It can be difficult to live after a car accident. The situation can get worse if you are the one who caused the accident, and the other driver decides that they will sue you for damages. To protect drivers from situations like that, some states — including Hawaii — have become what is called a no-fault state. Basically, that means that if you live in the Aloha State, you call on your own car insurance after an accident to cover your medical expenses, whether you caused the accident or another driver did.
PIP insurance, which is short for personal injury protection insurance, covers you and your passengers in Hawaii for medical expenses after an accident. It does not cover your coverage limits. This type of insurance is required by the state. You will probably need to learn more about Hawaii PIP insurance.
What is PIP insurance?
Hawaii PIP insurance is designed to protect you and anyone else riding in your vehicle from medical expenses and other financial burdens that could result from getting injured in a car accident. This coverage covers a range of expenses related to your injury.
This coverage might not be necessary for you. Even if you have bodily injury liability coverage, which is a state requirement, this part of your policy pays only for medical expenses for other drivers you injure. This does not cover your medical expenses.
Similarly, other types of car insurance can help after an accident — but likely will not cover your injury. While collision coverage can help you fix your car, it will not cover your medical bills. Comprehensive coverage may help you pay for a wide range of expenses, such as your car being stolen or vandalized. However, it does not provide medical payment coverage.
The bottom line is that after an accident you have two options. You can either turn to your own insurance (and pay a deductible) or you can rely on your PIP insurance if PIP is mandatory or optional in your state (like Hawaii).
How does Hawaii PIP operate?
State code lays out a number of things included in PIP coverage in Hawaii, including all “appropriate and reasonable”:
- Ambulance rides
- Medical treatment
- Hospital care
- Nursing, including advanced nursing practice
- Dental care
- Chiropractic treatment
- Prosthetic services
- Equipment and supplies for medical use
- Psychiatric care
- Physical therapy/occupational therapy/rehabilitation
- Therapeutic massages prescribed by a doctor
Personal injury protection benefits are limited to $10,000 per person according to the state code, unless additional PIP coverage is purchased from your insurance company.
What is Hawaii PIP insurance? You and up to $10,000 each for any passengers in your car. Again, state law comes in handy here, mandating that insurance providers pay your expenses as they accrue, within 30 days of you submitting proof of the expense.
Let’s say that you are in an accident and you get hurt. PIP insurance covers your transportation to the hospital, as well as any diagnostics done there. After you file your insurance claim, and your insurer receives proof of the expenses, they will pay you promptly. If you require physical therapy over a period of time after an accident, you can submit invoices to your insurer and have that cost covered under your Hawaii PIP coverage. This is up to $10,000.
It is important to know that although PIP insurance may cover lost wages due to an auto accident injury in some states, it does not always cover Hawaii. To get this benefit, you will need to add optional wage-loss coverage to your policy.
A quick reminder: Hawaii personal injury coverage comes with a high deductible. This means that you will need to pay this amount out-of pocket before your PIP insurance kicks into effect.
Is Hawaii required to have PIP?
Yes, the state’s Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs (DCCA) mandates that all Hawaii drivers carry $10,000 per person in PIP insurance. This is in addition:
- $20,000 per person in bodily injury liability insurance
- $40,000 per accident in bodily injury liability coverage
- $10,000 per accident in property damage liability coverage
You do not need PIP insurance in Hawaii, as you are a no-fault State. This means you don’t have to search for the at-fault driver and can file your injury claim straight away with your insurance provider. This will help you to get your medical bills covered quicker.
How much does PIP cost in Hawaii?
Your Hawaii PIP will not be paid by you on its own. This coverage is rolled into your car insurance policy, and you will pay the premium. To determine that amount, insurance companies consider a range of factors, including everything from your age to your driving history and how many miles you generally cover in a year.
Your Hawaii PIP insurance costs will be different. That said, to give you a decent idea of what you can expect to pay in general for your car insurance in the Aloha State, the Insurance Division issues a PDF showcasing average rates for drivers on Oahu, Maui, Kauai and Hawaii.
Important points to remember about Hawaii’s PIP insurance
Here’s a quick overview to make sure you have Hawaii PIP Insurance.
- Is Hawaii required to have PIP? Yes, up to $10,000 per person.
- Because Hawaii is a state of no-fault, PIP is necessary.
- PIP insurance covers you and your passengers for a wide range of medical expenses after an accident.
You can add optional coverage to your auto insurance policy to cover lost wages.
Questions frequently asked
How do I file a PIP claim and when should I?
Hawaii is a state that does not have a fault system. If you or your passengers are hurt in a car accident, you can file a claim with insurance. This applies even if the accident was caused by another driver.
Call your insurance company or visit their app to get a digital claim form. You can save all invoices, bills and other documents after you have received any medical treatment for your injury.
Is PIP and medical payment the same thing?
No, medical payments coverage (MedPay, for short) is technically different from PIP. MedPay is more concerned with the immediate medical expenses that result from your accident. Your Hawaii PIP policy can pay for long-term expenses like rehabilitation or physical therapy.