Personal Injury Protection (PIP) Insurance
Personal injury protection (PIP) insurance provides medical coverage for your expenses resulting from an accident (you can also include family members in this coverage). PIP insurance includes medical bills, ambulance and emergency room costs, and lost wages. PIP insurance is sold in 23 states but is only required in 16 (13 no-fault insurance states and three at-fault insurance states). PIP doesn't replace health insurance, so you'll still need it if PIP is required.
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UPDATED: Mar 16, 2022
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- Personal injury protection (PIP) covers medical expenses and costs like lost wages that result from a car accident, regardless of who is at fault
- PIP insurance is available in 23 states but only required in 16 (13 of which are no-fault states, while the remaining three are at-fault states)
- In states where PIP is required, you can’t replace it with health insurance (you’ll need both coverage types)
There are many different types of auto insurance coverage, so we know it can be confusing to determine the right coverage type and mix for your needs. If you’re looking for information on personal injury protection (PIP) insurance, you’ve come to the right place.
What is personal injury protection, and what does PIP cover? Read this article to discover the meaning of PIP insurance, to get answers to your questions about coverage amounts and requirements, and more.
What is PIP coverage, and what does it cover?
What is PIP? Personal injury protection is medical coverage that provides financial protection for medical expenses that result from a car accident. PIP coverage applies regardless of who is at fault. Plus, you can add family members from your household to your policy.
PIP includes financial protection for:
- Standard medical expenses
- Ambulance bills
- Emergency room bills
- Lost wages
- Child care
PIP isn’t available in all states. Keep reading to find out more regarding where you can buy PIP, when and where it’s required, and how much it can cost.
Is PIP insurance automatically included in your car insurance policy?
Now that we’ve answered the question, “what is PIP insurance?” we’ll spend a little time discussing whether you have to buy it separately or not. While PIP insurance is available in nearly half the states across the country, it’s only required in 16 (we’ll provide the complete list in a later section).
Where it’s required, it will automatically be included at the minimum levels (though you can elect to increase the amount). In states where PIP is optional, you’ll need to work with your insurance company to add it to your policy if you want to buy it.
How much does PIP insurance cost?
PIP insurance costs vary based on where you live, your insurance company, and the other factors that impact your rates, like your driving record and age. In most cases, you’ll find the cost of PIP to range between around $50 and $200 per month. Since this cost is applied to your existing rate, we know this may sound expensive. Your best bet is to compare rates from at least three companies to ensure you’re getting the best rates available to you.
The best auto insurance companies to buy PIP car insurance from vary based on your lifestyle, location, budget, etc. However, companies with reputations for good customer service and reasonable rates for PIP include GEICO and Travelers.
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Is PIP insurance required?
Depending on where you live, PIP insurance may be required. For example, Florida auto insurance requirements include PIP coverage. As we highlighted earlier, PIP is required in 16 states.
So why is PIP insurance required in some states and not others? PIP is required in the 13 states that follow a no-fault insurance structure, which means every driver involved in an accident is responsible for filing an insurance claim with their insurance company to cover the cost of damages and medical expenses, regardless of who is at fault.
PIP is also required in three states that use a more traditional fault-based insurance system. With a fault-based insurance system, the insurance company that insures the at-fault driver will cover the claims for the damages of the other drivers in the incident.
Do you live in a no-fault insurance state?
Which states use a no-fault system or are one of the three states with a fault system that require PIP insurance? Take a look at this table for a list of states where personal injury protection coverage is required, where it’s an optional coverage you can buy, the minimum coverage requirements, and whether or not the state uses a no-fault insurance structure.
|State||No-Fault Insurance State||PIP is Required||PIP Minimum Requirements|
|Delaware||Yes||Yes||$15,000 per person
|District of Columbia||No||No, but PIP is optional||No Minimum is Required|
|Maine||No||Yes||$2,000 per person|
|Massachusetts||Yes||Yes||$8,000 per person|
|Michigan||Yes||Yes||$250,000 or opt-out|
|Minnesota||Yes||Yes||$20,000 in Medical Expenses
$20,000 in Non-medical Expenses
|New Hampshire||No||No, but PIP is optional||No Minimum is Required|
|New Mexico||No||No||Not Applicable|
|North Carolina||No||No||Not Applicable|
|North Dakota||Yes||Yes||$30,000 per person|
|Oregon||No||Yes||$15,000 per person|
|Pennsylvania||Yes||Yes||$5,000 per person|
|Rhode Island||No||No||Not Applicable|
|South Carolina||No||No||Not Applicable|
|South Dakota||No||No, but PIP is optional||No Minimum is Required|
|Texas||No||No, but PIP is optional||No Minimum is Required|
|Utah||Yes||Yes||$3,000 per person|
|Virginia||No||No, but PIP is optional||No Minimum is Required|
|Washington||No||No, but PIP is optional||No Minimum is Required|
|West Virginia||No||No||Not Applicable|
|Wisconsin||No||No, but PIP is optional||No Minimum is Required|
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If you do live in a state that requires PIP, you may be wondering, “how much PIP coverage should I get?” You’ll need at least the minimum personal injury insurance required in your state, but it may be a good idea to purchase additional coverage, depending on your situation. You can work with your insurance company to decide on the right amount for your needs.
Is PIP insurance necessary if you have health insurance?
The short answer is yes. You need PIP insurance even if you have health insurance, particularly if you live in one of the 16 states where PIP is required. If you have injuries that result from an accident when you live in a state that requires PIP, medical expenses should be covered by PIP rather than by your health insurance. PIP will also cover costs like lost wages, which your health insurance won’t cover.
In some states, the costs associated with your accident may be split between your PIP coverage and your health insurance. Examples include Michigan and New Jersey.
What is the difference between PIP, MedPay, and bodily injury liability coverage?
Medical payments (MedPay) provide financial coverage for medical expenses after an accident for you and your passengers. However, as we discussed earlier, PIP covers both medical expenses after an accident and lost wages (if you can provide documentation that the loss in wages is the result of the accident). If you already have PIP, you probably don’t need MedPay coverage.
While PIP covers your medical expenses, bodily injury liability provides coverage for the medical costs of the other driver(s) — and their passengers — in an accident in which you are at fault.
Personal Injury Protection Insurance: The Bottom Line
PIP insurance is required in 16 states (and is optional in an additional seven). With PIP insurance, you’ll have medical coverage that applies to your medical expenses after an accident, no matter who is at fault. Covered costs include medical bills, ambulance and hospital costs, prescriptions, and even lost wages and child care.
PIP doesn’t replace health care, so if it is required, you’ll need to buy PIP as well as standard health insurance. After an accident, your PIP coverage will cover your medical expenses rather than your health insurance in most cases. However, a few states coordinate insurances, so your health insurance will cover your medical bills in states like Michigan. In contrast, your PIP insurance will reimburse you for lost wages, child care expenses, etc.