Utah has one of the lowest rates of uninsured drivers in the country and has successfully kept insurance premium costs below the national average. It’s also one of the safest states to drive in. Utah’s state’s fatality rate per vehicle mile traveled has been lower than the national average for 15 years, but in 2014 motorcycle deaths were the highest on record. The state is working hard to reduce both car and motorcycle crashes through its recent primary enforcement seat belt law, motorcycle rider training classes, and a push to get all motorcyclists to wear helmets.
Utah Vehicle Insurance Requirements
You may associate vast swaths of desert and national parks with Utah – and you’d be right. But it is also one of the country’s fastest growing states by population, and in 2013 there were close to two million cars on the road.
Utah has succeeded in keeping the number of uninsured drivers very low – just 5.8 percent of drivers don’t have insurance. Only three other states have a better rate than that. The state’s Insurance Commissioner, Todd E. Kiser, attributes that to effective monitoring and oversight. Several state agencies have banded together “in a robust system for tracking uninsured drivers,” says Kiser. “These entities meet quarterly with our third-party insurance verification vendor, Insure-Rite, to make sure the system is working correctly.”
Utah has also kept insurance premium costs below national averages. “We have a lot of competition within the market,” notes Kiser. “Insurers compete against each other for business, which drives rates down for Utah motorists.”
Who Needs Vehicle Insurance in Utah?
All Utah residents and visitors who have spent at least 90 days in the state during the previous year must have their vehicles insured in Utah.
Proof of Insurance
The Utah Department of Motor Vehicles works with the private firm mentioned (Insure-Rite, Inc.) to regularly check vehicle registrations against insurance policies written in the state. If your vehicle is flagged as uninsured, you will receive a letter requiring you to provide proof of insurance. If you don’t provide the proof, the DMV will suspend your license and registration.
Minimum Liability Insurance Requirements
Utah law requires that you carry both liability and Personal Injury Protection (PIP, or No-Fault) insurance on any vehicle that is registered in the state. If you are in an accident, the PIP coverage takes effect first. Once the maximum PIP payout has been reached, your liability insurance takes over. The minimum coverage amounts are:
- $3,000 per person for Personal Injury Protection, or PIP (also called “no-fault” coverage)
- $25,000 per person for injury liability
- $65,000 per accident for injury liability
- $15,000 per accident for property damage liability
Instead of separate bodily injury/property damage liability limits, you can instead purchase a policy for $80,000 total.
In addition, the law requires that insurers include the same amount of uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage in your policy, but you have the right to reject that coverage in writing.
What Happens If You Drive Without Car Insurance in Utah?
If you are convicted of failing to insure your vehicle, your license and registration will be suspended and cannot be renewed until you provide proof of insurance and pay a fee. The fine for driving without insurance is at least $400 for the first offense and $1,000 for subsequent offenses within three years.
To get your license and registration reinstated, you will need to get an SR-22 certificate from a Utah licensed insurance company that shows proof of insurance coverage. You will need to maintain this proof of insurance for three years. You will also have to pay a $100 reinstatement fee.
How Much Vehicle Insurance Do You Need?
Experts usually recommend purchasing more than the mandatory minimum liability insurance. But the type of insurance you purchase will depend on your personal situation. Experts generally recommend getting $100,000 per injury and $300,000 per accident,
Utah Lack Vehicle Insurance? 5.8% National Average: 12.6 %
For example, if you have a new car with a loan, your loan agreement probably requires you to purchase both collision and comprehensive insurance. But if you own an old car, it may not be worth investing in this type of insurance.
You will be offered uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage. Utah has a relatively low percentage of uninsured drivers compared to other states, but you may still want to invest in this coverage for peace of mind.
Teen Drivers in Utah
Young drivers in Utah were involved in more than 20,000 motor vehicle crashes in 2014, which resulted in 10,316 injured people and 74 deaths. Teens under age 18 are required to take a driver’s education course to get a license. You can find a list of approved courses on the Utah Department of Public Safety website.
The National Association of Insurance Commissioners recommends that you set some ground rules before your teen gets behind the wheel, including what hours your child can drive, whether she can bring friends in the car and how many miles a day she is allowed to drive.
If you drive an expensive car, it could cost you even more to add your teen to your policy than to purchase a modestly priced (but safe) vehicle for her that just has liability and uninsured motorist coverage. In addition to saving on the collision and comprehensive coverage for her, you may get a discount for insuring two or more vehicles under the same policy. Discuss the options with your insurance agent.
