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Compare personal injury protection coverage

Personal injury protection covers medical bills and indirect costs from car accidents.


Fact checked

Your health insurance will cover most of your medical bills, but it may not cover the indirect expenses you may incur from an auto accident. Personal injury protection can fill in the gaps.

What is personal injury protection?

If you’re involved in a car accident, personal injury protection (PIP) pays for the medical services and some other nonproperty damages you or your passengers may need afterward. PIP applies regardless of who’s at fault in an accident.

What does personal injury protection cover?

PIP is designed to protect you against the cost of more than just medical services. Coverage may include:

  • Ambulance rides
  • Child care
  • Death benefits
  • Funeral services
  • Housekeeping
  • Lost income
  • Nursing care
  • Prosthetics

What doesn’t personal injury protection cover?

Any damage to personal property isn’t protected under PIP. Comprehensive, collision and liability coverage are necessary to cover the cost of damages to your or another person’s property.

Who does personal injury protection cover?

Coverage varies depending on your insurance company, but typically includes:

  • You when you’re driving your car
  • Your passengers when you’re driving your car
  • Anyone driving your car with permission
  • You when you’re riding in another car
  • You while you’re out walking or cycling

How much does personal injury protection cost?

PIP typically costs between $10 and $25 a month to add to your policy, depending on your limits. The cost of PIP varies widely depending on the state you live in, the car you drive, your driving history and more.

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Why should I buy personal injury protection?

You might need to buy PIP if you live in one of the states where it’s required. But it could still be a good idea even if it’s not required.

If you’re involved in a car accident, your health insurance will cover you for most of your primary medical needs. But you may not be covered for other expenses that stem indirectly from the accident.

For example, health insurance doesn’t usually reimburse you for lost wages, while PIP does. PIP will also help cover your health insurance deductible. You might want PIP coverage especially if you frequently drive with passengers who could hold you responsible in the case of an accident.

How much will PIP pay?

The amounts and policy limit your PIP insurance will pay depends on which state you live in. For example, in Florida, PIP will cover 80% of your medical bills and 60% of lost wages, up to $10,000. Whereas in Texas, most policies cover up to $2,500 in medical bills and 80% of lost wages, up to more than $10,000 if desired.

Personal injury protection in action

You’re involved in a side-impact car collision, and your arm is now broken. You’re anxious because you’re the only one in the family who drives your kids to school. Fortunately, PIP pays for the cost of hiring a nanny, who transports your kids to school while your arm heals.

Where can I get personal injury protection?

Twelve states and Puerto Rico have no-fault car insurance laws, and require PIP coverage. Another handful of states require PIP, and a few more offer it as an add-on or allow policyholders to opt out of it.

No-fault states that require personal injury protection

If you’re in one of the 12 states with no-fault car insurance laws, you’ll be required to get PIP coverage.

  • Florida
  • Hawaii
  • Kansas
  • Kentucky
  • Massachusetts
  • Michigan
  • Minnesota
  • New Jersey
  • New York
  • North Dakota
  • Pennsylvania
  • Utah

Tort states that require personal injury protection

Four states that don’t have no-fault car insurance laws also require PIP.

  • Delaware
  • Maryland
  • Oregon

Tort states where personal injury protection is optional

Insurance companies are required to include PIP in Texas and Washington, but policyholders can opt out by writing their company and declining it.

  • Arkansas
  • New Hampshire
  • South Dakota
  • Texas
  • Virginia
  • Washington
  • Wisconsin

How do I buy personal injury protection?

If you’re in a state that requires or allows PIP, your current insurer will offer it. Contact the company and ask for more details.

Don’t be afraid to shop around for the best price. You can find coverage that works for you by comparing providers in our insurance comparison table.

If you’re in Texas or Washington and opted out of PIP, but are considering it again you can write your insurer or let the next insurance company you apply with know.

PIP vs. medical payments coverage

PIP is similar to medical payments coverage, or med pay, in that it covers medical costs after an accident.

The policies differ in many ways, however. For example:

  • PIP comes with deductibles and copays. Med pay doesn’t.
  • PIP covers more costs, such as lost income and mental health services.
  • Both are mandatory in different states, but PIP is required in more states.

Does PIP come with a deductible?

PIP comes with deductibles and copays. You’ll choose how high you want them to be when you’re buying insurance.

To decide, check what your health insurance covers and consider how much you’d want to pay out of your own pocket. The higher you set your deductible, the lower your insurance premiums will be. The deductible is what you’ll pay before your insurance company will pay a claim.

Bottom line

Personal injury protection can cover you for costs that your health insurance doesn’t pay for. It’s also required in more states than medical payments coverage is. Compare car insurance policies with PIP to find the best deal for you.

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Frequently asked questions about PIP

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