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Understanding PIP and MedPay Auto Insurance

Personal insurance protection, commonly referred to as PIP, and Medical Payments coverage, MedPay for short, are the two main types of medical coverage you can purchase as part of your car insurance policy.  Whether you need PIP and/or MedPay depends on if your state requires you to carry the coverage and, if it’s a not requirement, then the health insurance coverage of you and frequent passengers covers. 

PIP and MedPay may be unfamiliar coverages to many motorists, since they are not as commonly talked about as liability, collision or comprehensive, but medical coverage is an important part of a holistic auto insurance policy.

While similar in some ways PIP and MedPay are not identical.  PIP typically covers medical expenses, loss of essential services and loss of income while MedPay generally only covers reasonable medical expenses.  Both PIP and MedPay normally come with a funeral expenses benefit.

Key Takeaways

  • PIP typically covers medical expenses, loss of essential services, and loss of income. MedPay usually only covers reasonable medical expenses.
  • Personal injury protection (PIP) helps cover injuries sustained in an auto accident, regardless of fault. However, the benefits vary by specific state laws and policy terms.
  • MedPay is required only in Maine and New Hampshire. While PIP is required in 15 states, optional in another six and unavailable in the remaining 28 states.
  • The coverage limits for MedPay and PIP vary from $1,000 to $10,000, but in some states, you can go as high as $100,000 for PIP.

How does coverage work?

What is PIP?  Personal injury protection (PIP) helps cover injuries sustained in an auto accident, regardless of fault.  PIP benefits vary by specific state laws and policy terms, but in general it will cover:

Medical expenses – Charges for ambulance, hospital, surgical, nursing, dental, medical treatment and x-ray services are all usually covered.  Psychiatric, physical, occupational therapy and rehabilitation may also be covered.  Essential medical supplies, medications and even prosthetics are typically part of your PIP benefits. 

Loss of income – Partial coverage of wages you were unable to work due to injuries from the auto accident that kept you from working.

Loss of essential services – Also known as substitute, replacement or disability services, this benefit covers costs when accident-related injuries make it difficult to perform necessary household tasks, such as cleaning or childcare.

Funeral expenses – If accident-related injuries result in the death, PIP benefits may help cover funeral costs.

Survivor’s loss – Some PIP policies compensate heirs if an individual died due to accident-related injuries.

Those covered by PIP insurance typically include:

  • The policyholder
  • Passengers
  • Relatives in the policyholder’s household
  • Authorized drivers of the insured vehicle

If anyone injured in an auto accident has their own PIP coverage, it is primary to the car owner’s PIP coverage.

PIP also covers:

  • Policyholder and household members, if injured in someone else’s vehicle or when a pedestrian. 
  • Injuries sustained if hit while riding a bike or using public transportation (in some states).

Personal injury protection varies, so read your policy terms to verify what benefits you have.  PIP is required in some states, referred to as no-fault coverage in many of these states, but is optional in most. 

PIP limits differ by state.  Some states, such as Florida, set a specific amount for PIP coverage, such as $10,000, and if you purchase higher limits it is termed “additional PIP,” other states allow you to choose your PIP limits.  In these states, the maximum you can buy is decided by the insurance company offerings. 

PIP comes with a deductible and sometimes a copayment as well.  If you also carry MedPay, you may be able to use it to help offset some of your PIP out-of-pocket costs.

What is MedPay?  MedPay is shorthand for Medical Payments coverage.  MedPay offers medical coverage for injuries sustained in an auto accident.  Typical MedPay benefits include:

Medical expenses – Reasonable and necessary medical expenditures, including hospital or doctor bills for visits, surgery, nursing services, dental, X-rays and prosthetic devices.

Funeral Expenses – If injuries related to an auto accident result in death, a funeral expense benefit is given.

