Personal Injury Protection or PIP is an add on product to car insurance that is provided in some US states that will cover the medical expenses of the injured party and in some case the lost wages of that party and any other damages.
PIP is a form of no-fault insurance in that the states that require this form of insurance coverage to be made available have generally enacted no-fault statutes, what this means is that insurance provider must make a payment of benefits under their insurance contract irrespective of whose fault the accident was.
It is also important to note that generally an insurer may not increase the policy holder’s premium for making a claim under a personal injury protection insurance policy.
More generally personal injury protection insurance can be used for any coverage for personal injury such as coverage for emotional distress (though in this instance this will normally only cover negligent rather than intentional infliction of emotional distress), or instances of libel or slander, on top of coverage for purely bodily injuries.
A home insurance policy will also often include some form of coverage for a policy holder’s liability arising from bodily injury particularly on the premises of the insured party but not in the case of mental injury, though mental injury coverage can be added to these policies typically for an additional premium payment.
In some states it is mandatory for auto insurers to supply personal injury protection, though the coverage may vary from state to state in terms of the specific benefits that may be covered by the personal injury protection. California for example, does not allow you to claim for acupuncture as part of a PIP policy whereas Utah does.
Claim limits under personal injury protection vary depending on the injury received in the incident and the state where the policy was issued, typically this is from $1,500 to $250,000 and in these states a driver must supply their own insurance details when using a medical facility because the 3rd party insurer has no obligation to meet your medical costs.
States with mandatory PIP Coverage
- New Jersey
- New York
- North Dakota
- Texas (though in Texas a policyholder may sign a waiver to drop PIP protection)
- Washington (and Washington also allows the use of a waiver to drop PIP protection)
(To read more about personal injury protection outside of our glossary, please read our more detailed article on the subject.)