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Personal Injury Protection (PIP) Car Insurance

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Jeffrey Johnson graduated summa cum laude from the University of Baltimore School of Law and has worked in legal offices and nonprofits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman University and worked in film, education, and publishing. His professional writing has appeared on sites like The Manifest and Vice, and he is the author of a novel ...

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UPDATED: Sep 14, 2021

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Key Takeaways

  • In some cases, personal injury protection (PIP) car insurance covers more than medical payments coverage and regular health insurance
  • Personal injury protection coverage is a requirement in 16 states and Puerto Rico
  • You must weigh the benefits of carrying personal injury protection car insurance against the coverage offered by other forms of insurance, like healthcare coverage

What is PIP (personal injury protection)? Personal injury protection car insurance helps pay for injuries that you and your passengers may suffer in a car accident. It is like medical payments insurance, but PIP covers even more.

If you have personal injury protection, the coverage may apply to you and your passengers. PIP is “no-fault” insurance because it kicks in no matter who is at fault in a car accident.

Do you need personal injury protection car insurance? It depends on the state you live in and what is already covered by other forms of insurance you carry. In any case, PIP coverage may not always be cheap car insurance; it can get expensive because of what it’s supposed to cover.

Read on to learn what personal injury protection car insurance covers, how much it costs, and which companies may offer it. If you want to see quotes from top companies in your area right now, enter your ZIP code into our free quote tool above.

How much does personal injury protection car insurance cost?

Personal injury protection car insurance rates may be equivalent to 16% of a full coverage policy per year. Of course, prices will differ based on your insurer or state, plus various other factors, like your age and driving record.

Here are some sample personal injury protection car insurance quotes:

Companies That Offer Personal Injury Protection Car Insurance
CompanyWhat Its Personal Injury Protection Insurance CoversCost of Full Coverage Per MonthCost of PIP Per Month
AllstateMedical payments, lost wages, replacement services, funeral costs, childcare costs$164.69$26.35
American FamilyMedical costs, lost wages, childcare$121.79$19.49
FarmersRehabilitation, lost wages$113.88$18.22
GEICOMedical costs (bills, supplies, prescriptions), lost wages, nursing care, replacement services, funeral costs$107.95$17.27
Liberty MutualCoverage based on your state$119.70$19.15
NationwideMedical payments, rehabilitation, lost wages, replacement services, childcare, funeral costs$158.06$25.29
ProgressiveMedical bills, lost wages, childcare, in-home services, disability and rehabilitation, survivor benefits$147.14$23.54
TravelersMedical costs, lost wages, childcare, in-home services, funeral costs$104.25$16.68
USAAFills in the gaps of your health insurance$106.90$17.10
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Note that GEICO is a personal injury protection car insurance company that may also cover you when you are involved in an auto accident as a pedestrian.

What does personal injury protection car insurance cover?

If you have medical payments coverage, you know that it covers you and your passengers, no matter who is at fault in a car accident. Personal injury protection goes even further.

According to the Insurance Information Institute, PIP can cover your medical expenses, lost wages, and other out-of-pocket expenses. Here are other things that PIP covers:

  • Survivor benefits
  • Funeral expenses
  • In-home services, like nursing care, housekeeping, and childcare

Based on your car insurance policy, personal injury protection can kick in for your passengers, and it may apply if you are a pedestrian. However, you may need to buy a separate PIP add-on if you drive a different vehicle, like a moped or motorcycle.

In many cases, personal injury protection coverage is your secondary insurance in terms of medical care. That is true in states where PIP is required and if you are a Medicare recipient.

Differences in PIP Coverage

Of course, the level of coverage you get from personal injury protection will differ according to your state. For example:

  • Personal injury protection car insurance in Florida will cover up to 80% of your wages.
  • PIP insurance will cover up to 70% of your wages in Oregon.
  • PIP coverage in North Dakota extends to your spouse, live-in relatives, and anyone who drives your car with your permission.
  • Michigan has unlimited coverage if you so choose.

Here is a list of the states and territories that offer personal injury protection, along with what it covers:

State-Based Personal Injury Protection Car Insurance Coverage
StateWhat PIP Covers
ArkansasMedical costs, lost wages, funeral expenses
DelawareMedical costs, lost wages, in-home services, funeral costs
District of ColumbiaMedical costs, lost wages, funeral costs
FloridaMedical costs, disability benefits, lost wages, survivor benefits
HawaiiMedical costs, lost wages, death benefits
KansasMedical costs, lost wages, essential services, funeral costs, survivor benefits
KentuckyMedical costs, lost wages, other “out of pocket” costs related to the injuries suffered in a car crash
MarylandMedical expenses, disability, other injury-related expenses
MassachusettsMedical payments, lost wages, replacement services, funeral expenses
MichiganMedical costs, lost wages, replacement services, funeral expenses, survivor benefits
MinnesotaMedical costs, funeral costs, other expenses
New HampshireMedical costs, including rehabilitation
New JerseyMedical costs, lost wages, replacement services
New YorkMedical costs (including dental treatments), lost wages, funeral costs
North DakotaMedical costs, lost wages
OregonMedical costs, lost wages, transportation, in-home services, childcare, funeral costs
PennsylvaniaMedical costs, lost wages, funeral costs, survivor benefits
Puerto RicoMedical costs
South DakotaMedical costs, lost wages, funeral costs
TexasMedical costs, lost wages, nursing services
UtahMedical costs, lost wages, in-home services, childcare, funeral costs, survivor benefits
VirginiaMedical costs
WashingtonMedical costs, lost wages, replacement services, funeral costs
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Also, note that there are differences in medical costs coverage. In some states, medical costs include dental work and physical rehabilitation.

