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Personal injury protection, or PIP, is auto insurance coverage that pays for medical expenses from car-related injuries, no matter who is at fault. While this coverage type is offered in 17 states and Washington, D.C., only 12 of those states require all drivers to carry a minimum amount of personal injury protection.
What does personal injury protection cover?
PIP is meant to cover any injuries you sustain from a crash, regardless of who is at fault, and includes other benefits as well. Depending on your state, PIP could help pay for:
Medical bills and expenses that arise from a car crash.
Lost wages if you are unable to work due to injuries sustained from an accident.
Services you can no longer perform because of an accident, such as house cleaning or child care.
Funeral costs if an injury sustained from an accident leads to death.
A small death benefit as a cash payout.
Your PIP policy may have an insurance deductible, an amount you’re responsible for covering toward the cost of a claim. Your insurance company typically subtracts your deductible from your payout.
PIP generally covers the policyholder and family members in the household, passengers in the vehicle and others who are driving the car with permission. Your PIP can also cover you if you’re injured while riding in someone else’s car, or if you’re injured by a vehicle as a pedestrian or cyclist.
» MORE: What does car insurance cover?
How PIP relates to no-fault insurance
Personal injury protection is sometimes called “no-fault insurance.” The name is a reference to states with “no-fault” laws, such as Florida, Michigan and New York. These laws prohibit injured drivers from suing at-fault drivers after an accident unless their injuries are severe or their medical expenses are higher than their state’s minimum requirement to sue.
“No-fault” states require minimum amounts of PIP for every driver.
» MORE: What is no-fault insurance?
Personal injury protection by state
You can purchase PIP in 17 states, as well as Washington, D.C. Twelve states require drivers to carry a minimum amount of PIP, while a few others offer it as an optional add-on to your policy.
Personal injury protection is required in 12 states
Drivers in 12 states are required to purchase a minimum amount of PIP, but this amount varies by state. Use the table below to see which states require personal injury protection, and what the minimum requirement is.
PIP is optional or can be waived in 5 states, plus Washington, D.C.
Five states plus Washington, D.C., offer personal injury protection as an optional add-on or allow drivers to waive it in writing. Use the table below to see how these states handle PIP coverage.
Is personal injury protection the same as MedPay?
Medical payments coverage, better known as MedPay, pays for medical expenses from crash-related injuries regardless of fault. But it doesn’t offer the additional financial benefits that PIP does, like covering lost wages, funeral costs, child care or housecleaning expenses.
MedPay is also an optional coverage. Some states, such as Florida and Massachusetts, allow insurers to offer both PIP and MedPay.
How does PIP relate to liability insurance?
Personal injury protection pays for your medical care if you are injured in an accident, regardless of who is at fault. On the other hand, liability car insurance pays for any injuries or property damage you cause when you are at fault in an accident. Liability insurance does not pay for your own injuries or for damage to your property. PIP is required in a few states, while auto liability insurance is required in most states.
PIP is a type of auto insurance coverage while liability insurance can be on many types of insurance policies, including auto, homeowners, renters and condo insurance.