditure.

California, where costs went down by 0.3 percent, is the only state that showed a more impressive performance than Hawaii. When you consider that average expenditure in 38 of the 50 states went up by more than the countrywide average, Hawaii achievement is admirable. In 1989 it was more expensive ($673.36) to buy auto insurance in Hawaii than the countrywide average ($551.95). By 2010, the tables had turned. Hawaii is now, along with California (-0.3%), New Hampshire (15.9%) and New Jersey (17.7%), an exemplary state in stemming the rise of auto insurance costs.

Strong auto insurance regulation is credited for Hawaii’s success story. The Prior Approval (PA) system, where rate changes are to be approved by the state before they can be implemented in the market, is one of the hallmarks of this regulatory system. A December 2013 study by the Consumer Federation of America shows states that had a PA system kept average expenditure down to 48 percent whereas deregulated states let cost blow out by 70.1 percent. In fact, Hawaii’s performance is noteworthy even in comparison to other states that employed the PA system. California, where the PA system was complemented by other stringent auto insurance laws, was the only state which achieved higher success than Hawaii in keep rates low, as demonstrated by the study. Hawaii serves as an example to other states which want to bring escalating auto insurance costs under control.

Penalties and Inflated Insurance Costs of Drunk Driving in Hawaii

Hawaii boasts an average auto insurance rate of $1304 as of December 2013, which is over a thousand dollars cheaper than states such as Louisiana. Rates in Hawaii are substantially cheaper than in states such as California partly because the roads are less congested. Moreover, friendly weather conditions in Hawaii are a contributing factor to lower rates.


Being a no-fault insurance state, auto insurance is mandatory in Hawaii. Driving without proof of insurance will result in a fine as well as a citation. Furthermore, if caught driving an uninsured car the registration plates will be confiscated. The owner will be required to pay a fine and update their insurance before the car can be driven again.


Drunk driving is legally defined as driving a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 percent or higher. The penalties for drunk driving are quite stringent in Hawaii. First time offenders will be required to enroll in a 14 day alcohol abuse program whereas the third offense, if within five years of the first, will result in jail time of 10 to 30 days, a fine between $500-$2500, revocation of your driving license and loss of the vehicle.


Getting caught drunk driving will drive up your insurance premiums drastically. For instance from December 2013, if you live in Kailua and are caught driving under the influence, your premium will go up from $1304 to $2425. Not only that, the premiums will remain at a higher rate for the first three years after conviction and rates will not revert to previous levels for up to seven years in some cases. You can reduce your insurance premium to $2061 if you attend a defensive driving course. Defensive driving courses educate drivers on better driving such as driving in the rain or in hazardous conditions. There are a few convenient options to acquire a defensive driving course certificate. They can even be acquired by completing a course online.


Given the adverse effect on the cost of your auto insurance premiums, it is advisable to always take a taxi if you know you will be drinking on a particular night.

Hawaii Auto Insurance Rates

Below are the minimum, average and maximum insurance rate estimates for neighbourhoods in and around Hawaii, HI.

Lowest Rate:$1,100
Average Rate:$1,300
Highest Rate:$1,400

Recent Savings From Top Providers in Hawaii

Rank Customer Zipcode Amount Saved
1 96762 $373
2 96701 $366
3 96703 $364
4 96704 $362

Hawaii Auto Insurance Requirements

Minimum limits of liability for auto insurance in Hawaii as per HI State Laws

Bodily Injury Liability

  • $20,000 for death/injury of any one person, per accident.
  • $40,000 for all persons per accident.

Property Damage Liability

  • $10,000 per accident.

Hawaii Car Insurance Average Rates by Make

In addition to the location, one key factor that contributes to the insurance rates in Hawaii is the vehicle's make and model. Especially the vehicle's theft rates in Hawaii

MakeInsurance Average PremiumView Details
MakeInsurance Average PremiumView Details

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