How Does Personal Injury Protection (PIP) Car Insurance Work in Utah?

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Utah requires all car owners to carry personal injury protection (PIP) insurance, which pays for medical costs, lost income and other related expenses if you're injured in an accident. PIP coverage is also called "no-fault insurance," as it pays for your injuries no matter what party was at fault in a collision. It also provides coverage for any passengers in your vehicle, as well as pedestrians or bicyclists, if they were hurt in the accident. PIP insurance isn't required in Utah for motorcycles, trailers and semitrailers.

How Does PIP Insurance Work in Utah?

In addition to liability insurance, Utah requires all drivers to have at least $3,000 of personal injury protection insurance. Drivers who want additional protection can typically purchase it from their insurer, and limits can extend up to $100,000 in coverage. The minimum PIP insurance provides coverage for:

  • $3,000 of medical expenses per person.
  • $3,000 in death benefits, if someone was killed, which would be paid to the heirs.
  • $1,500 in burial costs per deceased person, which can go toward cremation, funeral, burial and similar services.
  • 85% of lost income due to injuries sustained in the accident, up to a maximum of $250 per week.
  • Up to $20 per day as a special allowance for services necessary if you can't perform certain tasks due to injuries.

PIP insurance extends to the car driver as well as any passengers in the vehicle. Since personal injury protection is first-party coverage, your own insurer pays for these expenses no matter which party was determined to be at fault.

Medical Expenses

Most reasonable medical procedures and services would be covered by personal injury protection insurance. These costs can include things like X-rays and dental services, nursing, hospital costs, prescriptions, and rehabilitation. Associated expenses, such as ambulance transportation, can be covered by your PIP insurance.

Lost Income

PIP insurance will reimburse lost wages if you demonstrate that you were unable to work due to injuries sustained in an accident. The minimum required coverage in Utah limits the payout to 85% of lost income or $250 per week, whichever is lower. In addition, you will only receive compensation for income lost for up to 52 weeks, even if your injuries extend beyond this time frame. If you're still unable to work after a year, you would have to rely on your own funds or you could pursue a claim against the other driver, so long as you meet the state's tort threshold.

Note that in order to receive PIP benefits for lost income, you may need a doctor's written confirmation that you were unable to work due to injuries specifically from the vehicle collision. This information will be collected and reviewed by your insurance adjuster.

Special Allowance

If you're unable to perform normal household tasks due to injuries from an accident, personal injury protection will pay up to $20 per day for someone to provide such services. These tasks can include cleaning, child care, cooking, home maintenance, yard work and other typical household activities. Just note that you may need to provide confirmation from a doctor that you were unable to complete these tasks due to injuries from the accident. In addition, the special allowance only provides coverage for up to 365 days, even if your injuries extend longer.

How and When to File a PIP Claim in Utah

If you were injured in a car accident, you would first file a claim with the insurer that covers the vehicle you were in during the collision. If you were a pedestrian or bicyclist involved in an accident with a vehicle, you would turn to that vehicle's personal injury protection insurance for coverage. The exception to this would be if you were hurt while driving a vehicle for business purposes, in which case you would turn to your commercial insurance first.

When you contact the insurer, it should provide you with a PIP application that describes the information needed to complete the claim. This will typically include contact information for all service providers, such as doctors and pharmacies, as well as details of your employer and any time away from work. These details will go to your insurance adjuster and support your PIP claim.

How Much Does PIP Insurance Cost in Utah?

The cost of PIP insurance in Utah will change based upon the amount of coverage you choose, the city you live in and your driving history. As you can see from the sample quotes below, the cost of personal injury protection can vary by more than $60 per month depending on your coverage limits.

$3,000 PIP Coverage$5,000 PIP Coverage$10,000 PIP Coverage$25,000 PIP Coverage$100,000 PIP Coverage
Monthly Cost of PIP with Income Loss Protection$14.83$18.98$29.21$41.67$75.77
Monthly Cost of PIP without Income Loss Protection$13.34$17.08$26.29$37.50$68.19

You're allowed to purchase PIP insurance in Utah without income loss protection, which will reduce your premiums slightly. But this option is only available if you haven't been employed for at least 31 days prior to purchasing coverage and you remain unemployed for at least 180 days after the policy is in place. This restriction also applies to your spouse, if you have one.

Utah PIP Tort Threshold

Since no-fault states require that you carry PIP insurance, they typically also restrict your ability to sue the other party in an accident unless damages reach a certain threshold, called a tort threshold. This restriction is intended to reduce the number of minor lawsuits.

In Utah, you can't sue the other party in a collision for general damages, such as pain and suffering, unless at least one of the following criteria is met:

  • Someone died.
  • You were dismembered.
  • You received a permanent disability or impairment.
  • You were permanently disfigured.
  • Medical expenses exceeded $3,000 due to the accident.

However, you can sue the other party for "special damages," such as lost income and medical expenses, without reaching the tort threshold. Or, if the other party wasn't insured, you can sue them for general damages without meeting the criteria above, as they aren't protected by the no-fault statute.

Note that, if you have PIP coverage over $3,000, you can sue for general damages without having used up your PIP insurance, so long as the total necessary medical expenses exceeded $3,000.

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