Minimum requirements and how to get cheap auto insurance in Utah
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Before getting auto insurance in Utah
If you live in Utah or are thinking of moving there soon, you might be thinking about all the skiing you’re going to do — and nobody would blame you if changing your car insurance wasn’t at the top of your priority list. But whenever you move to a new state, your car insurance requirements can change, resulting in a policy update soon after you land.
In Utah, every driver is required to carry auto insurance coverage or keep a $160,000 deposit with the State Treasurer. Learn out about minimum requirements in Utah, its interesting driving laws and how you can get a solid insurance rate to suit your needs.
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Average car insurance costs in Utah
Utah comes in at just more than $1,000 for the average driver to insure their car for a year. That’s a good bit less than the national average in 2017, which was about $1,300 annually. Rates in Utah are also far less than what you’d pay in the most expensive state, Michigan, where average costs tend to exceed $2,000 a year.
The state of Utah is awash in gorgeous scenery and breathtaking views, even in its cities. But city living could come with higher insurance rates because of an increased risk of theft and traffic accidents. As a rule of thumb, car insurance in metropolitan Salt Lake City will likely cost more than it will in smaller towns like Helper or Kamas.
How can I save money on car insurance?
With so many providers claiming to offer the best value and coverage, it can be tough to keep it all straight. And that’s before you add in complicating factors like extra drivers, vehicle types or an urban home.
Generally, Utah isn’t among the most expensive parts of the country to find car insurance. To find the most affordable insurance coverage for your needs, take time to shop around and compare your options.
State minimum requirements in Utah
To legally drive in Utah, you’ll need insurance that includes at least:
$25,000 for bodily injury per person, per accident.
$65,000 for bodily injury total per accident.
$15,000 for property damage per accident.
OR $80,000 total for bodily injury and property damage.
You’re also required to have at least $3,000 of personal injury protection (PIP) per person. This covers your medical costs, no matter who’s at fault in an accident.
What additional coverage can I get?
To best protect yourself, your vehicle and your passengers, look into additional kinds of coverage.
Comprehensive. Covers damage to your car caused by something other than a collision, like weather or vandalism.
About 8% of all drivers in Utah in 2015 didn’t carry adequate insurance, according to data from the Insurance Research Council. While it’s below the nationwide average of 13%, it’s nothing to ignore.
Being involved in an accident with an uninsured driver or a hit-and-run accident can leave you with extra costs that you’ll have to cover with your insurance. Uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage can help take care of these costs.
What can I do if I don’t want to buy car insurance in Utah?
If you’d rather not carry a car insurance policy, you have the option of depositing $160,000 with the State Treasurer that’s used to pay for any costs after a crash. It sounds like a lot of money on the surface to cover repairs and medical costs, but a crash involving multiple cars and injuries can quickly wipe that deposit right out. If that happens, you pay any outstanding costs from your own pocket.
But not all coverage options are available in every state. And when you do find a temporary policy that’s available where you live, you can expect it to be more expensive than traditional car insurance/
What happens if I’m driving in Utah and I don’t have insurance?
If you’re caught driving without car insurance, you’re likely to face steep fines and a possible license and registration suspension. You could even wind up with some jail time if you’re a repeat offender or are involved in a severe crash without the minimum coverage.
Your first offense typically involves a fine of at least $400, with fines of $1,000 for any offenses after that. You’ll also have to pay license and registration reinstatement fees — $100 and $30, respectively — to get back on the road. And if your vehicle is towed or impounded, those can incur extra costs as well.
What laws do I need to follow when I’m driving in Utah?
Most states share a common set of traffic and driving laws, but Utah has a handful of regulations to keep an eye out for:
All passengers must wear a seat belt when the vehicle is in motion.
Drivers are banned from texting while driving.
Talking on a phone without a hands-free device is considered careless driving. But this is a secondary offense, which means that you can’t be pulled over solely for cell phone use.
