Persons who drive in the state of Pennsylvania, and sixteen other states, are required by state law to have PIP insurance (Personal Injury Protection) included in their vehicle insurance coverage. The primary reason that states have a PIP requirement is two-fold. This type of insurance assures that everyone in an accident will receive medical attention without delay. Secondly, it makes auto insurance in that state “no-fault,” meaning that each person’s insurance company pays for their own injury-related medical expenses. PIP covers claims by passengers, lost wages, and in the case of a fatality, funeral expenses.
Being a no-fault auto insurance state puts limits upon the legal pursuit of damages. PIP takes collections away from the tort system to limit litigation and to reduce the caseload that courts must handle. If there is property damage from an accident, the plaintiff may pursue a civil lawsuit to collect for such damages.
Minimum Pennsylvania auto insurance PIP coverage amounts are:
- $5,000 medical benefits
- $15,000 per person/$30,000 per accident for bodily injury liability
- $5,000 property damage.
The medical benefits are intended to cover medical bills for persons included under your insurance policy, no matter who was at fault. Bodily injury coverage is intended to pay for any medical or rehabilitation bills incurred by persons the insured party is liable for. Property damage does involve fault. It pays for damage to another person’s property, like their vehicle, when the damage occurs during an accident that the insured person was determined to be at fault for causing.
These are minimum coverage amounts. Certain insurers offer higher limits that are optional. In addition to monetary damages, becoming involved in an auto accident in the state of Pennsylvania may have severe legal ramifications and penalties.
If the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation discovers a person has operated a vehicle without PIP and other required coverage, their driver’s license, car license plate and registration sticker could be suspended. If they are suspended, all must be turned into PennDOT until the time period is up. No one else may drive your vehicle. All fees and proof of insurance must be shown to PennDOT before the vehicle registration and the person’s driver’s license would be returned. If a person is ticketed for a moving violation without insurance, they are subject to a $300 fine, the above suspensions and restoration fees, and vehicle impoundment.
PIP auto insurance coverage takes care of medical expenses and lost wages. It is mandatory in states like Pennsylvania that are no-fault vehicle insurance states. Four other types of insurance are recommended in this state:
- Under-insured Motorist Coverage
- Uninsured Motorist Coverage
- Collision Coverage
- Comprehensive Coverage
Supplementary coverage for rentals, towing and gap payments are optional, but helpful to have in addition to the above coverage types.
Pennsylvania vehicle insurance rates are high. Under the concept of no-fault, as covered by PIP insurance, the person who is involved in an accident should see no insurance premium increases following any claims.
In addition to Pennsylvania, states that require no-fault auto insurance coverage are Delaware, Florida, Hawaii, Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, North Dakota, Oregon, and Utah. As well as Texas and Washington, unless a waiver is signed at initial purchase of the policy.