Are you wondering whether you need personal injury protection (PIP) insurance or not?
You’re not alone. Many Americans are unsure about this type of coverage and whether they’re required to get it.
Some states require it, but it is optional in other states.
If you’re figuring out whether PIP is right for you, this article will dive into this aspect of auto insurance. Let Frantz Law Group answer your questions and help you decide.
What is Personal Injury Protection (PIP)?
Personal injury protection (PIP) is a type of no-fault insurance coverage that helps pay for medical expenses and lost wages to insured individuals injured in an accident.
PIP is a type of auto insurance coverage similar to Medical Pay (Med Pay). The only difference is that Med Pay covers medical bills while PIP offers both medical payments coverage and coverage for other expenses such as physical rehabilitation, lost income, death benefits, and funeral costs to the family members of the insured individual involved in wrongful death.
Personal injury protection coverage can be purchased in addition to auto insurance policies and is available in some states as part of the basic package offered by insurance companies. In other states, it may be available at an additional cost.
Some states require drivers to purchase PIP coverage to drive legally. The coverage varies by state, so drivers must understand their state’s requirements before buying a policy.
One advantage of PIP coverage is that it kicks in quickly after an accident. In no-fault states, it pays out regardless of who was at fault for the crash. Even if you are found liable for an accident, your medical bills will still be covered by your PIP policy.
How Does PIP Insurance Work?
PIP will cover expenses regardless of who was at fault in the accident in no-fault states. PIP can be especially beneficial for those who do not have health insurance.
In no-fault states, it doesn’t matter who caused the accident. PIP is often available—and required— in these states, hence PIP is referred to as “no-fault” coverage.
PIP does not require the injured party to prove that another driver was responsible for the injuries sustained in the accident before receiving benefits. This means you don’t have to worry about out-of-pocket costs for medical bills or lost wages due to an auto accident, even if it was your fault in no-fault states.
And even if the at-fault party doesn’t have insurance coverage, your PIP policy will cover the expenses according to your individual plan’s coverage limits.
PIP claims vary by state but typically range from $2,000 to $70,000. In some cases, drivers may purchase additional liability coverage beyond their state’s requirements.
What Does PIP Coverage Include for Car Insurance?
PIP coverage provides financial protection for policyholders in accidents that injure drivers, passengers, or pedestrians. It pays for medical treatment up to the policy limits and other damages due to the accident.
Medical Expenses: PIP covers medical, surgical, and hospital costs for policyholders injured in a car accident. This may include doctor visits, hospital stays, and other medical care like physical therapy/rehabilitation or prescription medications. It also covers preventive care, dental or mental health services, and other related expenses incurred due to an accident.
Work Loss: Work loss benefits help compensate policyholders unable to work due to injuries sustained from a car accident. This can provide reimbursement for lost wages up to the PIP limits.
Funeral Expenses: PIP covers funeral costs if a person is killed in a car accident. Most policies will pay up to $5,000 per person on these expenses, though the amount varies for each state.
Survivors’ Loss: Such benefits provide compensation for economic losses experienced by survivors of someone killed in a car accident. PIP typically covers income replacement and educational assistance that would have been provided by the deceased before their passing.
Essential Services: These are additional services needed after an injury resulting from an automobile accident. These services can include house cleaning, childcare, or transportation while recovering from injuries sustained during an accident.
It’s important to note that because PIP coverage varies depending on each state’s laws, make sure to review your individual state regulations before purchasing this kind of insurance coverage.
Most policies have limits on maximum payout amounts and exclusions that could affect the type of coverage you receive and how much you would be entitled to if involved in an automobile-related incident. Read through your auto insurance policy carefully before signing on the dotted line.
What Is Not Included in PIP Insurance?
While PIP provides coverage for medical costs, it does not cover everything. It excludes property damage, other drivers’ injuries in a collision, any injuries from an accident while you were committing a crime (such as fleeing the police), or injuries received while you received payment for driving.
This typically refers to the physical damage caused to your vehicle and other property during a collision. This can include broken windows, dents, scratches, and more.
PIP will not cover these types of damages. Instead, you’ll need to look into collision coverage or comprehensive coverage policies to help you cover the cost of repairing or replacing your damaged property.
Other Injured Drivers in the Collision
If another motorist sustains injuries due to your negligence on the road and decides to file a lawsuit against you, they may be able to recoup their medical expenses and any lost wages from missed work days through a bodily injury liability insurance policy. This type of insurance will provide legal defense if necessary and can even offer compensation for pain and suffering in certain cases.
Injuries From an Accident While Committing a Crime
PIP doesn’t extend its coverage to any injuries sustained from an accident while committing a crime, such as fleeing from police officers or engaging in illegal activities behind the wheel.
Injuries During an Accident Where You Received Payment for Driving
PIP won’t help pay for damages if you received payment for driving at the time of the incident. This includes rideshare services like Uber and Lyft or delivering food services like DoorDash or Instacart.
In addition to PIP insurance, consider looking into policies such as bodily injury liability insurance and property damage liability insurance, which can provide added protection if something goes wrong on the road that isn’t covered under your PIP.
Does California Require No-Fault Insurance?
No, California is a fault-state, so PIP is not an option in the state. It doesn’t allow insurance companies to offer it. Med Pay is considered the alternative to PIP as an insurance add-on.
Other states where PIP is not allowed or not mandatory include the following:
- New Hampshire
- South Dakota
States that require no-fault insurance and have adopted what is known as a “no-fault” system of automobile insurance laws include:
- New Jersey
- New York
- North Dakota
And while they’re considered at-fault, these states also require PIP:
If you are considering investing in PIP coverage for your vehicle in California or another state where it is required, it is important to understand precisely what your policy covers and its limitations. You should also review any exclusions in the policy so that you are fully informed about what types of losses may not be covered in the event of an accident.
Consult an experienced personal injury attorney who can provide additional guidance on obtaining the most comprehensive coverage for your needs at the best possible price.
A personal injury lawyer can provide insight into potential issues related to PIP coverage and can explain various options, so you can make an informed decision on a suitable policy.
If You Were Injured During an Auto Accident, You May Be Entitled to Compensation
You may be entitled to compensation if you have been injured during an auto accident. PIP is a type of no-fault insurance that covers medical expenses and other costs related to the accident regardless of who was at fault.
At Frantz Law Group, our personal injury attorneys understand how difficult it can be to navigate a personal injury case after being involved in an auto accident. Our lawyers are dedicated to working hard for our clients and fighting for them every step of the way. We understand the complexity of a personal injury claim and will do everything in our power to seek reimbursement for your damages and losses.
If you have been injured due to someone else’s negligence, don’t hesitate to contact us today. Our experienced attorneys will evaluate your claim to determine your best legal options.
We offer a free initial consultation to discuss your case with no obligation or cost on your part.
Call us today for more information on how we can help with your personal injury claim.