If you’re a New Yorker and have car insurance, you may have noticed a line on the declarations page of your auto insurance policy for “personal injury protection” (PIP) coverage. Personal injury protection in New York is a mandatory part of your policy. So what is PIP, and how does New York PIP work? Bankrate’s insurance experts can help you understand the coverage so you can make an informed decision about your policy.

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What is PIP insurance?

Personal injury protection, or PIP, is a required coverage in no-fault states. Car insurance laws in New York require that drivers carry at least certain coverage types and limits. New York’s minimum limits include liability coverage, which pays for damages and injuries you cause to someone else. Your New York auto policy will also require statutory uninsured motorist bodily injury coverage to help cover your injuries and your passengers’ injuries if someone hits your vehicle and does not have insurance.

In addition to liability and uninsured motorist coverage requirements, New York requires PIP coverage. PIP generally covers medical expenses, lost wages and essential services for you and your passengers, regardless of who was at fault in the accident.

How does New York PIP work?

If you have New York car insurance and are injured in an auto accident, PIP coverage is designed to pay your medical expenses up to your policy’s limit regardless of fault. New York is a no-fault state; therefore, your PIP coverage pays first. However, “no-fault” insurance doesn’t mean that fault is never determined from an auto accident. While your PIP coverage pays first, if the other party caused the crash, their liability coverage should take care of your medical bills after fault is confirmed.

So how exactly does New York PIP insurance work?

  • It helps pay for medical costs and lost wages incurred in an accident.
  • It helps pay for essential services if you cannot complete household responsibilities due to an injury from an auto accident.

Here is an example: let’s say you run a red light and sideswipe a car in the intersection. Both drivers received minor injuries. Your own PIP coverage will pay for your injuries up to your policy limits. The other drivers’ PIP would cover their injuries until it is confirmed you were at fault in the accident. Then, your liability coverage would likely pay for the other driver’s medical costs.

The minimum PIP coverage amount in New York is $50,000, but you can add Additional PIP coverage and Optional Basic Economic Loss (OBEL) coverage. Additional PIP extends your PIP coverage another $50,000 (for a total of $100,000 in coverage), and OBEL offers an additional $25,000 of basic economic loss coverage, which is the part of PIP that pays for lost wages, rehab after an injury or for other forms of economic loss.

Is PIP required in New York?

PIP insurance in New York is mandatory — that is, you are required by law to carry at least the minimum required level as part of your auto insurance policy. Almost every state in the U.S. requires motorists to have a certain amount of minimum car insurance to drive legally, including liability coverage. In New York, minimum coverage requirements are:

  • $25,000 bodily injury liability per person and $50,000 death per person
  • $50,000 bodily injury liability per accident and $100,000 death per accident
  • $10,000 property damage liability per accident
  • $50,000 personal injury protection (PIP)
  • $25,000 statutory uninsured motorist bodily injury per person
  • $50,000 statutory uninsured motorist bodily injury per accident

Statutory uninsured motorist statutory coverage only provides coverage if the accident were to occur within New York. Should you cross state lines, statutory coverage would not apply. You could buy supplemental uninsured motorist coverage, which offers uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage both inside and outside of the state.

How much does PIP cost in New York?

When you apply for car insurance, your insurer will give you an insurance quote that estimates the premium cost. Quotes include information about your vehicle, such as its age, make and model, as well as information about you, including your age, your driving history and marital status.

Part of that premium calculation will be for PIP coverage, but the cost will vary depending on those factors and more. You should be able to find out exactly how much you are paying for PIP by looking at your policy’s declarations page, which includes details about your policy.

Key things to note about PIP insurance in New York

PIP is a commonly misunderstood type of car insurance coverage. If you live in New York, keep these key things in mind when it comes to your personal injury protection:

  • PIP is a type of insurance that is designed to pay for your medical costs and lost wages in an accident, regardless of who is at fault.
  • New York PIP coverage is a mandatory part of your auto insurance.
  • Minimum PIP covers you for up to $50,000 for injuries incurred in a single accident.
  • You can purchase more than the $50K minimum PIP coverage if you wish.
  • In addition to medical costs and lost wages, PIP coverage in New York might pay things like for household costs and lost wages.
  • There are situations where you cannot use PIP, including if you are riding in an ATV or are injured while committing a felony. If you’re intoxicated, your PIP coverage may pay for emergency health services, but your insurer has the right to collect that money back from you.

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