Medical payment coverage generally covers the following people:

  • The policyholder, whether driver or passenger in insured vehicle.
  • The policyholder if injured when a passenger in someone else’s car.
  • Passengers injured while riding in insured vehicle.
  • Policyholder and covered family members if injured while walking as a pedestrian.
  • Policyholder and covered family members if injured while riding a bicycle (in some states).

Medical Payments doesn’t normally come with a deductible or copayment.  And even more helpful is that, depending on the terms of your PIP or primary health insurance, MedPay may be able to help cover the costs of deductible or copays associated with PIP or your health plan if you’re injured in an auto accident.  The terms to auto policy coverage vary greatly, so if you want this benefit, make certain your insurer allows MedPay to help pay

What is the difference between MedPay and PIP?  How do they differ from bodily injury?

While PIP and Medpay are both medical insurance coverages that will pay for reasonable medical expenses (up to your limit), they are not equal in terms of benefits.

PIP is more comprehensive coverage than MedPay.  MedPay strictly pays for medical expenses, while PIP includes benefits for lost wages and loss of services.  PIP is also required in many states and MedPay is only mandated to be added to your car insurance policy in a couple of states.  Though to try and stop fraud that occurs with PIP claims, some states have put in strict deadlines in which one can receive treatment and place a PIP claim.

If you carry both PIP and MedPay, PIP is typically primary.  Personal injury protection comes with a deducible and/or copayment, medical payments coverage come with neither. Medpay, however, may be able to be used to help pay copays and deductible for PIP or other health coverage.

MedPay and PIP are coverage for you and your passengers, which makes them completely different than bodily injury liability insurance. Liability covers you if you’re at fault and injury someone outside of your vehicle.  Uninsured and underinsured motorist bodily injury is also different in that MedPay and PIP coverages only pay if you’re injured by an at-fault driver who is either uninsured or whose insurance is insufficient to cover your medical costs.  PIP and MedPay can be claimed against regardless who was at fault.

Neither PIP nor MedPay pay for non-economic losses, like pain and suffering.  And, an exclusion may allow your auto insurance company to deny medical claims if you contributed to your own injury by operating a vehicle while under the influence.  Alcohol exclusion laws are in 37 states currently, according to the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA).   

No state requires you to carry both PIP and MedPay, but, in most states, you can add both PIP and MedPay to your auto policy if you so desire.  Texas is different in that you have the option of choosing PIP or Medpay, but are not permitted to add both to an auto policy.  And, in Michigan there is no reason to carry MedPay considering its PIP benefits are nearly unlimited.

Having both MedPay and PIP may seem like duplicate coverage, however, if your state laws and insurance policy terms allow your MedPay coverage to pick up the cost of your PIP deductible and/or co-pay, it can be advantageous to carry both.  Otherwise, MedPay benefits will kick in if PIP limits are exceeded, which is also beneficial.

It is a personal decision on if you should carry one or both of these coverages.  Questions to ask:

  • Does my state require PIP or MedPay?  If so then you need to include it on your policy.
  • If the coverage is not required, do you and your frequent passengers (including family members) have health insurance?  If so, does it cover injuries sustained in an auto accident (not all do, believe it or not)?  If your health insurance doesn’t cover auto accidents, it is wise to choose MedPay or PIP, or both, on your auto policy. If your health insurance does cover auto accident, what kind of deductible and/or copayments does it have?  If MedPay could help pay those costs, consider adding it to your policy.
  • Should I pick one or both, if both are available in my state?  Decide first on the benefits you want. Do you want coverage for lost wages and loss of essential services? If so, PIP is needed.  Do you only want some medical coverage that help pay for essential medical expenses after an auto accident?  Then MedPay is a good choice.  If you your state allows MedPay to cover some of the PIP out-of-pocket expenses, then purchasing both can be beneficial. 

Keep in mind the limits you can purchase for PIP and MedPay vary by state. Find out if you can use MedPay to help pay copayments and deductible of either PIP or your own personal health insurance.  That will help you decide if you should consider both coverages.  Also, the cost of each – you can get a policy quoted for MedPay and PIP together or separately on your policy. 

