What Does PIP Stand For?


PIP stands for Personal Injury Protection, insurance that is required in so-called “no-fault” states of which there are 12 plus the District of Columbia. In “no-fault” states, drivers have limited rights to sue each other, and PIP is required to pay your and the other driver's medical expenses, no matter who was at fault for the accident.


States that adopted “no-fault” legislation wrote their own statutes. Many of them were persuaded from doing away with the right of one citizen to sue another for damages, so each of them embraced only part of the “no-fault” philosophy. Therefore, it is imperative that you deal with an insurance agent who knows about the laws of your state before you buy PIP coverage.


PIP insurance provides much more than just coverage for bodily injury. It also will pay a percentage of the wages you may lose if you miss work as a result of the accident. It will also reimburse you for whatever additional costs you sustain such as for additional household expenses, lawn maintenance and mileage to and from your physician.


It is easy to apply for these benefits under your PIP coverage. All you must do is provide the insurance company with a statement from your physician that you were injured in an automobile accident and you should soon begin receiving checks. Do remember, though, that since the insurance company only pays a portion of your lost wages, you must contact the other driver's insurance company for the remainder, if you were not at fault.


The following twelve states plus the District of Columbia have their form of “no-fault” laws: Florida, Kentucky, Kansas, Hawaii, Michigan, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Minnesota, New York, Pennsylvania, Utah and North Dakota. Again, since each jurisdiction has taken a different stance, you need to know the coverage you'll need before you buy your policy.


In addition to being obliged to buy PIP insurance in a “no-fault” state, you must also have Personal Damage Liability coverage of the other party's automobile. And while it is not a requirement, you should consider having collision coverage for your own automobile, as well as bodily damage coverage for anyone riding with the other driver. There is a minimum amount of insurance required by each state, so be aware of that requirement when you buy your insurance. Considering the cost of PIP coverage and the others you must have to comply with the laws of “no-fault” states, you will pay more for insurance than if you lived in a state that had not passed such legislation.

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