Personal Injury Protection (PIP) is an essential aspect of a car insurance policy offering coverage for medical and similar bills orchestrated by a vehicular crash. The PIP covers the placeholder, the vehicle’s occupants, and the person driving the car for injuries sustained in an accident, even those without insurance. However, not every state requires this form of coverage.
How Personal Injury Protection Insurance Works
Another name for PIP is “no-fault insurance.” It refers to states enforcing no-fault auto liability insurance regulations, where this type of coverage is compulsory. The laws prohibit injured drivers from suing guilty motorists for compensation except in the cases of severe injuries or medical costs that have surpassed the state’s minimum requirement to sue.
“The no-fault laws serve as substitutes for the tort liability system. In Michigan, the injured person’s own auto insurer generally must pay economic loss benefits, like lost wages and medical bills, instead of the insurer for the at-fault party. The injured party can still sue the negligent driver for pain and suffering and other non-economic losses,” says attorney Lawrence Buckfire of Buckfire Law.
The United States operates two other categories of auto liability insurance systems apart from the tort liability and no-fault laws. They are the choice no-fault system, which entails a system where drivers can decide between tort liability and no-fault, and the add-on insurance, which requires the policyholder’s insurer to pay out claims, even if the other party is guilty of the accident. However, the rule does not restrict an individual’s right to sue.
Items Personal Injury Protection Insurance Covers
PIP insurance aims to cater to injuries sustained in a car mishap, not minding the cause of the crash. Coverage requirements vary by state, but they commonly include:
This insurance policy covers expenses for medical treatments, such as ambulance services, nursing, hospital stays, medication, surgery, medical supplies, dental and optical care, prostheses, chiropractic services, rehabilitation, and x-rays. Sometimes, coverage extends to the policyholder’s relatives and other passengers in the car.
Also, personal injury protection insurance covers the policyholder, even if the crash occurs when they are not driving. For instance, if a car hits them while walking or riding a bicycle, the policy will cover them.
Personal injury protection insurance covers lost earnings if the policyholder or listed individuals cannot work because of the harm from a vehicular crash.
If the policyholder cannot carry out daily household chores, like child care, yard work, and cleaning, due to an accident, PIP policies may give them benefits to cover the costs related to these services. It means you can hire someone to perform these chores for you.
In some states, PIP coverage also offers a death benefit to the policyholder’s relatives. They can use this payout to cover funeral bills.
However, personal injury protection insurance does not bear the costs of damage to the car or others’ property. Also, it does not give payouts for intentionally caused accidents or the one which happens when the motorist is committing a crime.
States Offering Personal Injury Protection Insurance
According to the information from WalletHub, a credit monitoring agency, 12 U.S. states require PIP coverage as of December 2021. They include Delaware, Florida, New Jersey, Michigan, New York, Utah, Oregon, Kansas, Hawaii, Minnesota, Dakota, and Massachusetts. Except for Delaware, all these states operate a no-fault system.
Auto insurance laws in Pennsylvania require motorists to separate $5,000 for medical benefits. However, it did not mention personal injury protection.
You can also buy PIP policies in Arkansas, South Dakota, Maryland, Washington, Texas, Kentucky, and Virginia. Coverage is optional in the District of Columbia.
This table (according to WalletHub) gives a comprehensive view of the coverage requirements for every state implementing PIP insurance:
|State||Requirement||Minimum Coverage Requirement|
$5,000 for funeral expenses
|Kansas||Yes||$4,500/person for medical bills
$4,500 for rehabilitation expenses
$2,000 for funeral costs
$900/month for disability/ lost earnings
$25 daily for in-home bills
|Kentucky||No||$10,000/person for each incident|
|Massachusetts||Yes||$8,000/person per incident|
|Michigan||Yes (Medicare enrollees can opt-out from July 2020)||$250,000/per case
$50,000 for select Medicaid enrollees
|Minnesota||Yes||$20,000 for medical bills
$20,000 for lost wages
Up to $250,000 for severe or permanent injury
$2,000 for death benefit
80 percent of lost earnings up to $2,000 monthly
$25 daily for services
|Pennsylvania||Requires medical benefits||$5,000/person per incident|
|South Dakota||No||No minimum coverage stipulated|
$1,500 for each funeral service
$3,000 for death benefit
$250 weekly or 85 percent of lost wages (consent to the lesser amount)
$20 daily for services
|Virginia||No||Up to $100 weekly for lost wages for up to one year in some instances|
$12,000/person for lost wages
$4,000 for funeral costs