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No-Fault Car Insurance

No-fault car insurance requires every driver to file a claim for their own bodily injury and medical expenses after an accident, regardless of who is at fault. The purpose of no-fault insurance is to reduce the number of lawsuits in small claims court, which can slow the reimbursement process for the injured party.

In theory, no-fault insurance makes a lot of sense. In practice, it can lead to high premiums, fraud, and inconvenience for insurance companies and drivers alike.


No-fault insurance definition

At-fault car insurance requires each insurance company to cover their clients' medical expenses after an at-fault crash. There are currently 12 at-fault states in America:

no fault states

*No-fault is optional in these states — a driver may choose no-fault or liability coverage. Drivers in these states are required by law to carry Personal Injury Protection and liability property damage coverage. Personal injury protection (PIP) provides medical cost reimbursement and work loss coverage for a driver and their passengers after a car accident. This coverage applies regardless of fault.


No-fault insurance versus at-fault auto insurance

The remaining states in the US operate on a tort liability system — or an at-fault system. A tort is an action that results in injury to another person or their property, leaving the afflicted party entitled to compensation.

In states using the tort system, responsibility for damages paid to an injured party is assigned to the at-fault driver and their insurance carrier. If anyone involved in the accident disagrees about where fault should be placed, they — or their insurance company — can sue for monetary compensation to cover damages.

While drivers in no-fault states use their own coverage to pay damages regardless of fault, tort system states assign fault to one party and they are responsible for damages.

With no-fault insurance, each driver uses their own auto insurance coverage to pay for their damages, regardless of who caused the crash. This precludes drivers from suing another party — with some exceptions, depending on the severity of injuries — in civil court. This also eliminates the wait for the resolution of a lengthy and potentially costly lawsuit before being reimbursed.

No-fault coverage only applies to medical expenses. Property damage is covered through property damage liability protection or collision insurance.


How much does no-fault insurance cost?

This varies, depending on personal characteristics and location. Because each state has certain requirements, insurance premiums will vary by location. Insurance premiums reflect a driver's personal attributes, including their driving record, age, and vehicle. We created a generalized profile and outlined how much car insurance costs in no-fault states.

State Avg. Annual Premium
Florida $2,923
Hawaii $1,409
Kansas $1,791
Kentucky $2,567
Massachusetts $1,418
Michigan $2,176
Minnesota $1,707
New Jersey $2,043
New York $2,171
North Dakota $1,555
Pennsylvania $1,777
Utah $1,617
Updated: 01/26/23.

Dynamic auto insurance data methodology

Methodology: The auto insurance rates displayed above and throughout this page are dynamic, meaning the data will refresh when the most recent information is made available. Rates are based on a sample driver profile — a 30-year-old single male driver with a Honda Accord and full coverage. This profile was adjusted based on common pricing factors used by major car insurance companies, like age, coverage level, driving record and others.

How much does personal injury protection coverage (PIP) cost?

A state’s no-fault insurance laws determine how much PIP a driver needs and what their premium will be. Below are average rates for state-minimum PIP requirements.

State Avg. PIP Premium
Delaware $232
Florida $400
Hawaii $89
Kansas $54
Kentucky $175
Massachusetts $55
Michigan $428
Minnesota $200
New Jersey $336
New York $236
North Dakota $97
Oregon $124
Pennsylvania $78
Utah $54
Updated: 01/26/23.

Michigan has the highest overall PIP requirement because of its no-fault insurance laws. Michigan requires unlimited PIP and Property Protection Insurance (provides coverage for other drivers’ vehicles) of $1,000,000. These high limits cause Michigan’s rates to be 70% higher than the national average.

If your state requires no-fault coverage, get personalized quotes from local and national companies.

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RECENT QUESTIONS

At-fault wants to pay for damage he caused out of pocket

This can be a tricky situation. Usually, someone will try to avoid insurance companies for two reasons: they either don't have any insurance or they want to avoid their rates going up.
Jun 24, 2018 Orlando, FL

How do i dispute a driving record with AAA

The only way you can dispute a claim on your driving history is to contact LexisNexis. That is the database that reports accidents to other companies.
Sep 21, 2018 Los Angeles, CA

Will GEICO increase my rates if I file a windshield claim?

This is a tricky question to answer. How a claim will impact your rate is specific to the coverage and company you have.
Aug 4, 2018 Charlotte, NC

Husband backed into a pole in his work's parking lot how to handle insurance

There are a few different factors to consider. First, most insurance companies require you to report any incident that occurs with the car, even if a claim is not filed.
Jul 19, 2018 Austin, TX

About The Zebra

The Zebra is not an insurance company. We publish data-backed, expert-reviewed resources to help consumers make more informed insurance decisions.

  • The Zebra’s insurance content is written and reviewed for accuracy by licensed insurance agents.
  • The Zebra’s insurance content is not subject to review or alteration by insurance companies or partners.
  • The Zebra’s editorial team operates independently of the company’s partnerships and commercialization interests, publishing unbiased information for consumer benefit.
  • The auto insurance rates published on The Zebra’s pages are based on a comprehensive analysis of car insurance pricing data, evaluating more than 83 million insurance rates from across the United States.