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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.

State 6-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.

State Average 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

Someone hit my car while it was parked. Should I file a claim?

It depends on what part of your coverage is used to compensate for the damage. See this guide on when you should file a car insurance claim.
Jul 16, 2019 Midwest City, OK

When quoting online for new insurance, how do I list an accident where I was not at fault but also uninsured?

Even if you were without insurance at the time of the accident, if the other driver was found to be at fault then your insurance status should have no bearing on that (with the exception of Louisiana). I would recommend selecting a "not at fault" accident and proceed forward.
Apr 4, 2017 Chicago, IL

How can I get a not at fault accident charged off my driving record?

If your insurance company has to pay out on a claim, it will impact your rates. If you have uninsured motorist coverage, the accident will only stay on your record for 3 years and will not impact your rates as much as if you don't.
Oct 3, 2018 Houston, TX

Should I file a claim for a minor accident which cause damage to another persons property?

There are a couple of things to look at here. Your deductible only applies to your collision and comprehensive coverage - which protects your vehicle.
Apr 19, 2018 Massillon, OH

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 photo
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.