Delaware PIP Explained

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When it comes to car insurance, Delaware drivers must ensure their policies always have the minimum amount of personal injury protection, or PIP, required by state law. Delawareans must have PIP on their policies as part of the state’s no-fault law. 

Let’s look at how PIP works in the Diamond State, how much drivers must carry, and other nuances about the coverage on auto insurance policies in Delaware.

Delaware PIP Insurance Explained

State law requires all drivers to have personal injury protection in Delaware, otherwise known as PIP coverage. PIP is a type of coverage called a first-party medical benefit (FPMB), as it directly benefits the policyholder when invoked. Policyholders may invoke their PIP to cover the medical expenses they incur following an accident, regardless of who caused it.

While PIP is offered in many tort states, it’s typically required in no-fault states like Delaware. When drivers carry mandatory PIP in a no-fault state, they default to their own coverage in the event of an accident instead of the at-fault driver’s liability coverage, as is the case in tort states. 

A minimum coverage policy in Delaware must contain at least $25,000 in bodily injury liability coverage per person, $50,000 in bodily injury liability coverage per accident, $10,000 in property damage liability coverage per accident (25/50/10 liability coverage), $15,000 in PIP per person, and $30,000 in PIP per accident (15/30 PIP coverage). Those who lease or finance their vehicles may require collision and comprehensive coverages

Driving without insurance in the First State is illegal, so drivers must maintain a minimum coverage policy. Those who fail to maintain a minimum coverage policy may face significant legal penalties and risk being categorized as a high-risk driver

While drivers are only required to have 15/30 PIP, they may raise their limits to 100/300 with certain insurers. A policy with higher PIP limits than the law requires is considered a full coverage policy. 

What Are the Minimum Delaware PIP Limits?

In Delaware, PIP coverage is required at a 15/30 limit. However, drivers can raise their PIP limits by opting for a full coverage policy. Those who have ever been to an American hospital know that $15,000, or even $30,000, to cover one’s injuries will only cover a fraction of the bill in many cases. 

The average full coverage policy in the Diamond State costs about $2,040 annually in premiums, or about 20% higher than the national average of about $1,670 annually. While Delawareans pay a bit more than the average American for their policies, it’s important to remember that the expansive nature of PIP often causes it to be a costly coverage type on one’s policy. 

Plus, a full coverage policy contains much more coverage than its minimum coverage counterpart, as drivers may opt to add uninsured motorist coverage (UM), underinsured motorist coverage (UIM), collision coverage, comprehensive coverage, or gap coverage, among other options. 

PIP helps policyholders cover the medical expenses they incur after an accident, regardless of who caused it. Immediately following the accident, policyholders will invoke PIP for assistance with their costs instead of relying on the at-fault driver, as is done in tort states. 

PIP is a highly expansive coverage that covers standard medical expenses and long-term related costs. PIP often covers standard medical expenses like:

  • Doctor’s visits
  • Ambulance rides
  • Hospital stays
  • Prescription medication
  • Therapy 
  • Surgery
  • Diagnostic testing 

PIP may also cover long-term, related costs, like loss of wages, childcare, home care, or other necessary costs resulting from an injury during the accident. PIP may also cover up to $5,000 in funeral expenses. 

Since PIP offers drivers so much coverage, it only makes sense that it’s the most expensive coverage a driver may carry. In fact, it’s why states with no-fault laws, like Delaware, are rarely the cheapest states for auto insurance

While the cheapest policy in the state will always be a minimum coverage policy, many of the state’s top insurers offer full coverage policies at rates far below average with plenty of discounts to stack for further savings. 

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What’s the Delaware PIP Statute?

In Delaware, the personal injury statute of limitations is two years. This means that policyholders have up to two years following the date of their accident to invoke their PIP to get coverage for their medical expenses from the accident. Typically, though, the sooner you file a claim, the better. 

While Delaware is a no-fault state, drivers may still invoke the at-fault coverage they carry if needed. If a policyholder needs coverage for their medical expenses following an accident they didn’t cause, they would default to their PIP coverage. Once the policyholder reaches their deductible and PIP limit, any remaining expenses will be the at-fault driver’s responsibility. 

The at-fault driver may use their mandatory liability coverage to cover the remainder of the victim’s medical expenses, but the fault for the accident must be assigned first. 

How To Find Car Insurance Quotes in Delaware

If you’re searching for PIP car insurance in Delaware, whether the minimum amount required by law or a higher limit on a full coverage policy, the best way to see all your policy options is to get and compare quotes online. By getting and comparing quotes online, you can find a policy that best suits your lifestyle’s needs while ensuring you get the most bang for your buck.

Lucky for you, we’re quoting experts here at Clovered. We even have a free quoting tool you can use to view and analyze your unique quotes in minutes. If you have any concerns regarding your quotes or auto insurance in the First State and prefer to chat with a professional, you can contact one of our licensed agents at 833-255-4117 or [email protected] to get the answers you need.

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The editorial content on Clovered’s website is meant to be informational material and should not be considered legal advice.

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