No-Fault Car Insurance: What It Is and Why You Might Need It

No fault car insurance helps drivers cover medical expenses and loss of income if they're involved in a car accident. While it's also known as personal injury protection (or PiP) insurance, it's often called "no fault" car insurance because it applies regardless of which driver is at fault for an accident. 14 states require no fault insurance coverage and four others have made it optional for all drivers. No fault coverage costs $50 - $200 per month depending on your location and coverage limit. Most car insurance companies can provide you with no fault coverage.

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A former insurance producer, Laura understands that education is key when it comes to buying insurance. She has happily dedicated many hours to helping her clients understand how the insurance marketplace works so they can find the best car, home, and life insurance products for their needs.

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Joel Ohman is the CEO of a private equity backed digital media company. He is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™, author, angel investor, and serial entrepreneur who loves creating new things, whether books or businesses. He has also previously served as the founder and resident CFP® of a national insurance agency, Real Time Health Quotes. He has an MBA from the University of South Florida. Jo...

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Reviewed by Joel Ohman
Founder & CFP® Joel Ohman

UPDATED: May 4, 2022

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Here's what you need to know...

  • No-fault car insurance helps drivers cover medical expenses and loss of income if they’re involved in a car accident, regardless of who was at fault
  • 14 states require no-fault car insurance and 4 others give drivers the option to add it to their coverage
  • No-fault car insurance costs between $50 and $200 a month for minimum coverage (depending on your location)

Although we attempt to avoid them, car accidents occur every day. And, in many cases, one driver is more at fault than the other. Several states consider who is at fault when deciding how insurance coverage should apply after an accident. For example, if Driver A is deemed at fault for an accident involving Driver B, Driver A’s liability insurance will pay for the damages to Driver B’s car. Meanwhile, Driver B’s liability insurance will not cover Driver A’s car repairs since Driver B did not cause the accident.

Incidents like the one above seem reasonably fair, but accidents can become much more complicated, as can  determining who’s at fault. And what if what was at risk wasn’t merely the cost of repairing a car, but medical bills and the loss of income that often follows a serious accident? In an effort to ensure that all drivers are able to afford medical treatment and can continue to pay their bills after an accident, multiple states require drivers to obtain no-fault insurance (sometimes called personal injury protection insurance) before they can legally drive.

We’re here to help you understand your car insurance policy by explaining the ins and outs of no-fault insurance. In the sections that follow, we’ll discuss when it’s required, what it covers, and what options you have for obtaining it.

Are you looking for affordable no-fault car insurance? Then, enter your ZIP code into our free online tool to compare rates and find coverage that’s right for you.

What is no-fault car insurance?

Also referred to as personal injury protection (PIP) insurance in some cases, no-fault car insurance helps drivers (and their passengers) cover medical expenses and potential loss of income in the event that they’re injured in a car accident. Unlike other forms of insurance, such as liability coverage, no-fault car insurance applies regardless of who is at fault for an accident. In other words, even if you’re found responsible for an accident, no-fault insurance will cover your medical expenses.

In addition to medical payments, no-fault insurance also covers other injury-related costs resulting from accidents. Here’s an overview of what no-fault insurance covers:

  • Medical expenses
  • Lost wages (as the result of being unable to work after an accident)
  • Household services (like a cleaning service if you’re unable to do housework while recovering from an accident)
  • Funeral expenses (if an accident results in the death of a driver or passenger)

Since no-fault insurance was created in part due to its potential to streamline the insurance claims process, 18 U.S. states either require or allow all drivers to obtain no-fault insurance. All other states do not have no-fault insurance and instead use a “tort” system, wherein the insurance of the at-fault driver pays the expenses incurred by other drivers injured in the accident.

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Which states require no-fault car insurance?

18 states either require or allow drivers to possess no-fault insurance. All other states use a tort system instead, wherein the insurance of the at-fault driver pays for any other driver’s medical expenses.

According to the Insurance Information Institute, in what are known as “choice no-fault” states, drivers can choose between a no-fault system or a traditional tort policy, where drivers responsible for an accident — and their  insurance — can be sued by an injured party.

Examine the table below to discover what states require or allow drivers to obtain no-fault car insurance.

No Fault Auto Insurance by State

StateIs there no fault auto insurance?
AlabamaNo
AlaskaNo
ArizonaNo
ArkansasYes
CaliforniaNo
ColoradoNo
ConnecticutNo
DelawareYes
FloridaYes
GeorgiaNo
HawaiiYes
IdahoNo
IllinoisNo
IndianaNo
IowaNo
Kansas Yes
KentuckyYes (optional)
LouisianaNo
MaineNo
MarylandYes
MassachusettsYes
MichiganYes
MinnesotaYes
MississippiNo
MissouriNo
MontanaNo
NebraskaNo
NevadaNo
New HampshireNo
New JerseyYes (optional)
New MexicoNo
New YorkYes
North CarolinaNo
North DakotaYes
OhioNo
OklahomaNo
OregonYes
PennsylvaniaYes (optional)
Rhode IslandNo
South CarolinaNo
South DakotaNo
TennesseeNo
TexasYes
UtahYes
VermontNo
VirginiaNo
WashingtonYes (optional)
West VirginiaNo
WisconsinNo
WyomingNo
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Where can you find no-fault car insurance?

If you live in one of the 18 states that either requires or allows all drivers to obtain no-fault (or PIP) insurance, most car insurance companies will be prepared to provide you with a no-fault insurance policy. Rates may vary between insurance companies, so ensure that you compare your options before making a decision.

Here are some of the largest car insurance companies by market share that offer no-fault insurance coverage:

How much does no-fault insurance cost?

The cost of no-fault insurance can vary considerably based on your state, the car you drive, your driving history, and the amount of coverage that your policy provides. On its own, the average cost for the PIP insurance required by no-fault states is approximately $50 – $200 a month for minimum coverage. Of course, if you want to have more than the minimum amount of coverage required, you’ll need to pay a higher amount.

What to Remember About No-Fault Car Insurance

No-fault car insurance — also referred to as personal injury protection (PIP) insurance — helps drivers cover medical expenses, loss of income, and sometimes even the cost of household services when involved in a car accident. No-fault car insurance is different from other forms of insurance because it applies regardless of who was at fault for the accident.

14 states require no-fault car insurance and 4 others give drivers the option to add it to their coverage. All other U.S. states are considered tort states, in which the insurance of the at-fault driver pays the expenses of anyone else injured in the accident.

No-fault car insurance can be purchased from most major auto insurance companies in states where it is either required or available. Adding it to a policy costs between $50 and $200 a month for minimum coverage (depending on your state).

Whether or not you live in a state that requires no-fault insurance, you can lower your rates by comparing coverage options in your area. If you’re looking for the most affordable insurance that meets your needs, determine how much you could save on insurance by entering your ZIP code into our free online quote tool.

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