What Car Insurance Coverage Do I Need?

Decide how much liability coverage is enough for similar type of drivers.

What is Personal Injury Protection?

The definition of personal injury is bodily personal injury as opposed to damage or breakage of property. The definition of Personal Injury Protection (PIP) assists in paying for medical expenses from bodily harm and injuries that occurred when you got into an accident. PIP also covers passenger hospital feels and medical bills when they suffer from injuries from a car accident. PIP is also known as a no-fault insurance as it does not matter who is at fault, medical expenses will still be covered. PIP is required in 13 states but is optional in most states.

The 13 states that currently require drivers to hold PIP coverage include: Florida, Hawaii, Kansas, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, North Dakota, Oregon, Pennsylvania, and Utah. Michigan is the only state that does not have a minimum PIP coverage limit. Utah has a coverage limit of $3000 a person. So there is a big range of PIP coverage limits.

Coverage by StateMinimum PIP Limits
Florida $10,000
Hawaii 10,000
Kansas 9,000 (and others)
Kentucky 10,000
Massachusetts 8,000
Michigan Unlimited
Minnesota 40,000
New Jersey 15,000
New York 50,000
North Dakota 30,000
Oregon 15,000
Pennsylvania 5,000
Utah 3,000

What and who are covered under PIP?

People typically covered by PIP are the policyholder and relatives that live in the same residence, people who are authorized drivers of your vehicle under the policy, family who live in the same residence and policyholder if hit by another car when walking (applicable in some states only), and passengers (when they do not have their own PIP coverage).

PIP gives the money back to each person that suffered injuries from a car accident. Benefits are varied from state to state and sometimes there is a required deductible necessary before benefits will start. Medical dues including hospital bills, operations, dental, nursing, ambulance costs, and x-rays could be covered. Medication can also be covered. Other costs that could be covered include: substitute services like household upkeep, burial services, and other. PIP has a maximum about the set that will be paid per person for all combined costs. Limits of PIP differ from state to state. Some states allow you to chose your limits and other states set it at a particular amount and if you want to raise the amount, you would need to purchase additional PIP coverage.

PIP does not cover losses that do not have to do with physical injury. For example, pain and suffering will not be covered by Personal Injury Protection. The benefits of PIP if you are in an accident due to being under the influence of drugs are alcohol will be revoked. Another way PIP benefits could be revoked is if it is found that you have caused the accident on purpose.

Cost of Personal Injury Protection

The cost of PIP varies from state to state. On average, PIP policies cost between 5 -50 dollars per month. If you reside in a state where PIP is mandatory, it will already be included in your auto insurance policy. If you reside in a state where PIP is optional, rates will vary due to a number of factors within the state. You can easily get a free quote from any auto insurance provider to find out how much it will cost per month or to find out cost annually. Personal insurance protection is easy to add to your current insurance policy if you live in a state where it is optional.

How to File a PIP Claim

There are multiple ways to file a PIP Claim. You can file a claim online or via the telephone. Your coverage for medical expenses will be given to you quickly to cover all your emergency health bills. The next step, which is required of you, will be to look over your treatment plan with a medical professional of the insurer’s choice. Under the law and often the policy, your car insurance provider can change your treatment plan, have you seen by another medical specialist or doctor, and allow for small reimbursements for medical related expenses.

It is important to go by the book in terms of your car insurance provider’s rules around PIP claims. Each state has different laws and procedures around how to conduct PIP claims and it’s important to know your rights and know the rules around such procedures.

What is the difference between PIP and Health Insurance?

PIP and Health Insurance are very similar and the question is often posed: Do I use health insurance or car insurance when I get in an accident? The answer to that question is yes, however, there are times when you can and when you cannot use your health insurance as a substitute for auto insurance.

PIP is mandatory in about 13 states and optional in other states. If you live in a state where PIP is mandatory, you are required to use your PIP policy limits prior to using your health insurance.

Some of the highlights PIP are: passengers are covered and taken care of even if they are not on the policy, may cover funeral expenses, it can be used as a back up if a health insurance claim is challenged, and may cover rehab and lost wages. Health insurance may very well deny your claim, usually will not cover funeral costs, does not cover passenger injuries, and will not give money towards lost wages. It’s plain to see that PIP plans offer some benefits that are not available with health insurance plans.

Even if you’re state doesn’t require PIP, it may still prove to be beneficial. It may save you money if an auto accident should occur. When you are looking at auto insurance plans, be sure to check out PIP if your state deems it necessary.

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