In the end, you are the best person to determine what works for your needs and budget. 

Is this PIP or MedPay required?

Nearly all states have certain state minimum requirements a car owner must have in place to operate their vehicle on public roadways. The exact requirements vary by state and, thus, personal injury protection is required in 15 states, is optional in another six plus the District of Columbia and not available in the remaining 28 states.

Medical payments is required only in Maine and New Hampshire.  New Hampshire is a special case in that the state doesn’t require drivers to purchase car insurance, but if you are in an accident you must provide proof of having the financial means to pay for the damages you caused to others.  The easiest way in which to have that proof is to purchase a car insurance policy.  When you do obtain an auto policy in New Hampshire, there are minimum requirements you must have, including MedPay.  In all other states, it is an optional coverage.

States for required PIP and minimum amount to purchase (All states are no-fault, except Delaware and Oregon):

  • Delaware  —  $15,000 per person & $30,000 per incident
  • Florida — $10,000 per person
  • Hawaii — $10,000 per person
  • Kansas — $4,500 medical per person and $900 work loss*
  • Kentucky — $10,000 per person
  • Maryland — $2,500 per accident
  • Massachusetts — $8,000 per person
  • Michigan  — Medical and work loss
  • Minnesota — $40,000 per person**
  • New Jersey — $15,000 per person (basic policy)
  • New York  — $50,000 per person
  • North Dakota — $30,000 per person
  • Oregon   — $15,000 per person
  • Pennsylvania  — $5,000 per accident***
  • Utah — $3,000 per person

*Kansas – PIP is broken down in to $4,500 for medical expenses (per person), $4,500 for rehab expenses, $900 work loss for up to one year and $2,000 for funeral expenses.

** Minnesota – $40,000 is divided up into $20,000 for medical/hospital benefits and $20,000 for non-medical benefits. 

*** Pennsylvania – PIP is called medical benefits in this state.


Optional PIP offerings -– called add-on states (must be offered by insurer, but policyholder can reject):

  • Arkansas –- $5,000 medical, work loss not to exceed $140 per week, accidental death $5,000.
  • South Dakota — $2,000 medical, death benefit of $10,000, disability of $60 per week.  
  • Texas — $2,500 overall limit for medical, loss of income and replacement services.  Can increase to $5,000. 
  • Virginia –- $2,000 medical, lost wages of $100 per week.  
  • Washington — $10,000 medical minimum (can increase to $35,000) lost wages $10,000 option to increase to $35,000, loss of services, $5,000 with option to increase to $14,600. Funeral expenses of $2,000.   
  • Wisconsin — $1,000 medical coverage only
  • Washington, D.C. – $50,000 medical with option to increase to $100,000, work loss of $12,000 with option to increase to $24,000 and funeral expense of $4,000. 

Requires MedPay coverage:

  • Maine  — $2,000
  • New Hampshire — $1,000

Remember these are the bare minimum amounts you can buy.  The minimum and maximum limits vary by state — and then according to each auto insurance providers’ offerings – so if you want more coverage ask what limits are available.

Even if your state doesn’t require you to carry PIP or MedPay, it’s worth considering if you want a well-rounded auto in insurance policy.  It’s recommended you carry medical coverage or PIP or MedPay of at least $5,000.  If you can afford more, purchase more.

What is a “no-fault” law?

Of the states that require drivers to add PIP, 12 of these states are considered “no-fault” states. A no-fault insurance system requires drivers to be compensated for certain losses from their own insurance provider, regardless of fault.  PIP, is the coverage that drivers must use for injuries in no-fault states, instead of placing a bodily injury claim against the at-fault party.

No-fault state laws vary, but their main component is restricting your right to sue.  Michigan has the “purest” form of no-fault insurance, while other no-fault states only require motorists to carry PIP and make first-party claims for injuries sustained in an auto accident.  Property damage still goes through the property damage liability coverage of the at-fault party.  Michigan even allows this, but only up to $1,000, which is really meant to cover the deductible of your collision coverage.

