Personal injury protection (PIP) coverage, also known as no-fault insurance, can help pay for your injury-related costs as a driver or passenger, or for your passengers, in the event of an auto accident, no matter who caused the crash.
If injured in a crash, PIP can be used to pay for the medical and hospital expenses that may not be covered by your health insurance. In some cases, PIP can also help pay for additional costs. These can include lost wages from missing work and substitute services, such as paying for cleaners, if you are too injured to work or perform household tasks. If the accident resulted in a death, PIP may also cover funeral expenses. In some cases, you may also be covered if injured when not in a car, such as while you’re riding a bike, taking a bus, or as a pedestrian.
Many states have adopted the “no-fault” system with the goal of simplifying the process of determining who is responsible for an accident.
Currently, there are 13 states where drivers must have PIP/no-fault insurance by law as part of their state minimum coverage requirements. A handful of other states, along with D.C., have PIP/no-fault insurance as optional coverage.
The amount of PIP/no-fault coverage you need will vary based on your financial situation and risk tolerance. If you and members in your household have post-accident benefits through a health insurance policy, then the state minimum level may be enough. Even so, some drivers still opt for more PIP/no-fault coverage so they can enjoy the added protection of lost wages, substitute services, and funeral expenses.
For those with little to no health insurance with post-accident coverage, it is recommended to opt for PIP/no-fault coverage amounts above the state minimum limits. An auto accident with injuries can cost tens of thousands to hundreds of thousands in medical expenses per person. The higher your personal injury protection limits, the more the policy can cover for your injury-related medical expenses. It is a good idea to aim for limits of around $100,000 per person, or if available $300,000 per accident, for medical expenses.
Keep in mind that PIP does not cover property damage. Consider purchasing comprehensive and collision to cover your vehicle.
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