Yes. Personal injury protection (PIP) is a required feature of automobile insurance in New Jersey. This part of your policy covers you or others persons injured in an auto accident. It can be referred to as your “no-fault” coverage, because it pays for your medical bills regardless of the cause of the accident.
PIP has two elements. Medical expense coverage takes care of the bills from hospitals, doctors and other providers, in addition to any equipment you need for your injuries. Additional PIP coverage takes care of other expenses that arise as a result of your injury, such as lost wages and nursing or family care assistance. Only the medical expense coverage is required.
According to the state, most New Jersey drivers buy $250,000 worth of PIP, a higher amount than drivers typically purchase in other states. This is the “standard” policy, and usually carries a deductible of $250. You can save a few dollars by choosing higher deductibles — from $500 up to $2,500 — or by choosing a lower PIP payout limit, such as $15,000, $50,000, $75,000 or $150,000. Still, carrying more PIP insurance than less is typically worth the cost. If you are seriously injured, your lower PIP coverage could be wiped out the minute you enter the hospital.
Another way to save money is to designate your health insurance provider as your primary health care provider in the event of an auto accident. This requires approval. You must verify that your health care insurer will cover auto accident injuries, and you are also required to maintain your health insurance policy.
If you lose your health insurance and are in an accident that requires medical treatment, the auto insurer will pay PIP benefits, but you must pay an additional $750 deductible. Medicaid and Medicare can’t serve as your primary health provider for car accident injuries, but they may provide benefits for secondary coverage.