Automobile Insurance rates for at-fault and no-fault states
What is the difference between at-fault and no-fault?
The culture of a state sets the tone of the legal system. In states where people get along well together and always try to agree on the solution to shared problems, laws are drafted to support the aim to find the best compromises. Think of these states as being focused on arbitration rather than litigation. In other states, people may be more inclined to blame each other when things go wrong. Instead of looking for peaceful settlements, they may be more aggressive and look for ways of fighting each other. Fortunately, most states currently prohibit dueling — no more shootout’s at High Noon. This leaves it to the champions, now called attorneys, to go into court and fight for you. It’s a strictly binary win or lose outcome. The winners get all the spoils. The losers get nothing. Traditionally, America has been an at-fault country. It imported the British law of tort. This looks for the party at fault and orders him or her to pay compensation to the party suffering loss as a result. This used to push everyone into a court to settle a dispute. Attorneys grew rich and there were always considerable delays in getting the results.
Other countries long ago decided fighting was a bad system. They switched to a no-fault system. In these countries, everyone carries insurance and if they suffer loss, they claim on their insurance. There’s no attempt to find out if anyone was at fault. That slows everything down, builds up costs, and leads to anger and resentment from all the losers. Instead, insurance companies calmly assess how much money is required to put their policyholder in the same position he or she had before the loss was incurred. This may be paying for medical treatment, compensation for any loss of earnings, repairing or replacing lost property, and so on. It’s relatively painless and everyone gets on with their lives.
Some US states thought this looked a good alternative to the law of tort and so introduced their own versions. Sadly, these states ran into an unexpected difficulty. It seems a large number of their citizens are dishonest and make false claims from their insurance companies. Indeed, the level of fraud is so great, most of the no-fault states have higher than average automobile insurance rates. This has not happened in any of the other countries where no-fault systems have produced cheap rates for all types of cover. America should hang its head in shame until our politicians decide to make law enforcement a priority and clamp down on insurance fraud. Until then, you need to look very carefully at which system applies in your state. If you live in a no-fault state, you must make extra efforts to get the maximum possible number of automobile insurance quotes. It’s vital you shop around, buying your automobile insurance online to avoid the additional labor and administration costs.
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