Home » Insurance » Auto Insurance » Personal Injury Protection

Personal Injury Protection: An Extension for Your Car Insurance

Updated: November 14, 2018

Personal injury protection, or PIP, refers to a part of many auto insurance policies that protects the driver and other passengers in the vehicle involved in an accident.

This policy covers medical expenses and/or lost wages that result from a car accident.

The great thing about personal injury protection is that there is no need to determine who was at fault for an auto insurance accident.

The very basis of PIP is that the “fault” is deemed irrelevant.

Whether or not you were to blame for an auto insurance accident, your medical expenses and/or lost wages are covered if you have personal injury protection.

What is Personal Injury Coverage?

Personal injury protection is there to cover an insured individual’s expenses resulting from injuries they sustain in a car accident. Car accidents can cause varying degrees of damage to passengers and drivers, with medical expenses, hospital bills and rehabilitation costs quickly adding up.

Any medical expenses not covered by a person’s health insurance policy that were the result of a car accident are included in personal injury coverage.

Any medical expenses not covered by a person’s health insurance policy that were the result of a car accident are included in personal injury coverage. It is also possible to get compensation for lost wages, child-care and funeral expenses depending on the severity of injuries from the accident.

Unlike most other riders within an auto insurance policy, the personal injury protection coverage does not require a determination about whether someone was at fault for an auto accident or not.

If an individual purchases personal injury protection, it means they are covered for any injuries sustained because of an accident, regardless of who caused the accident.

You are protected whether you cause the accident or if someone hits your vehicle and causes significant damage. This is a great way to get peace of mind while you are driving on the road.

What is No-Fault Auto Insurance?

In order to fully understand personal injury protection and how it applies to auto insurance, it is very important to understand what we mean by no-fault auto insurance.

In states where no-fault policies are the norm, insurance companies do not have to worry about determining whether someone caused an accident or not.

There are some states in the United States where no-fault auto insurance is prevalent. This type of auto insurance is designed in a way that allows insurance companies to immediately pay money for injury claims after a car accident.

In states where no-fault policies are the norm, insurance companies do not have to worry about determining whether someone caused an accident or not. If you are injured in an accident, your insurance provider pays for the medical expenses in quick time.

However, no-fault auto insurance also means that whenever you get into an accident, you could see your premiums rise. This can happen even if the accident was not your fault, which is often the case for some insured individuals.

In addition, car owners must purchase separate policies to get protection for their vehicle should it get damaged in a car accident. Getting PIP and protection for the vehicle can often make insurance very expensive in no-fault states.

Do I Need Personal Injury Protection?

The truth is that personal injury protection is not a type of auto insurance that you can find in all states in America. The majority of states that offer personal injury protection are “no fault” auto insurance states.

If you live in a “no fault” state and you have excellent health insurance, you may be okay with only getting the legally required amount of personal injury protection.

In these “no fault” auto insurance states, it is necessary to get personal injury protection because it is the only way to get coverage for medical expenses.

In contrast, states where the fault in an accident matters have mandatory liability insurance requirements. This liability insurance takes care of medical expenses for the innocent party in a car accident.

If you live in a “no fault” state and you have excellent health insurance, you may be okay with only getting the legally required amount of personal injury protection.

In contrast, someone who has a very basic health insurance policy and lives in a “no fault” state is better off getting a thorough PIP policy. This will protect the individual from medical expenses resulting from car accidents. Keep in mind, PIP is the only way to get coverage for accident-related medical expenses in “no fault” states.

Where is Personal Injury Protection Available?

As stated above, personal injury protection is a type of auto insurance policy that is only available in parts of the United States where no fault auto insurance is practiced.

When you learn about personal injury protection, the first thing you must do is check whether you live in a fault or no fault state.

There are currently thirteen states in the United States where it is mandatory to have some form of personal injury protection. States such as New York, Pennsylvania, Minnesota and Massachusetts are among the thirteen.

When you learn about personal injury protection, the first thing you must do is check whether you live in a fault or no fault state. If you live in a no fault state, it probably means that some form of PIP is legally mandatory.

In states where fault auto insurance is the norm, personal injury protection is not available as a policy. This is because these states already have mandatory liability coverage requirements. And liability coverage provides compensation for the medical expenses incurred by the other party when you cause an auto accident.

Similarly, the other party’s liability coverage will pay for your medical expenses if you are not the one who caused the accident. PIP is not offered by most insurance companies in fault states.

What Does Personal Injury Protection Cover?

There are four major elements to all personal injury protection policies. Personal injury protection covers medical expenses, lost wages, substitute services and funeral expenses.

Some injuries may prevent a person from performing regular tasks around their home or apartment.

Medical expenses refer to the money charged by ambulance services, emergency services, hospitals, medical centers, rehabilitation centers and other doctors for injuries incurred in the car accident. Meanwhile, lost wages is the money you would have earned had you not gotten injured in the accident.

Some injuries may prevent a person from performing regular tasks around their home or apartment. In these cases, PIP may also pay for cleaning crews or other professionals to help you as you recover from your injuries.

Finally, personal injury protection coverage also pays for funeral expenses if someone happens to pass away due to the injuries they sustained in a car accident.

For those individuals living in a fault state, it is best to speak with insurance providers in the region about any policies they offer that provide similar coverage to PIP. In some states you may need to get personal injury coverage from a health insurance provider.