What is No-Fault?

No-Fault, also called Personal Injury Protection (PIP), exists in New York State and 15 other states.  No-Fault provides prompt reimbursement for economic losses including medical expenses, lost earnings and “other reasonable and necessary expenses” to the driver, passengers and/or pedestrians hurt by a car because of its “use or operation”, no matter who was at fault.  That’s why it’s called No-Fault.

No-Fault insurance coverage is a mandatory part of an insurance policy insuring a car registered in New York State. The No-Fault insurance company provides coverage to you as the insured owner or leasee of a car and to all relatives living in your household, invited passengers, and pedestrians struck by your car.

Cars registered out of state which drive into New York State automatically come under the No-Fault law as soon as they enter the state.  No-Fault also provides coverage to a New York State insured for incidents which occur anywhere within the United States, its territories and possessions, or Canada.  Invited passengers who are injured outside of New York State are covered if they are not covered under another auto insurance policy in New York State.

Basic New York State No-Fault coverage provides minimum coverage of up to $50,000 per person, but additional coverage can be purchased.  No-Fault does not provide coverage for damage to your car, anyone else’s car, or any property.  No-Fault also does not provide coverage for non-economic damages such as “pain and suffering”. 

Motorcyclists and motorcycle passengers are not covered by No-Fault.  However, No-Fault does provide coverage to a pedestrian struck by a motorcycle.  Since motorcyclists do not have No-Fault coverage, it is very important to have health insurance or to purchase separate medical coverage.

Because No-Fault does not provide coverage to the occupants of a motorcycle, there is a potential benefit when an injured motorcycle occupant seeks to file a lawsuit for “pain and suffering”.  This and other important information about No-Fault coverage will be explained in the next articles on No-Fault coverage.

Your doctor wants you to sign a form allowing the doctor to bill your no-fault insurance company directly.  Should you sign it?