What is no-fault car insurance?

No-fault car insurance is the type of coverage needed in no-fault insurance states. No-fault auto insurance means that you are responsible for the coverage and payment of your own damages and injuries regardless of who is at-fault for the accident. Read our guide to learn more about no-fault car insurance and compare rates for free with our comparison tool below.

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Tonya Sisler has a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of South Carolina in Journalism and has worked for 15+ years in management. She has also completed a proofreading certification and is currently a professional writer.

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Brad Larson has been in the insurance industry for more than a dozen years. He started out as a claims adjuster for a national carrier. He has since switched to the agency side of the business. Brad is licensed in all P&C lines.

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Reviewed by Brad Larsen
Licensed Auto Insurance Agent

UPDATED: Oct 25, 2020

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In a nutshell...

  • Even in states with no-fault car insurance laws, it is hard to define any auto insurer as the best one
  • If you are operating a vehicle with extreme negligence then you can be declared at–fault and sued appropriately
  • Only 13 states have no-fault auto insurance laws

No-fault car insurance is a very common word in the auto insurance industry and a word many drivers tend to misunderstand.

The most common misperception of no-fault car insurance is that this is a form of auto insurance when in fact it is a set of laws car accident liability is determined by.

Only 13 states have no-fault auto insurance laws. In 10 of these states, all drivers are subject to no-fault auto insurance laws and in 3 drivers opt under which law they wish to operate a vehicle under.

The choice will remain in effect for the entire term of the policy so you can’t switch from one set of laws to another mid-term.

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Who is at fault in a car accident?

If you live in a no-fault state then any accident will be declared as nobody’s fault with the respective car insurance company of each injured party responsible for paying claims relating to their insured party.

What many drivers do not realize is that even though you are not legally at fault for most car accidents, if you are operating a vehicle with extreme negligence then you can be declared at–fault and sued appropriately.

No-fault auto insurance laws were created to ease the burden of frivolous litigation on the court system, establish a quicker way to handle claims and lower the cost of car insurance.

While these laws are far from perfect they certainly do have a positive role in most states.

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Do I need car insurance in a state with no-fault car insurance laws?

Of course, you do. This is a set of laws to avoid a determination of guilt and not financial protection for liability in an accident.

If you drive with no auto insurance, you are not only operating a vehicle illegally but also exposing yourself to great personal liability in the event of an accident.

Remember that laws do not pay for the damage – insurance does.

Can I still sue for damages in a car accident?

Yes. However, you are under many restrictions, unlike states who operate under tort law.

Since nobody was legally at fault, you can’t really sue anyone for minor reasons, however, if the accident was a result of deliberate or extreme negligence, then it’s a whole other ballgame and an auto accident lawyer will be happy to take your case.

There is more to learn about this subject so click one of the links below to learn more:

While State Farm, Allstate, and Geico are the three largest car insurance companies, 100’s of others exist who also provide very affordable coverage.

Try too compare at least a handful of providers and make sure to compare policies equally meaning to check that the types of coverage, policy limits, and deductibles are all equal.

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