Personal injury protection, or PIP insurance, is a required car insurance coverage in Delaware. This coverage type is designed to pay for your and your passengers’ injuries after an accident, as well as for other qualifying expenses, like lost wages. All car insurance companies in Delaware must include at least the minimum requirements for PIP on every policy. However, PIP can be a bit complicated. Bankrate’s insurance editorial team explains the intricacies of this required coverage so you can feel more confident in your insurance decisions.
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 have different functions on your policy. Comprehensive and collision pay to fix physical damage to your car, for example. Optional endorsements are also available to add protection for more situations, like in the case of roadside assistance or car rental coverage.
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. 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 the First State, the minimum amount of PIP coverage required is:
- $15,000 per person
- $30,000 per accident
Delaware PIP coverage also includes $5,000 for funeral expenses. Higher limits of PIP can be purchased for an additional cost and will provide more protection, though funeral expenses can not be increased beyond the $5,000 per person.
Is PIP required in Delaware?
PIP is required in some states to ensure that injuries and other qualified costs associated with a car accident can be paid in a timely manner. States that require PIP are called no-fault states. Delaware is one of these states. However, no-fault states are often misunderstood. PIP is the only “no-fault” coverage; at-fault drivers are always responsible for the property damage they cause. Additionally, PIP may pay regardless of fault initially, but that doesn’t mean that the at-fault driver will never be expected to repay the insurance company for the expenses that were paid under PIP. Liability may be determined in a claim scenario and the other driver’s bodily injury coverage may reimburse the not-at-fault driver’s insurance company for the amount paid out by PIP.
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 much does PIP cost in Delaware?
The cost for PIP insurance in Delaware varies based on several factors. Each insurance company’s rates will be different, and you may choose to purchase a higher amount of coverage than the state minimum, which will affect your premium. Additionally, 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.
Key things to note about PIP insurance in Delaware
- 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.
Frequently asked questions
How and when do I file a PIP claim?
PIP coverage must be initially used for your injuries after an accident, regardless of fault. You should file a claim as soon as possible after being involved in an auto accident. Once the claim is filed, you will be provided with a claim number and be paired with a claim team or a specific claim representative who will walk you through the process. Be sure to keep a copy of all your medical bills and those of any passengers who were injured, as the claims adjuster will likely need these.
Are PIP and medical payments coverage the same?
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.