Zaneta Wood, Ed.S. has over 15 years of experience in research and technical writing bringing a keen understanding of data analysis and information synthesis to reach a wide variety of audiences. She studied adult education and instructional technology at Appalachian State University as well as technical and professional communication at East Carolina University. Zaneta has prepared technical p...

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Joel Ohman is the CEO of a private equity backed digital media company. He is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™, author, angel investor, and serial entrepreneur who loves creating new things, whether books or businesses. He has also previously served as the founder and resident CFP® of a national insurance agency, Real Time Health Quotes. He has an MBA from the University of South Florida. Jo...

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Reviewed by Joel Ohman
Founder & CFP®

UPDATED: Jul 22, 2020

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Here's what you need to know...

  • PIP insurance is required in some states
  • Where it is not required, it may still be a good idea to carry
  • Make sure to submit claims in a timely fashion

Personal Injury Protection (PIP) can be waived in some states, but one should seriously consider the potential financial ramifications of doing so.

While PIP covers varies a bit from state to state, but generally it covers medical expenses up to a fixed amount, a percentage of your lost wages while you are out of work, and sometimes daily essential expenses.

Read further for more information about PIP coverage.

The article discusses how your current health insurance will impact your need in this area, and what happens when you reach your PIP limits.

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Table of Contents

How much PIP insurance coverage should I take out?


How much PIP insurance coverage you should take out may not even be your choice. Some states have a minimum amount of PIP coverage that you must have to cover you in the case of an accident.

The next thing you need to find out is if you are in a no-fault auto insurance state.

If you are in a no-fault coverage state, no matter whose fault the accident is, your insurance needs to cover your medical expenses before you can attempt to get a settlement from the person who was at fault for the accident.

If you are in a state that doesn’t require you to have PIP, and you have great medical insurance, you still may want to consider taking out the minimum coverage.

The reason being is that personal injury protection provides dollar one coverage for you at no deductible.

Plus, even with great medical insurance there still may be co-pays and deductibles that, even if low, still need to be met before you start getting 100 percent coverage.

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Why did my PIP cover my lowest medical bill first and not my most expensive?

Your insurance provider does not cover bills based upon the amount of the bill, but when they come in.

So if you take a bit of time, or forget to submit a claim to your carrier as soon as you are able to, you may find that your physical therapy bill gets paid before your emergency room bill because you submitted it at a later date.

This, of course, can be costly when emergency room visits and hospital stays are usually in the thousands of dollars, while a visit to your doctor or physical therapist is generally in the three-figure vicinity.

So don’t let the large lump sum hospital or ER bill lay on your kitchen counter. Submit it ASAP so most or all of it gets covered by you PIP insurance.

Why won’t my PIP insurance carrier accept some of my medical claims?


You need to realize that all car insurance companies are not created equal.

Although insurance is purchased so one has peace of mind in tumultuous times, insurance providers want to make sure that the claims you are making are legitimate ones.

So while you can feel pretty confident that your PIP insurance will cover the trip to the ER and your hospital stay immediately following an accident, your provider may have limitations on the amount of time or visits you can make to:

  • Chiropractors
  • Homeopathic physicians
  • Physical therapists

To avoid this frustration, make sure you know what your policy covers before you make an appointment to see some sort of medical professional post-hospital stay.

What do I do once my PIP insurance reaches its limit?

You have a few options, depending on the state you reside in and its legislation regarding insurance settlements, when your PIP insurance reaches its financial limit:

  • You may still be able to receive some sort of settlement from the person responsible for the accident either through their insurance carrier for unpaid expenses, plus pain and suffering
  • If you also take out what is called uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage (UM), then this will allow you to have coverage for all medical expenses once your PIP runs out
  • If you have medical insurance, then this will kick in once your PIP reaches its maximum limit

If you are thinking about purchasing a new vehicle, you not only need to think about PIP insurance but also about the most appropriate auto insurance for you and your family.

To get immediate car insurance quotes just enter your ZIP code today!