Utah No-Fault Auto Insurance Laws

Car insurance coverage requirements in Utah, including how a no-fault (personal injury protection) claim works after a car accident.

By , J.D.

Utah is one of around of a dozen states that follow some version of a no-fault car insurance system. That means when a car accident happens, anyone injured must make a claim under any available no-fault insurance coverage first (and sometimes exclusively), regardless of who caused the crash.

In this article, we'll discuss:

  • who and what is covered under no-fault ("personal injury protection") car insurance in Utah after a car accident
  • when it's possible to step outside the no-fault system and file a claim against the person who caused your car accident, and
  • the amount and types of car insurance coverage that are required in Utah.

"No-Fault"/Personal Injury Protection (PIP) Car Insurance In Utah

In Utah, vehicle owners must carry at least $3,000 in personal injury protection (PIP) coverage throughout any vehicle's registration period if:

  • the vehicle's owner/operator is a Utah resident, or
  • the vehicle's owner/operator is a non-resident of the state who operates a vehicle that has been physically present in Utah for 90 days during the last 365 days (in this situation, the non-resident owner must maintain no-fault insurance while the vehicle remains in the state).

It's important to note that $3,000 is the minimum amount of PIP coverage that's required under state law in Utah. Vehicle owners can purchase a car insurance policy that provides PIP coverage in a higher amount.

And keep in mind that no-fault or PIP car insurance doesn't apply to vehicle damage, or to property of any kind that's damaged in a car accident. Vehicle owners and others are free to pursue a claim for property damage against the person who caused the accident.

Who Is Covered Under PIP In Utah?

In addition to the policyholder/vehicle owner themselves, the following people may also be covered under no-fault/PIP in Utah:

  • anyone riding in the policyholder's vehicle
  • a pedestrian injured in an accident involving the policyholder's vehicle
  • anyone who borrows the policyholder's vehicle, with permission, and
  • family members who live with the policyholder (unless they have their own coverage)

What Benefits Can a PIP Claimant Get In Utah?

According to Utah law (specifically, Utah Code section 31A-22-307), personal injury protection coverage benefits include:

  • payment of medical services of almost every type, as long as it's related to treatment of car accident injuries
  • compensation for income lost because of the accident and resulting injuries (in an amount that's the lesser of $250 per week, or 85% of gross lost income/loss of earning capacity, for up to 52 consecutive weeks, and with a number of restrictions/exceptions)
  • a "special damage allowance" for household services and other tasks the injured person can't do because of their injuries (not to exceed $20 per day, for a maximum of 365 days, again with restrictions/exceptions)
  • funeral, burial, or cremation benefits (not to exceed $1,500 per person), and
  • compensation to the person's heirs, up to $3,000.

When Is a Fault-Based Car Accident Claim Possible In Utah?

Like all no-fault states, Utah limits the situations in which people injured in car accidents can step outside the no-fault system and file a liability insurance claim or car accident lawsuit against others who may have caused the accident.

Before filing a lawsuit after a car accident in Utah, an injured person must first have incurred $3,000 in medical expenses stemming from the accident, or must have suffered certain kinds of serious injuries as a result of the accident. In Utah, the kinds of injuries that qualify under this "injury threshold" are:

  • permanent disability
  • permanent impairment
  • permanent disfigurement, or
  • dismemberment

What Are Utah's Car Insurance Requirements?

Besides the $3,000 in PIP coverage we've already discussed, Utah requires vehicle drivers to carry certain other minimum auto insurance coverage if they want to drive legally in the state:

  • $25,000 per person for bodily injury resulting from an accident caused by the policyholder or another covered person
  • $65,000 per accident when more than one person suffers bodily injury in an accident caused by the policyholder/other covered person, and
  • $15,000 per accident for damage to other people's vehicle or other property in an accident caused by the policyholder/other covered person.

These amounts are known as "25/65/15," and along with PIP, they represent the minimum required insurance in Utah. This coverage pays for injuries or property damage suffered by other people in an accident, but it doesn't pay for your own injuries or property damage.

Also, if a court finds that you are responsible for an accident, your insurance will only pay for bodily injuries and property damage up to the limits on the policy—$25,000/$65,000 for injuries and $15,000 for property damage, if you only have minimum coverage. If the other parties' bills add up to more than these amounts, however, you may be personally responsible for any amount left over after your insurance has reached its limit.

Is Uninsured Motorist Coverage Required in Utah?

No. While car insurance carriers in Utah are required to include uninsured motorist coverage with any car insurance policy issued in the state, policy purchasers are free to reject this kind of coverage as long as they do so in writing.

But consider that UIM coverage can be crucial if you're in an accident with a driver who doesn't have any insurance, so it's a good idea to understand how it works. Learn more about what happens if you're hit by an uninsured driver.

Getting Help After a Car Accident

It's always a good idea to familiarize yourself with your state's car insurance rules. But if you've been in a car accident, you might need more than just information. Especially if you were seriously hurt, or you're having trouble getting an insurance company to come to the table with a fair injury settlement, it might be time to discuss your situation with an experienced legal professional.

Learn more about when you might need a lawyer after a car accident, and get tips on finding the right car accident attorney for you and your case. You can also use the tools on this page to connect with an injury lawyer in your area.

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