If you live in a no-fault state, PIP coverage helps pay your medical bills, lost wages, and related expenses after an accident.
Personal Injury Protection, more commonly called PIP, provides payment for medical and other expenses for you and the other passengers in your vehicle when an accident occurs. When buying PIP coverage, make sure to purchase enough to cover your expenses plus any lost work earnings.
How Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage works
PIP coverage pays for your medical expenses associated with a car accident, along with the medical expenses of your passengers. In addition, PIP coverage reimburses you or your passengers for any wages lost due to time missed from work because of an accident.
PIP coverage pays for your medical and other injury-related costs, including:
- Medical Expenses: This includes paying for an ambulance service or paramedics, doctors, surgeons, hospital stays, and nursing care. PIP coverage also pays for medication, drugs, and other medical supplies. Some other expenses that PIP covers include psychiatric care, imaging, laboratory testing, rehabilitation, prostheses, dental care, eye care, and chiropractic services.
- Lost income: Partial or full coverage for wages lost as a result of an injury from an accident.
- Child care and other household expenses: PIP also pays for babysitter services, as well as homecare services, such as lawn care.
- Funeral Costs: PIP coverage pays for funeral costs, such as ceremonies, burial expenses, and cremation.
- Survivor’s loss: PIP also pays lost income, up to a specific amount, to surviving family members in the case of death due to an accident.
Some states utilize a no-fault insurance policy, meaning that the coverage pays for injuries and lost wages even if the accident was your fault. Such states actually require drivers to buy PIP coverage, though coverage levels vary by state:
|States That Offer PIP and the Minimum Coverage Amounts|
|State||Minimum Amount of Coverage Required|
|Colorado||$5,000 per person, can refuse coverage|
|Delaware||$15,000 per person, $30,000 per accident|
|Florida||$10,000 per person|
|Hawaii||$10,000 per person|
|Kansas||$4,500 per person for medical, $4,500 rehabilitation, $2,000 funeral|
|Kentucky||$10,000 per person|
|Maryland||$2,500 per person, can refuse coverage, but must be provided for passengers|
|Massachusetts||$8,000 per person|
|Michigan||Unlimited medical, up to $5,189 a month in lost wages|
|Minnesota||$40,000 per person|
|New Jersey||$15,000 per person|
|New York||$50,000 per person|
|North Dakota||$30,000 per person|
|Oregon||$15,000 per person|
|Pennsylvania||$5,000 per person, also called medical benefit coverage|
|Texas||$2,500 per person|
|Utah||$3,000 per person|
|Washington||$10,000 per person, can refuse coverage|
You can also purchase additional PIP coverage if you feel that the minimum coverage in your state does not provide a sufficient amount to meet your needs if you were to get hurt in an accident. Determining how much coverage you would need if you were out of work for a year represents the best way to approach acquiring a sufficient amount of PIP coverage.
Do you need Personal Injury Protection coverage?
Even though 12 states list PIP coverage as a requirement among drivers, many states do not impose such a requirement of citizens. To determine if you need PIP coverage in a state that doesn’t require it, you should examine your driving habits. You should consider getting PIP coverage if you:
- Frequently drive with other passengers, such as a carpool
- Have minimal coverage with your health insurance or no health insurance at all
- Feel you need the extra money to pay for any lost wages as a direct result of injury in an accident
Personal Injury Protection or MedPay coverage
Some states offer a coverage called Medical Payments, or MedPay. Similar to PIP, MedPay is more versatile in that the coverage follows you, even if you suffer an accident while in another driver’s car, while walking, or while traveling on public transport. Quickness of payment represents the main advantage that MedPay has over PIP coverage. For the most part, though, many states require you to choose either PIP or MedPay and don’t allow you to have both.
As you can see, PIP coverage helps you pay your medical bills and covers other important expenses, including lost wages, if you find yourself the victim of an accident. When acquiring this type of coverage, you need to make sure that you purchase the appropriate amount, otherwise you could find yourself short of cash with no relief in sight after an accident.