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Published: March 7, 2022Last updated: November 4, 2022

Car Insurance in Utah: A Complete Guide

Everything you need to know about car insurance in the no-fault state of Utah

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As a driver on any of Utah’s public roads, you’ll need both liability coverage and personal injury protection, as it’s a no-fault state. On average, you can expect to pay around $954.14 a year — 12 percent lower than the national average — on car insurance in Utah. Here’s everything you (and all of Utah’s 2.1 million licensed drivers) need to know about Utah car insurance.

The Minimum Car Insurance Required in Utah

The minimum coverage in Utah is as follows.

How Much Auto Insurance You Need in Utah

While the minimum liability limits are a total of $105,000, we recommend getting higher limits of $500,000 for liability coverage if you can afford them. We also recommend getting $500,000 worth of PIP and uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage, plus collision and comprehensive coverage with limits as high as your car’s actual market value.

The Cost of Car Insurance in Utah

Car insurance in Utah costs an average of $954.14 annually, as of the latest data from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (2019). That breaks down to $615.15 for liability coverage, $308.40 for collision coverage, and $127.15 for comprehensive coverage.

Based on this average, car insurance in Utah costs 12 percent less than in the rest of the U.S. We’ve seen annual rates as low as $451 and as high as $5,806.10 (for young drivers), so expect to pay somewhere in that range for your car insurance premiums per year, depending on factors such as your age and credit score.

Car Insurance Companies

When buying car insurance in Utah, you can choose from the following car insurance companies:

  • Allied
  • Allstate
  • American Family
  • Auto-Owners
  • Bear River Mutual
  • California Casualty
  • Farm Bureau
  • Farmers
  • GEICO
  • Nationwide
  • Progressive
  • Safeco
  • State Farm
  • Travelers
  • USAA

How to Lower Premiums

Even though Utah’s car insurance rates are affordable compared to the rest of the country, you may not be able to afford your current premiums. If that’s the case, try the following methods to lower your car insurance costs.

Adjusting Your Policy

Talk to your car insurance agent or broker about ways to save. You may be able to reduce your premiums by bundling different insurance policies under the same provider, dropping unnecessary coverages, lowering your limits, or raising your deductibles.

Using Discounts

You can probably take advantage of discounts as well. Ask your insurance agent or broker if you can get lower rates by adding vehicles to the same policy or taking a defensive driving class, for example.

Proof of Insurance

Given that Utah requires car insurance, if you are caught driving without insurance, there will be both financial and legal consequences.

These are the penalties for the first offense:

  • $400 minimum fine, but the court may waive up to $300 if the owner of the vehicle got the required security after the violation but before the sentencing.
  • Suspension of license and/or registration, but the owner can apply for new registration if they provide proof of security (SR-22) for three years and pay a $100 reinstatement fee.

These are the penalties for second or subsequent offenses within three years:

  • $1,000 minimum fine, but the court may waive up to $300 if the owner of the vehicle got the required security after the violation but before the sentencing.
  • Suspension of license and/or registration, but the owner can apply for new registration if they provide proof of security for three years and pay a $100 reinstatement fee.

Proof of insurance can be either paper or electronic.

Utah State Laws on Car Insurance and Driving

Here’s even more must-know information about driving in Utah.

No-Fault State

First and foremost, you should know that Utah is a no-fault state, meaning that if you cause an accident, you’ll only be responsible for the other party’s property damage. You and the other party will both cover your own medical costs, lost wages, and child care costs that result from the accident under PIP.

Utah is a modified comparative negligence state, which means that, for the victim to recover any money from the perpetrator, they must be less than 50 percent responsible for the accident.

Uninsured Motorist Coverage

Utah doesn’t require drivers to buy uninsured motorist coverage, nor does it require insurance companies to offer it. That may be because of the state’s low rate of uninsured drivers. In Utah, only 7 percent of drivers are uninsured, which is 92 percent lower than the national average (12 percent).

DUI Laws

It’s no secret that driving under the influence is dangerous, and it could have legal consequences as well. If you’re caught driving under the influence, your DUI will stay on your driving record for a decade, raising your car insurance costs all the way. For the first offense, your license will be suspended for 120 days, with temporary privileges for education, child visitation, and employment.

If you receive multiple DUIs, you may be required to install a DUI interlock, which you’ll need to blow into before you can start driving. While interlocks aren’t required for first offenses (just highly incentivized), they’re required for any subsequent offenses during probation. Offenders under age 21 will have to use interlocks for three years. The penalties increase for blood alcohol concentrations of 0.16 percent or higher: In that case, an interlock is mandatory for one year.

Seat Belt Laws

All drivers ages 16 and older must wear seat belts, no matter which seat they’re in. This law is under primary enforcement, so a police officer can stop you for not wearing a seat belt even if you commit no other traffic violations.

Distracted Driving Laws

In Utah, all drivers are banned from using handheld electronic devices. If you are caught using a cell phone while driving, you could face a $100 fine for the first offense or, for other offenses that occur within three years of the first, a $1,000 fine and possible jail time. On top of that, Utah will give you 50 points on your license per violation, which will make getting car insurance from the cheapest companies much more difficult.

