Is Idaho a No Fault State? The Accident Insurance Guide

A common question among residents and newcomers alike is, “Is Idaho a no-fault state?” The answer to this is pivotal in shaping how insurance claims are handled in the event of a car accident. Unlike some states that follow the no-fault system, Idaho operates under a fault-based insurance framework. From minimum coverage requirements to the consequences of driving uninsured, we’ll go into the specifics to ensure you’re informed on Idaho’s regulations.

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Is Idaho a No Fault State? 

Idaho is not a no-fault state for insurance. As mentioned above, it operates under a fault-based or tort-based insurance system. This means that in the event of a car accident, fault must be determined, and the party at fault is responsible for the damages. Car accident victims in Idaho must file their claims with the insurance company of the party at fault. In no-fault states, drivers would file claims with their own insurance regardless of who is at fault, but this is not the case in Idaho. 

Idaho’s fault laws require the identification of the driver responsible for the crash before filing insurance claims with that driver’s insurance provider. If there’s a dispute about who is at fault, it may be necessary to gather evidence to support the claim. 

Idaho Minimum Car Insurance Laws 

Idaho car insurance laws mandate that drivers carry a minimum level of liability insurance to legally drive in the state. The minimum coverage required by Idaho law is known as 25/50/15, which breaks down as follows:

  • $25,000 for bodily injury per person 
  • $50,000 for bodily injury per accident 
  • $15,000 for property damage per accident 

These limits are designed to ensure that drivers have a basic level of coverage to pay for damages they may cause in an accident. However, it’s important to note that these minimums may not provide sufficient protection in all situations. If the costs of an accident exceed these limits, the at-fault driver would be responsible for paying the difference out of pocket. For leased vehicles, the insurance requirements may be different, as they are often set by the lender. Most leasing companies require drivers to carry

full coverage insurance, which includes both collision and comprehensive insurance, along with possibly higher liability coverage limits. 

Is Idaho a PIP State? 

The state of Idaho is not a Personal Injury Protection (PIP) state. In the context of auto insurance, PIP is a type of coverage that is often mandatory in no-fault states. It covers medical expenses and, in some cases, lost wages and other damages, regardless of who is at fault in an accident. However, since Idaho follows a fault-based system for car accidents, PIP is not required. 

Under Idaho’s fault-based system, the driver who is at fault for an accident is responsible for paying the damages suffered by other parties involved in the accident. This is typically done through the at-fault driver’s liability insurance. As a result, PIP, which is designed to bypass the need to determine fault, is not a part of Idaho’s car insurance framework. For drivers in Idaho, it’s important to have sufficient liability insurance as required by state law to cover potential damages in an accident where they are at fault. Additionally, drivers may consider purchasing other types of optional insurance coverage for further protection. 

Idaho Uninsured Motorist Coverage 

In Idaho, uninsured motorist coverage is an optional insurance policy that protects a policyholder in the event they are involved in an accident with a driver who doesn’t have insurance. This type of coverage is particularly important given the high possibility of accidents involving uninsured drivers in Idaho. 

Here’s a brief overview of what uninsured motorist coverage typically entails in Idaho: 

  1. Coverage Scope: Uninsured motorist coverage typically pays for medical expenses, lost wages, and other damages if you’re in an accident caused by a driver who has no auto insurance. It may also cover hit-and-run accidents where the at-fault driver is not identified. 
  2. Underinsured Motorist Coverage: Along with uninsured motorist coverage, underinsured motorist coverage can also be important. This covers you if the at-fault driver has insurance, but their policy limits are not enough to cover all the damages they caused.
  3. Policy Limits: Like other types of insurance, uninsured motorist coverage has limits. These limits are typically set at the same amount as your liability coverage limits, though you can choose to purchase higher or lower limits. 
  4. Legal Requirements: While Idaho law requires drivers to have liability insurance, uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage is optional. However, insurance companies must offer it, and you must reject it in writing if you choose not to purchase it. 
  5. Benefits: This coverage is beneficial as it ensures you have some level of protection even when the at-fault party cannot cover your losses. This is crucial in avoiding significant financial burdens resulting from accidents with uninsured drivers. 


Driving without insurance can result in severe penalties in Idaho. If caught driving without the mandatory liability insurance, drivers face various consequences. 

For a first offense, there is a fine of $75. However, if a driver is caught without insurance again within a five-year period, the penalties escalate significantly. Subsequent offenses can lead to fines of up to $1,000 and jail time of up to six months. Moreover, each offense can result in the suspension of the driver’s license until proof of insurance is provided. It’s also important to note that if these offenses are not addressed properly, it can lead to a cycle of issues. For instance, a charge of failure to maintain liability insurance can lead to the suspension of driving privileges. If a driver is unaware of this suspension and is caught driving, they could be charged with driving without privileges (DWP), which carries its own set of serious penalties. 

Is Idaho a No Fault State Conclusion 

Idaho’s auto insurance laws and the penalties for non-compliance are crucial for every driver in the state to understand. Idaho is not a no-fault state and operates under a fault-based system, requiring drivers to have liability insurance with minimum coverage limits.

For those facing legal matters related to car insurance laws in Idaho, or other legal issues, the law firm of Harris, Preston, and Chambers offers experienced legal assistance. Our team of attorneys practices throughout Idaho, Wyoming, and Utah, providing knowledgeable and dedicated legal services to help navigate these complex areas effectively. Whether you’re dealing with insurance violations, personal injury cases, or other legal challenges, our expertise can guide you towards a favorable resolution.

*Nothing herein constitutes legal advice. You should obtain independent legal counsel regarding your specific factual situation.