No, personal injury protection (PIP) is not required in South Carolina. PIP is not even available in South Carolina. Instead of PIP insurance, South Carolina insurance companies offer medical payments insurance (sometimes called MedPay), which helps with hospital bills resulting from a car accident.
MedPay is similar to PIP insurance in that both handle your medical bills even if you cause a car accident. But MedPay covers less than personal injury protection, with no provisions for lost wages or assistance with home tasks that you can’t manage due to injury.
Personal injury protection is a type of car insurance used in no-fault states, since it covers medical payments regardless of who caused an accident. South Carolina is an at-fault state, which means at least one driver is found to be “at fault” after a collision. Due in part to the differences in car insurance laws, the average cost of insurance in South Carolina – $768 – is very low compared to both PIP states and other non-PIP states.
The thirteen states that require PIP insurance, also known as personal injury protection, are Delaware, Florida, Hawaii, Kansas, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, North Dakota, Oregon, and Utah. All 13 of these PIP states are “no-fault states.” PIP coverage is also available, but optional, in 6 additional states, plus Washington, D.C.… read full answer
Minimum PIP Coverage
$15,000 per person, $30,000 per accident
(plus $5,000 for funeral services)
$10,000 per person
$10,00 per person
$4,500 per person
(plus a $2,000 burial benefit or up to $10,000+ for care/lost wages)
$10,000 per person, per accident
$2,000 per person*
$8,000 per person, per accident
(drivers who receive Medicaid can opt out as of July 2020)
($50,000 per person starting July 2020)
$40,000 per person, per accident
$15,000 per person, per accident
(up to $250,000 for certain life-altering injuries)
$50,000 per person
(plus a $2,000 death benefit)
$30,000 per person
$15,000 per person
Medical Benefits Required
$5,000 per person, per accident*
$2,500 per person
(plus up to $100/week for lost wages for up to 12 months, in some cases)
$10,000 per accident
$50,000 per person
(plus $12,000 per person for lost wages and $4,000 for funeral expenses)
*Reflects this state’s minimum coverage required for medical benefits, not PIP specifically. In New Hampshire, this minimum only applies to drivers who decide to purchase coverage.
PIP insurance covers medical expenses for you and your passengers after an accident, no matter who is at fault. These expenses include ambulance fees, medical and surgical treatments, and prescriptions. PIP can also reimburse you for lost wages, home care expenses, and even funeral expenses.
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.
If someone else is driving your car and gets in an accident, your car insurance will likely cover any resulting damage, which means the claim will go on your insurance record and could affect your rates. On the other hand, if your car is taken without permission or the driver is not licensed, the driver is responsible.… read full answer
Remember, using your insurance means you are liable for paying your deductible, even if it’s a friend (and not you personally) who crashes your car. Fortunately, your friend’s insurance can help if the damage exceeds your coverage. For example, if your policy covers up to $45,000 and the damage is $55,000, the driver's insurance can cover the final $10,000.
However, that isn’t the case if you’ve specifically excluded the driver from your policy. You might choose to leave someone off your insurance because they are a high-risk driver and expensive to insure - like a new driver with multiple speeding tickets, or someone with DUIs on his or her driving record. If that excluded driver crashes your car, your insurance company will refuse to cover the damage.
Unfortunately, an accident can affect your insurance rates even if you aren’t driving. One accident won’t necessarily raise your premium by itself. But if you were in another accident not too long before someone else crashes your car, your company is likely to raise your premium, retract your safe-driver discount, or even drop your policy.
At the end of the day, one of the best things you can do is consider adding people to your insurance if they regularly use your car. You don’t want to end up with a huge bill if your insurance company denies your claim because of who was driving. Also, make sure your friends have a valid driver’s license and car insurance if they’re using your car.
WalletHub Answers is a free service that helps consumers access financial information. Information on WalletHub Answers is provided “as is” and should not be considered financial, legal or investment advice. WalletHub is not a financial advisor, law firm, “lawyer referral service,” or a substitute for a financial advisor, attorney, or law firm. You may want to hire a professional before making any decision. WalletHub does not endorse any particular contributors and cannot guarantee the quality or reliability of any information posted. The helpfulness of a financial advisor's answer is not indicative of future advisor performance.
WalletHub members have a wealth of knowledge to share, and we encourage everyone to do so while respecting our content guidelines. Please keep in mind that editorial and user-generated content on this page is not reviewed or otherwise endorsed by any financial institution. In addition, it is not a financial institution’s responsibility to ensure all posts and questions are answered.
Ad Disclosure: Certain offers that appear on this site originate from paying advertisers, and this will be noted on an offer’s details page using the designation "Sponsored", where applicable. Advertising may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). At WalletHub we try to present a wide array of offers, but our offers do not represent all financial services companies or products.