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What Is PIP? Your Questions, Answered

Car accidents are often more than just logistical hassles. In many cases, they can leave people seriously injured and in need of medical attention. Due to the high cost of such medical procedures and care, it’s important to understand how you can best prepare for the road ahead. One way to do so is with personal injury protection (PIP) insurance.

Common Questions About PIP

As with any type of insurance, it’s crucial to have a good understanding of PIP coverage and what it may provide, particularly after an accident. Here are some common questions (and answers) about PIP insurance.

What Is PIP Insurance?

Personal injury protection (PIP), also referred to as no-fault insurance, is insurance coverage designed to pay for expenses associated with personal injury resulting from an auto accident, no matter who was at fault for the collision. This type of coverage isn’t required in every state, but it can be an effective way to round out your existing car insurance coverage, regardless of where you live. Even with health insurance, medical expenses and other costs related to injury can be a shock to anyone’s budget.

What does PIP cover?

Personal injury protection benefits complement auto insurance coverage by providing coverage for a number of injury-related expenses an individual often faces after an accident. PIP covers costs such as the following:

  • Medical bills and medical care for physical injuries
  • Lost wages as a result of injury
  • Funeral expenses and burial costs

Some of the items covered by the insurance, such as funeral and burial expenses and medical costs, can be devastating and leave a person in a bind, especially if and when they have lost income due to an accident. Those insured by PIP coverage often need to file a PIP claim with their insurance company to take advantage of their plan’s medical payments coverage, as well as to cover other accident-related expenses.

Is PIP Treated the Same in Every State?

Most states have a fault-based system for determining payment for injuries. As a result, these states don’t require personal injury protection insurance. But 12 states do have a no-fault system in place. Most of these no-fault states require PIP coverage. Yet, it’s worth noting that only a few of them allow drivers to choose between a fault and no-fault policy.

It’s important to know your state’s laws and minimum coverage requirements. This is because your plan of action after an accident will likely be based on whether you live in a no-fault or a fault state. Currently, no-fault states in the U.S. include Florida, Hawaii, Kansas, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, and Utah.

Does PIP Mean You Can’t Sue?

Living in a no-fault state and having PIP does not necessarily mean you can’t sue the other driver or party, especially if they are at fault. Verbal thresholds and monetary thresholds are set to define how severe the injuries and costs need to be for an individual to sue the responsible party, despite having PIP insurance.

How Does PIP Coverage Differ from Liability Insurance?

Liability insurance differs from PIP insurance in that liability benefits only kick in if the policyholder is at fault. It is also required in every state and only covers costs for a third party, not for the person holding the policy.

Bodily injury coverage also differs from PIP in that it will only pay for medical expenses and provide other medical payments coverage for someone when the policyholder is at fault.

Get the Help You Need

When an auto accident occurs, it can be hard to get your bearings and know what to do next, especially when auto insurance, health insurance, and other policies are involved. If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident, contact 1800ASKGARY to get expert help navigating your next steps.