Life after a car accident can be stressful. If you caused the accident and the other driver decides to sue you for the damages, the situation worsens. To protect drivers from situations like that, some states — including Hawaii — have become what is called a no-fault state. Basically, that means that if you live in the Aloha State, you call on your own car insurance after an accident to cover your medical expenses, whether you caused the accident or another driver did.
Specifically, in Hawaii, PIP insurance — short of personal injury protection insurance — covers medical expenses for you and your passengers after an accident (up to your coverage limits). And since the state requires you to have this type of insurance, you probably want Hawaii PIP insurance explained.
What is PIP insurance?
Hawaii PIP insurance is designed to protect you and anyone else riding in your vehicle from medical expenses and other financial burdens that could result from getting injured in a car accident. This coverage steps in to pay for a variety of things related to your injury.
You might not think you need this coverage. But even if you carry bodily injury liability coverage (a state requirement), that part of your policy only pays for medical expenses for others you injure while driving. It does nothing for your own medical costs.
Similarly, other types of car insurance can help after an accident — but likely will not cover your injury. Collision coverage will help to repair your vehicle, for example, but it does not help at all with your medical bills. Comprehensive coverage can help to pay for a broad range of expenses — like your car getting stolen or vandalized — but it offers no medical payment coverage.
Long story short, after an accident, you can turn to your own health insurance coverage (and be subject to your deductible there) or, if you live in a state where PIP is required or optional (like Hawaii), you can lean on your PIP insurance.
How does Hawaii PIP work?
State code lays out a number of things included in PIP coverage in Hawaii, including all “appropriate and reasonable”:
- Ambulance rides
- Medical treatment
- Hospital care
- Nursing, including advanced practice nursing
- Dental care
- Chiropractic treatment
- Prosthetic services
- Medical supplies and equipment
- Psychiatric care
- Physical therapy/occupational therapy/rehabilitation
- Doctor-prescribed therapeutic massage
Per state code, personal injury protection benefits max out at $10,000 per person unless you have purchased additional PIP coverage from your insurance company.
How does Hawaii PIP insurance work in practice? It covers you and any passengers you had in your car, up to $10,000 for each of you. Again, state law comes in handy here, mandating that insurance providers pay your expenses as they accrue, within 30 days of you submitting proof of the expense.
So say you get into an accident and get hurt. Because you have PIP insurance in Hawaii, your ride to the hospital and any X-rays or other diagnostics run there get covered. Once you start your insurance claim and your insurance provider gets proof of those expenses, they should pay you in a timely manner. Then, if you need physical therapy for months after your accident, you can continue to submit invoices to your insurance company and get that cost covered by your Hawaii PIP coverage, up to $10,000.
You should know that while PIP insurance covers lost wages because of your auto accident injury in many states, that is not necessarily the case in Hawaii. You will need to add optional wage loss coverage to your policy for this benefit.
Another quick note: for many drivers, Hawaii personal injury protection comes with a deductible. That means you need to pay that amount out-of-pocket before your PIP insurance kicks in.
Is PIP required in Hawaii?
Yes, the state’s Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs (DCCA) mandates that all Hawaii drivers carry $10,000 per person in PIP insurance. That is in addition to:
- $20,000 in bodily injury liability coverage per person
- $40,000 in bodily injury liability coverage per accident
- $10,000 in property damage liability coverage per accident
To reiterate, you need PIP insurance in Hawaii because you live in a no-fault state. That means that you can skip the headache of trying to determine who was the at-fault driver in the accident and file your injury claim with your own insurance provider straightaway. This can help you get your medical expenses covered faster.
How much does PIP cost in Hawaii?
You will not pay for your Hawaii PIP on its own. Instead, this coverage gets rolled into your overall car insurance policy — and the premium you pay for it. To determine that amount, insurance companies consider a range of factors, including everything from your age to your driving history and how many miles you generally cover in a year.
That means your Hawaii PIP insurance cost will be unique to you. That said, to give you a decent idea of what you can expect to pay in general for your car insurance in the Aloha State, the Insurance Division issues a PDF showcasing average rates for drivers on Oahu, Maui, Kauai and Hawaii.
Key things to note about PIP insurance in Hawaii
To make sure we have Hawaii PIP insurance explained, here is a quick recap:
- Is PIP required in Hawaii? Yes, in the amount of $10,000 per person.
- PIP is required because Hawaii is a no-fault state.
- PIP insurance covers a broad range of post-accident medical expenses for you and any passengers riding in your vehicle.
To get lost wages covered, you need to add optional coverage to your car insurance policy.
Frequently asked questions
How and when do I file a PIP claim?
Because Hawaii is a no-fault state, if you or any of your passengers gets hurt in a car crash, you file a claim with your insurance provider. That is true even if another driver caused the accident.
To get your PIP claim started, call your insurance provider or check their website or app for a digital claim form. It can be helpful to save all bills, invoices and other documents you receive after any medical care you get for your injury.
Are PIP and medical payments the same?
No, medical payments coverage (MedPay, for short) is technically different from PIP. MedPay is much more focused on the medical expenses that arise immediately after your accident. But your Hawaii PIP insurance can help to pay for longer-term costs, like rehabilitation and physical therapy.