The difference between bodily injury and personal injury coverage in car insurance is that personal injury protection pays for the policyholder’s own medical bills, while bodily injury coverage pays for others’ medical bills when the policyholder is at-fault. Bodily injury coverage is a form of liability insurance. It is required in almost every state, but only 13 states require personal injury protection (PIP). It’s also worth noting that bodily injury coverage does not have a deductible, while PIP generally does.
Bodily Injury vs. Personal Injury Car Insurance
Personal Injury Protection
Bodily Injury Coverage
Injuries to the Policyholder
Injuries Caused by the Policyholder
Required in Most States?
Since PIP applies to the policyholder, their passengers, and their household members regardless of fault, it is often referred to as no-fault insurance. It is required in states with no-fault laws, where drivers must file claims for minor injuries with their own PIP insurance rather than with the at-fault driver’s bodily injury liability coverage.
You should have at least as much bodily injury liability insurance coverage as your state requires, and it’s good to purchase coverage limits that are equal to your assets. Maintaining enough bodily injury liability insurance to cover your net worth is recommended to prevent lawsuits.
Bodily injury liability coverage pays for other drivers’ and passengers’ injuries when the policyholder is at-fault in an accident. Bodily injury liability can cover medical bills, funeral expenses, lost wages, legal fees, and other related costs.… read full answer
Drivers everywhere except New Hampshire, Virginia, and remote parts of Alaska are required to carry at least their state’s minimum required amount of bodily injury liability coverage. And in every state, you are legally responsible for serious injuries resulting from car accidents that you cause.
In most states, if your bodily injury limits are not high enough to pay for all the medical bills from an accident, the not-at-fault driver and their passengers can sue you for any uncompensated expenses. Drivers with a high net worth are especially vulnerable targets for lawsuits if their bodily injury coverage does not pay for all of the other driver’s expenses.
Consequently, you should have enough bodily injury liability coverage to equal your assets, rather than just carrying your state’s minimum. After all, the National Association of Insurance Commissioners reports that the average bodily injury liability claim in 2016, the latest year with data, was $19,201 – more than some states require in coverage.
If you need more coverage than car insurance companies sell, you can always purchase an umbrella policy to keep your assets from being seized in the event of a lawsuit.
You will need personal injury protection (PIP) insurance if you live in one of the 12 states that require it. Florida, Hawaii, Kansas, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, and Utah all require PIP insurance. You may also need PIP if your health insurance has low coverage limits or if you drive with passengers who could hold you responsible for their medical expenses in the event of an accident.… read full answer
In the 20 states (plus Washington, D.C.) where it is required or offered as optional protection, PIP covers medical expenses for the policyholder and his or her passengers after an accident, no matter who was at fault. However, PIP is not available at all in the 30 other states.
Always check with your insurance company or an agent for specifics on what coverage is required or available in your state before you determine what to include in your policy.
What Does PIP Cover?
Health insurance deductibles
Home care such as cleaning or child care
If you are in a car accident, PIP often works in conjunction with your health insurance coverage. Most health insurance deductibles must be paid before benefits start to be paid out, but your PIP may have a cheaper deductible, or no deductible at all.
How Does PIP Work With MedPay?
PIP insurance may overlap with another kind of car insurance known as Medical Payments, or MedPay. Like PIP, MedPay covers the costs of medical care resulting from of an accident, no matter who was at fault. Also like PIP, MedPay covers injuries to any passengers in your car. However, it does not pay for lost wages, rehabilitation or home-care services, which PIP would cover.
The way PIP and MedPay may work together depends on your state’s laws. If you live in one of the 12 states that require PIP, MedPay could be redundant. State limits on PIP vary widely, from $3,000 in Utah to New York’s $50,000 requirement. If your state has a low upper limit on PIP, MedPay coverage could act as a beneficial supplement. In a couple states – namely, Maine and New Hampshire – MedPay is used instead of PIP.
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