Leslie Kasperowicz holds a BA in Social Sciences from the University of Winnipeg. She spent several years as a Farmers Insurance CSR, gaining a solid understanding of insurance products including home, life, auto, and commercial and working directly with insurance customers to understand their needs. She has since used that knowledge in her more than ten years as a writer, largely in the insuranc...

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Melanie Musson is the fourth generation in her family to work in the insurance industry. She grew up with insurance talk as part of her everyday conversation and has studied to gain an in-depth knowledge of state-specific insurance laws and dynamics as well as a broad understanding of how insurance fits into every person’s life, from budgets to coverage levels. Through her years working in th...

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Reviewed by Melanie Musson
Published Insurance Expert Melanie Musson

UPDATED: Feb 12, 2022

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Just What's Essential

  • PIP stands for personal injury protection
  • Your PIP coverage pays for medical bills, lost wages, legal fees, and other essential services
  • You don’t have to pay extra for PIP insurance if it’s required in your state

Did you know you have to pay extra for personal injury protection if it’s not required in your state? Personal injury insurance is a valuable car insurance service, but it’s not a must for all drivers.

But what is PIP insurance? And why is PIP coverage recommended even when you don’t need it? Don’t worry — we’re here to help.

This guide shows every detail about PIP, how deductibles affect monthly rates, and how you can secure affordable car insurance.

Read on to learn all about PIP insurance and how much it costs. Use our free online quote tool above if you’re ready to compare multiple insurance companies near you.

What is personal injury protection?

Personal injury protection, or PIP, provides coverage for medical bills, lost wages, child care, and other essential services after you’ve been injured in an accident.

The PIP insurance meaning is often mistaken for liability coverage because several states have it attached to liability auto insurance. However, most states have personal injury insurance as optional coverage.

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What does PIP cover?

Personal injury protection coverage pays for several other things besides medical bills. Our research found a list of items that PIP auto insurance covers. Let’s examine the list below.

  • Child care
  • Cleaning service charge
  • Legal fees
  • Lost wages
  • Hospital expenses
  • Medical expenses
  • Survivors’ loss

PIP insurance coverage pays for bodily injury regardless of fault. Injuries that make you incapable of working are compensated by your auto insurance policy’s PIP insurance.

After paying your deductible, you can receive a claim for lost wages, child care, and other essential services that you can’t do yourself. Personal injury protection also pays for medical bills and funeral expenses for you and your passengers.

What does PIP insurance not cover?

Personal injury insurance doesn’t cover damage to your vehicle, the other driver’s car, or personal items. You’ll need collision insurance to get coverage for your damaged vehicle.

Liability insurance covers the damage to another driver’s car when you’re at fault in an accident and vice versa. Meanwhile, comprehensive auto insurance provides coverage for unforeseen accidents that don’t involve a collision, such as a falling object, fire, or flooding.

What’s the difference between personal injury protection and medical payments?

PIP insurance is similar to medical payments (MedPay), but they cover different things. Your PIP coverage pays for incidents related to personal injury, while MedPay covers medical-related services.

Therefore, MedPay focuses on payments related to healthcare visits, co-pays, x-rays, and other medical bills. MedPay also has a smaller coverage limit and cheaper rate each month, but personal injury protection insurance is slightly more expensive, with double the policy limit.

Which states require PIP car insurance?

PIP insurance is required in quite a few states. Here’s a list of states where PIP coverage is attached to liability car insurance.

States that Require Personal Injury Protection
ArkansasMarylandNorth Dakota
HawaiiMinnesotaPuerto Rico*
KansasNew JerseyTexas
KentuckyNew YorkUtah
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Puerto Rico is a United States territory, and it carries auto insurance requirements just like any other state in America. The required limit for most states with PIP is $10,000.

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How much is personal injury protection insurance?

Your PIP coverage is determined by the state where you live and your deductible. The average cost of car insurance is $90 per month. The personal injury protection portion of full coverage insurance is about 16%, which comes out to $15 extra a month.

But what is PIP coverage like for other states in the United States? Let’s look at how much you could pay for PIP coverage in states where PIP insurance is optional.

PIP Car Insurance Rates by State and Deductible
StatesPIP Rates, $0 Deductible, $10,000 PIPPIP Rates, $250 Deductible, $10,000 PIPPIP Rates, $500 Deductible, $10,000 PIPPIP Rates, $1,000 Deductible, $10,000 PIP
District of Columbia$21$19$19$18
New Hampshire$12$11$11$11
New Mexico$15$14$13$13
North Carolina$12$11$11$10
Rhode Island$21$19$18$18
South Carolina$16$15$14$14
South Dakota$12$11$11$11
West Virginia$16$14$14$13
*National Average*$16$15$14$14
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Higher deductibles generate more affordable PIP car insurance rates, but low deductibles do the opposite for your insurance policy. If you want to avoid the expensive out-of-pocket cost, we suggest a deductible between $250 and $500.

How much is PIP insurance coverage at the best car insurance companies?

Using the national average percent for PIP, we found the estimated cost of PIP at the best car insurance companies in the nation. Here’s what we found.

PIP Car Insurance Rates by Company
CompaniesPIP Car Insurance Rates Based on a Clean Driving Record
American Family$36
Liberty Mutual$64
State Farm$38
**National Average**$42
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USAA is the cheapest auto insurance company for PIP, but USAA car insurance is only available to U.S. military veterans and their immediate families.

But the other companies are just as reliable. If you’re looking to save money on PIP, try GEICO, American Family, Nationwide, and State Farm.

How much PIP coverage should I get?

We recommend the $10,000 limit for PIP auto insurance. If you think you need more coverage, raise your coverage limit. However, higher coverage levels drive up car insurance rates.

How do you file a personal injury protection claim?

Filing a PIP insurance claim is the same as filing any other claim. All you have to do is call your auto insurance company and let them know you need to start a personal injury insurance claim.

The insurance company will need your name, policy number, and driver’s license number. This information allows them to access your car insurance policy faster.

Explain your accident in detail, tell them about your injury, and give them a police report if you have it. If you’re able to, snap photos of your injuries.

You’ll have to send your report to your insurance company, so they can process your claim. And don’t forget that you’ll need to pay your deductible to move your claim forward.

Do you need PIP car insurance if you have health insurance coverage?

Yes, you do. Health insurance is strongly recommended. Although PIP auto insurance is optional in most states, you should consider supplementing your health insurance with PIP. This gives you more options to pay for medical and hospital bills in the event of an accident and minimizes out-of-pocket costs.

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PIP Insurance: The Bottom Line

Personal injury protection is one of the best coverage options that pay for injuries regardless of fault. It does increase your car insurance rates when you add to your policy. But if you live in a state that requires PIP insurance, you won’t have to pay extra for it.

Now that you have a better idea about PIP insurance, enter your ZIP code in the free online quote tool below to compare multiple insurance companies in your area.