Personal injury protection is a type of insurance that can be purchased as part of your car insurance policy. Some states require drivers to have PIP, while in some other states it's an optional coverage.
PIP covers your healthcare costs, and the healthcare costs of your passengers, due to injury in a car accident. It can also cover expenses that result from the accident but aren't medical in nature, like lost wages. Typically, it doesn't matter who caused the accident. This is different from liability insurance, where fault needs to be determined in order for the policy to pay.
Having PIP coverage can make things easier if you're injured in a car accident. So why doesn't everyone carry it? There are a couple of reasons: PIP insurance can be costly, and it's not offered in every state. That being said, PIP coverage can provide you with peace of mind that your medical bills will be covered if you're in an accident.
Medical payment insurance (MedPay) is very similar to PIP. Both types of insurance will cover medical bills for the insured and other passengers in the car. However, PIP can also cover additional expenses, like lost wages. MedPay will only cover medical bills.
It depends on what state you're in. The following states require residents to have PIP insurance:
In some states, PIP is not required, but MedPay is. These states are:
PIP insurance cannot be purchased in every state. It can be purchased as an optional policy in the following states:
When you buy a PIP policy, you're covered up to certain limits. If the cost of medical bills or lost wages is more than your plan limits, the overages won't be covered by your PIP policy. This can be a problem if you live in a no-fault state, as state law might not allow you to collect from the other driver, even if they were at fault.
Some states that require PIP don't require a high limit. For example, Texas requires a minimum of $2,500 in PIP coverage. As you can imagine, this amount could be quickly depleted by medical bills and lost wages.
Other states have much higher limits. Michigan and New York both require minimum limits of $50,000.
In many states, you can buy more than the state requirements for an additional premium. When deciding on PIP amounts, ask what your options are. Here are some things to consider:
Answering these questions can provide you with a better idea of how much PIP you should have.
Although PIP and health insurance can cover some of the same bills, just having health insurance isn't necessarily enough to forgo PIP.
If you live in one of the states listed in the Required section above, you need to carry PIP to be in compliance with state regulations. But there are definite advantages to having both PIP and health insurance.
PIP may be able to cover the deductible on your health insurance so you don't have to pay as much out of pocket.
In addition, PIP can cover lost wages and other expenses, while health insurance can't.
If you've been in a car accident, you might have additional questions about which insurance coverage can pay for your medical bills. Insurance companies can provide some answers, but they might not always be the most impartial resource.
A personal injury attorney might be able to provide you with guidance that takes into account your entire situation, including your different insurance coverages and the other party's insurance. If you don't have a lawyer, you can have your case evaluated online for free at injury.com. It just takes a few minutes to determine if you have a case.