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Personal injury protection

PIP covers your medical bills, lost income, health insurance deductible and more after an accident

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.

How does personal injury protection work?

Personal injury protection pays for your medical bills, lost income, health insurance deductible or other services that you or your passengers may need after getting injured in a car accident. Personal injury protection, also known as PIP, applies regardless of who’s at fault — and it’s required to drive legally in 16 states.

However, the amount that your PIP insurance will pay for a claim depends on your state’s laws and whether you opt for higher than your state’s coverage limits. For example, in Florida, personal injury protection coverage pays 80% of your medical bills and 60% of lost wages, up to $10,000. Whereas in Texas, a policy typically covers up to $2,500 in medical bills and 80% of lost wages, and you can choose more than $10,000 as your maximum payout.

What personal injury protection insurance covers

Expenses covered under your PIP insurance include:

  • Ambulance rides
  • Child care
  • Death benefits paid to your family
  • Funeral expenses
  • Health insurance copays and deductible
  • Housekeeping
  • Lost income
  • Nursing care
  • Prosthetics

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 when you’re walking or cycling

What does PIP not cover?

Damage to personal property like your car isn’t protected under PIP. Instead, you’d have to buy comprehensive and collision coverage to cover your car’s repairs, and liability coverage to pay for car damage or injuries that you cause to someone else.

Cost of personal injury protection insurance

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.

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.

How much personal injury protection do I need?

Your insurance company limits the maximum amount it will pay for PIP, though you get to choose what that limit is in some cases. First, you should buy the minimum amount of PIP required by your state, which typically ranges from a $5,000 to $15,000 maximum payout in states that require it.

However, personal injury protection insurance could also pay for your health insurance deductible or give peace of mind about your family’s income if you can’t work while recovering. Because of this, choose a maximum payout that equals your health insurance deductible, several months of your income as well as the cost of other services like childcare that you might use.

States that require PIP coverage

If you’re in one of these states, you’ll be required to get PIP coverage.

  • Delaware
  • Florida
  • Hawaii
  • Kansas
  • Kentucky
  • Maryland
  • Massachusetts
  • Michigan
  • Minnesota
  • New Jersey
  • New York
  • North Dakota
  • Oregon
  • Pennsylvania
  • Texas — You can opt out by declining PIP coverage in writing to your insurance company
  • Utah
  • Washington — Opt out by declining PIP coverage in writing

    Personal injury protection coverage in action

    You’re involved in a side-impact car collision, and your arm is 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.

    PIP vs. medical payments coverage

    PIP is similar to medical payments insurance 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.

    Compare car insurance with personal injury protection

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    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. To find the best price, compare car insurance with PIP coverage.

    Common questions about personal injury protection coverage

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