What is PIP in Auto Insurance?
Personal injury protection (PIP) insurance provides medical coverage for any injuries you or your family experience resulting from an accident. Covered expenses include medical bills, ambulance costs, lost wages, rehabilitation, and childcare (under the right circumstances). You’re required to buy PIP insurance in 16 states, but it’s available in 21. Whether you’re required to purchase PIP insurance or not, you’ll still need standard health insurance because PIP doesn’t replace that.
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UPDATED: May 9, 2022
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- Personal injury protection (PIP) insurance provides coverage for your medical expenses after an accident, including medical bills, emergency room costs, lost wages, and more
- PIP auto insurance covers you no matter who is at fault and is required in 16 states (12 of which are at-fault states)
- You can buy PIP insurance in 21 states, but even though it provides medical coverage after an accident, it doesn’t replace health insurance (meaning you’ll need both if you buy PIP)
We know that understanding auto insurance when you’re deciding what coverages to buy can be complicated. And when it comes to personal injury protection (PIP) insurance, you probably have questions.
What is PIP coverage? How much PIP coverage should I get? Where can you buy it, and how much does it cost? Read this article for answers to your PIP insurance questions.
Before we get started on this PIP insurance overview, use your ZIP code in our rate comparison tool to get free quotes from top companies right now and save.
What is PIP insurance, and what kind of coverage does it include?
So just what is personal injury protection and what does PIP cover? PIP insurance is medical coverage for any injuries occurring after an accident. It covers you and your family, even if you are at fault. PIP only applies after an accident, so you’ll still need health insurance (which we’ll talk about more later).
With standard PIP insurance, you’ll have some level of coverage for the following medical-related expenses:
- Medical bills
- Ambulance bills
- Emergency room costs
- Temporary disability
- Lost wages
- Child care (if you have documentation that proves your injuries mean this is necessary)
Keep reading to find out where you can buy PIP insurance, when it’s required, and how much you might pay.
Does your auto insurance policy automatically include PIP insurance?
The short answer to whether your insurance policy automatically includes PIP insurance is that it depends. PIP is required in some states (we’ll discuss this more later). In those cases, PIP is automatically included in a policy at the minimum required level, though you can increase the amount of PIP coverage you have if you decide to do so.
However, PIP is available in some states where it isn’t required. In that case, you can reach out to your insurance company to add PIP insurance to your policy.
How much will you pay for PIP insurance?
The cost of personal injury protection coverage typically varies between $50 and $200 per month, depending on the level of coverage you choose, your driving record, your location, etc. Comparison shopping is the best way to ensure you’re getting coverage at the best rate for which you qualify. We recommend getting quotes from at least three companies, and you can get started with the rate comparison tool on this page.
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Is PIP insurance mandatory coverage?
Personal injury protection insurance is required coverage in no-fault states. Twelve states across the country are no-fault insurance states, including Florida. The Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles website notes that the state requires a minimum of $10,000 in PIP coverage.
In a no-fault insurance structure, drivers file claims with their own insurance companies after an accident. In the more traditional fault insurance structure, the at-fault driver is responsible for the cost of damages, so their insurance applies.
In addition to the 12 no-fault states, four states using the fault insurance system require PIP coverage. However, the rules are a little different in these four states because you may be able to waive the coverage. One example of this is Maryland. The state requires insurance companies to offer $2,500 of PIP coverage in a standard policy, but drivers can waive it if they choose.
Do you live in a no-fault state?