No-fault limits your ability to sue a driver who has injured you, but also restricts anyone you may injure.  States have set certain monetary thresholds or severity of injury thresholds you reach in order to make go against the at-fault party.  These restrictions are meant to reduce lawsuits after auto accidents.  The jury is still out on if no-fault systems work, since lawsuits can still happen if thresholds are hit and also PIP claim fraud continues to be an issue.

No-fault states thresholds

Verbal threshold means a descriptive one in terms of injuries sustained and monetary is one based on a certain dollar amount of medical bills.  Some laws may also include a requirement of a minimum set of days of disability incurred due to the injury.  Verbal thresholds remove the motivation of individuals to try and inflate claims to hit a dollar amount for medical that allows them to sue, like with a monetary threshold.  Some states have a monetary or verbal threshold.  For instance, in Kentucky there is a monetary threshold of $1,000 but also a verbal threshold if you injury is permanent or fracturing of a weight-bearing bone.

The following lists no-fault states and their threshold type:

  1. Florida – Verbal threshold
  2. Hawaii – Monetary or verbal threshold
  3. Kansas – Monetary or verbal threshold
  4. Kentucky – Monetary or verbal threshold
  5. Massachusetts – Monetary or verbal threshold
  6. Michigan – Verbal threshold
  7. Minnesota – Verbal threshold
  8. New Jersey – Verbal threshold
  9. New York – Verbal threshold
  10. North Dakota – Monetary threshold
  11. Pennsylvania – Verbal threshold
  12. Utah – Monetary threshold

Three no-fault states, Kentucky, New Jersey and Pennsylvania, plus Washington, D.C (which is not considered a no-fault state) are called choice states.  The laws in these areas allow motorists to reject the lawsuit threshold and retain their rights to sue for injuries sustained in an auto accident. 

As mentioned above, Michigan is a special no-fault state.  Michigan’s no-fault law offers unlimited PIP benefits.  Insurers pay PIP medical bills up to $500,000 and then are reimbursed for payouts above that amount by the Michigan Catastrophic Claims Association (MCCA). Michigan auto insurance policyholders pay into the MCAA a per vehicle assessment each year as part of their auto policy.

The list of who requires PIP is longer than the no-fault state list because not all states that require PIP are under no-fault laws. 

States that aren’t no-fault states are “tort” states.  Tort insurance systems allow those injured in auto accidents to sue the at-fault party.  The first step, before suing, would be to make a claim against the at-fault driver’s bodily injury coverage.  If the limits are exceeded, then being able to sue is an option. No-fault systems instead have PIP in place, which people use their own PIP coverage and are limited in their ability to sue the at-fault party.  

What are the other components of a well-rounded insurance policy?

To have a well-rounded policy you should have both required coverages and optional coverages that give you protection as a car owner.  Besides PIP and MedPay, you should know and understand the coverages listed below.  Be aware of what is required in your state and then decide which optional coverage should be added to your car insurance policy.

Liability coverage of bodily injury and property damage is required in most all states.  Bodily injury covers those that you are responsible injuring in an auto accident.  It may be someone in another car or a pedestrian.  Property damage covers other vehicles you damaged or other people’s property such as a fence or building.  State minimums for liability insurance varies, but minimum coverage is normally not enough. 

Unless you have little to no assets to protect, you’ll want to purchase higher limits of liability coverage.  We recommend limits of $100,000 per person and $300,000 per incident for bodily injury liability and $100,000 per incident for property damage liability coverage (written as 100/300/100 in a policy).

Uninsured motorist and underinsured coverage is required by some states, but not all.  Uninsured/Underinsured motorist covers your medical bills if you’re injured by a driver who is either without insurance or without sufficient insurance to cover all of your medical expenses.

