Personal injury protection (or PIP) pays a per-person compensation after an accident. It works for the policyholder as well as whomever else is specified on the policy. A standard PIP coverage pays for medical expenses without regard to fault and is meant to be used to take care of immediate expenses.
Benefits of a PIP policy vary from one insurer to another, but you will generally see a combination of these:
Personal injury protection is mandatory in the no-fault states and optional in the rest of the country. Still, it is a good idea to have a PIP policy. If you are at-fault in a car accident (or the other party is, but doesn’t carry a liability policy) you will have to take care of your medical expenses on your own. You will anyway have to provide some of the medical expenses, since the PIP has a 20% deductible. If hospital bills amount to $10,000 after an accident, you will have to come with $2,000.
Some health insurance policies can work as personal injury protection, so if you live in a full-tort state make sure you don’t get more insurance than you need. A PIP might be obsolete in your case, or provide you with unnecessarily high limits of coverage. Consult with your insurance agent if unsure!