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Today, personal injury protection and medical payments are two important insurance coverage options for motorcyclists. Often abbreviated as “PIP” and “MedPay,” these policies supplement your existing health insurance or underinsured-uninsured motorist protections for your automotive coverage.

MedPay coverage is required in two states: Maine and Pennsylvania. New Hampshire requires Medical Payments for those who choose to purchase insurance. Depending on where you live, it can be considered primary or secondary coverage.

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The PIP insurance policy is your primary coverage for those living in a no-fault state. That means MedPay would cover anything over the personal injury protection limits if you carry both when something happens while on a ride.

Difference Between Personal Injury Protection and Medical Payments

Personal injury protection is different from Medical Payments coverage because of what it covers. It is more comprehensive in what it offers.

MedPay provides financial supplementation for a driver’s existing health insurance coverage. It can also serve as the primary treatment protection should an accident occur.

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Although PIP is similar to Medical Payments in that claims go through each driver’s policy instead of determining who is at fault, several primary differences exist between the two policies.

PIP’s benefits are worth considering because of the enhanced financial protection it offers if an injury occurs.

Here is a closer look at what drivers receive when enrolling in PIP coverage, although each state’s plans and policies vary.

Funeral Expenses

PIP coverage provides financial assistance with burial expenses, ceremony costs, and cremation services.

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Medical Expenses

A thorough personal injury protection policy offers coverage for paramedic services, ambulance rides, doctors, surgeons, hospital care, medical supplies, medication, labs and other tests, rehabilitation and aftercare, and even dental care. Some states may require a copay for some or all services, including a PIP policy.

Lost Wages

When drivers cannot return to work after an accident, this policy can provide some or all of the lost income. PIP plans sometimes cover the cost of hiring a temporary worker if someone is self-employed.

Household Expenses

From child care to in-home service providers, personal injury protection offers coverage when an injury makes it impossible to handle daily care needs.

Survivor Loss

If the primary income earner is killed in an accident, PIP coverage can cover that amount for a specific time for that individual’s surviving dependents.

Personal injury protection doesn’t provide compensation for pain and suffering. Those elements are covered under liability from an at-fault driver’s insurance policy.

If you’re the one who causes the accident, your insurance provider may not provide coverage for those elements.

When you live in a no-fault state, you can sue another driver for additional losses when severe injuries occur, or medical expenses exceed the current predetermined thresholds.

Relevant: Comparison between MedPay and Bodily Injury coverage.

Can You Have Both PIP and MedPay?

Anyone who lives in a no-fault state is typically required to purchase PIP. MedPay is considered an optional investment to cover medical services and injury costs except in Maine, Pennsylvania, and New Hampshire, where the coverage is mandatory.

The no-fault designation means that an official finding isn’t necessary to determine which driver’s insurance is responsible for the follow-up costs when an injury occurs. Each driver files a claim on their policy, releasing the funds for treatment faster.

PIP and medical payments are considered optional services when a no-fault designation is not required.

Health spending rates in the United States grow at an average of 5% or more most years. MedPay coverage, even when it is optional, is worth considering because it protects against these rising expenses.

It gives motorcyclists coverage for services that their health insurance might not cover simply because they’re on a bike.

Anyone who isn’t in a no-fault state has health insurance coverage or doesn’t carry PIP should consider MedPay to reduce potential financial risks after an accident.

MedPay is not typically available in New York, Delaware, Minnesota, North Dakota, and Oregon.

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Mike Navarette has more than a decade of experience in the auto insurance industry, but that's not his true passion. He loves getting on a motorcycle to explore roads he's never traveled. You'll find Mike in the garage working on something when he isn't helping clients or leaning into curves. It's sometimes a side hustle, more often a favor, but it keeps his hands busy doing something productive. Since the first time his father strapped on his helmet and took him for a ride, Mike has loved bikes. That passion, along with a desire to help others through a deep understanding of insurance policies, led to the creation of Motorcycle Ride Coverage.

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