Both MedPay and PIP normally cover you, your passengers and other authorized drivers of your car who are injured while in your insured vehicle. Both coverages typically also cover you and your family members if you are injured while riding in someone else’s car or if struck by another vehicle while a pedestrian.
MedPay and PIP are similar, but PIP is typically more comprehensive and pays for items such as lost wages that MedPay will not. Both coverages usually come with a benefit for funeral expenses.
Medical payments strictly pays for reasonable medical expenses, such as hospital, dental, nursing and X-ray bills incurred within a specified period of time after your accident (usually the first three years).
PIP typically covers reasonable medical expenses, loss of essential services and lost wages. The exact benefits offered by PIP coverage differ greatly by state, and a deductible and/or co-payment may be due before your benefits start up.
Is MedPay or PIP mandatory?
You must buy personal injury protection in these states: Delaware, Florida, Hawaii, Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, North Dakota, Oregon and Utah. Most, but not all, are no-fault states.
Only one state, Maine, requires drivers to purchase medical payments coverage. New Hampshire does not have a compulsory car insurance law, but if you buy a policy, as most motorists there do, it must include medical payments coverage. Both states’ minimum MedPay limit is $2,000.
Most other states offer PIP and/or medical payment as optional coverages.
What are the recommended limits?
If these coverages are optional, experts recommend at least $5,000 for medical payments and $10,000 for PIP.
Consider buying enough MedPay and/or PIP to cover your health insurance deductible. If you don’t have health insurance, or a policy that doesn’t cover auto accident injuries, consider a higher amount.
In many states, you can carry both MedPay and PIP on your policy if you so choose. Depending upon state laws and policy terms, this can be beneficial if you are able to use your MedPay coverage to pay for your PIP co-payment or deductible. Or your medical payments may kick in after your PIP coverage is exhausted, which is still helpful.
What if I don’t buy MedPay and/or PIP coverage?
If medical payments coverage and/or PIP is optional in your state and you choose to go without, you may end up paying out-of-pocket for your medical bills when you are at-fault in an accident, or the at-fault party cannot cover your injuries.