PIP Coverage in Massachusetts Explained

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Personal injury protection, or PIP, is a crucial and legally necessary component of car insurance policies in Massachusetts. PIP is designed to ensure drivers receive immediate medical attention following an accident, making the claims filing process more efficient. 

Massachusetts is one of 13 no-fault states where drivers must carry a first-party medical benefit (FPMB) on their auto insurance policies. PIP covers the policyholder’s medical expenses should they be involved in an accident, regardless of who’s at fault. Keep reading to discover the ins and outs of PIP in the Old Bay State and how you can build your Massachusetts car insurance policy so you have coverage for any scenario. 

PIP Coverage in Massachusetts Explained

Massachusetts auto insurance laws require all drivers with vehicles registered in the state to have a minimum limit of PIP on their car insurance policies. PIP is a coverage type that directly benefits the policyholder, often required in no-fault states. This coverage type lets the policyholder access funds to pay for their medical expenses incurred from an accident, regardless of who caused it.

Typically, drivers in states with a no-fault law will default to their PIP coverage first, then rely on remaining coverages or the at-fault driver’s insurance coverages, depending on who caused the accident. In tort or at-fault states, accident victims rely on the at-fault driver’s liability coverage to cover their medical expenses before they defer to their own coverages. 

Old Bayers must carry PIP coverage because the state is a no-fault state. Typically, states adopt no-fault laws based on a few factors, like the population, population density, or population of uninsured drivers. While Massachusetts has an average-sized population and a lower-than-average population of uninsured drivers, Boston ranks highly in population density, leading the state to adopt such laws. 

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How Does Massachusetts PIP Coverage Work?

Personal injury protection in Massachusetts gives the policyholder access to a wide range of coverage for many medical expenses resulting from a car accident. PIP provides the policyholder with financial assistance for their medical expenses or debts, regardless of who was at fault in the accident. PIP typically covers the policyholder and their uninsured passengers. It may even protect the policyholder as a pedestrian or bicyclist if they’re injured by a car.

It’s important to remember that policyholders can only receive funds from their PIP up to their policy limit. In the Old Bay State, car insurance laws require all drivers to have at least $8,000 in PIP per person per accident, as well as $20,000 in bodily injury liability per person, $40,000 in bodily injury liability per accident, $5,000 in property damage liability per accident (20/40/5 liability coverage), $20,000 in uninsured motorist bodily injury coverage per person, and $40,000 in uninsured motorist bodily injury coverage (20/40 UMBI). Insurers in the Old Bay State can only offer policyholders $8,000 in PIP as both the minimum and maximum amount of this coverage offered in the state.

Drivers who feel that $8,000 in PIP isn’t enough may consider adding another FPMB to their policies. The most common secondary FPMB to PIP in Massachusetts is medical payments coverage (MedPay). Both PIP and MedPay cover a range of medical expenses, like hospital stays, doctor’s visits, prescription medications, and diagnostic tests, among other costs. However, PIP is known for being more comprehensive than MedPay, as it may cover things like loss of wages, in-home care, or other expenses closely related to injuries from an accident but not directly related to medical attention. 

Is PIP Mandatory in Massachusetts?

Yes, all drivers must have a minimum PIP limit in Massachusetts. Since Massachusetts is a no-fault state, all drivers must carry PIP as an FPMB to cover their expenses should they be involved in a car accident. While drivers must have at least $8,000 of PIP on their policies and don’t have the option to raise the PIP limit on their policies, drivers can add additional coverages to their policies to remain protected in various accident scenarios. 

Drivers with minimum coverage policies that meet the car insurance requirements in the Old Bay state are considered adequately protected under the eyes of the law. Still, they may not be covered in every scenario that comes their way. Having a full coverage policy instead of a minimum one allows drivers to tailor their coverage to their individual needs and provides protection for various scenarios. For example, drivers can add an additional FPMB like MedPay to their policies to provide more coverage for medical expenses in the event of an accident.

While a minimum coverage policy is perfectly legal and often the cheapest policy in the state, it won’t always be the best policy for every driver. It’s important to always carry a policy that makes sense for your needs and budget but also to remember that having a minimum coverage policy still leaves the possibility for financial ruin in a catastrophic at-fault accident. 

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What Is the Massachusetts PIP Statute of Limitations?

In Massachusetts, the PIP statute of limitations is three years. This means that drivers typically have until three years following the date of the injury to file a PIP claim or a personal injury lawsuit. However, the statute of limitations may vary depending on the person, case, or insurer, so it’s always important to contact your insurer as soon as possible after an accident to work out the details. 

Here at Clovered, we like to err on the side of caution in just about every scenario, and filing a claim is no different. If you need to file a claim following an accident to receive your policy benefits, it’s typically a wise idea to file as soon as possible following the accident. Filing right away can help speed up the claims process and ensure you can get the coverage you need before it’s too late. 

The Massachusetts Personal Injury Protection Law Explained

PIP insurance in Massachusetts is legally necessary for all drivers, as mandated by the state’s no-fault law. States with no-fault laws typically require drivers to carry an FPMB because drivers default to their own insurance coverage in the event of an accident instead of the at-fault driver’s policy. Maintaining adequate PIP is not only legally necessary but also a great way to ensure you’re protected each time you get behind the wheel. 

Those that fail to maintain at least $8,000 in PIP are considered uninsured and may be subject to legal consequences. The repercussions for driving without insurance in the Old Bay State can range from fines, fees, license and registration suspension, or jail time. The consequences don’t end with legal repercussions, either. A driver caught driving uninsured may require an SR-22 form to be filed on their behalf, which often raises one’s premiums to double or triple the average rate. Massachusetts’s average full coverage policy costs about $1,330 annually, so a driver who has previously gone without adequate coverage may be looking at premiums of $2,660 or $3,990 annually. 

How To Find an Auto Insurance Quote in Massachusetts

Whether you’re on the hunt for a minimum or full coverage policy, the best way to see your range of options is to get and compare quotes online. By getting and comparing quotes, you can tailor your policy to your needs and budget and get the best bang for your buck with the least amount of effort.

Lucky for you, quotes are our specialty. Here at Clovered, we have a free quoting tool you can use to get quotes from the state’s top insurers in minutes. If you prefer to speak with a professional, you can contact one of our licensed agents at 833-255-4117 or agent@clovered.com.

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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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