Headlights must be turned on whenever visibility is less than 1,000 feet and also from 30 minutes after sundown to 30 minutes before sunrise.
Blood alcohol limits and DUI laws in Utah
In Utah, the blood alcohol content (BAC) limits are the same as in any state: 0.08% for normal drivers and 0.04% for commercial drivers.
But the state imposes zero tolerance for underage drinkers in this state. Any alcohol at all detected in a driver under 21 is an automatic violation.
2 days minimum
10 days minimum
63 days minimum
Fines and penalties
Ignition interlock device required
Can I get SR-22 insurance in Utah?
Yes. You might need to file an SR-22 in Utah alongside your insurance policy if you’re convicted of a DUI, you’re caught driving without car insurance or you’ve accumulated too many violation points on your driving record.
SR-22 insurance is typically mandated by a court decision, and it’s most commonly enforced for up to three years after the mandate.
What happens after an accident in Utah?
No matter how small, any accident can leave you feeling overwhelmed. By following a few simple tips, you can make the process of filing an insurance claim that much easier.
Get to safety. First, confirm that everyone involved is safe and that all vehicles are out of the path of traffic, if possible. If you need assistance with an injured person or moving a disabled vehicle, call emergency services right away.
Notify your insurance company. After help is on the way, call your provider to let them know what’s happened. Giving an agent as much information as possible immediately after an accident can help speed up the claims process and eliminate headaches later.
Document the accident. Write down all the details you can, and take photos of the scene from multiple angles. This can help you later with filing the claim.
Exchange information. Get the full name, contact information and insurance details of everyone at the scene.
File a report. Depending on the severity of the accident, you may need to file a report with the police or the DMV. Your insurance provider might also require it before they pay your claim.
Don’t admit fault. When speaking with other drivers, avoid discussing who might have been at fault for the crash. If you admit fault in any way, it might be used against you later and could even keep your insurance provider from paying your claim.
Who’s at fault after an accident?
Utah imposes a no-fault system for auto insurance. This means your own insurance covers you after an accident, regardless of who’s at fault for the crash.
When should I report an accident in Utah?
In Utah, you must report a car accident if:
Anyone is injured or killed
Property damages from the accident total $1,500 or more
If you fail to report the accident, you expose yourself to a hit-and-run charge, which can carry felony penalties and fines.
When should I contact a lawyer?
Not all accidents require legal help. But you might want to consult a lawyer if:
You’re charged with a crime following an accident
You’re held responsible for an accident that wasn’t your fault
The other driver in the accident doesn’t have car insurance
You plan to file a civil suit against another driver involved in your accident
Another driver involved in the accident plans to file a civil suit against you
Although Utah provides an alternative to carrying car insurance to legal drive on its scenic roads, it’s worth looking into purchasing at least the state’s minimum level of coverage on your own. The right car insurance policy for your needs can keep you, your vehicle and your passengers protected in a fender bender or even the worst-case accident.
Frequently asked questions about car insurance in Utah
Head to your local DMV office. You’ll need the title of your vehicle, proof of insurance, your photo ID and a small amount of money to cover initial registration fees.
Only temporarily. If you’re moving to Utah, you’ll need to register your vehicle with the Utah DMV within 60 days of establishing residence to avoid any penalty. You’ll also need to sign up for a new insurance policy that meets Utah’s minimum requirements at that time.
Yes. But according the Insurance Information Institute, an insurance company can cancel or terminate your policy before your policy period’s over only if:
You fail to pay your policy’s premium.
You’ve fraudulently misrepresented yourself on your application.
Your license is suspended or revoked.
An insurer can decide not to renew your policy at the end of your term if you’ve filed multiple claims or accumulate excessive moving violations.
Yes. The Utah Auto Insurance Plan (UAIP) requires all insurers in the state to participate. If you’re denied coverage by multiple providers because of lapses in coverage, serious traffic violations or other issues, the program can assign you an insurer that’s required to provide you with a policy. It might cost more than going the conventional route, but at least you’re covered.
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