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How Does Personal Injury Protection (PIP) Work?

Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage, which is also called no-fault coverage, provides coverage for medical expenses, funeral costs, and lost wages for you and your passengers in the event of an accident, regardless of who is at fault. It will also cover you if you are injured in a car accident while riding in someone else’s car or if you are hit as a pedestrian. A few services that are typically covered by PIP are:

  • Ambulance rides
  • Hospitalization
  • Funeral costs
  • Lost wages
  • Childcare

These are just examples and coverage varies. Keep in mind that PIP does not extend to property damage costs.

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PIP vs MedPay: Which is Right for Me?

PIP and Medical Payments (MedPay) are similar in that both cover medical expenses, but there are some major differences to keep in mind, including:

  • Where they are available: PIP is an option in no-fault and tort states, while MedPay is an option in most states. Check your own state’s guidelines to find out if either is available to you.
  • Coverage inclusions: They do not cover the exact same services or situations -- one major example being that PIP covers lost wages while MedPay does not.
  • State minimum requirements: PIP is a state requirement in 14 states, while MedPay is only required in two.

PIP as a State Requirement

Although PIP is not available in many states, it is a state minimum insurance requirement in 14: Delaware, Florida, Hawaii, Kansas, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, North Dakota, Oregon, Pennsylvania, and Utah. If you live in one of these states, you’ll have to purchase the legal minimum required by your state. There are also a few states that allow PIP as an option: Arkansas, Maryland, South Dakota, Texas, Virginia, and Washington, as well as the District of Columbia. While it is not required in these states, opting to buy PIP coverage can be a helpful safeguard against medical debt.

If you are in an accident, the amount of PIP you’ve purchased will correlate to the amount of money your insurer pays out towards your medical costs. In many cases, the state minimum isn’t enough to cover all costs, which is why it can be a good idea to purchase more than the minimum required. Given how expensive medical expenses can be, having enough PIP when you need it can make a huge difference in the event of an accident.

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