Utah Car Insurance Premiums: The Impact of a Teen Driver
Median annual price change for families with a teen driver on their policy:$1,883 increase This is a difference of 122%.
Average annual premium increase if a teen gets a speeding ticket while driving 11 to 15 mph over the speed limit:
Discounts for Utah's Teen Drivers
Impact on annual premium with Good Student and Defensive Driving discounts:$264 saved
Auto Insurance Premiums: Compare Utah Insurance Providers
Policy costs vary greatly, so shop around. Check out the annual average premiums for a married couple with a 16-year-old teen driver in Utah:
Which Cars Drive Up Your Premium in Utah?
Premium rates reflect what insurers consider risky -- and sports cars for teens are high on that list.
Average premium for two 2014
Average premium for two 2008
Town and Country Limiteds
Annual benefit of minivans:
College Students in Utah
If your child maintains a B average in college or high school, you may be eligible for discount on your premium. Also, some companies may offer a discount if your child takes a driver safety course.
The Utah Safety Council offers a driver safety course called Alive at 25 geared for drivers aged 15 to 24. If your child has any points on his license, he can take the course and get a 50-point reduction on her license.
Utah Teen Drivers vs. College Age Students
Median annual premium change with a college student vs. high school driver$772 decrease This is a decrease of 21%.
Annual Premiums With a College Student in Utah
Each year, look at your policy before it renews to see whether you could get a better rate. Compare, for example, the average premiums for a married couple with a 19-year-old college student in Utah.
Distance Discount for Utah College Students
You may see a small savings in your family’s premium if your student lives 150+ miles away from home.
Average premium for a 19-year-old male
- $3,131 at home
- $2,602 at school
- $529 in savings
Average premium for a 19-year-old female
- $2,680 at home
- $2,349 at school
- $331 in savings
Which Cars Drive Up Your Premium in Utah?
If your child drives a minivan instead of a sports car, it will have a smaller impact on the premium than if he or she drives a sports car — a reflection of the lower risk to insurers.
2014 Mustang GTs (2)$3,481
2008 Town and Country Limited minivans (2)$2,188
Annual benefit of minivans
Military Drivers in Utah
If you are a permanent resident of another state, but are on active military duty in Utah, you can maintain your license and registration from your home state. But if you buy a car in Utah, you will have to pay Utah sales tax, even if you keep your home state registration.
If you are a Utah resident who is stationed out of state, you may be exempt from emissions and safety inspections. (Contact the Utah DMV for more information.) If your license expires while you are on active duty outside of Utah, you may continue to use your license for up to 90 days after your discharge before filing for an extension or renewing it.
Many insurers provide discounts for military personnel and veterans, even if they don’t specialize in these populations. But remember, one of the best ways to secure a lower premium is to maintain a good driving record.
Utah Service Members:
How the Vehicle You Drive Affects Your Premium
SUVs and pickups are more likely to roll over, according to the Insurance Information Institute, but an older model SUV still has less impact on your premium than a recent model sports car.
Military Drivers: A Comparison of Premium Ranges by Driver Age and Vehicle
Age Savings for Utah
Median auto insurance
for service members:
Compare Average Premiums Available to Utah Military Personnel
When looking for the best insurance rates, it pays to do some comparison shopping. Check out the average annual rates you can get in Utah.
Seniors in Utah
Every 72 minutes in 2014, a driver age 65 or older was involved in a crash in Utah, according to Department of Public Safety. The percent of crashes involving a driver age 65 or older has increased for seven years straight.
Most insurance companies in Utah will give you a discount for three years on your premium if you are over age 55 and take a state-approved driver safety course. Often these courses are available online.
Undocumented Workers in Utah
Utah allows residents who cannot establish their legal presence in the country to get a driver’s license called a “Driving Privilege Card” (DPC). The DPC gives you authorization to drive in Utah, but it can’t be used as a form of identification at any Utah government agency. The DPC has “Not Valid for identification/Driving Privilege Only” printed on its face. Applicants must submit fingerprints, which they can obtain at an approved law enforcement agency.
Ridesharing Insurance in Utah: Are You Covered?
Your personal auto policy does not generally cover you if you are using your vehicle to drive for a transportation network company (TNC) like Uber or Lyft. You may need a commercial auto policy, or you may be able to get your personal policy “endorsed” to allow for specific business use. The Utah Insurance Department recommends that you discuss your vehicle use with your insurance agent to make sure you have sufficient coverage.
In 2015 Utah passed legislation requiring that TNC vehicles be covered by collision and comprehensive insurance. This was the first such law in the country, and it was fought by the ridesharing companies.
