Personal injury protection (PIP) is a
type of auto insurance
that covers accident-related medical expenses. PIP is required in some states and not available in others. 

Personal injury protection explained

Personal injury protection, or PIP, pays for medical bills, rehabilitation, lost wages, replacement services, and funeral expenses for policyholders, family members, and passengers
after a car accident
PIP is also known as "no-fault insurance" because coverage is guaranteed no matter who was at fault for the accident. PIP is a requirement for drivers in no-fault states, but it’s available in some at-fault states as well. 
Your PIP insurance coverage will cover hospital bills and accident-related medical treatment, including the cost of ongoing rehabilitation, up to your auto insurance policy limits. 
On top of medical costs, PIP covers other things you might need as a result of the accident:
  • Lost wages
  • Replacement services for things you can no longer do due to your injury, such as childcare and house cleaning
  • Death benefits and funeral expenses
The required minimum coverage limits for PIP vary by state. Car insurance companies set the maximum coverage amounts, which also vary by location. 

The best car insurance companies for personal injury protection 

Your PIP premium will depend on
your state’s minimum insurance requirements
and how much coverage you want. It’s also affected by your deductible, or the amount you will have to pay out of pocket before your coverage kicks in. 
Jerry
’s experts found that drivers pay, on average, $214 a month for coverage that includes personal injury protection. Here’s what drivers pay for PIP coverage with some of the top car insurance companies:
If you are looking to add personal injury protection to your policy, download the car insurance comparison shopping and broker app
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Personal injury protection doesn’t cover other drivers or property damage

PIP insurance usually doesn’t cover the following:
  • Injuries sustained by the other driver and their passengers
  • Injuries from an accident that occurred while you were driving for work (e.g., driving for a
    rideshare company
    like Lyft or Uber)
  • Injuries from a crime that results in an auto accident
  • Property damage
  • Damage to your vehicle
Your state-mandated
liability insurance
will cover costs associated with any injuries or property damage you cause to other parties, while physical damage insurance, like
collision coverage
, can cover your own vehicle repair costs. PIP coverage is only for medical costs. 

States where personal injury protection is required

PIP is required in most
no-fault states
. Some at-fault states also require it and PIP is also offered as an optional add-on in some states:
State
PIP mandatory, optional, or unavailable 
Minimum mandatory coverage
Unavailable 
Not required
Unavailable 
Not required
Unavailable 
Not required
Optional
Not required
Unavailable 
Not required
Unavailable 
Not required
Optional 
Not required
Mandatory
$15,000 per person and $30,000 per accident
District of Columbia
Optional 
Not required
Mandatory
$10,000 per person
Optional 
Not required
Hawaii
Mandatory
$10,000 per person 
Unavailable 
Not required
Unavailable
Not required
Unavailable 
Not required
Unavailable
Not required
Mandatory*
$4,500 per person, $4,500 per person for rehabilitation, $900/month disability and loss of income, $25 per day in-home services, and $2,000 for funeral expenses 
Mandatory
$10,000 per person
Unavailable 
Not required
Unavailable
Not required
Optional 
Not required
Mandatory
$8,000 per person, $8,000 per accident
Mandatory*
Six options:
  1. Unlimited coverage
  2. Up to $500,000
  3. Up to $250,000
  4. Up to $250,000 with medical exclusions
  5. Up to $50,000
  6. Opt-out
Mandatory
$40,000 per accident 
Unavailable
Not required
Unavailable 
Not required
Unavailable
Not required
Unavailable
Not required
Unavailable
Not required
Optional 
Not required
Mandatory*
$15,000
Unavailable 
Not required
Mandatory
$50,000 per accident
Unavailable 
Not required
Mandatory
$30,000 per person 
Unavailable 
Not required
Unavailable 
Not required
Mandatory
$15,000 per person 
Mandatory*
$5,000 per person 
Unavailable 
Not required
Unavailable 
Not required
Optional 
Not required
Unavailable
Not required
Optional 
Not required
Mandatory
$250 per week
Unavailable
Not required
Optional 
Not required
Optional 
Not required
Unavailable 
Not required
Unavailable
Not required
Unavailable 
Not required
* In three no-fault states, you can opt out of mandatory PIP coverage. Kentucky allows drivers to reject PIP coverage in writing, while New Jersey and Pennsylvania offer slightly different minimum coverage plans for drivers who don’t want PIP. Michigan drivers can opt out if they receive Medicare. 
If PIP isn’t available in your state,
medical payments coverage (MedPay)
is the best alternative. While it won’t cover lost wages, MedPay offers similar no-fault coverage for medical expenses and funeral costs. 

