No-Fault Insurance: What You Need to Know

No-fault insurance pays for medical bills, lost wages and other expenses if you’re injured in a crash, no matter who is at fault.
Ben MooreSep 25, 2020
GettyImages-493378417-What Is No-Fault Insurance?

Many or all of the products featured here are from our partners who compensate us. This may influence which products we write about and where and how the product appears on a page. However, this does not influence our evaluations. Our opinions are our own. Here is a list of our partners and here's how we make money.

Generally speaking, no-fault insurance requires you to file injury claims with your own insurance company no matter who caused them. In the world of car insurance, it is coverage that pays for injury-related expenses that arise if you’re hurt in an accident, regardless of who caused the crash. It can pay for medical bills, lost wages, child care and more, depending on where you live. No-fault insurance is required in 12 states, while a few other states allow you to include it as an optional add-on, or waive it entirely.

No-fault insurance covers car-related injuries

If you’re injured in a car accident, any medical expenses that come up will be covered by your no-fault insurance, also called personal injury protection or PIP. It will cover anyone else in your car, as well as when you are a passenger in someone else’s. Depending on the state, no-fault insurance may also cover:

  • Lost wages if you are unable to work due to the injury.

  • Substitute services, such as a housecleaning or child care.

  • Funeral expenses if an injury results in death.

  • Survivor’s loss, or a small death benefit, if the accident results in your death and you leave behind surviving dependents.

No-fault insurance is required in 12 states

There are 21 states, plus Washington, D.C., that offer no-fault insurance. Twelve of those states require drivers to carry a minimum amount. Use the map below to see if your state is one of them.

The states that require no-fault insurance have different minimum requirements. Use the table below to see what the minimum no-fault insurance requirements are for your state.

States that offer no-fault insurance

Minimum required

Optional

$15,000

$10,000

$10,000

$4,500

Optional

Optional

$8,000

$250,000 (depending on health coverage)

$40,000

Optional

$15,000

$50,000

$30,000

$15,000

$5,000

Optional

Optional

$3,000

Optional

Optional

Optional

*These states require no-fault insurance, but drivers can waive it in writing.

How no-fault insurance pays out varies by state

How your no-fault insurance coverage pays out depends on the state, so take some time to familiarize yourself with your state’s no-fault insurance laws. In Florida, no-fault insurance covers only 80 percent of your accident-related medical expenses, up to a $10,000 limit. Meanwhile, no-fault insurance in New York will cover up to $50,000 for your injury bills and your passengers’, but will pay for only 80% of any wages lost.

No-fault insurance in Michigan is unique. Drivers choose their own no-fault insurance coverage limit from several options, including:

  • Unlimited coverage.

  • Up to $500,000 in coverage.

  • Up to $250,000 in coverage.

  • Up to $50,000 in coverage if you are enrolled in Medicaid and another member of your household has insurance that will cover injuries from a car accident.

  • Opt out of PIP medical coverage if you have Medicare and another member of your household has a car insurance or health insurance policy that pays for injuries from car accidents.

Can you sue with no-fault insurance?

With the exception of Delaware, all states that require no-fault insurance operate under “no-fault” laws. In these “no-fault” states, you cannot sue an at-fault driver after an accident unless your injury is very serious, such as losing a limb or suffering paralysis, or unless your medical expenses from the injury exceed the state’s minimum dollar amount required to sue.

Get more smart money moves – straight to your inbox
Sign up and we’ll send you Nerdy articles about the money topics that matter most to you along with other ways to help you get more from your money.