Personal Injury Protection (PIP)

Personal injury protection (PIP) is a type of auto insurance that is required in some states. In this article, we’ll define PIP and explain how it works.

Key Takeaways

  • Personal injury protection (PIP) is a part of an auto insurance plan that covers healthcare expenses associated with a car accident
  • PIP covers the policyholder and passengers of the car even if they don’t have health insurance
  • PIP coverage is primarily available in the 22 no-fault states
  • In addition to medical care, PIP can pay for lost wages and funeral expenses
  • PIP does not cover property damage or injuries to other parties in the accident

What Is Personal Injury Protection (PIP)?

Personal Injury Protection (PIP), also called no-fault insurance, is part of an auto insurance plan that covers the healthcare expenses associated with a car accident for both the policyholder and the passengers of the car. This is valid even for passengers who don’t have health insurance. 

PIP policies usually have a per-person maximum, meaning that if multiple people are injured in an accident, the coverage is limited to a certain amount per person. They also typically have a minimum coverage amount. 

Personal Injury Protection Requirements

PIP coverage is primarily available in no-fault states, which are states in which insurance pays for a policyholder’s injuries even if they are at fault for the auto accident. There are 22 no-fault states in the U.S.

PIP coverage is required in the following U.S. states and territories:

  • Florida
  • Hawaii
  • Kansas
  • Kentucky
  • Massachusetts
  • Michigan
  • Minnesota
  • New Jersey
  • New York
  • North Dakota
  • Pennsylvania
  • Utah
  • Puerto Rico

PIP is a compulsory add-on to auto insurance in:

  • Arkansas
  • Delaware
  • Maryland
  • Oregon
  • Texas

PIP is an optional add-on to auto insurance in:

  • New Hampshire
  • South Dakota
  • Virginia
  • Washington
  • Wisconsin
  • Washington, D.C.

What Personal Injury Protection Covers

Policyholders with PIP coverage can receive benefits even if the other driver doesn’t have insurance. PIP can also be used if you’re injured while you’re not driving, such as if you are hit by a car as a pedestrian. 

PIP coverage can pay for:

  • Medical care
  • Lost income
  • Child care
  • Funeral expenses
  • Survivors’ loss
  • Essential services

What Personal Injury Protection Doesn’t Cover

While personal injury protection may help with quite a lot of expenses, it doesn’t cover everything. Things that won’t be paid for by PIP include:

  • Property damage
  • Injuries to other drivers in the accident
  • Injuries from an accident that happened while you were committing a crime, like fleeing from the police
  • Injuries received in an accident in which you were driving and being paid to drive

For this reason, motor vehicle drivers should also have:

  • Liability insurance, which pays for injuries caused to another party, including:
    • Bodily injury liability insurance
    • Property damage liability insurance

Do You Need Personal Injury Protection?

If you live in one of the states listed above where PIP coverage is required, you must file a claim to your PIP policy before you can use your health insurance for your injuries. This means that residents of these states do, indeed, need personal injury protection.

But what about residents of the states that do not require PIP? Well, PIP still offers a number of benefits that you won’t receive from your health insurance policy or your liability insurance policy, including coverage for funeral expenses and lost wages. 

Ultimately, it will be a personal decision for you to make about whether or not to add PIP coverage to your auto insurance policy. To help you out, it’s recommended to see how your health insurance covers expenses related to auto accidents, what your deductible is, and what your out-of-pocket maximums are.

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