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Personal injury protection (PIP) and medical (MedPay)

Personal injury protection, or PIP, and medical insurance, also called Medpay, is part of auto insurance that helps cover medical expenses in the event of an accident. The coverage is generally payable regardless of who's at fault in the accident and may include coverage for lost wages in addition to medical bills. Coverage applies to you and your passengers, which provides enhanced protection for family or loved ones if they are in your vehicle at the time of the accident.

Whether personal injury protection and medical coverage is a requirement depends on the state in which you live. Additionally, some insurance companies only offer policies that include personal injury protection and medical while other companies may offer basic coverage without PIP and Medpay.

Because PIP and medical are typically sold as part of auto insurance packages and not a standalone product, they are subject to the total deductible you choose when you first elect a policy. For example, if your auto insurance carries a $500 deductible, that deductible will need to be paid by you out-of-pocket whether or not medical bills are incurred as a result of the accident.

It's important to note that PIP and medical coverage do have limits with many insured opting for policies that have a $10,000 coverage limit. This means that the policy typically offers coverage up to that limit for each person in the vehicle. If medical bills exceed this coverage limit, health insurance will generally take over the costs.

Medical services covered by PIP and Medpay may include hospital bills, rehabilitation costs or funeral expenses. Before choosing personal injury protection or medical coverage as part of your auto insurance policy, understand what the policy will and will not cover to evaluate whether you feel the benefits of having coverage outweigh the cost.