Personal Injury Protection (PIP) in Maryland

  • Auto
  • /
  • Personal Injury Protection (PIP) in Maryland

A few coverage types are required to appear on your auto insurance in Maryland, but personal injury protection (PIP) isn’t one of them. PIP is an optional, no-fault coverage, meaning neither party needs to be at fault in a car accident for the policyholder to invoke their PIP. A policyholder may use their PIP to cover the medical expenses they incur from an accident.

Maryland PIP coverage is a bit confusing because it can be unclear whether it’s optional or required and whether policyholders should or shouldn’t have this coverage on their auto insurance policies. Let’s take a closer look at how PIP works in the state, if you should add it to your policy, and what it means to opt out.

What You Need to Know About Personal Injury Protection in Maryland

PIP insurance in Maryland is an optional coverage drivers can add to their auto insurance policies to help them cover their medical expenses in the event of an accident. It’s an optional coverage in the state, but all insurers must offer their policyholders at least $2,500 of PIP coverage.

In many cases, PIP is only required in no-fault states and is considered a no-fault coverage. A no-fault state is a state in which it’s mandated by law that drivers have sufficient auto insurance coverage to help them cover their own expenses should they get injured or their property suffers damages in a car accident. Policyholders use PIP to cover their own medical expenses.

Maryland is a tort state, meaning there isn’t a no-fault law, and car accidents are treated on an at-fault basis. In the event of an accident, the driver who caused the accident will use their insurance to cover the cost of repairs or medical expenses the victim in the accident accrues. However, it isn’t always guaranteed that each driver on the road has sufficient coverage to cover the costs they may owe you. Carrying PIP coverage in a state where it isn’t required, like Maryland, is like having a backup plan just in case you end up in a worst-case scenario.

What Is Maryland PIP Insurance?

PIP coverage in Maryland is an optional, no-fault coverage that the policyholder can invoke to cover their own medical expenses in the event of an accident. While Marylanders aren’t legally required to have PIP, all insurers must offer their policyholders at least $2,500 of PIP coverage. 

Policyholders can invoke their PIP to cover various medical expenses they accrue, extending beyond just a hospital visit. After reaching your deductible, your Maryland PIP benefits can cover the following expenses up to your coverage limit:

  • Doctor or hospital visits
  • Ambulance fees
  • Diagnostic exams and screenings (X-Rays, MRIs, etc.)
  • Prescription medication
  • Surgery
  • Loss of wages
  • Funeral expenses

There are a few stipulations to receiving your PIP payout in Maryland and many other states that offer this coverage. For example, PIP will only kick in if your injuries are deemed “serious,” with subsequent proof like a doctor’s note or other documentation. Also, if your accident left you unable to return to your job, PIP will only pay up to 85% of your lost wages until your policy limit.

Ready to Save Money on Auto Insurance?

Rethink your auto insurance premium with a free quote from the nation’s top companies.

How Does PIP Insurance in Maryland Work?

If you’re injured in an accident, your Maryland personal injury protection insurance is the first coverage you can invoke to help cover your medical expenses. Regardless of who’s at fault for the accident, you will use this coverage first if you have it. While the Maryland PIP statute of limitations is three years, you will want to file a claim with your insurer as soon as possible to begin receiving your benefits as quickly as you need them.

A policyholder can also file a PIP claim in Maryland if their family members or passengers are injured in an accident. It’s important to note that the average amount of PIP policyholders in the state elect to carry is between $2,500 and $5,000 worth of coverage. Many policyholders decide to also carry Medical Payments coverage (MedPay) to compensate for some of the gaps left by this minimal amount of offered coverage. MedPay is less inclusive than PIP, so review your coverage details with your insurer or agent.

PIP and MedPay can also be invoked if you or one of your family members are injured by a vehicle as a pedestrian or bicyclist. So, if PIP is a no-fault coverage type, how does it factor into an at-fault situation?

If a driver is deemed at fault after an investigation, the at-fault driver’s insurance company will cover the cost of the victim’s expenses. This can play out in a few ways. In one scenario, a policyholder may invoke their PIP immediately to cover their medical expenses.

Once a driver is deemed at fault, the at-fault party’s insurer will cover the victim’s expenses instead, and the accident victim will use their PIP to cover any remaining expenses. If the PIP policyholder is deemed at fault, they may only use their PIP for their medical expenses since it’s a no-fault coverage type, and they won’t be eligible for any other payout.

If the at-fault party is uninsured or lacks sufficient coverage, the policyholder will use their PIP and any uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage they have to pay for their medical expenses or repairs to their property.

Is PIP Required in Maryland?

PIP in Maryland isn’t required by law, but insurers are required to offer every policyholder at least $2,500 of PIP coverage. If you opt out of PIP, you must sign a waiver declaring your decision. In many cases, the only drivers who opt out of PIP are those who have a liability-only policy. You cannot have a full coverage policy in the state without having some form of PIP coverage.

While there isn’t a Maryland PIP law that states you need this no-fault coverage type, professionals highly recommend it. It’s an extensive coverage option that serves to help the policyholder financially in various situations. Here at Clovered, we recommend at least carrying a minimum amount of $2,500 of PIP, just to err on the side of caution.

PIP is especially useful in states with a high population of uninsured drivers, like Maryland. Nearly 15% of drivers on the state’s roads lack sufficient coverage, with the national average number of uninsured resting below 10%. Policyholders may carry PIP to protect themselves from these drivers who don’t have basic liability coverage and may leave innocent victims to pay hefty expenses from their own pockets.

Ready to Save Money on Auto Insurance?

Rethink your auto insurance premium with a free quote from the nation’s top companies.

Is There a Maryland PIP Statute?

In Maryland, there isn’t a statute mandating PIP. Drivers can opt out of this no-fault coverage type if they sign a waiver with their insurer declaring their decision. Ceasing payments on your PIP coverage doesn’t count as opting out, as your insurer needs it in writing that you declined this coverage option.

Maryland Auto Insurance Quotes

If all this talk about PIP in Maryland has you rethinking your decision to waive this coverage type or wondering how to get the best auto insurance policy with PIP included, gathering free quotes online is the best place to look for a new policy with PIP included. The process is simple and free, and you can even start it here at Clovered with our free quoting tool.

If you prefer to speak to an agent about your quote or have any questions about PIP in Maryland, please call us at 833-255-4117 or email us at agent@clovered.com

Auto
Ready to Save Money on Auto Insurance?

Rethink your auto insurance premium with a free quote from the nation's top companies.

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