What Is Personal Injury Protection?

Personal insurance protection (PIP) is a type of additional insurance that enhances a driver’s auto insurance plan. PIP is a no-fault class of insurance that is mandatory in some states because of its proposed advantages, while in others it only offers other additional protections outside of a driver’s preexisting coverage.

What Is the Purpose of PIP?

Personal injury protection is in place to accomplish two tasks, the first being to remove the at-fault determination from insurance queries. PIP accomplishes this because it operates outside of at-fault insurance policies, even when used within at-fault states. PIP in itself is no-fault, as it is dictated by no-fault statutes. No-fault insurance does not take blame into consideration when determining how medical bills are handled post-accident. With PIP, each driver’s insurance pays for their own injuries and associated fees. This is an overarching benefit of PIP, but in a majority of states it is only optional.

The second purpose of PIP is to limit the volume of claims filed against at-fault drivers. Even in minor collisions, many drivers pursue personal injury lawsuits against the at-fault driver. This has littered the court system with small claims cases. Several states have decided to make PIP mandatory, assuming that it would clear up the court system. There has been success on this front, but many residents of these states claim that compulsory PIP takes away their rights as citizens to file lawsuits.

What Does PIP Cover?

Personal insurance protection is a no-fault class of insurance, meaning it covers all medical bills and associated costs following a car accident. In some cases, PIP also covers lost wages that are caused by the recovery time dictated by injuries. The actual coverage that an injured driver receives varies by state, but PIP is typically more comprehensive than other additive insurance options like Med Pay. Though PIP minimum coverage in no-fault states changes based on each state, each registered driver must meet their own state’s mandatory minimum. Personal insurance protection has also has cap, though this is highly dependent on the driver’s coverage choices and accident. PIP’s cap can range anywhere between $1,500 and $250,000.

Who Should Obtain PIP?

Personal injury protection is mandatory in 12 different states: Florida, Hawaii, Kansas, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, and Utah. In these no-fault states, every registered driver must possess an insurance plan that meets the minimum PIP requirements of their state. Registered drivers in these states should obtain PIP by law.

PIP can also benefit other drivers who are not in states that require it by law. Though it is not mandatory everywhere, personal insurance protection is advantageous to drivers that find themselves operating their vehicle under certain circumstances.

Whether a driver resides in a fault-based or no-fault state, personal injury protection offers extra coverage following a car accident. Without regard to the fault-status of the driver, PIP will cover medical bills and lost wages, making it a useful tool to any driver.