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IN PLAIN ENGLISH

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 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.

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.

State6-Month Premium
Florida
$1,029
Hawaii
$541
Kansas
$738
Kentucky
$949
Massachusetts
$638
Michigan
$1,346
Minnesota
$644
New Jersey
$836
New York
$844
North Dakota
$662
Pennsylvania
$695
Utah
$604


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.

StateAverage PIP Premium
Florida$164
Hawaii$54
Kansas$28
Kentucky$79
Massachusetts$28
Michigan$606
Minnesota$109
New Jersey$168
New York$138
North Dakota$41
Pennsylvania$39
Utah$24


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 and you'd like to see quotes from local and national companies, click here to see personalized results.

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Recent Questions:

If I'm hit my a driver with the same insurance company as mine, do I file the claim under my policy or the other driver's?

Filing the claim on your policy means you are going to have to pay your collision deductible and could possibly impact your rate. Personally, I would not agree to do that.
Sep 25, 2017 Rockledge, FL

Should I contact my insurance company about this fender bender?

Most insurance companies require you to report any incident involving damage to a car or property. Even if you decide to not file a claim, you still want to let your insurance company know, that way you are protected if the other party decides to file a claim.
Aug 30, 2018 Kingsland, GA

At-fault driver gave me the wrong information

I would contact the police with what info you have. If you have the plate they should be able to locate the owner and either pull his insurance info or track them down to get it again.
Apr 9, 2018 Dallas, Texas

Should I file a liability claim if I caused $650 in damage to the other car?

We have a handy guide on how to determine whether or not to file a claim here. For that amount of damage, it's probably wise to forgo the claim and pay for the damage out-of-pocket.
Jan 21, 2020 Alexandria, MN

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.

Ava Lynch
Ava LynchSenior Analyst

Ava worked in the insurance industry as an agent for four-plus years.

Ava currently provides insights and data analysis as one of The Zebra's property and casualty insurance experts. Her work has been featured in publications such as U.S. News & World Report, GasBuddy, Car and Driver, and Yahoo! Finance.