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Driving in the Beehive State

Home to the Great Salt Lake, Colorado Plateau, and Arches National Park, Utah offers some of the most impressive and diverse geographical features in the nation. The state also boasts nearly 30 scenic byways, like Mirror Lake Scenic Byway and the Trail of the Ancients. Driving through the Beehive State’s majestic landscapes is something everyone should experience at least once.

Another appealing aspect of life in Utah is it’s notably low auto insurance rates, which rank in the 10 cheapest in the nation. But don’t be satisfied with the first offer you get from a carrier, even if it sounds good. SmartFinancial makes it fast and easy to compare quotes from leading insurers licensed in Utah, helping you score the absolute lowest rates possible on coverage that perfectly meets your needs—all for free!

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Utah Auto Insurance Rates

If you feel overwhelmed at the idea of contacting multiple insurance companies for quotes, we can help. Finding the right carrier and policy doesn’t have to be complicated or confusing. If you’re wondering where to start looking, J.D. Power ranked the top carriers in Utah and we’ve listed the top three below (see the full list).

  1. The Hartford
  2. American Family
  3. Liberty Mutual

Affordability, policy flexibility, customer satisfaction scores, and other key considerations factored into these ratings.

SmartFinancial lets you compare quotes on the coverage you need for your specific budget and lifestyle. Try it out for free by clicking on your city below. Or, if your location is not showing up in the list, click here instead.


Legalities 101

You can’t control everyone else on the road, but you can control whether or not you have quality, comprehensive auto insurance to protect your family and your wallet. Insurance isn’t an unnecessary expense, even if you hope to never use it.

Driving isn’t always safe, so it’s a good idea to carry as much auto insurance as you can afford. You may very well end up thankful for your coverage if you encounter a drunk or distracted driver, road debris, or uninsured motorist on the road.

Utah Driving Safety

Utah has an excessive number of motor vehicle crashes, but what really stands out when looking at the state data is the large percentage of crashes caused by drivers 15 to 24 years of age. Most of these crashes involved following too closely, speeding, failing to yield the right of way, distracted driving, and failing to remain in the proper lane. Fatal crashes in this age group were all associated with overcorrecting and driving under the influence.

In older drivers, improper use of seat belts, speeding, driving under the influence, failure to yield, and distracted driving contributed the most to crashes and deaths. Even if you drive carefully and responsibly, the other drivers on the road may be drunk or distracted. You cannot control everything or everyone else, but you can make sure you’re protected by proper levels of auto insurance.

Find more motor vehicle safety data for Utah in the state’s Utah Crash Summary 2015.

Utah Driving Safety Stats

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People involved in crashes in 2015
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Number of motor vehicle crash fatalities in 2015
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Percent of Utah accidents caused by drivers 15-24

Driving Green

In addition to significant insurance discounts, green drivers in Utah may be eligible for several incentives that save money while also helping save the environment.

  • High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) Lane Access

    Drivers of vehicles that meet certain emissions and clean-fuel standards may use express lanes as a single occupant throughout Utah, provided they’ve been issued a Clean Fuel Decal and Permit. The Utah Department of Transportation issues the Clean Fuel Decal and Permit to randomly selected applicants. Qualifying applications are placed on a waiting list by UDOT, where they remain eligible for future drawings.

  • Federal and State Tax Incentives

    Going green may qualify you for certain state and federal tax credits that can help offset the cost of buying an eco-friendly vehicle. Federal tax incentives are available for owners of electric cars, hybrids, plug-in hybrids, alternative fuel vehicles, and diesels. At the state level, taxpayers who buy green cars can apply for a nonrefundable Clean Fuel Vehicle Tax Credit to apply against their state individual income tax, fiduciary tax, or corporate franchise tax.

  • Fuel Tax Exemption

    Certain alternative fuel types are exempt from state fuel taxes in Utah when used to power a motor vehicle. These alternative fuel types include propane, liquefied natural gas, compressed natural gas, electricity, and fuel derived from UT solid hydrocarbons.

Car Insurance Laws

Being a Minimalist

Drivers in Utah must carry at least $25,000 of bodily injury liability per person and $65,000 of coverage per accident. Also, $15,000 of property damage liability is required, as is $30,000 of personal injury protection to cover your medical expenses in the event of an accident.

Utah has a no-fault insurance system. This means you’re covered no matter who is at fault and you don’t need to wait for fault to be determined before being compensated. You can begin repairs on your vehicle, pay your doctors, and return to your life right away.

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$ 25,000
Bodily injury coverage per person

Maximum payment for serious injury or death to a single person

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$ 65,000
Bodily injury coverage per accident

Maximum payment for serious injury or death to more than one person

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$ 15,000
Property damage per accident

Maximum payment for all damaged property in an accident caused by you

Maximizing Your Return on Investment

Even though it’s tempting, don’t let the cost of your insurance premium override other factors when you’re taking out a new policy. While cost should certainly be one factor, you want a policy that provides adequate protection for your family, vehicle, and your bank account in the event of an accident.

Optional coverage in Utah

  • Collision
  • Comprehensive
  • Uninsured Motorist
  • Towing and Labor
  • Rental Reimbursement
  • New Car Replacement
  • Loss of Use
  • Travel Expenses
  • Accidental Death
  • Auto Disability
  • Gap Coverage
  • Accident Forgiveness
  • Custom Equipment
  • Medical Payments

Optional coverages are those that aren’t automatically included in your policy and not required by law. Choosing one or more optional coverages increases your financial protection in the event of an accident. For example, if your policy doesn’t include coverage for the expense of towing following an accident, you’ll need to pay for that out of pocket unless you add this optional coverage to your policy. Your insurance agent can help you decide which optional coverages are a good fit for your lifestyle and budget.

