Personal Injury Protection (PIP) & Why You Need It
Getting into a car accident is pretty scary, but having PIP coverage gives you peace of mind knowing you or your passengers will be taken care of if something bad happens.
In a lot of states, PIP coverage is actually required by law. The idea is to help limit lawsuits that might happen after a car accident. Even if it's not required in your state, PIP coverage can still be really helpful to have as part of your car insurance policy.
It's kind of like an extra layer of protection to make sure you don't end up with a huge medical bill.
What Is Personal Injury Protection?
Personal Injury Protection, also known as "no-fault insurance," is a pretty important part of having a car insurance policy. Basically, it covers any medical bills and other expenses you may have if you or anyone else gets hurt in a car accident, regardless of who caused the accident.
So, even if you're just a passenger in someone else's car or if you get hit while riding your bike or walking, your PIP coverage will take care of those expenses for you!
PIP is different from what's called bodily injury liability insurance, which just covers the medical expenses for the other drivers and passengers in other cars if you cause an accident.
What Does Personal Injury Protection Cover?
Knowing exactly what your car insurance coverages cover is vital in the unfortunate situation of being involved in an accident.
The types of expenses PIP will cover specifically can vary depending on the state, but it might include things like:
- Medical care expenses, hospital stays, and any surgeries you might need
- Ongoing care from professionals like doctors or physical therapists
- Lost wages if you can't work due to your injuries
- Funeral expenses and benefits for accidental death
- Some home care expenses, like hiring someone to take care of your kids or cleaning your house if you can't do it yourself.
What Does PIP Not Cover?
Unfortunately, PIP coverage isn't going to cover everything. It's pretty limited and it's not meant to have you covered in every single situation.
Here are a few examples of what it doesn't cover:
- Injuries other drivers receive during a crash
- Injuries you get if you were driving for work when the accident happened (i.e. you are a UBER driver and got into an accident with a customer)
- Injuries you get if you were breaking the law at the time of the accident
- Damage to other people's property
- Damage to your own vehicle (see this video regarding collision and comprehensive coverages)
Who Needs Personal Injury Protection?
Personal Injury Protection (PIP) is an optional coverage that is offered by some car insurance providers. It's not required in all states, but it can be helpful to have, especially for car owners or those who are liable in car accidents. It is up to each individual to weigh the benefits and drawbacks of obtaining PIP coverage and make a decision that is right for them and their specific situation. Ultimately, those with car insurance should consider PIP coverage to provide additional security when on the road.
The States That Require PIP
The following states require that drivers add PIP to their car insurance policies:
- North Dakota,
- New Jersey,
- New York,
- And Florida
Besides Delaware, these states are “no-fault” states. Being in a "no-fault" state means that if you're in a car accident, you don't have to worry about figuring out who was at fault to get your medical expenses and lost wages covered. Instead, you just file a claim with your own insurance company, and they'll take care of it, even if it was your fault.
No-fault states have different rules and requirements, but the basic idea is that it's meant to get you money faster and without having to go to court.
Personal Injury Protection Requirements
Again, every state has different requirements when it comes to personal injury protection coverage, with some states requiring a certain amount of coverage before you can operate a motor vehicle while others allow drivers the option of opting out if they want to.
Before you purchase any type of PIP coverage, it’s important to know what requirements your specific state has as well as what personal injuries will be covered by the specific auto insurance policy you choose.
Some policies may cover only medical and hospital bills, while others may include rehabilitation costs, accidental death benefits, and lost wages, depending on the seriousness of the injuries.
It can be overwhelming to figure out the specific details, so don’t hesitate to contact your insurance company to get the full information that you need before making a decision.
Advantages & Disadvantages of Personal Injury Protection
In some states, you have the option to opt out of PIP coverage. In other states where it is required, you can tailor your coverage limits to suit your needs. This gives you more control when it comes to deciding which coverages are right for you.
Weighing the benefits and drawbacks of obtaining PIP coverage is important before making a final decision:
- PIP provides medical coverage for yourself and your passengers in the event of an accident, regardless of who is at fault for the accident.
- PIP can help pay for medical expenses, such as hospitalization, rehabilitation, and ongoing professional care, as well as lost wages if you're unable to work due to your injuries.
- PIP can provide peace of mind knowing that you have an additional layer of financial protection.
- PIP coverage is not available in every state, so you may not have the option of adding it to your car insurance policy.
- Even when PIP is available, the level of coverage and benefits offered can vary by each state, which may limit the protection provided.
- Adding PIP coverage to your car insurance policy can significantly increase your monthly car insurance premiums.
- PIP coverage may not provide enough protection in the event of a severe accident, as the minimum coverage limits set by each state may not be enough to cover all expenses.
How To Choose The Right PIP Coverage
When choosing the right PIP coverage for your needs, it is important to measure the cost and limits that best suit your needs and budget. Do your research on different car insurance companies to compare coverage options so you can make an informed decision. Additionally, consider personal/family medical history when picking a plan as this could influence how much coverage you need.
Get a Quote For Personal Injury Prevention Coverage With LOOP
With LOOP, you can get a quote in just minutes and add personal injury prevention to your policy with great rates—helping you and your family have additional financial security while you’re on the road.