Car Accidents: How to File a Claim
If you are in an accident in Utah, you and anyone in your vehicle must first submit a claim to your own insurance company. Because of the state’s No-Fault insurance law, the first $3,000 in medical expenses for you and each of your passengers will be covered by your policy under your Personal Injury Protection. If medical expenses are higher than that, or if you have a property damage claim, you can then file a liability claim with the insurance company of the responsible party.
Because Utah has a “comparative negligence” law, more than one person can be found at fault. If you are found to be more than 50 percent at fault for an accident, you cannot collect damages. If you are less than 50 percent to blame for the accident, you can collect damages, but they may be reduced by the percentage of fault attributed to you.
Driver Safety: How Does Utah Rank?
Utah is one of the top 10 safest states to drive in, according to an analysis of federal driving safety statistics by MoneyGeek. It was also number one state where you’re least likely to die from being hit by a drunk driver: It had the lower number of deaths related to alcohol in the United States.
Utah Driver Safety Ranking
The driver safety table shows the different safety factors that contribute to your state's overall safety rank (in the green box). The overall safety ranking and the National Ranking column scores in each category (including crash fatality rates) are from safest to most dangerous, with 1st being the safest and 51st the least safe.
How did we create the safety rankings?
We created a traffic safety ranking of all US states plus the District of Columbia by combining data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. We looked at fatality rates by distance traveled as well as by population and gave more weight to behaviors that were riskier and preventable (i.e., drunk driving, not using a seat belt), as well as to accidents that involved more than one party (i.e., multi-vehicle).
|Driver Safety Profile||Number of Fatalities||Fatality Rate
The fatality rate is the rate per one billion vehicle miles traveled, except for pedestrian and bicyclist fatality measures, which are per measured per a population of 100,000.
Rankings are in order of safest to least safe. A state with the lowest fatality rate would be the safest, and thus ranked #1.
|Drunk Driving-Related Fatalities||37||1.38||1st|
|Passenger Vehicle Unrestrained Fatalities||57||2.11||11th|
|Unhelmeted Motorcycle Fatalities||19||0.70||27th|
|Multiple Vehicle Fatalities||85||3.15||5th|
|Total Vehicle Fatalities||220||8.15||6th|
Sources: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Insurance Institute for Highway Safety
Utah: Protecting You from Injury on the Road
In 2015, Utah won praise from traffic safety groups for passing a law allowing primary enforcement of seat belt laws, meaning police can pull drivers over if anyone in the car is not wearing a seat belt, they don’t need any other reason.
Utah uses a point system to punish and reward driver safety. Points are allotted for each offense and these points stay on your record for three years. However, if you go a year without a moving violation, half your points will be removed from your record. After two years with no moving violations, the points are eliminated.
Still, Advocates for Highway and Road Safety gives Utah a yellow “caution” light rating for gaps in its traffic safety laws. It urges the state to adopt, among other things, an all-rider motorcycle helmet law, stronger nighttime protections for novice drivers and laws raising the minimum age for a learner’s permit to 16 and an unrestricted license to 18.
Safe Driving Laws – Utah
|Mandatory seat belts||For all passengers, primary enforcement|
|Child passenger safety||Child seat required for all kids under age 8 and under 57″|
|Driving under the influence (DUI)||1st DUI conviction, 120-day license suspension, plus jail time and fines. Penalties increase for multiple convictions|
|Ignition interlock after DUI||Mandatory for all convictions|
|Talking on cell or texting while driving||Texting while driving is banned for all drivers. All cell phone use banned for drivers under age 18. Adults can use handheld device|
|Protections for young drivers||During intermediate stage, no driving midnight to 5 a.m. without an adult. No passengers except family during first six months|
|Motorcycle helmet law||Partial||Universal helmet law repealed in 1977. Helmets required for riders under age 18|
|Bicycle helmet law||No statewide law|
Car Insurance Resources for Utah Residents
The Highway Safety Division has useful information about traffic safety laws and public education campaigns.
Everything you need to know about buying car insurance in Utah.
The Insurance Department prepares this chart comparing sample rates from the top 20 insurers in the state.
Before you buy an auto insurance policy, use this online database run by the Insurance Department to make sure the person or company you are dealing with is licensed to sell car insurance in Utah.
The Utah Safety Council offers this driver safety course for young people age 15-24. Those who take it can get 50 points removed from their license.
A yearly report on Utah’s traffic law status by Advocates for Highway and Road Safety, an alliance of public health, consumer, medical and insurer groups. s