Comprehensive and Collision are optional coverages that protect your vehicle.  Collision covers damage to your vehicle sustained in a collision or rollover, regardless of fault. Comprehensive covers your vehicle from theft, fire, vandalism and damage from extreme weather, such as hail or high winds.  These coverages aren’t required by state laws, but is by finance companies if you lease or financed your vehicle.

Get the best policy for your needs by reviewing out list of Best Auto Insurance Companies and going on to get a quote for the coverages you want.

Understanding PIP/MedPay limits

PIP and MedPay minimum limits vary by state, and then by insurance company offerings for the maximum amounts (unless state laws also mandate maximums that can be offered).  In general, limits for both types of coveragesvary from $1,000 to $10,000, but in some states you can go as high as $100,000 for PIP. 

PIP limits are per person in some states and per accident in others.  Also, limits vary in states regarding if there is one maximum limit that encompasses all benefits or if limits vary depending on which portion of the policy you use. Remember most PIP policies have medical, work loss, lost services and accidental death benefits. For instance, South Dakota has a maximum coverage amount for all benefits of $30,000 regardless of how any people are injured.  In contrast, Washington State has varying limits that are per person of:

  • Medical – $10,000
  • Loss of income – Pays 85% of lost income to a maximum period of 54 weeks from date of accident and with per week maximum of $200.  Total coverage maximum $10,000.
  • Loss of services – Pays up to $40 per day with limit to $200 per week maximum.  Total coverage amount is $5,000.
  • Death benefit/funeral expenses – $2,000

If you plan to use MedPay to pay for deductibles and copayments for PIP or your own health insurance plan, pick MedPay limits high enough to cover those if possible.  For PIP, if you have good health insurance, then choosing minimum amounts may be enough for your needs. If your health insurance isn’t the best, or doesn’t cover injuries sustained in an auto accident, then higher amounts of PIP, $10,000 or more if offered, are a better choice.

If your limits are exceeded, then there are a few ways in which your remaining medical expenses could be paid.  The options include:

  • You personally pay out-of-pocket. 
  • Place claim or lawsuit against at-fault party.
  • Your health insurance picks up where PIP leaves off.

You can be on hook for your remaining medical expenses after MedPay or PIP benefits end if the accident was your fault and either you have no health insurance or your plan doesn’t cover injuries from an auto accident.  If this is your situation, having both MedPay and PIP with limits of at least $5,000 is advantageous.

Or, your health insurance plan may kick in after the medical benefits from your auto insurance policy are exceeded.  You will need to check the terms of your health plan to find out.  Most plans do cover injuries sustained in an auto accident, and will act as secondary coverage after any auto insurance medical coverage is used as primary.

If the accident as someone else’s fault and you’re in a tort state, then you can place a claim through the at-fault party’s bodily injury liability coverage or place a lawsuit against the other party so that your remaining medical expenses can be paid.

If you’re in a no-fault state and your PIP limits are exceeded, you’re left to pay the bills unless you meet the verbal or monetary threshold due to having severe disabilities.  Or, depending on your health insurance plan, it may take over when your PIP benefits are exhausted. 

Keep in mind that MedPay is not a substitute for broader health insurance coverage.  Few car insurance providers offer more than $25,000 worth of MedPay coverage.  Common limits for MedPay are $1,000, $2,000, $5,000, $10,000 and $25,000.

How does PIP/MedPay differ from my health insurance coverage?

If you live in a state where PIP or MedPay is required, you have no choice about adding it to your car insurance policy.  The good news is, it isn’t useless, but can work with your health plan.

PIP and MedPay can complement your existing health insurance coverage.  Your car insurance medical coverage is primary to your health insurance plan, and possibly they can help pay deductibles or copays associated with your health plan.  Discuss with your health insurance provider how the two can work together to see if MedPay or PIP is worth the cost (if your state doesn’t require them, if they do to you have to carry the coverage, but it’s still wise to find out how they will work with your health plan).

