What is PIP Insurance?

PIP Insurance, or personal insurance protection, is an addition to certain types of vehicle insurance that helps cover medical expenses in the event of a car accident, as well as wages lost due to substantial injuries. Another common name for PIP is "no-fault" insurance because it pays out regardless of whose fault a motor vehicle accident is.

What Benefits PIP Covers

If after an accident you file a claim against your PIP provider, you can claim payouts not only for damages incurred during the accident, but also for injuries, transportation to hospitals or clinics, and home maintenance that you're unable to perform your incapacitation such as lawn care.

PIP Mandates

Currently, 13 states in the US require PIP insurance for all drivers: Washington D.C., Florida, Hawaii, Kansas, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, North Dakota, Pennsylvania and Utah.

Available - Not Required

While PIP coverage is required in 13 states, only some of the remaining 37 states in the US offer PIP coverage to drivers. They are: Alaska, Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Louisiana, Maine, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Nevada, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Vermont, Washington, Wisconsin, West Virginia and Wyoming.

Reasonable Accommodations

Each state has different regulations regarding what PIP coverage must include. In Utah, acupuncture is considered a reasonable payout for PIP claims, while a similar claim in Illinois may be completely dismissed. Communicating with your insurance provider before incurring extraneous medical expenses to be covered by PIP will help avoid denied claims.

Med-Pay Similarities

PIP often yields comparisons to Med-Pay insurance because of its ability to help cover costs directly relating to the accident such as vehicle or medical damages. The primary difference between the two types of care is that PIP covers both direct and indirect costs, including home maintenance and lost wages, while Med-Pay only covers costs directly relating to the accident.

Limiting Court Battles

PIP insurance is designed to help keep personal injury cases out of the court system. No-fault states require insurance providers to pay out regardless of whose fault it is, preventing lawsuits between injured parties clogging up courts. Critics of PIP say that many legitimate lawsuits, such as those involving deliberate negligence, have been ushered away from court proceedings and deserve to be heard. In response to these claims, 12 of the 13 states with mandatory PIP coverage have revised their laws to include exceptions to the no-fault rules.

Saving Time

By and large, PIP helps insurance providers avoid costly paperwork and investigations by allowing states to declare accidents as "no-fault," requiring insurance providers to pay out medical claims regardless of whose fault the accident was. Each driver's insurance provider pays for their own client's needs, regardless of who the state believes was at fault in the car accident. As a result, PIP insurance is considerably more expensive than basic coverage required in most states and insurance providers will often include exemption clauses for some PIP claims to avoid paying out.