Every time you get behind the steering wheel of a vehicle, you expose yourself and others to risk. Almost everyone will experience an auto accident at some point in their life, and unfortunately, even a small fender-bender could result in injuries to yourself and your passengers.

Because driving is a high injury risk activity, many states legally require drivers to have personal injury protection (PIP) insurance in order to protect themselves from the expenses that result from accidents.

But what does personal injury protection cover and which states require it? Let’s find out.

What is personal injury protection (PIP)?

PIP insurance covers the medical expenses when a car accident results in:

  • Injuries to you
  • Injuries to your passengers
  • Injuries to members of your household
  • Injuries to drivers on your policy

Also known as “no-fault” insurance, PIP insurance can be included on top of your commercial auto policy, but it’s primarily available in states that have no-fault insurance laws.

No-fault insurance laws make it so that fault does not have to be established in order to cover medical treatment or other related expenses. So, even if you’re found to be at fault in an accident, your expenses would still be covered up to the policy limit.

You may want to consider purchasing PIP insurance if:

  • Your state requires it
  • You regularly drive with passengers that could sue you for their medical expenses in an accident
  • You don’t have a robust health insurance plan

What does PIP cover?

While PIP coverage varies on a state-by-state basis, most policies can include coverage for the following expenses:

  • Medical bills – Your medical expenses could be covered, but the level of coverage depends on the state. Some policies cover 100% of the medical expenses, while others leave the driver with a percentage to be paid with coinsurance. Common medical bills that may be included are:
    • Ambulance services
    • Medical treatment
    • Surgery
    • Hospital stay
    • Medications
    • Scans
    • Rehabilitation
  • Lost income – If you or the passengers in your vehicle are unable to work because of injuries sustained in a car accident, PIP can help cover a portion of those lost wages.
  • Child care expenses – If you are unable to take care of your children because of your ailments, PIP could be used to hire babysitters or caretakers.
  • Costs of death – PIP could help families fill in the income gap caused by the sudden departure of a household provider. It would also cover funeral expenses.
  • Unfulfilled duties – Should your injuries prevent you from fulfilling your home care duties, PIP could pay for someone to take care of household services like mowing the lawn or cleaning the house.

What is not covered by PIP?

Coverage for PIP doesn’t extend to physical damage to your vehicle. So, if you were at fault in an accident, you’d be left to pay for repairs on your own. In addition, PIP also won’t kick in for the following situations:

  • Driver was committing a crime
  • Driver intentionally caused the accident
  • Motorist was driving for a fare such as a Lyft driver
  • The injured person was hit by an uninsured immediate family member
  • The injury was caused by “perilous human activity”
    • War
    • Rebellions
    • Riots
    • Insurrections

It’s important to note that there are other forms of specialized auto insurance that may also be necessary to obtain, including:

  • Property damage liability insurance – This pays for damages you cause to other people’s vehicles and property
  • Comprehensive coverage – Covers vehicle damage caused by a non-collision incident
  • Collision coverage – Takes care of damages to your vehicle if you were at-fault in the accident
  • Uninsured motorist coverage – Provides coverage if you’re hit by a motorist that is uninsured or underinsured

What states require PIP insurance?

There are fifteen states that require a driver to have at least a minimum amount of PIP insurance.1 Also, there are four locations (Washington D.C., Oregon, Maryland, Delaware) that compel insurance companies to offer drivers PIP insurance, but the drivers have the option to decline the coverage.

The states and their minimum PIP coverage required limits are:

  • Delaware (tort law state) – $15,000 per person, $30,000 per accident, $5,000 funeral expenses
  • Florida (no-fault state) – $10,000 per person
  • Hawaii (no-fault state) – $10,000 per person
  • Kansas (no-fault state) – $4,500 per person for medical expenses, $4,500 for rehab expenses, $2,000 funeral expenses, $900 per month in lost income
  • Kentucky (no-fault state) – $10,000 per person
  • Maryland (tort law state) – $2,500 per accident
  • Massachusetts (no-fault state) – $8,000 per person
  • Michigan (no-fault state) – Unlimited medical expenses, up to $5,000 in lost income
  • Minnesota (no-fault state) – $20,000 for medical expenses, $20,000 in lost income
  • New Jersey (no-fault state) – $15,00 per person, $250,000 for permanent injury
  • New York (no-fault state) – $50,000 per person, 80% of lost income up to $2,000 per month
  • North Dakota (no-fault state) – $30,000 per person
  • Oregon (tort law state) – $15,000 per person
  • Pennsylvania (no-fault state) – $5,000 per accident
  • Utah (no-fault state) – $3,000 per person, $3,000 death benefit, $1,500 per person funeral expenses

Protecting your small business

PIP insurance is one of the many ways that you can protect your small business from liability. But your car isn’t the only thing that might harm a third party. In fact, your business and employees might also pose a risk to others.

The best way you can shield your business from its inherent risks is by purchasing a general liability insurance or a professional liability insurance policy. A general liability policy helps protect against claims of third-party bodily injury and property damage. A professional liability policy, on the other hand, helps protect against claims of negligence that resulted in your clients’ financial loss.

With Thimble, you can purchase both forms of liability insurance for your small business by the hour, day, or month. It’s modern, affordable insurance that works when you do.

Interested in getting protection? It only takes a minute. Download the Thimble mobile app and click “Get a quote,” share a few details about your company, and you’ll have your quote instantly.

Whether it’s your vehicle or your client’s property, it’s vital that your business prepares for mishaps and risk. That’s why we’re here—to not only provide coverage for general and professional liability, but to help educate you in the process.