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Personal injury protection on car insurance

Updated Apr 02, 2024
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What is PIP insurance?

PIP insurance may provide coverage if you or your passengers are injured in a car accident, regardless of who is at fault. Although coverage limits and options can vary, PIP generally covers:

  • Medical bills
  • Rehabilitation
  • Physical therapy
  • Lost wages
  • Funeral costs
  • Essential services

Essential services can include the cost of hiring someone for household maintenance or childcare if you cannot cover these responsibilities due to injuries from a covered incident. For example, if you cannot maintain your home due to injuries you receive in an accident, your PIP may cover these costs.

In some states, PIP may not be available. It is a requirement in other states, though some allow you to waive PIP coverage. It can cover you as a driver or passenger in a vehicle and as a pedestrian or bicyclist if you are hit by a car. PIP offers more robust coverage than medical payments coverage that’s available in states where PIP isn’t an option. Medical payments coverage generally offers less robust coverage than PIP.

It’s important to understand what PIP covers and how it works to know what coverage level is right for you if PIP insurance is available. It does not cover liability, which helps pay for bodily injury or property damage you cause to others. PIP also will not pay for physical damage to your car. Depending on the cause of the damage, comprehensive or collision coverage would pay for the damages, less your coverage deductible.

Which states require PIP?

Some states are considered no-fault, meaning that each driver must pay for their own medical expenses after an accident. PIP insurance is designed to cover medical expenses and lost wages for yourself and your passengers. Therefore, no-fault states typically require drivers to carry PIP coverage.

However, some states may allow you to opt-out if you can prove you have medical coverage. You will likely have to opt-out in writing to your auto insurer.

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Coverage.com, LLC is a licensed insurance producer (NPN: 19966249). Coverage.com services are only available in states where it is licensed. Coverage.com may not offer insurance coverage in all states or scenarios. All insurance products are governed by the terms in the applicable insurance policy, and all related decisions (such as approval for coverage, premiums, commissions and fees) and policy obligations are the sole responsibility of the underwriting insurer. The information on this site does not modify any insurance policy terms in any way.

Advertising Disclosure
This advertisement is powered by Coverage.com, LLC, a licensed insurance producer (NPN: 19966249) and a corporate affiliate of Bankrate. The offers and links that appear on this advertisement are from companies that compensate Coverage.com in different ways. The compensation received and other factors, such as your location, may impact what offers and links appear, and how, where and in what order they appear. While we seek to provide a wide range of offers, we do not include every product or service that may be available. Our goal is to keep information accurate and timely, but some information may not be current. Your actual offer from an advertiser may be different from the offer on this advertisement. All offers are subject to additional terms and conditions.

Do I need personal injury protection?

If your state requires PIP coverage, you will have to include it on your car insurance policy. But even if it is optional, it may be a good idea to consider it.

Optional personal injury protection may be worth considering if you have a high deductible health insurance plan, limited health coverage or no health coverage. If you regularly have passengers in your car, consider their options for health care as well. PIP may be a way to help cover medical costs and lost wages protection for yourself, your family and friends who travel with you if anyone in your vehicle is injured due to a covered claim.

If you are wondering how much PIP insurance to carry or if you should carry the coverage if it’s optional, it’s best to talk with an insurance agent or your car insurance company to help you decide what coverage you need.

Frequently asked questions

Written by
Sara Coleman
Contributor, Credit Cards, Insurance

Sara Coleman is an insurance contributor at Bankrate. She has a couple of years of experience in writing for insurance domains such as The Simple Dollar, Reviews.com, Coverage.com and numerous other personal finance sites. She writes about insurance products such as auto, homeowners, renters and disability.

Edited by Editor, Insurance