What is PIP insurance? Should I use it after a car accident?

PIP is short for Personal Injury Protection.  PIP is an insurance coverage contained in most Washington auto insurance policies.  PIP is:


  • designed as "no-fault" insurance
  • pays benefits regardless of fault
  • after a motor vehicle accident


Who does PIP cover is the next question?  PIP benefits pay for the medical bills of the driver and passenger in a car or motorcycle.  That means your auto insurance will pay your medical bills even if someone else is at-fault for causing the accident.  PIP pays your medical bills as you're treating your injuries while you're actively going to the doctor or other medical care provider.

No the other car's insurance won't pay your medical bills as you treat your injuries.  This may not make sense but is how PIP works.  Don't worry, the at-fault driver does not get off the hook.  When you are recovered from your injuries and done going to the doctor, then the at-fault driver's insurance will have to repay your insurance company for the money it paid under your PIP coverage.  This is complicated and often a source of frustration for injury victims.

PIP insurance may also provide some wage loss benefits for those seriously injured and off work for longer than 2 weeks.  The wage loss benefit is usually small, like $200 per week, but can help if you have no other source of income following an auto accident injury.

The amount of PIP benefits available varies.  In Washington PIP insurance policy limits are often $10,000 but can be as high as $35,000.  PIP insurance is optional under Washington state law in the minimum amount of $10,000.  However, you can waive PIP coverage at the time of auto policy purchase by signing a document declining PIP.

Pedestrians and Bicyclists have special rules concerning how PIP applies to them and it's not the same as outlined above. Order Bicycle Accident Secrets Unlocked to find out more.

Determining if you have PIP coverage and how it works can be confusing and frustrating. If you need help or have questions following a car accident call 888-230-4970 to speak with a legal professional at Max Meyers Law.  You can also order a free copy of one of our books Car Accident Secrets Unlocked or Motorcycle Accident Secrets Unlocked.

Max Meyers
Max is a Kirkland personal injury attorney handling cases in Seattle, King County & surrounding in WA State.