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To live and drive in Utah, you must carry an auto insurance policy that meets the minimum coverage requirements outlined in Utah's Financial Responsibility Laws. The Beehive State demands at least liability insurance in the split limits of 25/65/25 and no-fault insurance of $3,000 coverage per person. Utah is a no-fault state (see Your Right to Sue).
When you are driving in Utah, be sure to have a copy of your insurance ID card with you. If you cannot provide satisfactory proof of insurance in case a law enforcement officer pulls you over, you may face a fine and even license suspension. An insurance binder (if your policy is bought but not yet in effect) or a copy of the policy’s declaration page will suffice too.
|Utah Required Car Insurance Coverage||UT Required Min. Limits|
|Bodily Injury (BI)||$25,000 per person / $65,000 per accident|
|Property Damage (PD)||$25,000 per accident|
|Personal Injury Protection (PIP)||$3,000 per person|
Utah Car Insurance Minimum Requirements
The minimum insurance coverage you need to carry to drive legally in the Beehive State consists of bodily injury, property damage – together referred to as the liability insurance – as well as personal injury protection coverage, also known as no-fault insurance. Furthermore, you have to buy these coverages in at least the following limits (coverage amounts) to meet the basic requirements:
Liability: liability insurance covers the other party’s bills when you are the cause of the accident. Liability protection can be purchases with two types of limits:
- Split limits: In a minimum policy, bodily injury (BI) that covers $25,000 per injured person and $65,000 total per accident and property damage (PD) that covers $15,000 per accident in Utah that you're negligent for.
- Single limit: some insurers combine all of this into one general amount of $80,000 in a single accident for a minimum policy. With this insurance, your insurer pays on your behalf for claims from the damage and harm you're at fault for, to the other party. If the costs exceed your limits, you must bear the difference on your own. Higher limits are usually recommended if you can afford it.
No-Fault: no-fault insurance comes in the form of personal injury protection (PIP) coverage. It is a first-party coverage that pays your own costs incurred in an accident, regardless of fault (hence the name). In Utah, PIP coverage contains two parts: a $3,000 limit covering necessary medical expenses and subsequent rehab benefits as needed, and a $1,500 funeral allowance in case a covered person dies from the accident. If a covered person, such as the policyholder and his or her family members under the same roof, passes away due to injuries from the accident, the $3,000 coverage will instead be given to the heirs of the deceased per Utah's laws.
Personal Injury Protection (PIP) in Utah
Your PIP coverage in Utah ensures that your livelihood is protected to a degree when accidents cause you injuries, and it protects you regardless of fault. Here is a list of medical services that, if determined necessary by a doctor, can be covered by your $3,000 medical expense limit:
- Medical treatments
- Rehabilitative services
- Hospital room
- Professional nursing
Also covered within the $3,000 limit, in the event your injuries prevent you from working, you may be qualified to claim one or both of the following compensation:
Lost Income: Your PIP may provide you with 85% of your normal income, or $250/week, whichever is less, for as long as 52 consecutive weeks following the date of the accident. Note that you can actually choose to reject this benefit for a lower premium, if you know your work loss may be compensated by a different means, such as Worker’s Compensation. If you can get other compensation for the covered loss, your PIP benefit sum will be less the amount you received through other means.
Replacement Service: Your PIP will help to pay for regular services, such as house chores, that you would have done for your family if not for the injuries. Your allowance, which could go toward hiring help, will be no more than $20/day, but you may receive it for as long as 1 year after the date of accident, if need be, depending on your PIP limit.
Utah is a no-fault state, which means that in exchange for your PIP benefit – to be covered regardless of fault – you are limited in your right to pursue further compensation from the negligent driver for your loss in an accident. In particular, you can't generally file a lawsuit for what's called "non-economic loss", which tends to cover things like pain and suffering you unless you've met one of the conditions below. Your right to sue may be reinstated if:
- Total medical expenses for your injuries exceed $3,000
- Your injuries led to permanent disability or impairment, such as lost of eyesight or paralysis, based on reasonable medical diagnosis by a doctor; or
- Permanent disfigurement, which can be a scar on the face, subject to jury’s determination; or
- In the case that the accident was caused by an uninsured motorist, your right to sue is also reinstated, whether or not your condition met any of the thresholds above.
Alternative Proof of Financial Responsibility
Any time law enforcement or government officials require proof of insurance in the Beehive State, you need to show one of the valid proofs in order to avoid penalties. Apart from your auto insurance documents, there are several alternative forms of securities that can work as your proof of financial responsibility after an accident in Utah:
Certificate of Deposit: you deposit $170,000 in cash with the Utah State Treasurer to be your insurance fund, in case you cause an accident. The Treasurer will also issue you the certificate if you make the deposit with government bonds, or other kinds of common security that may be legally purchased by an investment bank, of equivalent value. The Treasurer will use the deposit to satisfy any court orders whenever you are to blame for an accident and need to pay for the other party’s bodily injury and/or property loss.
Surety Bond: the Utah Department of Public Safety (DPS) will accept a surety bond as your proof if it is conditioned for payments in the same amounts as a minimum policy. Specifically, the bond has to be least $80,000 (the combined limit of liability insurance), and issued by a surety company licensed in Utah. It must make DPS a legal creditor – someone who can access the money payable by the bond’s terms – whenever there is need to satisfy judgments against you for an accident you cause.
Certificate of Self-funded coverage: you can apply for this certificate with the DPS only if you qualify all of the following terms:
- There are more than 24 vehicles registered under your name.
- You have made a deposit somewhere, such as one in a savings account with a bank, of $200,000 plus $100 per vehicle that is to be insured under this certificate (when you get one).
- You'd take the place of an insurer, and be responsible for providing all the benefits to a person, such as for bodily injury or property damage, you've harmed in an accident you're at fault for, while operating one of the insured vehicles.