Insurance Glossary Personal Injury Protection Coverage

Personal injury protection coverage is a component of most automobile policies. It is also known as PIP coverage and is designed to pay for medical bills for the occupants of an insured automobile in the event of an accident.

Some states require that all motorists have PIP coverage as part of their automobile policy. If PIP coverage is mandatory, you are often required to have minimum limits, and you may find that you have no choice in the limit and that it is automatically set by the state. You may also have a deductible with your PIP coverage, which may or may not be mandatory. If it is not a requirement it may be something that you could consider as having a deductible could reduce your premium.

Since the PIP coverage is designed to pay for medical bills for people injured while in the insured’s vehicle, some states required that the PIP coverage will apply without regard to liability in the circumstances of the accident. This is often referred to as “no-fault” PIP coverage. In a No-Fault insurance state, the medical bills for injured parties are paid by the insurance coverage written for the vehicle that the injured parties were in at the time of the accident, regardless of whose fault the accident was. So if you are the driver or passenger in a car that was hit by a drunk driver, and you were injured, your own insurance would pay directly for your medical bills.

There are some provisions of No-Fault laws that will allow for a PIP insurer to recover the money that they paid for medical bills when another party was at fault, and these provisions will vary from state to state.

If you live in a state with mandatory PIP coverage, you don’t have much to worry about getting the correct coverage because you simply won’t have a choice in the matter, but if you don’t live in that type of state you will want to be very careful when you are shopping for insurance to make sure that your agent is including PIP coverage for you. While it may not be mandatory, it is a very important coverage that you will want in place should an accident occur. The reason this coverage is so important is that there may not be any other coverage for those medical bills. For example, you may cause an accident yourself, or the at fault party may have no coverage, or a circumstance may arise where there is simply no one else to blame and an accident is caused that injures you an your passengers. Deer accidents are common examples of this.

Talk to your agent in detail about PIP coverage, as your health and well being may really depend on it.