PIP Personal Injury Protection Car Insurance Basics
How much do you know about personal injury protection (PIP) car insurance? For some drivers, it may be required in your state, so you probably know more about it than most. But there are still others out there who, even if it is a mandatory part of their auto policy, might not know anything about it. If that’s the case with you, it’s definitely something you should change as soon as possible. PIP, weather legally required or not, is a very important form of auto insurance that should not go ignored. And we’re more than happy to tell you why.
To start out, you should know that PIP coverage is legally mandatory in the following states:
- New Jersey
- New York
- North Dakota
What’s the reason for the requirement, you may ask? Well, it comes down to the fact that these are all no-fault States. In pretty much every other state, if you are involved in an accident and it is deemed the other driver’s fault, parts of their bodily injury liability coverage will pay for your medical bills as well as the medical expenses of any passengers who are harmed as a result of the accident. But if the accident is your fault, or if the accident is considered to be a no-fault accident, then the money has to come from an alternate source.
PIP coverage is the main source of those funds when it comes to auto accidents. It is also the first source of coverage you will be expected to file claims against if you live in a state where PIP is optional, even if the at-fault driver’s bodily injury liability should pay for your expenses. No matter what type of accident you’re in, personal injury protection coverage will pay out claims on any of the following:
- Your personal medical expenses as the result of an auto accident
- Medical bills from passengers in the car with you
- Medical bills which result from you being struck as a pedestrian or cyclist
Of course, your personal health insurance may be able to pay for the bulk of these expenses if you are the only one injured in the accident. Just keep in mind that some health insurance policies explicitly refuse to pay out claims on medical treatments and procedures which result from an auto accident. Furthermore, it is highly unlikely that your health insurance will pay for the medical treatment of another person (with the exception of passengers who are related to you and on the same health insurance policy).
Will PIP and Health Insurance Play Nice Together?
That depends on your personal circumstances. If you happen to live in a no-fault state, your health insurance will likely require you to file PIP claims first before they will pay out claims on any of your medical bills. Furthermore, weather PIP insurance is legally mandated or not, this form of coverage will pay out lost wages and funeral costs, which you would never receive from a health insurance provider. The exception to this rule can be found in either New Jersey or Michigan. Specific laws in the state mandate that your health insurance company and your auto insurance company work together to sort out the mess and figure out which insurance provider pays out for what claims. this makes the stress of filing claims and the recovery process much less complicated and stressful if you happen to be from either of those two states.
What About PIP and MedPay?
If you draw a venn diagram of what PIP covers, and what MedPay will pay for, the majority of the space would overlap – however, they would not form a solid circle. For example, PIP tends to cover rehab service, child care, and lost wages that result from an accident. Having both can make medical payments coverage both excessive and an expensive waste of money if you live in a state that will let you purchase as much PIP coverage as you want.
Not all states will offer drivers this option, though. Several States will limit how much personal injury protection coverage they will allow you to buy, making MedPay necessary for some drivers. Three such states are Massachusetts, Florida, and Kansas. In the chart below, you can see the difference in monthly premiums between a policy with PIP only, and a policy with both PIP and MedPay coverage. Now, that may only work out to a few dollars a month; however, depending on which company you purchase a policy from – and also which state you’re living in – it could cost you anywhere from an extra $35 – $130 per year.
We understand that it can be confusing trying to figure out which coverages you need, and how much you should pay for them. That’s why we are here to help. If you’re ready to find an auto insurance provider who’s willing to offer you a good price on your PIP coverage – or any coverage, for that matter – just let us know which zip code you live in and we’ll do the rest of the hard work for you.