Often when you have an auto accident, one of the first questions asked at the scene is, "Who was at fault." The answer to this question usually determines who is responsible for paying for the accident. But this does not matter if you live in a no-fault state. In a no-fault state, each driver pays for their accident-related expenses. You must have personal injury protection insurance (PIP) to do so. What is PIP, who has to have it, how much do you carry, and what does it pay for? Here is some information about this vital car insurance.

What Is Personal Injury Protection Insurance?

Personal injury protection insurance is also sometimes known as no-fault car insurance. The policy is a certain amount of coverage that pays for accident-related expenses up to your policy limits. It may include some of the same benefits found in your health insurance policy. But what is PIP not?

  • It is not collision coverage.
  • It will not pay to repair your vehicle.
  • It is not comprehensive coverage.
  • It will not cover the theft of your car.
  • It is not property-damaged liability coverage.
  • It will not pay for damage to another person's property or vehicle. 

You may need to add these to your car insurance policy.

What Does PIP Cover?

Covered accident-related expenses include the following:

  • Medical expenses
  • Ambulance services
  • Prosthetic devices
  • Dental services
  • Lost wages 
  • Funeral services resulting from a covered accident

If your injuries incapacitate you to the point that you cannot perform your household chores, your PIP may pay others to perform the necessary services while you recover. PIP may also cover your accident-related expenses when not inside your vehicle. Your coverage may extend in several other scenarios. 

For example, if you are biking and a car strikes you, your PIP may pay for your medical expenses up to your policy limits. If your expenses, such as your medical bills or loss of wages, exceed your policy limits, you may be able to sue and recover from the at-fault driver. 

Who Must Have PIP?

Twelve no-fault states require you to have PIP insurance. They are as follows:

  • Delaware
  • Florida
  • Hawaii
  • Kansas
  • Kentucky
  • Maine
  • Maryland
  • Massachusetts
  • Michigan
  • Minnesota
  • New Jersey
  • New Hampshire

Two of these states, Kentucky, New Jersey, and the District of Columbia, allow you to choose between the no-fault and tort liability systems. 

How Much PIP Do You Have To Carry?

Minimum PIP requirements vary based on the state you live in. These amounts range from $2,500 in Maryland to $250,000 in Michigan. Speak to the car insurance services agent to determine how much PIP you must have where you live.