What is personal injury protection (PIP) coverage?

With personal injury protection (PIP) insurance, you’ll have additional medical coverage for injuries after an accident. You and your family can use PIP insurance to cover the cost of medical expenses, an ambulance, lost wages, temporary disability, and even childcare. PIP insurance is required in 16 states, 12 of which are no-fault insurance states, but you can buy PIP insurance in 21 states. You'll still need standard health insurance if you elect (or are required) to obtain PIP insurance.

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A former insurance producer, Laura understands that education is key when it comes to buying insurance. She has happily dedicated many hours to helping her clients understand how the insurance marketplace works so they can find the best car, home, and life insurance products for their needs.

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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® Joel Ohman

UPDATED: May 4, 2022

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Here's what you need to know...

  • With personal injury protection (PIP), you’ll have additional coverage for medical expenses you face after an accident (regardless of whether or not you’re at fault) 
  • PIP car insurance is required in the 12 no-fault states plus an additional four at-fault states across the country, but you can buy it in 21 states 
  • While PIP insurance provides medical coverage after an accident, you’ll still need health insurance, even if you have PIP coverage

If you’re looking for information on understanding your car insurance policy and what is and isn’t required, you’ve come to the right place. In some states, personal injury protection (PIP) insurance is required to drive legally, while in others, it isn’t, which we know can be confusing. 

What is personal injury protection? What does PIP cover? How much PIP coverage should I get? Where can you get affordable PIP car insurance? What are average PIP car insurance rates? Read this article for everything you need to know about PIP insurance. 

If you’re looking for PIP car insurance quotes, you can use your ZIP code in the tool on this page to get free quotes from companies in your area. 

What is PIP coverage, and what does it include? 

What is PIP insurance? If you’re in an accident and have personal injury protection, or PIP, insurance, you’ll have medical coverage for any resulting injuries. However, PIP doesn’t directly replace health insurance because it only applies after a covered incident. PIP coverage protects you no matter who is at fault and can be extended to include your family. 

PIP typically covers expenses like:

  • Medical bills
  • Ambulance bills
  • Emergency room costs 
  • Prescriptions 
  • Rehabilitation 
  • Temporary disability
  • Lost wages
  • Child care (if you have documentation that proves your injuries mean this is necessary) 

PIP isn’t currently sold in all 50 states, and there may be specific requirements around the coverage in the states where it is sold. Read on for more details on when, where, and how to buy PIP coverage. 

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Do you automatically get PIP coverage when buying car insurance? 

Personal injury protection coverage isn’t available in every state (in fact, it’s only sold in 21 states across the country), so it isn’t always included when you buy a policy. PIP is required in 16 of those 21 states (more on this later), so it is automatically included at the minimum coverage amount in policies sold in these states. You can choose to increase the amount of coverage beyond the minimum if you’d prefer. 

If you live in one of the five states where PIP is optionally available, and you’d like to add it to your policy, you’ll need to work with your insurance company to do so. 

How much does PIP insurance cost? 

PIP insurance typically costs between $50 and $200 per month, depending on your age, where you live, the amount of coverage, etc. 

The best way to get affordable PIP insurance is to compare rates from at least three companies, which you can do using the rate comparison tool on this page. Keep reading for when and where personal injury insurance is required to drive legally. 

Are you required to buy PIP car insurance? 

Sixteen states currently require drivers to carry PIP insurance to drive legally. One example is Florida, which requires drivers to have at least $10,000 in PIP insurance, according to the Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles website. 

Twelve of the 16 states that currently require PIP insurance are referred to as no-fault states. In no-fault insurance states, each driver’s insurance covers the cost of their damages, regardless of who is at fault (i.e., each driver files a claim with their own insurance company for their damages and injuries after an accident). PIP is standard coverage for no-fault insurance states. 

Four other states with fault-based insurance structures require PIP insurance, though you may have the option to waive it. For example, insurance companies must offer $2,500 in PIP coverage as a standard part of a policy in Maryland, but Maryland drivers can elect to waive the coverage.

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Which states use a no-fault insurance system? 

Now that we’ve briefly discussed fault vs. no-fault insurance systems and PIP insurance, take a look at this table for a full list of states that do (or don’t) follow a no-fault system and PIP requirements and availability.

