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Utah Car Insurance Basics

The state of Utah has basic auto insurance requirements that pertain to all drivers in the state. Whether you're a long-time resident, a new resident, or someone thinking about moving to the state, it's important that you know these minimum vehicle insurance requirements and ensure that your coverage meets them. Though your automobile insurance company plays some roll in making sure you have the right coverage, you should do all you can to make your own determination, as you are the one who will face consequences if your coverage is not correct.

Required Auto Insurance in Utah

Utah has very basic auto insurance requirements that are easy to remember and should be easy to purchase. There are two types of car insurance all Utah drivers must carry: liability insurance and Personal Injury Protection.

Liability insurance will cover any damages that another person suffers as a result of an accident where you are determined to be at fault. Being responsible for the accident makes you the liable party, and this insurance keeps you from having to pay for all the damages out of your own pocket.

There are two types of liability insurance, and Utah requires drivers to carry both. The first of these is property damage liability coverage. As the name of the insurance indicates, this coverage will pay to repair or replace any property damaged or destroyed as the result of an accident where you are the responsible party. Normally, the property in question is another vehicle. However, this insurance can cover damage to other objects as well, like landscaping, fencing, signs, buildings, etc.

In Utah, you must carry at least $15,000 of this sort of coverage per accident that you are in. It's important to note that many accidents have more damage than this. In certain cases, you could be held personally responsible for the balance of the bill. If you cannot afford this, you may want to purchase more than the minimum required insurance.

The second type of liability insurance that Utah requires is bodily injury liability coverage. This will pay medical-related expenses for anyone injured in an accident where you are the responsible party. Usually, this insurance pays for doctor's bills, ER costs, X-Rays, etc. However, it will also cover funeral, burial, and cremation costs as well as lost wages and in-home health care that is required as a result of the accident.

Utah drivers must carry a minimum of $25,000 of this sort of coverage per person injured or killed in an accident, up to a total per-accident limit of $65,000 total. As with property damage liability coverage, many accidents require medical costs well above this amount. Thus, you may want to consider purchasing more of this coverage, too.

Finally, Utah requires all drivers to carry Personal Injury Protection (PIP) insurance. This sort of policy will pay money towards the medical costs of you and your passengers when you are in an accident, regardless of which driver is determined to be at fault. Often, this type of insurance will pay immediately, so you can get the medical care you need without having to haggle with an insurance company first.

Motorists in Utah must carry at least $3,000 in this sort of coverage. Usually, this is enough to get payments started toward medical care and give the insurance companies some time to determine who is responsible for the accident and, therefore, which companies should pay the rest.

Note that the insurance standards in Utah were revised as of January 1, 2009. While most insurance companies automatically updated their policies then, it's important to check yours to make sure it meets the new requirements.

Other Possible Auto Insurance Requirements

While the above types of car insurance are the only ones specifically mandated for all drivers by the state of UT, it's possible that individuals could be required to carry collision and comprehensive coverage as well. Both of these are types of physical damage insurance, which pays to repair or replace your vehicle if it is damaged, either in an accident that you cause (collision insurance) or by an act of God or vandalism (comprehensive).

If you are leasing a car or have a loan on your vehicle that you have not yet paid off, the leasing or lending company will probably require you to have both of these types of insurance in certain amounts. This protects their investment in your vehicle if you are in an accident and the vehicles is a total loss. The state of Utah will honor these requirements if they are in your leasing or lending contract, so it's important that you know the types of insurance you need.

To drive legally in Utah, make sure you have the types of insurance listed above and any required by contract. That way, you will not face penalties for not meeting the law's requirements.

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