That being said, there are a few situations where you are allowed to use a handheld device while driving:

  • Using a device for voice communication
  • Viewing a GPS app
  • Having a medical emergency
  • Reporting a safety hazard or asking for help to report a safety hazard
  • Reporting criminal activity or asking for help to report criminal activity
  • Law enforcement officer or emergency service personnel acting within the scope of their jobs

Laws for Teen Drivers

Teen drivers in Utah are restricted from driving during certain hours and with certain passengers. For example, those ages 15 to 17 can’t drive between midnight and 5 a.m. unless they’re accompanied by a licensed driver who’s at least 21 in the passenger seat, or if they’re driving in connection to a school-sponsored activity, job, agricultural operation (farm or ranch), or emergency.

Teens are also not allowed to transport passengers other than family members for the first six months of their license, or before they turn 18. Some exceptions are when they have a licensed driver who’s at least 21 in the car, when they’re working for an agricultural operation, and in an emergency.

Claims Statute of Limitations

Filing a car insurance claim? You need to file it within three years of the incident for property damage claims, or within four years for personal injury claims, to have a chance of your insurance covering it.

Cancellation and Non-Renewal Notification Laws

If your car insurance company decides to cancel or not renew your insurance policy, it has to notify you 30 days before your coverage expires. However, if the cancellation is due to nonpayment on your part, the warning goes down to 10 days in advance.

Self-Insurance

If you have more than 24 vehicles and cash to spare, you can self-insure your cars in Utah. You’ll need $200,000 for the first vehicle, $100 each for the next 1,000 vehicles, and then $50 each for any remaining vehicles. Clearly, this only applies to institutions and businesses — unless you’re a private citizen with a high net worth and a massive car collection.

Inspection Requirements

As of Jan. 1, 2018, most Utah vehicles no longer have to undergo safety inspections as a prerequisite for registration. Of course, there are some exceptions. These vehicles still need inspections:

  • Salvage vehicles requesting rebuilt titles
  • First-time street-legal ATV registrations
  • Commercial vehicles if they’re displaying or presenting to law enforcement
  • Motor homes with three axles

Additionally, some counties require certain cars to undergo emissions testing, which will require multiple fees:

County Salt Lake Davis Utah Weber Cache
Age of vehicles required to get an emissions inspection Less than 6 years old Less than 6 years old Less than 6 years old Less than 6 years old 6 years and older
How often they have to get an emissions test Every 2 years Every 2 years Every 2 years Every 2 years Every 2 years
Model years that require an emissions inspection 1968-2016, 2018, 2020 1968-2016, 2018, 2020 1998-2017 (diesel), 1968-2016, 2018, 2020 1968-2016, 2018, 2020 1969-2016 (biennial)
Maximum inspection fee you’ll pay to the station No limit, but $25 average No limit No limit, but $25 average $30 $20
Emissions program fee you’ll pay to the county $3 $3 $2 $1 $3
Phone number to learn more 385-468-3837 801-525-5100 801-851-7600 801-399-7140 435-792-6579
URL to learn more about exceptions slco.org www.co.davis.ut.us health.utahcounty.gov webermorganhealth.org brhd.org

SR-22s

If you drive without insurance and get caught, you’ll need to get an SR-22, which is a form that shows proof of minimum coverage. You’ll need to maintain your SR-22 for three years after your license reinstatement date.

Defensive Driving Courses

Remember when we mentioned defensive driving courses? In Utah, you can find a list of courses from your local court.

CheckTIP

Take a defensive driving course to remove up to 50 points from your driving record.

Serious Injury and Monetary Thresholds

In order to sue for your injuries and other noneconomic damages, you’ll need to reach either a monetary threshold of $3,000 (meaning you lost at least that amount) or a serious injury threshold of bone fracture or permanent disfigurement or disability. If you don’t meet these thresholds, you won’t be able to file a civil suit against the perpetrator.

When You’re Required to Report an Accident

States have different accident reporting requirements. In Utah, you’re required to report an accident to law enforcement if there are injuries, property damages, or death(s) worth over $1,000. If you don’t file the report within 10 days of the accident, you could face license suspension.

Can Insurance Companies Discriminate?

Utah doesn’t prohibit insurance companies from determining car insurance prices on the basis of credit scores or gender, so people with bad credit and men pay more for car insurance in Utah.

Total Loss Formula

What if you get into an accident, and the resulting repairs would cost more than the car’s salvage value? In Utah, your car would be declared a total loss, meaning the repairs cost more than the vehicle’s value. If you had collision insurance or comprehensive coverage at the time of the accident, you’d be reimbursed for your car’s actual market value.

Contact Information

Now that you’ve brushed up on the rules of the road, it’s time to start driving.

Registration Information

If you need to register a new car, go to your local DMV directly. For registration renewals, you have a few options.

