Car accidents invoke numerous types of insurance coverage for anyone who suffered damage at the scene. One of which is personal injury protection, which is a basic level of coverage that’s mandated for all motorists in some states and optional in others.
Healthcare expenses - and those of any passengers - are the foundation of PIP coverage. Fault doesn’t play a role in determining eligibility for damages, and some states offer additional coverages, like those resulting from an ability to return to work.
Coverage limits vary by state as well. Texas’ minimum sits around $2,500, while New York’s minimum is set at $50,000 for required coverage. In some states, it’s not required at all, and motorists must opt into this type of coverage.
When required, PIP insurance only offers a ground level of financial protection. It’ll make smaller accidents easier, but it likely won’t offer the same benefit in complicated and more serious accidents. In these cases, it’s important to team up with experienced legal representation to ensure you’re able to navigate the following steps and recover the compensation to need to return to a normal life.
Where Is Personal Injury Protection Required?
Some states require PIP insurance, while others do not. A select few require MedPay, which is a substitute for PIP insurance that only covers medical expenses.
PIP is required in:
- New Jersey
- New York
- North Dakota
PIP is not required in:
- South Dakota
- Washington, D.C.
PIP v.s MedPay: What’s the Difference?
MedPay only covers the healthcare expenses of the driver and passengers after an accident, while personal injury protection can offer additional coverage. If needed, drivers living in states that require MedPay can opt for personal injury protection from select carriers.
What’s the Right Amount of PIP Coverage?
It depends. The coverage you need depends on your financial situation, other policies, dependents, and more. To get yourself familiar, you can forecast how 6 months of lost wages would affect your financials, then build your coverage around that figure.
Coverage minimums vary by state, but drivers can elect more protection if needed. Here are a few questions to consider as you make this decision.
- How long can my emergency fund last?
- Can that emergency fund support my dependents?
- Does my job offer disability insurance?
- What are my other health care coverages?
- Does the frequency of my driving increase my risk of an accident?
Remember that PIP isn’t the only type of car insurance, nor is it a guarantee of escaping financial responsibility for an accident you didn’t cause. It’s still basic coverage under most circumstances. If you’re involved in a serious accident at any point, it’s likely that the dollar amount of your damages exceed your minimum coverage.
Is PIP Required If I Have Health Insurance?
Those living in states that require PIP insurance must hold a policy regardless of their health insurance coverage. In states where it’s optional, having both types of coverage can offer additional protection if you’re involved in an accident.
Health insurance only offers coverage against medical expenses. Personal injury protection varies in coverage, but some policies can cover the following:
- Lost wages
- The deductible of your health insurance
- Physical therapy and rehab
- Childcare services and other necessary domestic work services
- Survivor compensation (if someone lost their life)
You’ll need to dig deeper into your state’s laws to learn more about the protections you have available. You can do research online or, if you prefer a more accurate answer, speak with an experienced legal representative in your area.
Morgan and Morgan Can Help When PIP Can’t
Anyone involved in a car accident should speak with a legal expert to explore their options, regardless of whether they have personal injury protection coverage or not. If the accident wasn’t your fault, speaking with an attorney is one of the best ways to improve your chances of not having to pay out of pocket.
Complete a free, no-risk case evaluation to speak with our team.