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What Is PIP insurance?

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If you’ve just moved to a new state or you’re shopping for your first car insurance plan, you may have come across PIP insurance requirements. Depending on which state you live in, you may be required to get this extra insurance policy. If you’re new to PIP insurance, keep reading to learn everything you need to know about it.

What is PIP Insurance?

Image via Unsplash by snapsbyclark

PIP is an acronym that stands for personal injury protection. PIP insurance is also called no-fault insurance. If you’re in an accident with another driver, PIP insurance is designed to help you pay for the costs of your injuries regardless of which driver is found to be at fault. This coverage helps pay for the medical bills that your health insurance won’t cover, such as those sustained from a collision. PIP insurance helps pay for both your injuries and your passengers’ injuries.

PIP insurance can also help reimburse a driver for wages lost due to their injury. Other circumstances in which PIP insurance might cover you include injuries you sustained being hit by a car while you’re a pedestrian, injuries sustained while you were the passenger in someone else’s car, and so on.

The difference between PIP insurance and bodily injury liability insurance (which you most often see as a part of the minimum liability plans required by most states) is that the first helps pay for your medical expenses while the second helps pay for the medical expenses of other drivers and their passengers if you’re found to be at fault for the accident.

What Exactly Does PIP Insurance Cover?

What do we mean by “medical bills?” PIP insurance will help you pay for a wide range of services. It may help you pay for the ambulance that takes you to the hospital. Hospitalization costs are covered by PIP insurance, including surgeries. If your injuries require you to undergo physical therapy or rehabilitation, or if you need continuing medical care, you’re generally covered.

Other expenses where PIP insurance comes into play include payments for tasks that you can’t take on anymore, such as grocery shopping and child care. PIP insurance also helps pay for funeral costs.

What Does PIP Insurance Not Cover?

Generally, PIP insurance doesn’t cover any expenses related to your vehicle, whether it’s to repair or replace your vehicle, pay for a rental, or otherwise. PIP insurance also doesn’t cover vehicle theft, damage to other people’s property, or bodily injury damages that exceed your PIP insurance coverage limits.

Do I Have to Have PIP insurance?

Some states require their drivers to have PIP insurance and some allow drivers to add it to their insurance plan. The 12 no-fault states that require you to have PIP insurance are below, as well as their minimum PIP coverage requirement.

  • Florida: $10,000
  • Hawaii: $10,000
  • Kansas: $9,000
  • Kentucky*: $10,000
  • Massachusetts: $8,000/person
  • Michigan: $250,000 or opt-out 
  • Minnesota: $20,000 for medical expenses and $20,000 for non-medical expenses
  • New Jersey*: $15,000
  • New York: $50,000
  • North Dakota: $30,000/person
  • Pennsylvania: $5,000/person
  • Utah: $3,000/person

Four fault-based states require PIP insurance:

  • Delaware: $15,000/person and $30,000/accident
  • Maine: $2,000/person
  • Maryland$2,500
  • Oregon: $15,000/person

The states in which PIP insurance is optional are:

  • New Hampshire
  • South Dakota
  • Texas
  • Virginia
  • Washington
  • Washington D.C.*
  • Wisconsin

*Optional no-fault states. You have the option to use the no-fault system or the tort liability system.

Tort System

Many states offer a tort system. If the medical expenses you receive due to a collision exceed your state’s PIP minimum and your coverage, the tort system allows you to choose to file a lawsuit against the other driver instead of taking the amount of PIP coverage.

There are two types of tort thresholds: verbal and monetary. With monetary tort thresholds, the damages must exceed a dollar amount set by the state. With verbal tort thresholds, a specific kind of injury has to happen before filing a lawsuit is an option. What this means varies from state to state, but generally, it’s focused on injuries that result in loss of bodily functions or death. However, this can change if one of the drivers in a collision was under the influence.

Below is a list of the states that have tort thresholds, as well as the type or dollar amount if it’s a monetary threshold:

  • Florida: Verbal
  • Hawaii: $5,000
  • Kansas: $2,000
  • Kentucky: $1,000
  • Massachusetts: $2,000
  • Michigan: $3,000
  • Minnesota: $4,000
  • New Jersey: Verbal
  • New York: Verbal
  • North Dakota: $2,500
  • Pennsylvania: Verbal
  • Utah: $3,000

How Much Is PIP Insurance?

Several factors come into play when it comes to deciding how much you’re going to pay for your PIP insurance. The major influences are the PIP plan’s coverage limits, the deductible, and the state. According to The Zebra, the PIP premium for a 30-year-old male with a 2016 Honda Civic ranges anywhere from $33 to $628 depending on the state you live in.

How Do I File a PIP Claim?

If you’ve filed a claim with other insurance plans, you’ll be familiar with how filing a claim with PIP insurance works. Simply reach out to your PIP insurance provider through the internet or over the phone to submit a claim. If you need to claim ongoing medical expenses covered by your PIP insurance, you may need to have your treatment plan pre-approved with your insurance company. The insurance company may refer you to a medical claims processor that it has outsourced or a medical expert in your area.

Keep in mind that depending on where you live and the PIP insurance plan you’ve chosen, your PIP insurance may not cover 100% of your medical bills. Try to submit your claim or have it submitted for you as soon as you can, as some states and insurance companies have timeline restrictions.

If you want to know more about the wide world of insurance and everything you need to protect yourself on the road (or if you just want to make sure you’re legal), be sure to explore the many other articles on insurance and car maintenance in the blog section. You can find everything you need to know with just a little research and persistence.

FIXD Research Team

At FIXD, our mission is to make car ownership as simple, easy, and affordable as possible. Our research team utilizes the latest automotive data and insights to create tools and resources that help drivers get peace of mind and save money over the life of their car.

We’re here to help you simplify car care and save, so this post may contain affiliate links to help you do just that. If you click on a link and take action, we may earn a commission. However, the analysis and opinions expressed are our own.

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About the Author

FIXD Research Team

FIXD Research Team

At FIXD, our mission is to make car ownership as simple, easy, and affordable as possible. Our research team utilizes the latest automotive data and insights to create tools and resources that help drivers get peace of mind and save money over the life of their car.

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