Last updated: July 2022

Explaining Personal Injury Protection

Personal injury protection, often called PIP insurance, is a type of auto insurance coverage that can help cover your medical and other expenses that result from a car accident, regardless of who is at fault. That's why it's sometimes referred to as "no-fault" auto insurance.

Keep reading to learn about the benefits of PIP and whether PIP is required in your state, plus the differences between PIP and medical payments coverage.

What is Personal Injury Protection?

Here's an example of how your PIP coverage could come into play: Say you break your arm in a covered auto accident. If you have personal injury protection, you will get help paying for your accident-related medical treatments, like a sling or cast and physical therapy.

Personal injury protection can help recover lost wages, too, which means you wouldn't have to worry about important bills going unpaid if you're unable to work. It can also help pay for substitute services, like house cleaning or childcare, if you cannot perform those duties while your arm recovers.

What do PIP benefits include?

The specific benefits of PIP vary by state. Generally, however, PIP can help cover:

  • Medical expenses (medication, surgery, rehabilitation, diagnostic tests, ambulance transportation, hospitalization, X-rays, prostheses, dental care, psychiatric treatment, and chiropractic services) 
  • Lost wages 
  • Service replacement (including childcare or other services you cannot complete due to your injuries)
  • Funeral costs, if necessary
  • Losses for surviving dependents

Do I need PIP coverage?

Personal injury protection coverage is not available in all states. If your state's car insurance laws require PIP coverage, you will need to meet the state-specified limits. 

States that require PIP insurance include: 

  • Arkansas 
  • Delaware 
  • Florida 
  • Hawaii 
  • Kansas 
  • Kentucky 
  • Maryland 
  • Massachusetts 
  • Michigan 
  • Minnesota 
  • New Jersey 
  • New York 
  • North Dakota 
  • Pennsylvania 
  • Oregon 
  • Texas 
  • Utah 

PIP is also required in Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico. Certain states, including Arkansas and Texas, allow you to reject PIP coverage. However, it's crucial to understand that going without this coverage holds you more financially responsible in the event of an auto accident.

If you don't see your state listed here or you're unsure about your state's car insurance laws, talk to a licensed insurance agent or your current auto insurance provider. They're your go-to resource for all things insurance-related and can help you stay legal on the road.

How much does PIP cost? 

PIP costs vary by state and driver. The cost of PIP can increase if your insurance company requires you to cover all vehicles on your car insurance policy instead of the vehicles specifically identified. Prices may also vary based on your driving history, policy coverage limit, and deductible. 

At Direct Auto, we do our best to keep your car insurance policy affordable, whether you need PIP coverage or not. You always have options to explore thanks to our multiple auto insurance discountsflexible payment methods, and low down payments!* 

Where can I get PIP insurance?

If you live in a state where PIP is offered – or in a no-fault state where PIP is required – Direct Auto can help you secure coverage so you can stay safe and legal. Call 1-877-GO-DIRECT (1-877-463-4732) or stop by a Direct Auto location near you to learn more about PIP coverage today.

What's the Difference Between PIP and Med Pay? 

Coverages like personal injury protection (PIP) and medical payments coverage (med pay) can help pay for certain medical expenses sustained in an auto accident. There is some overlap between the two, but each coverage offers unique benefits. Understanding the differences between PIP and med pay can help you make the best choice for your auto insurance coverage needs.

PIP v. Med Pay: A Quick Overview

PIP coverage and med pay each pay for immediate and necessary medical services following a car accident that results in bodily injury. These coverages can help pay for your and your passengers' injuries in the event of an accident. However, they offer different types of benefits.

Check out the comparison table below to learn about the differences between PIP and med pay, and determine which coverage is the best match for your needs.



Med Pay

Direct Medical/Surgical Care



Lost Income Reimbursement



Substitution Services (like childcare and house cleaning)



What is PIP coverage?

PIP coverage can generally help pay for: 

  • Medical expenses 
  • Lost wages 
  • Service replacement (such as childcare) 
  • Funeral costs 

PIP coverage is different than med pay in that it can also cover lost wages. Depending on your level of coverage, PIP could also help supplement your income if you're injured in a car accident and can't work.

What is med pay coverage? 

Medical payments coverage is similar to PIP coverage, but it provides less comprehensive coverage. It covers the policyholder, the other drivers listed on the policy, members of the insured's household, and passengers during an accident.

Unlike PIP coverage, med pay only covers direct medical or surgical care related to physical injuries that result from an auto accident. Med pay could help pay for:

  • Medical expenses
  • Hospital expenses
  • Dental care
  • Funeral expenses

Med pay will not help pay for psychiatric treatment, childcare, lost wages, or losses for surviving dependents. 

However, med pay can supplement your standard health insurance after an accident. In some situations, it can help pay for your health insurance plan's deductible, as well as other out-of-pocket medical expenses not covered by your health insurance. Med pay has no deductible or copay, unlike most health insurance plans. Plus, with med pay, you are covered if you are injured as an automobile passenger, on public transportation, or by a driver while you're walking or cycling.

Is med pay required in my state?

Med pay is only required in Maine, New Hampshire, and Pennsylvania. Check your state car insurance laws to determine which coverage, if any, is necessary when it comes to PIP vs. med pay.

Should I get PIP or med pay?

If you live in a state where PIP or med pay is required, the choice is clear: You must carry whatever coverages are necessary to meet the insurance requirements in your state. If PIP and med pay are optional in your state, the choice is up to you. However, by choosing to go without these coverages, you assume more financial risk in the event of an accident.

Either way, Direct Auto can help. If you want to know more about which coverages are required by law in your state or want to add PIP or med pay to your existing auto insurance policy, give us a call at 1-877-GO-DIRECT (1-877-463-4732) or stop by your nearest Direct location today!

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