A couple of no-fault states, New Jersey and Michigan, allow you to set up your PIP insurance so that it works in conjunction with your health policy.  If your health insurance takes on a greater role, your PIP coverage cost will be reduced.  For example, in Michigan you can set it up so that your health plan pays the medical costs for your injuries and your PIP covers economic losses sustained due to your injury.

Even if you live in a state that doesn’t require PIP, you may still want to carry it.  First, if your health insurance plan doesn’t cover injuries sustained in an auto accident, you’ll need to carry PIP or MedPay to help pay for auto accident injuries.  Second, PIP comes with benefits that health insurance plans don’t, including paying for lost wages, loss of ability to perform household tasks and funeral benefits.

If you have a stellar health plan and your state doesn’t require MedPay or PIP, then you can skip if you want to save money on your car insurance policy.

How to file a Medpay or PIP claim

Car insurance terms and policy details vary, as do state laws on how claims should be made, so check your policy for details, however, here are the basic details of how to file a MedPay claim:

  • When seeking immediate treatment, alert the doctor or hospital that you were injured in an auto accident and provide them with your auto insurance information.
  • If able to, when first seeking medical treatment, contact your insurer to inform them you are injured and will be needing to claim against your PIP or MedPay coverage. 
  • Some insurance companies let the policyholder decide which coverage (MedPay or health insurance) to use. But your health care provider may want you to use MedPay first if you were injured in an auto accident. MedPay and PIP are designed for immediate and short-term care and generally used first. Once their limits are exhausted, your health insurance kicks in.
  • If you live in a state without no-fault insurance, and have MedPay or PIP on your auto policy, always use it first to pay for medical expenses related to car accidents. Your health insurer may deny coverage until you have exhausted MedPay or PIP benefits.
  • Keep in contact with your insurance company regarding your medical needs.  PIP and MedPay should kick in immediately to cover any emergency medical costs; however, after that most plans required you to allow them to review or pre-approve other medical treatment or costs. 

Some states laws are very specific about how you handle your medical care if you make a PIP or MedPay claim, in efforts to suppress fraud.  Typically, your auto insurance company has the right to require you to be examined by a medical expert of their choice to confirm what medical treatments you need, this is to prevent fraud and pay only for necessary medical care.  Check your policy, which should spell out the requirements and process you must follow. 

Here are some specific state laws to be aware of:

Florida – Initial medical treatment must start within 14 days of the date of the accident.  Follow up services must be consistent with the diagnosis rendered during those first 14 days. 

Maryland – Medical covers all reasonable expenses arising out of accident injuries that are incurred within three years of the date of the accident. 

Massachusetts – Medical covers all reasonable expenses resulting from auto accident injuries that are incurred within two years of the date of the accident.

New Jersey – Your medical care provider must provide notice to the PIP insurer within 21 days of the date of treatment.  New Jersey law requires auto insurance companies to submit for approval Decision Point Review, precertification and notification requirements that then become the process and requirements for those who are injured in auto accidents and their medical providers.  Failing to follow your auto insurer’s PIP procedures can result in co-payment penalties of up to 50 percent.  Normally emergency treatment received within 10 days of the accident is not subject to the decision point review/precertification requirements.

New York – You need to inform you insurance company of your auto accidents and injuries within 30 days of the incident. Then, medical expenses must be submitted within 45 days of treatment to be considered for payment. Claims for lost earning and other necessary expenses must be submitted within 90 days.

Virginia – Medical covers all reasonable expenses arising out of accident injuries that are incurred within three years of the date of the accident. 

Washington – Medical covers all reasonable expenses arising out of accident injuries that are incurred within three years of the date of the accident.  Lost income comes with a 14 day waiting period.

Washington, D.C. – You have 60 days from the date of the accident to decide to accept your no-fault benefits or reject them and have full tort rights.

Wisconsin – Medical covers all reasonable expenses arising out of accident injuries that are incurred within one year of the date of the accident. 

