If you're wondering what a no-fault state is, the answer lies in which insurance company pays out claims for personal injuries — the at-fault driver or both drivers. In no-fault states, auto insurance companies pay out claims filed by their respective policyholders to cover personal injuries after an accident. Who was at fault is irrelevant.
Florida, Kansas, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, Kentucky and Utah are the states with no-fault car insurance laws. All no-fault states include Personal Injury Protection as part of their minimum car insurance requirements. The only exception is Pennsylvania, where you only need medical payment coverage.
No-fault states also place restrictions on your right to sue. It’s worth noting that if you were at fault in an accident and the other driver’s property was damaged, your car insurance policy would still cover the cost of repairs.
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Differentiating between at-fault and no-fault states is a starting point for understanding how car insurance works. Remember, there are fewer no-fault states in the country, and they can fall under three types.
In no-fault states, drivers file claims to their car insurance companies to cover costs from personal injuries.
There are 12 no-fault states in the U.S., but three are choice no-fault states.
You pay more for car insurance in no-fault states because you need more coverage, such as PIP.
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What States Have No-Fault Insurance Laws?
Most states require liability coverage as part of your car insurance policy. The exception is Florida, where you only need property damage insurance. Usually, in a no-fault state you’ll also need to have Personal Injury Protection coverage.
States with no-fault insurance laws require drivers to file claims with their own providers if they’re involved in an accident. Your right to pursue damages for personal injuries is limited unless these are severe.
The table below shows the minimum auto insurance requirements of the 12 no-fault states. We included Puerto Rico, a U.S. territory with no-fault insurance laws.
List of No-Fault Insurance States
Personal Injury Protection per Person:
What Is a True No-Fault State?
A true no-fault insurance state requires insurance companies to cover their policyholder's personal injury claims. However, the at-fault driver still shoulders costs for damaged property.
Your right to sue is restricted unless it reaches the tort liability threshold in a no-fault state. This comes in two forms — verbal (for death or disfigurement) or monetary (amount of medical bills).
The conditions that allow you to sue another driver for personal injury costs are called Tort Liability Threshold. Once you reach this measure of minimum injury severity, you can pursue damages against the at-fault driver.
There are two types of Tort Thresholds — verbal and monetary. The former depends on how many injuries you sustained. Typically, you reach the limit if you lose a body part or function because of an accident. In contrast, a monetary threshold depends on how much your medical bills cost.
What Is a Choice No-Fault State?
You can choose between a no-fault policy or a standard tort liability policy in Choice No-Fault states.
A no-fault option has fewer restrictions regarding your rights to sue, though tort liability thresholds vary. New Jersey and Pennsylvania only have a verbal one, while Kentucky's is only monetary.
You still file claims for personal injury to your own carrier while the at-fault driver pays for property damage in all three states.
What Is an Add-On No-Fault State?
Add-On No-Fault states follow a tort insurance system. At their core, they are at-fault states, because the driver who caused the accident is liable for costs incurred by the other party for injuries and property damage.
However, you can choose to add PIP coverage to your policy. Although it's not required, PIP provides additional protection if the other driver's insurance isn't enough to cover your medical expenses.
- Washington, D.C.
- New Hampshire
- South Dakota
What Is a Tort State?
Tort states follow a traditional insurance system, where the at-fault driver's policy covers damages from repairs and medical expenses. There are also no restrictions on filing lawsuits.
The states excluded from the list are tort states.
How Much Is Insurance in No-Fault States?
Car insurance companies consider several factors when calculating premiums. These may include personal information such as your age, driving record, and car's make and model. Another factor is location — driving in a no-fault state is one reason for more expensive car insurance.
Drivers in no-fault states need to purchase more coverage because their state's minimum insurance requirements include Personal Injury Protection. The no-fault state with the most expensive premium is Michigan, with an average of $4,333 per year for a full coverage policy.
Average Cost Of Insurance In No-Fault States
Annual Average Cost
Frequently Asked Questions
We gathered questions drivers commonly ask about states with no-fault insurance laws and their corresponding answers to provide more information.
About Mark Fitzpatrick
- Insurance Information Institute. "What Determines the Price of an Auto Insurance Policy?." Accessed July 27, 2022.