You need personal injury protection (PIP) insurance if you live in one of the 12 states that require it. You should also get 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.
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?
- Ambulance fees
- Health insurance deductibles
- Medical treatments
- Lost wages
- Home care such as cleaning or child care
- Funeral costs
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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