When shopping around for car insurance, it is important to understand all the coverages on your policy to purchase the coverage you need for your unique situation. When getting a car insurance quote in North Dakota, your insurance company may mention adding PIP insurance to your policy. Even though PIP insurance coverage is a mandatory coverage in North Dakota, many drivers may be unsure what exactly it covers. Bankrate hopes to help explain North Dakota PIP Insurance so you understand how it financially protects you.
What is PIP insurance?
PIP insurance, or personal injury protection, is a coverage available and sometimes required in “no-fault” accident states like North Dakota. In a no-fault state, your own PIP insurance coverage can be used to cover injury related expenses, regardless of who caused the motor vehicle accident. While PIP coverage is optional in some states, it is mandatory in North Dakota.
A car insurance policy is typically broken down into three parts: coverage for another party when you are liable, physical damage coverage for your vehicle and coverage for your injuries. Bodily injury liability is also mandatory in North Dakota, but only provides coverage for another party when you or someone driving your vehicle causes an accident. Collison and comprehensive are the two main coverages designed to provide compensation for damage to your vehicle and cover the cost of repairs.
PIP insurance is the coverage designed to financially protect you and your passengers for medical costs. It can be compared to medical payments, or MedPay, coverage available in other states, although it has broader coverage than MedPay, as will be discussed in a later section.
How does North Dakota PIP work?
- North Dakota PIP insurance is purchased in the amount of $30,000 per person. This limit means that in the event of an auto accident, regardless of who is at fault, PIP insurance provides up to $30,000 of coverage for each person in your car affected by the accident.
- PIP covers economic losses related to injuries sustained in a car accident. Economic losses can include medical expenses, lost wages and household expenses such as childcare. In this way, it is distinctly different from MedPay.
Medical expenses that may be covered under PIP insurance include, but are not limited to, ambulance and emergency services, imaging, diagnostic care, surgery, hospital stays, prescriptions and rehabilitation services.
Is PIP required in North Dakota?
Yes, PIP is required in North Dakota. Every state has different insurance requirements and PIP coverage is not mandatory, or even available, in every state. North Dakota is one of few states in the U.S. that is considered a no-fault state, meaning that in the event of an accident, your own no-fault coverage goes into effect no matter who caused the crash. No-fault laws were designed to avoid inconsequential or lengthy lawsuits, especially in the case of excessive medical treatment or excessive non-monetary loss claims.
In some no-fault states, PIP insurance is an available coverage but is not required, and policyholders may opt out of purchasing such coverage when they can provide proof of medical insurance. However, according to the North Dakota Insurance Department, $30,000 of PIP coverage, also known as “basic no-fault coverage,” is required by law. PIP limits vary by state where some require as little as $5,000 per accident and some states offer limits of $50,000 or more, which places North Dakota generally in the middle. Although many drivers tend to see mandatory insurance coverage as added out-of-pocket costs for their auto policies, PIP insurance can be very helpful because medical expenses tend to add up quickly after a serious injury.
How much does PIP cost in North Dakota?
Insurance premiums vary between every policyholder because auto insurance carriers consider multiple factors when calculating premium rates. Typically, items that can influence premium rate include driver age, gender, location, credit history, insurance history, driving record, vehicle make and model, vehicle usage, and coverages/deductibles selected. Because these factors will be unique for every driver, it is difficult to determine how much any insurance coverage will cost.
Luckily, drivers in North Dakota average lower rates on their car insurance compared to other states. The average premium for full coverage in North Dakota is about $1,264 per year, which is less than the national annual average of $1,674. Since PIP insurance would be one of the included coverages on your car insurance quote, getting multiple quotes is the best way to determine which policy will offer the best price for your PIP coverage. When you are shopping around for quotes, remember to check on what discounts are available through your company that could help lower your premium.
Key things to note about PIP insurance in North Dakota
- In North Dakota, PIP insurance is mandatory coverage on your auto insurance policy.
- The required PIP coverage amount is $30,000 per person.
- PIP insurance covers medical expenses like emergency transportation, diagnostics, emergency services, imaging services, surgical care, and rehabilitation.
- PIP insurance may also provide coverage for lost wages and home expenses needed due to injuries sustained in an accident.
- Non-monetary losses such as pain and suffering are not covered under PIP insurance.
Frequently asked questions
How and when do I file a PIP claim?
You should file a PIP claim in North Dakota if you have been involved in a motor vehicle accident where you or your passengers sustained an injury and you are seeking coverage for medical expenses. A PIP claim can be filed regardless of who is at fault. To file a PIP claim, simply follow the claim filing procedures through your insurance carrier — claims can typically be filed over the phone, online or on a mobile application.
Are PIP and medical payments the same?
No, PIP and medical payments (or MedPay) coverage are not the same, but they do have similar characteristics. PIP coverage is available in no-fault insurance states and may or may not be required. PIP insurance may coincide with your health insurance to cover medical expenses, lost wages and household services required due to sustained injuries. On the other hand, medical payments coverage provides quick payments for medical expenses only. Speak with your insurer to determine which additional coverages might best fit your financial situation.