How Does Personal Injury Protection (PIP) Work in Texas?

How Does Personal Injury Protection (PIP) Work in Texas?

Find Cheap Auto Insurance Quotes in Your Area

Currently insured?

PIP insurance is first-party auto insurance coverage that pays for your medical expenses, lost wages and other costs if you’re injured in a car accident. PIP also covers medical expenses for passengers in your car who are hurt due to a collision. In Texas, personal injury protection (PIP) insurance is mandatory, unless you sign a waiver declining the coverage. Rejecting the coverage may leave you unprotected if you’re suddenly injured in an accident and face high medical bills or lost wages.

How does PIP coverage work in Texas?

Personal injury protection coverage in Texas pays for you and your passengers if your car accident results in injuries, no matter who is at fault. PIP covers:

  • Reasonable medical costs, including necessary surgeries, X-rays, dental or eye treatments, medical procedures, prosthetic devices and professional nursing
  • Ambulance services
  • Rehabilitation therapies
  • Funeral services
  • Lost income resulting from the accident
  • Replacement of necessary services provided by the injured party, such as family care or household maintenance, if the injured is not an income producer

Texas requires that every driver is offered at least $2,500 of PIP insurance. You can typically obtain coverage for $5,000 or $10,000 if you want additional financial protection. The policy limit extends to each person injured in an accident, and it refers to the total amount of benefits available across all expenses.

So, if you and your spouse were involved in a car accident, and you had $5,000 of PIP insurance in place, your insurance would cover up to $5,000 in expenses for you and $5,000 in expenses for your spouse. If you had broken your leg and were taken to the hospital, that $5,000 could be used for an ambulance trip, receiving X-rays and having your leg treated, but that would be the maximum amount of money available from your PIP coverage across all costs.

How much does PIP insurance cost in Texas?

The cost of personal injury protection insurance in Texas varies depending on where you live, the amount of coverage and your driving history. We recommend comparing quotes from at least three to four insurers before choosing a policy in order to ensure you're getting a good rate.

{"zip":"77046","sr_22":false,"endpoint":"https:\/\/mediaalpha.valuepenguin.com\/api\/mediaalpha\/ads","onCurrent":"true"}

The cost of PIP insurance typically increases just a bit if you purchase more coverage than the $2,500 minimum. As you see from the sample quotes below, a driver with the state’s minimum liability insurance requirements could pay less than $39 per month to add $10,000 in PIP coverage.

No PIP Coverage
$2,500 PIP
$5,000 PIP
$10,000 PIP
Cost of PIP$0$20.48$28.05$38.91
Total Monthly Premium$101.24$121.72$129.29$140.15

If you reject PIP coverage in Texas, it won’t impact your liability insurance premiums as it would in true no-fault states. Texas doesn’t have a tort threshold that restricts your ability to bring a lawsuit against another party in an accident. Tort thresholds are often part of the law in no-fault states that require PIP insurance, as they limit lawsuits to only accidents in which injuries are significant.

How and When to File a PIP Claim in Texas

Personal injury protection insurance only provides coverage for costs that occur within three years of an accident, but we recommend that you report all injuries and expenses to the insurer as soon as you’re aware of them.

When filing a claim, include all receipts, bills, documentation of payments and other associated documents to help ensure it’s processed quickly. Depending on the type of expense, a PIP claim provides different levels of reimbursement:

  • PIP insurance pays for 100% of the costs of medical treatment, ambulance services and funeral expenses. It’s important to document all such treatments and their costs, as well as obtain documentation from the appropriate service provider to show that these were related to the car accident. Otherwise, you may not obtain full reimbursement.
  • PIP only covers 80% of lost wages due to an accident and often requires proof of income prior to the collision and proof that injuries were directly associated with the loss of income.
  • Similarly, PIP covers 80% of expenses for a caregiver while injured.

MedPay vs personal injury protection

Insurance companies in Texas aren’t required to offer medical payments coverage (MedPay) as they are with PIP insurance. If your insurer offers both alternatives, you can only choose one, as Texas law prohibits both being on an auto insurance policy.

MedPay is similar to PIP in that it covers medical expenses, hospital bills and similar costs related to injuries from car accidents. Like PIP, MedPay will cover expenses no matter who is at-fault. However, PIP insurance also covers lost wages and certain services that MedPay does not cover. If you were injured severely enough in a collision that you missed two weeks of work, PIP would reimburse you for lost wages while MedPay would not. Therefore, for similar levels of coverage, MedPay is less expensive, as it’s essentially one component of PIP insurance.

In addition, MedPay in Texas is subject to subrogation, while PIP coverage is not.

So, say you had $5,000 of MedPay coverage, which was used to pay for hospital bills after an accident. If you received a $10,000 settlement from the insurer of the other party involved in the accident, you would have to reimburse your own insurer for the $5,000 of MedPay used. However, if you had $5,000 of PIP coverage, you would be able to keep the entire sum.

Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It has not been previewed, commissioned or otherwise endorsed by any of our network partners.