February 15th, 2016
Want to know an interesting point about personal injury protection (PIP)? It’s not mandated by federal law. In the US, PIP and liability insurance carrier laws are delegated to our 50 states individually. This means where one state deems motorists carry PIP by law, another does not. Why? Because every state is different. Synonymous with “No-Fault” auto insurance, PIP is a policy that was designed to protect all drivers; by law or otherwise. PIP insurance will always be there when you need it most.
Let’s briefly take a look at how PIP can differ from state to state below.
What is PIP?
Personal injury protection insurance pays for damages regardless of who is at fault in the accident. Let’s break down what personal injury protection covers:
PIP insurance doesn’t just protect you though, it protects everyone.
Who Decides What Makes PIP Coverage Law?
By rule of thumb, wherever personal injury protection is offered, it’s required, but not all states recognize PIP. In fact, only 15 of our 50 states demand motorists carry personal injury protection by law. But in a roundabout way, motorists set the auto insurance laws in their states. How you ask? Through their driving habits.
Driving habits play a significant role in the number of accidents that happen throughout the country on an annual basis. States examine the crash statistics in their state by looking at the number of drivers on the road in each county, and from there calculate how many of their motorists are insured and uninsured. These numbers are then compared to the number of traffic collisions that occur during the course of a year. Let’s do a quick comparison between a state that requires PIP coverage and a state that does not.
PIP Required: Michigan
Michigan is one of the 15 states that requires its motorists carry personal injury protection by law. According to the Clark Law Office, the five leading causes of auto accidents in Michigan are: distracted drivers, drunk driving, bad weather conditions, excessive-speeding and falling asleep at the wheel. As reported by Michigan Traffic Crash Facts (MTCF), there were 298,699 reported car accidents in 2014 in Michigan. Of that number, 52,523 motorists suffered personal injury, while another 245,370 sustained property damage. Sadly, 806 of these accidents were fatal. According to the Insurance Information Institute (III), 21 percent of Michigan drivers were uninsured as of 2012. Why are these numbers important? Because they determine the minimum requirement of PIP coverage. Michigan demands their drivers carry a 20/40/5 policy: $20,000 in coverage for damages to the other person, $40,000 in coverage for bodily injuries sustained by all those injured in the accident and $5,000 in coverage for property damage.
PIP Optional: Arizona
Unlike Michigan, Arizona does not require drivers to carry personal injury protection, but does require that they carry liability insurance. Unlike PIP insurance, liability insurance only protects the other driver when you are the one at fault in an accident, so if any harm comes to you, you are the one directly responsible for paying any damages sustained to your property or self. In Arizona, there were only 109,554 traffic accidents in 2014, with 34,451 resulting in injury, 74,395 resulting in property damage, and 708 resulting in death, as found by the Arizona Department of Transportation. These numbers are significantly lower than Michigan’s, and unlike Michigan’s uninsured 21 percent, Arizona’s uninsured motorist population rests at 10.6 percent. With such a discrepancy between the driving data, it just wouldn’t be fair if every state required drivers to have the same insurance policies.
Personal Injury Protection serves all parties injured in accident, no matter who is to blame. Check out the PIP insurance offered in your state using CoverHound today!