How much personal injury protection insurance do I need?
While the majority of states don't offer or mandate personal injury protection, also referred to as "PIP," if you live in a no-fault insurance state, you're required to carry a minimum amount of PIP coverage. The minimum coverage amount varies by state, and, in some states, you can choose to purchase more than the minimum coverage for increased protection against medical expenses and lost wages if you or your passengers are injured in an auto accident, regardless of fault. Selecting the right amount of PIP coverage often depends on how you're covered by your health insurance plan.
Do you need personal injury protection?
There are currently 17 states that mandate PIP coverage, per the Insurance Information Institute. In a handful of other states, PIP coverage is available but not required. Our car insurance calculator will let you know if PIP coverage is required in your state.
How do I figure out how much personal injury protection I need?
If you have health insurance, personal injury protection may not be necessary. If you live in a state that requires PIP coverage, you might choose the minimum coverage amount if you're well covered under your health insurance plan. Consider your health insurance deductible amount as well. If you carry a low health insurance deductible, then you could opt for a higher deductible on your PIP coverage to reduce your auto policy's rate. Most states, however, don't have a deductible for PIP, which means PIP may be a favorable option if your health insurance plan has a high deductible.
If you don't have health insurance, PIP may be an affordable way to cover your medical expenses and rehab costs resulting from an auto accident. And if you don't have life insurance, PIP may pay for funeral costs and other expenses up to your policy's limits, if you're involved in a fatal auto accident.
Keep in mind, even if you have health insurance that covers your medical bills, health plans typically don't provide coverage for lost wages or help pay for services you can no longer perform, such as house cleaning or childcare. Personal injury protection may pay for those services, as well as offer benefits many standard health plans don't provide, up to your policy's limits.
Understand that when paying out on a medical claim, PIP typically comes before your health insurance in most states. That means if you're injured in a vehicle accident, your auto policy's PIP coverage will be in the primary position and your health insurance plan will be secondary.