  • Online: https://mvp.tax.utah.gov/_/#1
  • Mail: Sign up for automatic renewal by filling out the form at https://tax.utah.gov/forms/current/tc-505.pdf and mailing it to this address:
    • Utah State Tax Commission Division of Motor Vehicles
    • P.O. Box 30412
    • Salt Lake City, UT 84130
  • Inspection station: Find the nearest inspection station to you, as you can register your vehicle there as well — https://secure.utah.gov/rex/help/stationMap.html.
  • Local DMV: To avoid standing in line, schedule an appointment with your local DMV at https://dmv.utah.gov/contact/scheduler.

CheckNOTE

You’ll need proof of car insurance in order to register your car. If you don’t have insurance, your registration will be revoked.

DMV Contact Information

Here are all of the ways you can get in touch with the Utah DMV.

  • Phone: 801-297-7780 for the Salt Lake City area; 800-368-8824 for everywhere else
  • Email: dmv@utah.gov
  • Mail:
    • Utah State Tax Commission Division of Motor Vehicles
    • P.O. Box 30412
    • Salt Lake City, UT 84130

How to Get a Copy of Your Car Title

Missing your car title? Follow these steps to get a duplicate:

  1. Fill out the request form. Print and fill out the form at  https://tax.utah.gov/forms/current/tc-123.pdf.
  2. Pay the fee. Enclose a $6 payment with the form. The form doesn’t need to be notarized, so you save money there.
  3. Send the form. Use this mailing address:
    • Utah State Tax Commission Division of Motor Vehicles
    • P.O. Box 30412
    • Salt Lake City, UT 84130

How to Contact the Utah Insurance Department

You can use the following methods to contact the Utah Insurance Department.

  • Online: https://insurance.utah.gov/
  • Phone: 801-957-9200
  • Mail:
    • Utah Insurance Department
    • 4315 S. 2700 W., Suite 2300
    • Taylorsville, UT 84114-6901

How Much Are Car Repairs in Utah?

In Utah, the average car repair costs $399.42, which is 4 percent higher than the national average. That breaks down to $147.06 for parts and $252.36 for labor, according to a study by CarMD.6

Car Theft and Traffic Fatality Rates

How dangerous is having a car and driving in Utah? While Utah has high rates of car theft, it has low rates of traffic fatalities.

Car Theft

As a state, Utah had 317 car thefts per 100,000 inhabitants in 2020, making car theft 22 percent more common there than in the rest of the country.7 Rates are even higher in Salt Lake City, the state’s largest city.

Metropolitan area in Utah Rate of motor vehicle theft per 100,000 inhabitants in 2020
Salt Lake City 542
Ogden-Clearfield 171
St. George 111
Provo-Orem 109
Logan 53

Traffic Fatalities

Utah only had 248 traffic fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles traveled as of 2019, a rate 185 percent lower than the rest of the U.S.

Recap

Good luck on your driving adventures in Utah, but in case you have more questions, we’ve answered the biggest car insurance FAQs below.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are the most common questions we’ve received about driving in Utah, with clear and succinct answers.

How much is car insurance per month in Utah?

Car insurance in Utah costs an average of $79.51 per month, according to the most recent (2019) data from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners. This is 12 percent lower than the national average.

What car insurance is required by law in Utah?

Utah requires the following car insurance coverage and limits.

  • Bodily injury coverage: $25,000 per person, $65,000 per accident
  • Property damage coverage: $15,000
  • Personal injury protection: $3,000

Does Utah have cheap car insurance?

Utah does have cheap car insurance. Its rates are 12 percent less than the rest of the U.S. on average, according to 2019 data from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners. We’ve seen rates as low as $451 a year in Utah.

Does insurance follow the car or the driver in Utah?

In Utah, insurance follows the car, not the driver, according to Utah Code Section 31A-22-303.

Citations

  1. Motor Vehicle Insurance. Utah.gov. (2021).
    https://le.utah.gov/xcode/Title31A/Chapter22/C31A-22-P3_1800010118000101.pdf

  2. 2018/2019 Auto Insurance Database Report. National Association of Insurance Commissioners. (2022).
    https://content.naic.org/sites/default/files/publication-aut-pb-auto-insurance-database.pdf

  3. One in Eight Drivers Uninsured: $13 Billion Spent in 2016 to Protect Against Uninsured and Underinsured Drivers. The Institutes Insurance Research Council. (2021, Mar 22).
    https://www.insurance-research.org/sites/default/files/downloads/UM%20NR%20032221.pdf

  4. Minor/Teen Restrictions. Utah Department of Public Safety. (2022).
    https://dld.utah.gov/minorteen-restrictions/

  5. Vehicle Inspections. Utah Division of Motor Vehicles. (2022).
    https://dmv.utah.gov/register/inspections

  6. 2020 State Repair Cost Rankings. CarMD. (2020).
    https://www.carmd.com/wp/vehicle-health-index-introduction/2020-carmd-state-index/

  7. 2019 Crime in the United States. Federal Bureau of Investigation. (2019).
    https://ucr.fbi.gov/crime-in-the-u.s/2019/crime-in-the-u.s.-2019/topic-pages/tables/table-4