How personal injury protection insurance claims work

With PIP, you can file a claim directly with your own insurance company to cover your healthcare costs after an accident. It will cover up to your limits on your car insurance policy. 
When you file a PIP claim, you’ll need to submit some paperwork—such as accident-related medical expense bills and job documents that prove you missed time at work—with your automobile insurance company. Talk with a claims representative to make sure you send them all the necessary documents for your claim. 
Your car insurance company will review your claim and contact anyone they need to speak with.
The main advantage of personal injury protection coverage is that PIP claims offer quicker coverage for medical costs than liability insurance. For example, if you’re injured in an accident caused by another driver, you can
file a claim
with their liability insurance to cover your hospital bills. However, this can be a time-consuming process, as you’ll have to wait on the at-fault driver’s insurance company to investigate the case and determine your payout. 

Personal injury protection complements health insurance

PIP works in conjunction with your health insurance. If you need to file a claim, first you will max out your PIP coverage, then you can apply to your health insurance for additional coverage. 
PIP will also cover things your health insurance won’t cover, like funeral costs, home cleaning, and reimbursement for lost wages.

Personal injury protection vs medical payments 

Both PIP and medical payments (MedPay) cover your medical expenses after a car accident. However, PIP is more comprehensive.  
MedPay doesn’t cover any lost wages, rehabilitation, or childcare, whereas PIP covers these things.
You can purchase both PIP and MedPay if they’re both available in the state where you live, but this might not be necessary. For example, Michigan requires insurers to offer unlimited PIP coverage, so medical payments coverage on top would be redundant. 
However, if your state has a low limit for PIP, then you could get MedPay to supplement that coverage. Not all states will allow you to have both at the same time, though. 

FAQ

What is the difference between PIP and bodily injury liability coverage?

Bodily injury liability coverage pays for other party’s’ medical expenses if you caused injuries during an automobile accident. PIP, on the other hand, pays for your own medical costs regardless of who was at fault.

What are the benefits of PIP coverage?

PIP coverage offers more direct coverage for accident-related healthcare expenses than filing a claim with the at-fault driver’s liability insurance, and it provides more extensive coverage than health insurance. 

What is the purpose of PIP?

Personal injury protection makes it easier for drivers to file claims for injuries sustained in a car accident without going through a liability claim process or relying on uninsured motorist coverage. 

Meet our experts

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Hillary Kobayashi
Hillary Kobayashi is an insurance writer and editor specializing in insurance and finance topics. Hillary’s mission is to use her knowledge and love of education to help car owners better understand how they can save time and money on car ownership. The articles Hillary has published for Jerry span topics from state-specific bill of sale requirements to SR-22 insurance information.
Prior to joining Jerry, Hillary spent over ten years in education at Pacific University and the University of Oregon.
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Licensed Insurance Agent — Expert Insurance Editor
Expert insurance writer and editor Amy Bobinger specializes in car repair, car maintenance, and car insurance. Amy is passionate about creating content that helps consumers navigate challenges related to car ownership and achieve financial success in areas relating to cars.
Amy has over 10 years of writing and editing experience. After several years as a freelance writer, Amy spent four years as an editing fellow at WikiHow, where she co-authored over 600 articles on topics including car maintenance and home ownership. Since joining Jerry’s editorial team in 2022, Amy has edited over 2,500 articles on car insurance, state driving laws, and car repair and maintenance.

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