Keep in mind that some lenders require collision, comprehensive, and other optional coverages before financing your vehicle. Look into this before taking out your policy.

If you’re worried about the expense of optional coverages, read our article 12 Things You can Do to Lower your Auto Insurance Premium to find ways to offset the cost of the add-ons.

Utah car insurance companies

The Hartford
American Family
Liberty Mutual
State Farm

*This list of car insurance carriers is based on the ratings for the Southwest region in the J.D. Power 2016 U.S. Auto Insurance Study. Ratings are derived from five key service areas: claims, price, interaction, policy offerings, and billing. USAA is a military-only option and is therefore not including in the above rankings.

Car Safety for Utah Kids

Utah Car Seat Regulations

Utah motorists who have children or intend to carry minors need to be aware of the state’s car seat laws. Being properly restrained greatly improves the chance you and your passengers will survive a motor vehicle crash, and it helps minimize injuries.

Infants should ride in a rear-facing car seat as long as possible, or until they are 2 years old and 30 lbs. or exceed the size limits set forth by the car seat’s manufacturer. Once they outgrow a rear-facing seat, toddlers should ride in a forward-facing seat with a harness until they outgrow it.

Older children can ride in a Federally approved booster seat until they reach the height of 4 feet 9 inches and your car’s regular seat belts fit correctly. For most children, this is around the age of 8 or 9 years old, but some children may be older or younger. Children younger than 12 years should always ride in the back seat due to the risk of injury caused by airbag deployment.

Leaving Children Unattended in a Vehicle

Leaving a child unattended in a motor vehicle can have serious and even deadly consequences due to extreme temperatures and accidental injury.

Under Utah State law, the person responsible for the child is guilty of a class C misdemeanor if the person knowingly, intentionally, recklessly, or with criminal negligence leaves a child in a vehicle; the vehicle is on public property or private property with public access; the child is not supervised by someone at least 9 years old; and the conditions present a risk to the child of hyperthermia, hypothermia, or dehydration.

Car Insurance FAQ

Is my credit score a factor when obtaining car insurance in Utah?

Insurance companies in Utah can use your credit score to help predict the level of risk you pose. From your credit score, your carrier creates an insurance score used to determine how likely you are to file a claim and how high your premiums need to be to mitigate this risk. Not all insurance carriers use credit scores in the same way or give poor scores the same weight. If you have questions, ask your insurance provider.

Does Utah offer a good-driver discount?

If it’s been a few years since your last accident or moving violation, you probably qualify for a discount on your auto insurance. Ask your agent if you’re eligible for lower rates. And, while you’ve got them on the phone, inquire about other discounts that may reduce the amount you pay for your coverage, such as:

  • Hybrid/Alternative Fuel
  • Multi-Policy
  • Advanced Shopping
  • New Car
  • Passive Restraint
  • Anti-Theft Recovery Device
  • Loyalty
  • Good Student
  • Distant Student
  • SMART Driver
  • Defensive Driving Course
  • Accident Free
  • Anti-Lock Brake
  • Home Ownership
  • Full Pay
  • Resident Student
  • Vehicle Safety
  • Utility Discount

Does Utah allow the use of digital insurance cards?

It’s mandatory that you can provide proof of auto insurance when asked by a law enforcement officer, but the format doesn’t matter. A paper or plastic ID card or a digital card displayed on a mobile electronic device are all acceptable forms of proof.

What happens if my coverage lapses?

You cannot allow your coverage to lapse in Utah. If you’re convicted of driving without insurance, your license and vehicle registration may be suspended and you’ll be required to pay hefty reinstatement fees. Failure to provide insurance or operator’s security in Utah is a class B misdemeanor, requiring a minimum fine of $400 for a first offense and $1,000 for a second or subsequent offense within three years of a previous conviction.

What are Utah's blood alcohol concentration (BAC) percentage limits under the state's driving under the influence (DUI) laws?

It’s against the law to drive in Utah at the following BAC percentages:

.08%+ at 21 years old or older
.04%+ for commercial vehicle drivers
.02%+ at under 21 years old

When it comes to drunk driving, Utah has the strictest laws in the nation. In early 2017, the State voted to lower the legal driving BAC from 0.08 to 0.05 percent. The lower limit also applies to anyone carrying a dangerous weapon, such as a gun. The new law takes effect on December 30, 2018.

What are the chemical test refusal penalties in Utah?

Like most other states, Utah has an implied consent law that means the moment you applied for a driver’s license, you agreed to provide samples of your breath, blood, or urine to determine your BAC. Refusal to submit to a chemical test may result in revocation of your driver’s license and mandatory use of an ignition interlock device.

Does Utah offer driver improvement courses to reduce my insurance premium?

Studies consistently show that drivers who participate in defensive driving courses average fewer collisions and driving arrests than motorists who don’t take a driver improvement course. For this reason, most insurance companies offer discounts to customers who have completed one of these state-approved courses. Ask your carrier how you can reduce your premium by taking a driver improvement class.

Is there any way I can reduce the cost of my Utah car insurance?

There are lots of ways to reduce the cost of your auto insurance. Sometimes, it takes time to improve your credit score and let points fall off your record. If your credit and driving history are fine, there are other things you can right now to lower your rates.

Start by signing up for any discounts you’re eligible for, and then choose a higher deductible to lower your monthly payments. And, of course, it’s extremely important to shop around every time your policy comes up for renewal; you won’t know if there’s a lower quote out there until you look around.

What is uninsured motorist coverage and is it required in Utah?

Uninsured motorist coverage is not mandatory in Utah, but it’s an important coverage to have. It protects you if an uninsured driver or a hit-and-runner crashes into you. Not everyone in Utah or in the United States carries adequate auto insurance.

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