Key takeaways

  • PIP offers immediate payment for covered medical and other expenses as a result of a car accident.
  • PIP insurance is required in Delaware at a minimum of $15,000 per person and $30,000 per accident. $5,000 for funeral expenses is included.
  • The price for your PIP coverage and for your insurance a whole will depend on your personal rating factors.

Insurance requirements vary by state. Delaware PIP statutes require drivers to carry personal injury protection, also known as PIP insurance. That type of coverage helps to pay for medical bills, regardless of fault, for you and your passengers if you are injured in a car accident. This coverage type is generally geared toward medical bills and rehabilitation costs, but it might also extend to lost wages, funeral costs and other essential expenses, depending on the policy. Bankrate explores the nuances of PIP insurance in Delaware to help drivers find the right policy for them.

What is PIP insurance?

PIP insurance, also called no-fault coverage, pays for injuries resulting from an accident for you and any passengers in your vehicle, regardless of who is at fault. PIP can also pay for costs outside of injuries, like lost wages, funeral expenses and costs associated with hiring help to perform household services that you can’t handle while you are injured. Unlike medical payments coverage, which is available in some states, PIP must be used for your injuries, at least initially, even if you aren’t at fault. Your injuries may eventually be paid from the at-fault driver’s liability coverage, but your PIP coverage will kick in immediately to help take care of the bills.

Like both bodily injury liability and property damage liability, PIP is a required coverage in Delaware. Other car insurance coverage types are optional and have different functions on your policy. Comprehensive and collision pay to fix physical damage to your car, for example. Other common endorsements include roadside assistance coverage and gap insurance.

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Is PIP required in Delaware?

Yes, PIP is required in Delaware because it is considered a no-fault state. Delaware no-fault state laws require drivers to carry PIP, which is intended to quickly help pay for costs associated with an accident, regardless of who is at fault. In the long run, the at-fault driver’s insurance may be required to reimburse the not-at-fault driver’s insurer, but PIP helps ensure that necessary costs are paid in a timely manner.

PIP coverage is available but optional in some states, but Delaware car insurance laws require that all drivers purchase the minimum amounts of coverage to drive legally. Your car insurance policy in Delaware will have at least the state minimum amounts of PIP included. However, most insurance agents recommend that you purchase higher limits for liability and PIP for more financial protection.

How does Delaware PIP work?

After an accident, PIP insurance is designed to immediately start paying for your injury costs and other qualifying expenses, regardless of fault. Depending on your policy details, PIP may pay up to your policy limits for:

  • Medical expenses
  • Funeral expenses
  • Lost income
  • Other related costs (home care, housekeeping, rehabilitation, child care, etc. as it directly relates to injuries sustained in an accident)

Unlike other states which have a single limit for PIP, Delaware splits coverage on a per person/per accident basis. In Delaware, the minimum amount of PIP coverage required is:

  • $15,000 per person
  • $30,000 per accident

Delaware PIP insurance also includes $5,000 for funeral expenses. Higher limits of PIP can be purchased for an additional cost and will provide more financial protection, though funeral expenses can not be increased beyond the $5,000 per person.

How much does PIP cost in Delaware?

The average annual cost of car insurance in Delaware is $993 for minimum coverage and $2,613 for full coverage. The minimum coverage statistic includes the cost of PIP coverage. The precise price for PIP insurance in Delaware varies based on several factors. Each insurance company’s rates will be different based on your rating factors, and you may choose to purchase a higher amount of coverage than the state minimum, which will affect your premium.

You may have the option to choose a deductible for your PIP coverage, which is the amount you agree to pay out of pocket in a claim. Choosing a higher deductible will usually lower the cost of PIP coverage, but it does mean you have more to pay out of pocket if you need to use your PIP.

The cost of your insurance policy as a whole will depend on numerous rating factors, like your age, driving history, the type of car you drive, and the coverage types and limits you choose. To find the cheapest policy for the amount of coverage you need, consider shopping around and getting quotes from several carriers to compare.

Frequently asked questions

    • If you’re involved in an accident in Delaware with injuries to yourself or your passengers, you may need to file a PIP claim. PIP claims should generally be filed shortly after the accident so you can use the coverage as needed until fault is determined. The claim filing process varies by company, but usually involves contacting your company or agent via phone, email, website or app to notify them that you are filing a claim and to provide them with the relevant details. After that, your insurer will provide a claim number and connect you with one or more of their claim representatives. These representatives will help you complete the process and inform you of the claim determination and payout information.
    • Answering the question of whether Delaware is a no-fault state is difficult. Delaware’s no-fault rules are unique, and are often misunderstood. It is considered a no-fault state in that it requires drivers to have PIP coverage, which is mandatory for no-fault states. However, the state does have some laws in place that are similar to those of at-fault, or tort, states. For example, Delaware allows not-at-fault drivers to sue the at-fault driver for pain and suffering, which is usually not allowed in no-fault states. Under a completely no-fault system, drivers would be covered entirely under their own policies, regardless of fault. In Delaware, however, eventually the driver who caused the accident is likely to be deemed responsible for costs associated with any injuries or damage.
    • Both PIP and medical payments coverage cover medical care needed after being injured in a car accident, regardless of fault. However, medical payments coverage is more limited than PIP. Medical payments coverage is only designed to cover medical costs and funeral costs, while PIP can also provide compensation for lost wages and household expenses like home health care, child care and even cleaning services. In most states, you can only buy either PIP or medical payments coverage, but a few states offer both.
    • No reputable insurance company will sell you a policy with less than the state-mandated coverage types and limits, but if you’re caught driving uninsured, you will likely face fines and other penalties. A first offense for driving without insurance results in a fine of at least $1,500. Subsequent offenses may result in fines up to $3,000 and potential license suspension. If you cause an accident without insurance, you will be responsible for paying for the damages out of pocket.
    • All car insurance companies in Delaware must include PIP coverage in their policies sufficient to meet the state requirements. Still, some carriers will offer coverage better suited to your needs than others. While you can legally drive with just the state-mandated minimum coverage, most insurance experts recommend purchasing additional coverage types and higher limits for greater financial protection. Comparing coverage options, discounts, customer service, digital tools and personalized quotes from different carriers will help you narrow down the best company.