Do I Need Personal Injury Protection?
Personal Injury Protection (PIP), also known as “no fault” insurance coverage, is a type of car insurance offered by some carriers to cover such things as medical expenses, lost wages and collateral costs associated with sustaining medical injuries such as travel expenses for treatment and child and pet care. Before the advent of PIP insurance, the driver of the vehicle who was not at fault for causing an accident usually had to spend their own time and money to sue the other driver’s insurance company in order to cover their damages.
Who Requires PIP
Only 15 of the 50 states in the U.S. require drivers to have Personal Injury Protection because they believe it helps to settle claims much faster and encourages insurance companies to lower rates because costs involving courts and legal fees are greatly reduced or eliminated using no-fault guidelines for coverage. In addition to the District of Columbia, Delaware, Florida, Hawaii, Kansas, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, North Dakota, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas and Utah are the states that require drivers to carry at least the minimum amount of Personal Injury Protection as part of their auto insurance coverage. States that do not mandate PIP insurance coverage often contend that it restricts an individual’s right to sue following an accident.
What It Covers
Since Personal Injury Protection insurance covers not only the cost of medical treatment for any injuries sustained by the driver as well as any passengers, it is vital coverage to invest in if an individual does not have private medical insurance. The maximum amount of coverage offered by the majority of insurance providers is $25,000. The rate a driver pays to have Personal Injury Protection as part of their policy is influenced by their driving record, their credit history and the type of vehicle they drive. In most cases, the cost of PIP adds an additional $10 to $20 to your insurance premium costs.
How Much PIP Is Enough
Individuals who are already participating in a good health insurance plan do not need the most elaborate PIP. But PIP coverage is a good way to extend your current health insurance coverage at an affordable rate. Ask your insurance company representative if you believe that your PIP coverage and your health insurance coverage are overlapping and you may be paying for additional coverage that isn’t necessary. If you are a member of a car pool or regularly carry passengers to and from coaching sessions or school, for example, it’s a smart idea to purchase the maximum amount of PIP coverage which will provide blanket medical coverage for you and all of your passengers in the event of an accident. Older drivers who already are sufficiently insured tend to need less PIP coverage than younger drivers whose health insurance policies may be limited. The driver’s medical expenses are PIP’s first priority and it doesn’t cover any injuries sustained by the other driver or his passengers. Personal Injury Protection insurance is not a substitute for good health insurance coverage but serves as a very good supplement for it.