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Is Utah a no-fault car insurance state?

Here's what you need to know...

Generally, no-fault auto insurance refers to insurance coverage that gives policyholders the right to file claims and be paid for losses from their own insurance company no matter who caused the damage. There are no-fault states and there are at-fault states.

However, in a legal sense, no-fault means that in addition to this type of insurance coverage, claimants have a restricted right to recourse within the legal system and a limited tort option. First-party coverage is referred to as personal injury protection or PIP for short.

In order to sue another party in civil court within a no-fault state, you must have sustained severe injuries and meet certain state criteria.

The limits for which you can sue can be related to the severity of your injuries or to the amount of your medical and associated expenses. In fact, in some states, the injured party must be disabled for a certain number of days in order to sue.

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Currently, Puerto Rico and 12 states have no-fault insurance laws in place. These states include:

  • Florida
  • Michigan
  • New Jersey
  • New York
  • Pennsylvania
  • Hawaii
  • Kansas
  • Kentucky
  • Massachusetts
  • Minnesota
  • North Dakota
  • Utah

What is tort insurance system?


A tort insurance system is opposite of a no-fault insurance system. In a tort auto insurance system, the driver or another party who is deemed to be the cause of an auto accident will be liable for paying the medical expenses and other damages to the other involved parties.

This can include lost wages and payments for pain and suffering.

Under a tort system, there are no restrictions for what can potentially be collected for pain and suffering. The only requirements are that the other driver is at fault and you have incurred expenses and suffering for your related injuries.

You can make a claim for pain and suffering, no matter what the amount. This is unlike no-fault states, where a minimum must be met.

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Is Utah a no-fault state?

Utah is a no-fault state. Drivers in Utah who are in an accident will be required to turn first to their own insurance coverages to pay for their damages. In some cases, this is their only option.

The insurance carrier is legally required to pay up to a minimum of $3,000 in PIP benefits, regardless of who caused the accident. If a Utah driver had a minor accident, this may be the only step in the process.

As a no-fault state, injured drivers have limited options and have to follow certain steps. First, they must turn to their own PIP policy. If their $3,000 coverage has been exhausted or if they have had extremely serious injuries from the accident, they may have the right to sue.

Injuries that qualify for civil action under Utah law include:

  • Long-term disability
  • Long-term impairment
  • Permanent disfigurement
  • Permanent dismemberment

The benefit to living in a no-fault state like Utah is that claims are usually paid faster and overall costs are reduced. This can lead to lower premiums for drivers in no-fault states.

However, one downside is that there can be a very broad interpretation of the language used in the law which has the potential to hurt all parties involved.

PIP coverage has also become a prime area for unethical doctors and clinics to inflate costs and recommend unnecessary treatments.

No-fault states do not have unduly burdened legal systems and can cost taxpayers less. On the other hand, people with very serious injuries have the potential to slip through cracks in the law and not get a fair settlement for their medical bills and pain and suffering.

Auto Insurance in Utah


Like nearly all other states, Utah has minimum auto insurance requirements for drivers. In addition to the minimum $3,000 PIP that all drivers must carry, they must also have liability coverages as follows:

  • $25,000 per person for bodily injury
  • $65,000 per accident for bodily injury
  • $15,000 per accident for property

Liability coverage is strictly for damages you cause to other parties. It does not cover any of your own damages.
Additional coverages Utah drivers should consider purchasing include:

– Uninsured/Underinsured Motorists

If you are a victim of a hit-and-run accident or are in an accident with another driver who does not follow the legal requirements for auto insurance, you can rely on this coverage from your own policy.

– Collision and Comprehensive

Although not required by law, these coverages are often required if you have a leased or financed vehicle. Collision covers damages to your car if it is in an accident with another vehicle, object, or if you have a rollover crash.

Comprehensive coverage is for other situations such as hitting wildlife, flooding, fires, vandalism, theft, or even losses caused by natural disasters. With collision and comprehensive coverage, you select your deductible and policy limits.

Finding the Best Car Insurance Coverage in Utah


As a Utah driver, it is important to find the best car insurance coverage at rates you can afford. Shopping for an auto insurance policy at the best price is a lot like shopping for anything else. Use these tips to ensure you get the best price for your auto insurance coverage.

– Compare Car Insurance Rates from Multiple Companies

You will want to get rates from several different companies. It is important to be sure you are comparing the same policy types when doing so.

The easiest way to do comparison shopping for auto insurance is to use an online price comparison tool. This is also important to do prior to letting your auto insurance policy auto-renew.

– Ask about Available Discounts

  • Good Driver – If you haven’t had an accident or a ticket in several years, you may be rewarded with a discount by your insurance company.
  • Good Student – Many auto insurance companies will provide discounts to students with a history of good grades.
  • Multi-Line – If you have other insurance products, such as renters, homeowners, or life insurance with your auto insurance company, you will often qualify for a discount.
  • Anti-Theft – Vehicles equipped with anti-theft devices are seen as less of a risk and often get better insurance rates.
  • Driver Education – If you have taken a defensive driving course or driver’s education, you may qualify for a discount.
  • Multi-Vehicle – Having more than one vehicle on the same policy will usually grant you lower rates on your overall policy.
  • Military/Veteran – Many insurance companies will honor members of the military, past or present, with a discount on the auto insurance.

You should always plan on shopping around to find the best insurance rates. Doing so will allow you to compare policies and prices and find what works best for your unique situation.

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