Different PIP Requirements By State

You can purchase personal injury protection in 21 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. Personal injury protection is compulsory in 16 states and Puerto Rico.

Requirements for personal injury protection car insurance will also differ in each state:

Personal Injury Protection Car Insurance Coverage Requirements Per State
StateIs PIP Required?Minimum PIP Requirements
ArkansasNoN/A
DelawareYes$15,000 per person; $30,000 per accident; $5,000 for funeral expenses
District of ColumbiaNoN/A
FloridaYes$10,000 per person
HawaiiYes$10,000 per person
KansasYes$4,500 for medical costs, per person; $4,500 for rehabilitation costs; $2,000 for funeral costs; $900/month for one year for lost wages and disability; $25 per day for in-home services
KentuckyYes$10,000 per person
MarylandYes$2,500 per person
MassachusettsYes$8,000 per person
MichiganYesVaries
MinnesotaYes$20,000 for medical expenses; $20,000 to cover lost wages
New HampshireNo$1,000
New JerseyYes$15,000 per person; Up to $250,000 in disability (for severe or permanent injury)
New YorkYes$50,000 per person
North DakotaYes$30,000 per person
OregonYes$15,000 per person
PennsylvaniaYes$5,000 per person
Puerto RicoYesMedical payments, payments for injury or death
South DakotaNoN/A
TexasYes$2,500 per person
UtahYes$3,000 per person; $1,500 for funeral expenses, per person; $3,000 for survivor benefits; $250 per week or 85% of lost wages (whichever is less); 20$ per day for replacement services
VirginiaNoN/A
WashingtonNo$10,000 per person
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For example, in Kentucky, Maryland, and Texas, drivers can waive the requirement in writing, while drivers in Pennsylvania must purchase coverage for medical costs, et al., separately.

PIP is optional in Arkansas, the District of Columbia, New Hampshire, South Dakota, Virginia, and Washington. Take some time to learn more about car insurance by state to find out what kind of car insurance you’re required to carry.

Should you buy personal injury protection car insurance coverage?

First, it depends if personal injury protection is a requirement in your state. Beyond that, the choice is yours, but you need to do a risk assessment. Start by asking yourself these questions:

  • Will my health insurance cover all my medical expenses should I get injured in a car accident?
  • Can I afford to pay for personal injury protection auto insurance, and is not having it worth the cost?
  • Can I use living benefits from my permanent life insurance policy to cover my expenses should I get into a car accident? How much will it cost to pay it back?

If you have permanent life insurance, there are ways that you can use living benefits to pay for expenses related to your accident-related injuries. However, you will need to pay that money back.

Ultimately, you may need to find affordable personal injury protection car insurance that offers enough benefits to cover some expenses should disaster strike. Compare quotes from different companies to find the best personal injury protection coverage.

In the end, personal injury protection car insurance is a good thing to have if you can afford it, so weigh your options. 

Hopefully, this primer on personal injury protection car insurance clarified a few things for you. Now, if you want to look at quotes from top car insurance companies in your area, enter your ZIP code into our free tool below.

Frequently Asked Questions: Personal Injury Protection Car Insurance

Here are a couple of questions that you may have about personal injury protection (PIP) coverage:

#1 – Is the waiver of personal injury protection (PIP) coverage necessary if I have Medicare or other health insurance?

It depends on your situation, but you may be giving up vital coverage that your health insurance might not provide.

Some health plans will not cover medical expenses from injuries that you suffer in a car accident. However, if you have Medicare Parts A and B, you will receive significant coverage for car accident-related injuries. That includes inpatient care, physical therapy, and an ambulance.

Now, there are some things that Medicare and other insurance plans will not cover. That includes lost wages and in-home nursing care, which PIP insurance will cover if needed.

#2 – What should I know about Michigan’s laws regarding Personal Injury Protection car insurance?

All states have unique requirements, but Michigan’s laws regarding no-fault insurance may be the most difficult to navigate. Michiganians have paid the highest insurance rates in the United States since 1978.

That is when unlimited personal injury protection car insurance was first required.

In 2020, Michigan reformed its no-fault insurance laws. The changes took place on July 1, 2020, and non-Medicare residents now have the option of waiving PIP insurance.

According to information from the Detroit Free Press, all Michiganians can choose to have unlimited coverage, a $500,000 limit, or a $250,000 limit. People with Medicare Parts A and B or with “qualified” health insurance can opt-out of carrying PIP insurance.

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