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
- emergency care
- medical supplies
- dental care
- prosthetic devices
- therapy and rehabilitation
- optometry services
- chiropractic care
- 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
- funeral expenses
- death benefit to your survivors
What doesn’t PIP insurance cover?
Personal injury protection insurance doesn’t cover:
- car repairs
- 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)
- Florida ($10,000)
- Hawaii ($10,000)
- Kansas ($4,500)
- Kentucky ($10,000)
- Massachusetts ($8,000)
- Michigan (Unlimited)
- Minnesota ($40,000)
- New Jersey ($15,000)
- New York ($50,000)
- North Dakota ($30,000)
- Pennsylvania ($5,000)
- Puerto Rico
- Utah ($3,000)
- Washington, D.C.
PIP coverage is available as an add-on in Arkansas, Delaware, Maryland, Oregon, and Texas.
With AAA, you have the confidence of getting the protection you need from an established company that has earned a reputation for friendly, caring customer service. And if buy both your auto coverage and another policy with AAA—as renters or homeowners insurance—you might be eligible for a discount.