What is Personal Injury Protection (PIP) Insurance?
This coverage may help offset the cost of medical treatment for you and your passengers.
If you’re in an accident and you or your passengers get injured, you’ll want to make sure everyone gets the care they need. Personal injury insurance can help defray the cost of medical treatment and may even help with lost wages. This no-fault coverage is a requirement in some states, but personal injury insurance may still be a good idea in other states—particularly if you have a bare-bones health care plan or often drive with other passengers in your car.
What is Personal Injury Protection Insurance?
Personal injury protection insurance, or PIP, offsets medical bills and certain other expenses if you, other drivers on your car insurance policy, or your passengers are hurt in an accident, regardless of who is at fault. Personal injury protection is required by law in states that use the no-fault system, such as Utah.
How Does Personal Injury Protection Coverage Work?
If you have a car-related injury, it usually makes sense to use your PIP coverage to pay your medical expenses before turning to other coverages. If you live in a no-fault state in which PIP insurance is required by law, you have to file a PIP claim before relying on your health insurance. Even if you don’t live in a no-fault state, keep in mind that PIP coverage can provide benefits that aren’t offered by health insurance, such as compensation for lost wages and funeral expenses.
If you do live in a no-fault state, your own insurance will be used to cover your expenses until a certain threshold is met (specified by your state). Once you hit that threshold, you can sue the other driver for any additional expenses.
Personal injury protection claims usually need to be submitted within a certain timeframe, so it’s important to report your accident to your insurer as soon as possible. You shouldn’t, for example, wait until medical treatment is completed to file a claim. Submit your initial medical bills to your insurance provider for reimbursement. As your course of treatment continues, you can make supplementary claims. Once you’ve received the urgent care right after an accident, you may need to get pre-approval for ongoing, non-urgent care.
Ask your agent for a copy of your insurer’s PIP claim submission requirements and keep it handy.
What Does PIP Insurance cover?
Personal injury protection insurance may cover:
medical and surgical treatment
hospital stays and nursing
therapy and rehabilitation
speech and audiology services
psychiatric and psychological services
non-medical care supported by your religious beliefs
lost wages, if you or your passengers are unable to work due to a car-related injury (not covered by all policies; some may pay partial wages)
essential services like child care, yard care, and house cleaning, if you’re unable to perform those activities due to a car-related injury
death benefit to your survivors
What Doesn’t PIP Insurance Cover?
Personal injury protection insurance doesn’t cover:
expenses from an accident that was caused intentionally
expenses related to an accident that happened while committing a crime
expenses from an accident caused by perilous human activity, such as war or an explosion
What’s the Difference Between PIP Insurance and Bodily Injury Liability?
Your PIP insurance covers your own medical expenses. Bodily injury liability covers the medical expenses of other drivers and passengers who are injured in an accident if you were at fault.
Which States Require Personal Injury Protection Insurance?
Personal injury protection coverage is required by law in:
Delaware ($15,000 per person/$30,000 per accident)
New Jersey ($15,000)
New York ($50,000)
North Dakota ($30,000)
PIP coverage is available as an add-on in Arkansas, Delaware, Maryland, Oregon, and Texas.
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More Insurance Definitions
The availability, qualifications, and amounts of coverages, costs and discounts may vary from state to state and there may be coverages and discounts not listed here. In addition, other terms, conditions, and exclusions not described above may apply, and total savings may vary depending on the coverages purchased. For more information regarding your eligibility for certain coverages and savings opportunities, please contact your AAA agent. Insurance products in California offered by AAA Northern California Insurance Agency. License #0175868, in Nevada by AAA Nevada and in Utah by AAA Utah. Insurance provided by CSAA Insurance Group, a AAA insurer.