What Is Personal Injury Protection (PIP) Insurance?

If you’re injured in an accident, PIP insurance covers medical expenses and lost wages, regardless of who is at fault.
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Written by Ben Moore
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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 PIP coverage 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 is PIP and what does it cover?

PIP insurance 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.

Depending on where you live, your PIP policy may have an insurance deductible, which is the 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 may 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.

How PIP coverage 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 every driver to have a minimum amount of PIP. This is intended to keep the cost of auto insurance down for all drivers by keeping minor injuries from going to court.

Personal injury protection by state

You can purchase PIP insurance 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 insurance, but the required amount varies by state. Use the table below to see if you need personal injury protection in your state, and what the minimum amount is.

States that require PIP

Minimum PIP coverage required






Requirements vary.







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.

States that offer PIP

PIP details


$10,000 required, but can be waived in writing.

$2,500 required, but can be waived in writing.

$2,500 required, but can be waived in writing.

$10,000 required, but can be waived in writing.


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 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.

PIP pays for your medical care if you're 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.

To learn how PIP insurance compares to other types of car insurance, use our tool below.

Frequently asked questions

If you live in a state where personal injury protection is required, you will still need PIP even if you have health insurance.

If you live in a state where PIP coverage is optional, you should consider the extent of your health care coverage before purchasing personal injury protection. If you have limited health care coverage or a high health insurance deductible, personal injury protection may be a smart choice for you.

Ask your insurer how to open a claim and follow the steps the company outlines. Be sure to keep track of your claim number.

If you receive any health care before your claim is processed, keep track of all receipts and bills. You may need to send them to your insurer.

Your situation will be unique, but there are two important factors to keep in mind. If you live in a state where personal injury protection is optional, think about:

  • Your health care coverage.

  • Your ability to cover lost wages if you are in an accident and have to miss work.

If you have gaps in your health care coverage or high deductibles, or if you have concerns regarding how lost wages could affect your financial health, then PIP might be a good option for you.

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