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What You Need to Know About Personal Injury Protection (PIP)
Depending on which state you live in, you may have heard that you are required to maintain Personal Injury Protection, also known as PIP insurance. Even if it’s not required, it may be offered in your jurisdiction. PIP is personal injury coverage that pays out various benefits after an auto accident, regardless of who is at fault.
What does PIP Cover?
Personal injury protection is a rather comprehensive coverage that pays for the medical expenses and lost wages that can result from an automobile accident. The exact benefits will likely vary depending on the specifics of your plan. PIP is usually just one component of a person’s overall insurance picture after such an event. Auto and health insurance are two other factors. Usually, health insurers will provide coverage for some medical expenses after an auto accident. However, if your health insurance does not cover all of your medical bills, personal injury protection will usually kick in coverage for a range of medical expenses, including surgery, dental work, eye work, ambulance services, medication, and more.
Additionally, personal injury protection may provide coverage for loss of wages for you or your passengers, if either of you lost wages as a result of the accident. Many PIP plans also cover household expenses. For instance, if accident-related injuries prevent you or other covered parties from performing informal labor, such as household chores, cleaning, etc., the PIP policy may pay out for third-party services to perform these tasks. Also, in the unfortunate and tragic incidence of death as a result of an accident-related injury, the policy may also pay out funeral expenses.
If you are currently covered by a robust health plan with post-accident benefits, you may be able to maintain a lower level of PIP coverage depending on local and state law. That said, you can always opt for higher levels of coverage, such as lost wages and household services coverage, if you are especially risk-averse. The optimal protection level will depend on your specific needs and preferences.
If your health plan has meager or no post-accident benefits, you should maximize your personal injury protection. Consider the expenses you’d realistically face in the case of an accident when selecting coverage.
What about Bodily Liability insurance?
Just because personal injury protection is mandated in your jurisdiction does not mean you don’t need bodily injury liability as a component of your auto insurance. This is because PIP and bodily injury liability are two different things. Liability covers damages that you may be responsible for if sued by a counter party involved in the auto accident. Personal injury protection is used to pay your own bills, not those of litigants.
Next Steps With Personal Injury Protection
Personal injury protection provides a no-fault (i.e., you can collect on your PIP insurance even if you’re found at fault for a car wreck), comprehensive set of benefits that can help you keep your finances in order in the event of an unfortunate automobile accident. Even if it is not required by your state, you should consider PIP if there are gaps in your coverage that would cause substantial financial stress in the event of an accident. Personal injury insurance provides a very important risk mitigation role that is even more critical if you lack post-accident health insurance benefits. For more information about PIP insurance, contact your insurance provider.
If you’re in an auto accident, call a personal injury lawyer like Thompson Law in Dallas at 866-275-6370. We’re committed to helping you get the compensation you deserve for your injuries and expenses.