All drivers in Utah – the “Beehive” state – must carry auto insurance coverage in order to drive legally. Some drivers may find it a challenge to get auto insurance coverage in Utah’s “voluntary” market if your driving record includes too many accidents or traffic tickets. If your driving record places you in a high risk category, you can turn to the Utah Automobile Insurance Plan for coverage. This plan was designed to ensure car insurance coverage for Utah's high risk drivers, as long as you meet the eligibility criteria described below. In Utah, drivers are required to carry the minimums of liability insurance in the split limits of 25/65/15 and no-fault insurance of $3,000 coverage per person.
What is the Utah Automobile Insurance Plan (UT AIP)?
Utah’s Plan was created in 1949 both to insure the greatest number of Utah drivers, and to spread the insurance losses that typically arise from the group of drivers unable to obtain coverage in the voluntary market across UT insurers. In order to sell any auto insurance policies in the state of Utah, the auto insurance companies must agree to cover assigned high risk drivers. The term “voluntary” is insurance industry jargon to describe the “regular” insurance market where insurers voluntarily rate and insure drivers. Alternatively, the UT AIP functions as Utah's "residual" auto insurance market, where drivers have little choice in shopping options and insurers have little choice in selecting risks.
Although Utah motorists would apply for auto insurance coverage through the UT AIP, Utah’s AIP does not offer insurance policies itself, but rather assigns “eligible risks” to auto insurers that already do business in the state. This means that you WILL get coverage, but you won’t choose which company covers you. Drivers are assigned based on company market shares. So for example, if Progressive has 15% of the auto insurance market in Utah, then it will be assigned 15% of the motorists that come through the UT AIP.
Your assigned insurer in Utah is required to cover you for 3 years, as long as you remain eligible under the UT AIP. We'd recommend working on improving your driving record during this time. With improvement, your insurer options expand and you may find better auto insurance rates in Utah’s voluntary market by getting auto insurance quotes on the carriers' websites. If you are still considered a high risk driver after 3 years, you can re-apply to the Utah AIP and be considered a “new” applicant. If your driving has fortunately improved and you’ve found lower-cost car insurance, you may notify your assigned insurer and receive a prorated refund of the premiums you’ve paid.
Utah AIP Eligibility
Before you can enter the assigned risk pool, the Utah AIP requires you to certify on your insurance application that you’ve tried to find auto insurance in the voluntary market within the last 60 days. If you have been refused, then you can apply to the Utah AIP as long as you also have a valid driver’s license and a car that is registered in Utah. Fill out the application accurately and in good faith.
You may not be eligible for coverage - even through Utah’s Plan – if you have:
- An unpaid auto insurance bill still outstanding
- Failed to bring your car for visual inspection by an insurance representative
- Misrepresented important facts about yourself, your driving record, or your vehicle on your application
In the case of the unpaid bill or the vehicle inspection, once you rectify those situations, your Utah AIP application can proceed immediately. But if your application is deemed in bad faith, you will not receive coverage and will be barred from reapplying to the Utah AIP for a year.
Utah AIP Coverage
High risk drivers in Utah are offered the same kinds of auto insurance coverages as those in the voluntary market. However you may pay more than average for those coverages. The table below shows the mandatory coverages that Utah laws requires you to carry. In addition to Bodily Injury and Property Damage insurance, Utah also requires you to carry Personal Injury Protection, which is also known as no-fault insurance. This covers things like medical expenses and loss of income resulting from an auto accident, regardless of who is at fault. Talk with an insurance agent about how much car insurance coverage you need given your assets and ability to absorb accidents. If you buy a higher levels of coverage, it will cost you more but may be well worth it.
|Mandatory Coverage||Utah Required Min. Limits||Utah AIP Maximum Limits|
|Bodily Injury (BI)||$25,000 per person/$65,000 per accident||$100,000 per person/$300,000 per accident|
|Property Damage (PD)||$15,000 per accident||$50,000 per accident|
|Personal Injury Protection (PIP)||$3,000 per person||No higher limits|
The Utah AIP also offers several optional and different types of coverage, shown in the table below. If you choose to buy Physical Damage coverage (Collision and/or Comprehensive), then you must select a deductible – the amount you pay before insurance coverage begins – of $100, $200, or $250. Note that your assigned insurer does not have to cover your car if it’s an antique (older than $25 years) or if its actual cash value is over $25,000.
Utah also offers insurance in case of Uninsured and Underinsured Motorists. You are free to accept or reject UM/UIM, as long as you do so in writing. Utah is unusual in that it does not allow assigned drivers to buy higher optional coverage limits.
|Optional Coverages||Utah AIP Min. Limits||Utah AIP Maximum Limits|
|Physical Damage (Collision and Comprehensive)||Actual cash value of your car||Up to $25,000|
|Uninsured Motorist Bodily Injury (UMBI)||$25,000 per person / $65,000 per accident||No higher limits|
|Uninsured Motorist Property Damage (UMPD)||$3,500 per accident||No higher limits|
|Underinsured Motorist Bodily Injury (UIMBI)||$10,000 per person / $20,000 per accident||No higher limits|
Utah AIP Premiums and Payment Plans
According to Utah’s Insurance Department, safer drivers usually pay less for auto insurance. On the other hand, high-risk drivers are often associated with higher chance of accidents and claims, which means insurers tend to charge them more even for the same coverage. Utah insurance companies use their own criteria to assess drivers, there is no hard-and-fast rule for how much more you may pay. Nevertheless, if you understand the key factors that most auto insurers consider in setting rates, you can take appropriate actions over time to get a lower insurance premium.
When insured through Utah’s AIP, you have a couple of ways to pay your insurance premium. The first is to pay 40% of the entire annual premium at the time you submit your application, which will be your deposit, and the balance of 60% within 30 days of receiving your policy. The second way is to pay in installments. In this case, you still have to pay 40% as deposit up front when you apply through the UT AIP, but you would pay the remaining 60% in 5 equal monthly installments. There is a $4 surcharge tacked on to installment payments.
Be sure to pay on time in Utah. If you miss even one installment payment, your insurer will send you a cancellation notice instead of a bill next time. And getting your auto insurance reinstated through the Utah AIP is a hassle you can avoid!
How to Apply for the Utah Automobile Insurance Plan
You can only get quotes from Utah's AIP through licensed insurance agents. Any licensed auto insurance agent in Utah is familiar with, and able to help you apply to, the Utah Automobile Insurance Plan. That includes both exclusive and independent Utah agents. You can find a list of potential Utah insurers here.
For more information about the Utah AIP, call Utah’s Insurance Department at (801)538-3800 or check out the Utah Automobile Insurance Plan website.
Last Updated: January 2016