Since PIP insurance is required in all 12 no-fault insurance states, as well as an additional four states that use fault insurance systems, it’s essential to know whether you live in a no-fault state and what the PIP requirements are. Take a look at this table to find out where PIP is available, which states are no-fault, which states require PIP, and the minimum coverage requirements.
|State||No-Fault Insurance State||PIP Minimum Requirements|
|Delaware||Yes||$15,000 per person
|District of Columbia||No, but PIP is optional||No Minimum is Required|
|Maine||No, but PIP is required||$2,000 per person|
|Maryland||No, but PIP is required||$2,500|
|Massachusetts||Yes||$8,000 per person|
|Minnesota||Yes||$20,000 in Medical Expenses
$20,000 in Non-medical Expenses
|New Hampshire||No, but PIP is optional||No Minimum is Required|
|New Mexico||No||Not Applicable|
|North Carolina||No||Not Applicable|
|North Dakota||Yes||$30,000 per person|
|Oregon||No, but PIP is required||$15,000 per person|
|Pennsylvania||Yes||$5,000 per person|
|Rhode Island||No||Not Applicable|
|South Carolina||No||Not Applicable|
|South Dakota||No, but PIP is optional||No Minimum is Required|
|Texas||No, but PIP is optional||No Minimum is Required|
|Utah||Yes||$3,000 per person|
|Virginia||No, but PIP is optional||No Minimum is Required|
|Washington||No, but PIP is optional||No Minimum is Required|
|West Virginia||No||Not Applicable|
|Wisconsin||No, but PIP is optional||No Minimum is Required|
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In states where PIP coverage is required, there’s typically a minimum amount you’ll need to carry to drive legally (which we noted in the table). But you can have more than the minimum, should you choose to do so.
If you live in one of the five states where PIP is available but not required, it’s up to you whether or not buying PIP is necessary, given your needs, budget, and existing health insurance coverage.
Do you need PIP insurance if you have health insurance?
Health insurance isn’t a replacement for PIP insurance, meaning if PIP insurance is required (or you choose to buy it), you’ll still need health insurance. Why? Because your PIP insurance only applies to medical expenses that result from an accident. You’ll need health insurance for any other medical bills.
If you live in one of the states where PIP insurance is optional, it’s up to you whether or not PIP is necessary in addition to your health insurance.
PIP Insurance: The Bottom Line
PIP car insurance is required in 16 states (though you may be able to waive the coverage in a few states), and you can buy PIP coverage in a total of 21 states. Your PIP insurance will ensure you have financial coverage for medical expenses like the emergency room and ambulance bills, temporary disability, lost wages, rehabilitation, and child care.
PIP does not replace health insurance, so you’ll still need both types of coverage if you buy PIP. After an accident, your PIP insurance will cover your medical expenses before your health insurance kicks in, unless you live in states like Michigan. In Michigan, your health insurance will still apply to your medical expenses after an accident, and PIP will cover non-traditional costs like child care and lost wages.
If you’re ready to save on your PIP insurance, the best option is to comparison shop. Take a moment to enter your ZIP code in the tool on this page to get free quotes from companies in your area.
Frequently Asked Questions: PIP Insurance
If you still have questions about personal injury insurance, read through these frequently asked questions for more information.
#1 – What is the difference between PIP and MedPay?
Both PIP and MedPay offer medical coverage for you and your family after an accident, but there are differences between the two in terms of what is covered. MedPay covers most medical expenses, as does PIP, but PIP also offers coverage for costs that result from your injuries but aren’t necessarily medical, like child care and lost wages.
Carrying both PIP and MedPay isn’t necessary, though there’s nothing prohibiting you from having both. Only you can decide which coverage is more appropriate, given your needs (and where you live — recall that PIP is required in 16 states and is available in 21).
#2 – Is there a difference between PIP and bodily liability insurance?
There is a difference between PIP insurance and bodily liability insurance. As we’ve discussed, PIP insurance provides medical coverage for you and your family after an accident, no matter who’s at fault. In contrast, bodily liability insurance provides medical coverage for the other driver(s) and their passengers if you’re at fault in an accident.
#3 – Where can you buy the best PIP insurance coverage?
GEICO and Travelers are both companies with reputations for reliable customer service and fair rates for PIP insurance. However, only you can decide on the right insurance company for your needs, based on where you live, your age, your driving record, and more.