What is Personal Injury Protection (PIP) Coverage?

Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage provides medical expenses and work loss coverage for you and your passengers after a car accident, regardless of fault.

PIP coverage is a requirement in many “No-Fault” states, as it covers your injuries and lost income up to the coverage you selected, no matter who caused the accident.

What does PIP cover?

Personal injury protection is a “no-fault” coverage which covers the cost of injuries to you and your passengers up to your selected coverage level. The intention of PIP is to reduce the likelihood of lawsuits after a collision. Medical expenses (medical and surgical treatment, ambulance fees and medication) and loss of income for you and your passengers will be covered up to the policy’s limit.

Personal injury protection coverage replaces the standard bodily injury liability portion of an insurance policy. 

PIP insurance covers:

    • Ambulance fees
    • Medical bills
    • Surgical fees
    • Rehabilitation services
    • Lost wages
    • Funeral expenses
    • Essential services while you are recovering such as lawn care

What does PIP not cover?

PIP does not provide coverage for damage to the insured’s vehicle, it does not provide coverage after an at-fault accident.

Find below a list of other exclusions.

    • Property damage Liability Insurance –  Damages the insured causes to another person’s property (including vehicle damages).
    • Collision coverage – Damage to the insured’s vehicle in an at-fault accident.
    • Comprehensive coverage  – Damage to the insured’s vehicle caused in a non-collision incident like weather related (hail, flood, etc.).
    • Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist coverage – While you can purchase uninsured or underinsured property damage coverage to protect a vehicle if the at-fault party does not have insurance or not enough, PIP provides the coverage for uninsured bodily injury coverage.
    • Amounts above the policy’s coverage limits.

Where is PIP required and how much is required?

In no-fault states, both parties file claims with their individual insurance providers regardless of who is at fault in the accident.

In no-fault / Personal Injury Protection  (PIP) states — PIP coverage pays for you and your passengers medical expenses and loss of income following an accident.

There are about 20 no-fault states that offer some level of Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage, but only 13 states require it

Limit: $15,000 per person

Delaware PIP insurance will cover up to $15,000 for any single person’s injuries and will pay a total of $30,000 per accident. This coverage also includes up to $5,000 for funeral expenses.

Limit: $10,000 per person

PIP coverage in Florida covers 80% of your medical and disability expenses up to $10,000. It will also pay up to $5,000 in death benefits in certain circumstances. 

Limit: varies

PIP coverage in Kansas covers the following:

  • $4,500 medical expense per person
  • $900 per month income loss for one year
  • $25 per day at-home services
  • $4,500 rehabilitation expense per person
  • $2,000 funeral expense per person

Limit: $8,000 per person/per accident

Massachusetts personal injury protection is the primary payer for the first $2,000 in medical expenses. Afterward, the driver’s personal healthcare coverage kicks in with PIP coverage acting as the secondary payer.

Limit: varies

Michigan recently enacted laws changing their PIP requirements in an effort to bring down car insurance rates. PIP coverage is still required (in almost all cases), but is now available in the following amounts:

  • Unlimited PIP coverage 
  • $500,000
  • $250,000
  • $50,000 (lowest option available for Medicaid recipients)
  • Opt-out (only drivers with a qualifying health insurance plan that covers car accident injuries)

Limits: $40,000 per person/per accident

Minnesota personal injury coverage limits are higher than in most states. The $40,000 limit breaks down as such:

  • $20,000 for hospital/medical expenses 
  • $20,000 for non-medical expenses

Limit: $15,000 PIP coverage per person

New Jersey personal injury protection covers up to $15,000 in medical expenses per accident. Further add-ons to PIP coverage include:

  • Income continuation
  • Essential services (house cleaning, lawn care, etc…)
  • Death benefit
  • Funeral expenses

Limit: $50,000 per person

New York PIP coverage also includes a $2,000 death benefit in addition to the $50,000 in coverage for medical expenses. 

Limit: $30,000 per person

In addition to medical expenses, North Dakota personal injury protection also covers lost wages and funeral expenses. 

Limit: $15,000 per person

Additionally, Oregon PIP insurance covers loss of wages up to $3,000 per month, essential services, childcare, and a death benefit of up to $5,000.

Limits: $5,000 per person

Those injured may sue the at-fault driver, but the injuries suffered must be severe. 

Limit: $3,000

Those injured may sue the at-fault driver in cases of severe injury or if medical expenses are in excess of $3,000. Further benefits include:

  • Lost wages coverage (Up to 85% or $250/week)
  • Essential services
  • $1,500 for funeral expenses
  • $3,000 death benefit

Where is PIP Optional?

The following states offer personal injury protection, but it is not required. In many states, this coverage must be waived in writing.

    • Arkansas
    • Kentucky
    • Maryland
    • New Hampshire
    • South Dakota
    • Texas
    • Virginia
    • Washington D.C.
    • Washington

PIP vs. Med Pay?

Med Pay and Personal Injury Protection (PIP) both cover your and your passengers’ bodily injury costs incurred from a car accident.

PIP is required in more states and offers more coverage options than Med Pay. PIP offers coverage for lost wages and rehab expenses in addition to the direct medical care and surgical coverage offered by Med Pay.

Which is better, PIP or Med Pay?

You shouldn’t need both Med Pay and PIP.

If you live in one of the 12 states that require no-fault insurance, those states require you to have PIP and thus it doesn’t make much sense to also have Med Pay as PIP coverage provides more protection than Med Pay.

If you live in the other states that aren’t no-fault insurance states, PIP might not be an option.  In these states, carrying Med Pay might be a good idea, especially if you don’t have a good healthcare plan as Med Pay can help pay deductibles and co-pays if you use your health care after a car accident.

PIP vs. Med Pay vs. Health Insurance

Which coverage is right for you depends on your state and your health insurance coverage.

    • Depending on your health plan and state, medical expenses related to a car accident might be excluded from your health insurance coverage. If this is you, then Med Pay or PIP is a coverage you probably need.

Order of operations: normally a mathematical term, but it applies in insurance too.

    • If your Health insurance relies on Med Pay or PIP to act as the primary insurance provider, they can deny claims submitted. Now, if your Med Pay is secondary, your health care is primary and covers the medical expenses first,  then you might be able to use Med Pay to cover your deductible.

Having PIP or Med Pay and health care will ensure you minimize how much you have to pay out-of-pocket healthcare expenses after an accident.

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