How much does MedPay or PIP coverage cost?

Medical Payments coverage generally is cheap to include on your policy average around $20 a year, so less than $2 a month.  This is because the limits for MedPay are low, ranging usually from $1,000 to $10,000 and only coverages reasonable and necessary medical expenses.

Examples of MedPay costs:


Allied – $47

Allstate – $20

Geico – $15

Progressive – $15

State Farm – $23

Average – $24


Allstate – $14

Geico – $19

Progressive – $15

State Farm – $17

Average – $16

Personal injury protection costs more than MedPay because it normally comes with higher medical limits and has additional benefits, such as lost wages, loss of essential services and a death benefit.  The cost can vary greatly depending on your policy’s PIP benefits. 

PIP costs

Here are some examples of PIP costs. Average annual PIP and Medpay coverage rates are based on coverage premiums of 20 most popular 2016 cars.


Allied – $280

Allstate – $263

Geico – $209

Progressive – $112

State Farm – $257

Average – $224


Allstate – $90

Geico – $68

Progressive – $58

State Farm – $63

Average – $70

Examples of MedPay/PIP coverage situations

1. You are rear-ended by another vehicle at a stoplight. You elect to go to the hospital via ambulance to be checked out for injuries and receive x-rays and pain medication. You do not yet know the total bill for your treatment. You do carry PIP insurance.  PIP is your primary medical insurance in this instance.  If your limits are reached, you can claim against the at-fault driver’s bodily injury liability coverage if you live in a tort state.  If you are in a no-fault state, you will only be able to claim/sue the at-fault driver if your injuries are severe enough to hit the verbal or monetary threshold of your state.  After PIP and bodily injury liability coverages, you can also use your personal health insurance coverage for remaining bills if it covers injuries from auto accidents.

2. You are driving a friend to the airport and hit a motorcycle while changing lanes. You and your passenger are not injured, but the cyclist is taken to the hospital for treatment. You have PIP/MedPay coverage. Your PIP and MedPay are not needed in this situation since you and your passenger are unharmed.  The motorcyclist would make a claim against your bodily injury liability coverages. If they were exceeded you would personally be held responsible for any of his remaining medical costs, or if you had an umbrella policy it could take over and pay up to your limits.

3. You run over your neighbor’s dog while backing out of your driveway. What coverages are in play?  If you’re found negligent in this situation your property damage liability coverage would pay for the dog’s vet’s bills. If you weren’t found negligent, because neighbor’s didn’t have control of their animal, they would be responsible for their pet’s medical bills.

4. You and your passenger are injured and taken to the hospital for treatment from a pile-up accident on the freeway. You do not have PIP or MedPay insurance. Pile ups may or may not end up finding a specific driver at fault.  And even if there is a driver found at fault, if there are multiple claims against the person’s property damage and bodily injury liability coverage, it’s doubtful there will be enough money to go around. However, you and your passenger could make claims against the at-fault party and see what happens.  Without PIP or MedPay, hopefully you have health insurance that pays for injuries sustained in an auto accident.  If not, you’ll have to pay out-of-pocket.  If your passenger had his own PIP insurance, he could make a claim on that.

5. Your friend borrows your car and hits a pedestrian jaywalking. Neither you nor your friend have PIP or MedPay insurance.  If your friend is found legally liable, the pedestrian could make a claim against your bodily injury coverage.  If the pedestrian is found at fault, then he is responsible for his own injuries, but could make a PIP or MedPay claim through his own auto insurance policy, if he carries either of those coverages.  If not his health insurance should cover the incident. 

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Penny Gusner


Penny is an expert on insurance procedures, rates, policies and claims. She has extensive knowledge of all major insurance lines -- auto, homeowners, life and health insurance. She has been answering consumers’ questions as an analyst for more than 15 years and has been featured in numerous major media outlets, including the Washington Post and Kiplinger’s.