As a top personal injury law firm, we’re no stranger to the complexities of auto insurance and the stress that can come from selecting coverage for the greatest safety and preparedness. We’ve talked in the past about types of auto coverages, dealing with defendants’ insurance companies, and even exposed some of the worst practices, but a deeper dive into coverage specifics deserves discussion. Today, we’re tackling the essential guide for two types of coverage that often cause confusion: PIP vs Med Pay, or Personal Injury Protection vs Medical Payment.
If you are seeking a personal injury law firm, or simply have questions about personal injury protection in Texas, Thompson Law is here to help. Ryan L. Thompson has gathered an elite team of attorneys and legal professionals who are dedicated to fighting for your best outcome after a serious accident causes harm to you or someone you love. Thompson Law is equipped to answer your call anytime day or night, 365 days a year. Our goal is always to provide excellent results while delivering excellent client service every step of the way. To learn more, reach out and contact us here or at the number below.
What Defines PIP vs Med Pay?
First, it’s important to understand what defines each type of coverage.
Medical Payments (Med Pay): Coverages for the medical bills that result from an accident where you and your passengers were hurt.
Personal Injury Protection (PIP): Coverage for medical payments for you and your passengers in an accident, regardless of fault, and also helps cover other documented losses from the event, such as lost wages, or in some cases essential home services for the injured party.
What Is Covered By PIP and Med Pay?
Apart from the basics of what Med Pay and PIP each generally cover, there are some important distinctions to understand. The Texas Office of Public Insurance Council (OPIC) delineates a few key differences in the scope of each. Texas also has a no-fault system, meaning that regardless of who causes a crash, drivers with PIP or Med Pay coverage will receive a payout.
Auto insurers in Texas are legally required to offer PIP coverage. $2,500 per person is the minimum coverage that is automatically extended to each insured individual. It is an option to reject this coverage. You must do so in writing, and it is not recommended as doing so eliminates a guaranteed safety net in the event you experience an accident. PIP also covers the policyholder, any driver was given permission to drive the policyholder’s motor vehicle, any passengers in the vehicle at the time of the crash, and any family members living in the policyholder’s household. The payout for PIP claims can cover any accident-related medical and funeral expenses within three years of the accident.
PIP additionally pays 80% of lost wages that result from the accident. Unemployed injured parties can receive payment for certain essential household services that the individual provides, including activities such as child care or lawn care.
Benefits of PIP include:
- Healthcare costs: doctor visits, surgery, hospitalization, medication and medical supplies, imaging and laboratory tests, rehab, nursing care, psychiatric care, dental treatment, optical treatment, chiropractic treatment.
- Funeral costs: ceremonies, burial, cremation
- Survivor’s loss: surviving dependents may be eligible for a payout after the loss of a family member providing family income.
- Essential Services: help with costs of maintaining a home or caring for children
In Texas, insurance companies are not required to offer Med Pay. Like PIP, Med Pay also covers accident-related medical and funeral expenses. However, it only pays for expenses within a year of the accident, it does not cover certain medical treatments such as chiropractic care, it only reimburses for health insurance deductibles and co-pays.
Med Pay does not pay for ancillary costs in the way that PIP does. There is no protection or reimbursement for lost wages or designated essential services.
Benefits of Med Pay include:
- Quick payment of medical costs, regardless of fault for the accident.
- Unlike a health insurance plan, there is no deductible or co-pay for Med Pay.
- You have coverage as a passenger in another’s vehicle, on public transit, or traveling by foot or bike.
Is PIP or Med Pay Right for You?
Choosing the right coverage for your auto policy is a personal decision and is not always straightforward. Factors to consider are: what is offered in your state, your comfort level with required minimum coverage, consideration of the possibility of being struck by a minimally insured driver, if you have health insurance, and if you have other benefits or safety nets through your employment for time missing work.
For some, the decision is as straightforward as accepting the legally required offering of PIP or supplementing their limited liability coverage with Med Pay. However, it’s always best to assess the details of an insurance policy before signing on. Doing so can save you future regret.
The Bottom Line for PIP and Med Pay
Both PIP and Med Pay offer extremely valuable coverage in the event of an auto accident. Your specific risk profile, financial situation, and the requirements in the state where you live will all determine what is your best coverage option.
If you have questions or are uncertain about the coverages included in your policy and the degree of protection that they offer you, don’t hesitate to ask for clarity. At any point from purchasing your insurance coverage, to paying your premium, to filing a claim, you are entitled to ask for clear explanations from your insurance provider.
If you have been involved in an accident and have questions or concerns about fully and fairly receiving your PIP or Med Pay payout, it’s important to contact an experienced personal injury law firm. These experts can provide advice for your unique situation to ensure that you get the maximum benefit of your insurance coverage without any runaround from the insurance company.
Thompson Law is Here to Help with Your Insurance Claim Demands
If you suspect that you are not being treated fairly by the insurance companies in regard to your PIP or Med Pay benefits after a serious accident, you should speak to a personal injury attorney right away. These coverages both pay regardless of the at-fault party in an accident, so any benefits you deserve under these coverage terms should not be contested. Sadly, insurance companies give their customers the runaround every day. Here at Thompson Law, we see such treatment all too often.
The good news is that you aren’t alone. Thompson Law’s dedicated team of personal injury professionals and experts are standing by to take your call and help you with your case. Not only are you able to contact our firm 24/7, and you will also always be connected with a real human who can answer your questions and get your case opened and started right away. Our goal is to win the absolute best possible settlement for each and every case, but we don’t consider our job done unless we have provided 5-star client service throughout that process. We have helped thousands of clients and won over $1.8 billion for these deserving individuals. Reach out today to get Thompson Law on your case.
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The State of Texas has a statute of limitations of two (2) years for personal injury cases, so if you have suffered injury and pain after an accident, consult with an experienced personal injury attorney. The sooner you know your options, the sooner you are on the path to recovery and your deserved compensation. Call Thompson Law right away for assistance with your injury and claim. We will be happy to answer your call or web inquiry right away and can provide you with information, options, and advice – completely risk-free and at no cost to you.