PIP Insurance Requirements and Availability by State
StateNo-Fault Insurance StatePIP Minimum Requirements
AlabamaNoNot Applicable
AlaskaNoNot Applicable
ArizonaNoNot Applicable
ArkansasNoNot Applicable
CaliforniaNoNot Applicable
ColoradoNoNot Applicable
ConnecticutNoNot Applicable
DelawareYes$15,000 per person
$30,000 accident
District of ColumbiaNo, but PIP is optionalNo Minimum is Required
FloridaYes$10,000
GeorgiaNoNot Applicable
HawaiiYes$10,000
IdahoNoNot Applicable
IllinoisNoNot Applicable
IndianaNoNot Applicable
IowaNoNot Applicable
KansasYes$9,000
KentuckyYes$10,000
LouisianaNoNot Applicable
MaineNo, but PIP is required$2,000 per person
MarylandNo, but PIP is required$2,500
MassachusettsYes$8,000 per person
MichiganYes$250,000
MinnesotaYes$20,000 in Medical Expenses
$20,000 in Non-medical Expenses
MississippiNoNot Applicable
MissouriNoNot Applicable
MontanaNoNot Applicable
NebraskaNoNot Applicable
NevadaNoNot Applicable
New HampshireNo, but PIP is optionalNo Minimum is Required
New JerseyYes$15,000
New MexicoNoNot Applicable
New YorkYes$50,000
North CarolinaNoNot Applicable
North DakotaYes$30,000 per person
OhioNoNot Applicable
OklahomaNoNot Applicable
OregonNo, but PIP is required$15,000 per person
PennsylvaniaYes$5,000 per person
Rhode IslandNoNot Applicable
South CarolinaNoNot Applicable
South DakotaNo, but PIP is optionalNo Minimum is Required
TennesseeNoNot Applicable
TexasNo, but PIP is optionalNo Minimum is Required
UtahYes$3,000 per person
VermontNoNot Applicable
VirginiaNo, but PIP is optionalNo Minimum is Required
WashingtonNo, but PIP is optionalNo Minimum is Required
West VirginiaNoNot Applicable
WisconsinNo, but PIP is optionalNo Minimum is Required
WyomingNoNot Applicable
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States requiring PIP coverage typically define a minimum amount needed to drive legally. However, you can work with your insurance company to determine the right level for your needs beyond the minimum. 

If you have PIP insurance and need to file a claim, you’ll follow your insurance company’s standard claim filing process. The best approach is to reach out to your insurance company as soon as possible after an accident to ensure you’re aware of any required documentation and can provide the most accurate information on what occurred. 

Do you still need PIP insurance if you have health insurance?

As we noted earlier, PIP insurance doesn’t replace your health insurance coverage, in part because it only applies to medical expenses that result from a covered accident. With this in mind, if you live in one of the states in which PIP insurance is required, you’ll need to carry both coverage types.

However, if you live in a state where PIP is available but isn’t required, only you can decide if it’s worth it to add PIP to your car insurance policy as a supplement to your health insurance. One of the benefits of PIP is the non-traditional medical expenses it can cover, like lost wages and child care. 

Personal Injury Protection Insurance: The Bottom Line

At this time, 16 states require PIP insurance as a part of the minimum coverage necessary to drive legally (though states like Maryland do permit drivers to waive PIP coverage). PIP insurance is sold in those 16 states and an additional five states as optional coverage.

If you have PIP insurance, you’ll have additional coverage (on top of your health insurance) for medical expenses that result from an accident, no matter who is at fault. Covered medical expenses include medical bills, temporary disability, ambulance and emergency room costs, lost wages, and under the right circumstances, childcare.

PIP only applies to medical bills after a covered accident, so you’ll still need health insurance. Usually, PIP takes precedence after an accident, unless you live in a state like Michigan, where your health insurance will cover medical bills. Your PIP insurance will cover bills resulting from your injuries like lost wages and child care. 

Before leaving this overview of PIP insurance, use your ZIP code in our tool to get free quotes from top companies. 

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Frequently Asked Questions: Personal Injury Protection Insurance

If you still have questions or are looking for more information about PIP auto insurance, keep reading for answers to some frequently asked questions. 

#1 – Is there a difference between PIP and MedPay? 

PIP insurance and MedPay provide similar medical coverage after a covered accident. This means if you have PIP, you probably don’t need MedPay, and vice versa (unless you live in a state where PIP is required, in which case it may make sense to drop the MedPay and just pay for the PIP coverage).

MedPay covers most standard medical expenses, as does PIP. However, PIP typically covers other losses resulting from your injuries, like lost wages and sometimes even childcare.

#2 – What is the difference between bodily liability insurance and PIP insurance? 

Bodily injury liability coverage, which is required in most states across the country, provides coverage for the medical expenses of the other driver(s) involved in an accident in which you are at fault. It doesn’t include any coverage for your injuries after an accident. In contrast, as we’ve already discussed, PIP insurance is specifically for your (and your family’s) medical expenses after an accident. 

#3 – What are the best PIP car insurance companies? 

If you live in a state where PIP is available (or required), and you’re looking for the best PIP car insurance company, you’ll need to consider your lifestyle, budget, how insurance companies assess the risk level of the area in which you live, etc. GEICO and Travelers are a couple of good options that typically offer strong customer service and affordable PIP car insurance coverage.

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