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A Primer on PIP (Personal Injury Protection)

  • Posted by Matt Collister | 2 min read

In our recent FAO Connect reader survey, you said you’d like to read more about Personal Injury Protection (PIP). This includes content you can provide to your own customers.

PIP does tend to be among the more confusing for insureds to understand. Here are a few points to help you communicate the basics. Feel free to share this content, as is or customized, with your own audiences.   

What is Personal Injury Protection?

Personal Injury Protection, or “PIP,” is one of the coverages on a personal auto policy. It reimburses you for costs related to the treatment of injuries you receive in an accident, up to a chosen dollar limit. It also covers any passengers in your car at the time of the accident. In some states, PIP may cover things like lost wages and rehabilitation costs. 

What makes the coverage unusual is that it applies no matter who caused the accident. So, you may start to be reimbursed for medical bills even before the insurance companies determine who is liable.

PIP is primary. This means that any health insurance you have — whether private or government-sponsored — will only “kick in” once the PIP limit is reached.

Do I need PIP?

PIP is required in states that have no-fault or tort auto insurance laws. About a third of states have these laws in effect. The coverage is optional in a handful of other states. Your insurance agent can explain your state requirements.

How much PIP should I buy?

Progressive recommends asking yourself the following questions when considering PIP and selecting coverage limits:

  • How good is my personal health insurance?
    If you have low-deductible/high quality health insurance, you could consider lower levels of PIP.
  • Do I have life insurance?
    If you have a family but don’t have life insurance, know that PIP could help them cover expenses if you’re in a fatal accident.
  • How would I make up for lost wages if I can’t work?
    If you’re unable to work due to an injury from an auto accident, PIP could help make up for lost wages.

What if I’m still unsure?

If you still have questions, or are unsure how much PIP is right for you, contact your insurance agent. Agents are highly trained professionals who know the ins and outs of auto insurance. They can help you choose the coverage levels you need to protect yourself, your family, and your car.

Matt is a freelance writer and editor who has done work for multiple industries, including insurance, banking, energy, manufacturing, and print and packaging. Outside of all that writing, Matt is a father of two who enjoys Crossfit and obstacle course racing with his wife.