What is Personal Injury Protection and/or No-Fault Insurance?
Personal Injury Protection (PIP) is a type of auto insurance coverage (also called no-fault insurance) available in certain states. It pays medical expenses, and in some cases, loss of income, essential services, accidental death, funeral expenses, and survivor benefits, regardless of who is at fault in an automobile accident.
Personal injury protection (PIP) is considered a medical benefit, which is added to the mandatory state-required minimum car insurance coverage. PIP goes by a variety of names. It is sometimes called no-fault insurance because most states that operate under no-fault car accident rules require the addition of PIP to their mandatory car insurance.
Some states require PIP, and some states make it an obligation on the part of the consumer to decline PIP in writing on their car insurance application. In its most basic form, PIP is added medical protection that may be a good idea. Freeway Insurance agents can walk you through deciding if PIP is a good choice for you if you don’t live in a state that requires PIP.
How Much Does PIP or No-Fault Insurance Cost?
The actual cost of PIP is something determined between you and your car insurance provider, which illustrates why comparing different car insurance companies is a good idea.
States that require PIP do so in very different amounts. For example, Minnesota requires $40,000 in PIP coverage, while Utah only requires $3,000 in PIP. Both of these states are no-fault states. Texas, which is an at-fault state, requires motorists to refuse PIP coverage ($2,500) in writing.
See the table below to find out which states require PIP and how much each state requires.
What is a No-Fault State?
As far as car insurance is concerned, states are referred to as either no-fault or at-fault states in terms of whose insurance kicks in to pay for injuries and damages after a car wreck. In a no-fault state, your insurance covers you and your damages regardless of who caused the accident. In part, the decision to become a no-fault state is a measure to protect drivers against uninsured motorists who cause a wreck.
Contrarily, in an at-fault state, your state-required minimum car insurance will be used for the other driver’s injuries and damages if you caused the wreck. There won’t be any insurance money for your injuries and damages. Likewise, if you are in a wreck that isn’t your fault, the insurance of the person who caused the accident will be used for your injuries and damages – assuming they have insurance.
Regardless of whether you live in an at-fault or no-fault state, you can always choose full coverage car insurance for the maximum protection for you and your assets.
Why Do No-Fault States Require Personal Injury Protection or No-Fault Insurance?
Accidents cost money – and a lot of it in some cases. States want the people involved in those accidents – and their insurance companies – to endure the most of paying for those injuries and damages. It is the idea behind mandatory car insurance as a whole. When looking at the state-required minimum car insurance – or liability – medical costs can easily exceed the amount, your insurance company is on the hook for and personal injury protection (PIP) or no-fault insurance can pick up some of the slack.
Remember, mandatory car insurance generally consists of an amount for bodily injury or death and an amount for property damage. This is called liability insurance.
In states where PIP is mandatory, it typically kicks in before your bodily injury liability and covers items that your bodily injury benefits do not, such as lost wages, childcare, funeral services and ambulance services.
Should I Purchase Extra Personal Injury Protection or No-Fault Insurance?
You certainly can if you think it’s necessary. With today’s rising health care costs, being able to cover your bills after an accident can provide peace of mind. Some things to keep in mind include:
- Health insurance – If you have decent health insurance that will cover the costs associated with your medical care after a car accident, you may not need to increase your PIP coverage where it is mandatory and you may be able to decline it all together where it is optional.
- PIP coverage – PIP typically covers items that your health insurance will not, such as childcare and lost income.
If your state and insurance company offers it, you may also choose to add Medical Payments Coverage to your car insurance policy. This can take the place of PIP for some extra protection in places where PIP is not required or offered. Your Freeway Insurance agent can help you decide if you need extra car insurance protection.
What States Require Personal Injury Protection or No-Fault Insurance?
Fourteen states require PIP, but they are not all no-fault states. Thirty-one states do not offer PIP coverage at all, but you may be able to add some additional medical benefits coverage to your policy if you desire. Ask your Freeway Insurance agent for guidance. Seven states and the District of Columbia require insurers to offer PIP, but allow motorists to refuse the coverage in writing. These states are Arkansas, Kentucky, Maryland, South Dakota, Texas, Virginia, and Washington.
|State||No Fault/At Fault||Amount of PIP Required|
|Delaware||At Fault||$15,000 PIP|
|Florida||No Fault||$10,000 PIP|
|Kansas||No Fault||$4,500 PIP|
|Maine||At Fault||$2,000 MedPay|
|Massachusetts||No Fault||$8,000 PIP|
|Michigan*||No Fault||PIP options|
|Minnesota||No Fault||$40,000 PIP|
|New Hampshire*||At Fault||$1,000 PIP|
|New Jersey||No Fault||$15,000 PIP|
|New York||No Fault||$50,000 PIP|
|North Dakota||No Fault||$30,000 PIP|
|Oregon||At Fault||$15,000 PIP|
|Pennsylvania||No Fault||$5,000 PIP|
|Utah||No Fault||$3,000 PIP|
*Michigan: Drivers must choose between four PIP options. If they fail to choose, the most expensive (unlimited PIP) will be the default choice.
* New Hampshire: New Hampshire does not require car insurance. However, if you are responsible for someone else’s injuries and damages, you must show proof of financial responsibility. Choosing to buy the minimum liability available can protect your assets if you cause an accident. If you buy insurance, this is the minimum amount of PIP you will be required to purchase.
Contact Us for Additional Information about Personal Injury Protection and No-Fault Insurance
Our specialty at Freeway Insurance is taking the time to learn about you and your insurance needs and then doing the research for you so you spend your time on more valuable projects! We’ll sift through hundreds of insurance companies and find the ones that fit your criteria to best. You can then choose which insurance carrier you want and we’ll help you finalize. Contact us today online for a free quote, call us at 800-777-5620 or stop by one of our convenient locations today.