Personal Injury Protection (PIP) for Auto Insurance: Do I Really Need it?

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With over 6 million car accidents in the US, out of which 4 million caused some form of bodily injury to the passengers, there is no denying that traveling on the road could be very dangerous, even fatal. In fact, traveling on the road is one of the most unsafe ways to travel. That’s not all. The cost of medical treatments in the US is so stupid high, that one would prefer to be dead rather than get treated without some insurance. One of these insurances is Personal Injury Protection for auto coverage.

This article will discuss everything you need to know about this auto insurance policy, from the pricing, the coverage, terms and conditions, and most importantly, do you really need it?

What is Personal Injury Protection?

There is no one, all-inclusive super auto insurance policy in the market that covers all the damages. Different insurance policies cover different damages. For example, collision insurance covers all the damage to your car that happens during an accident, but only when you hit another car or some structure. But comprehensive insurance covers all the damage to your vehicle when it is parked. If the vehicle is being driven when the damage occurs, it won’t cover for it.

Almost every state in the US is mandated to have liability insurance coverage to drive legally. Liability insurance covers the vehicle, property damage as well as bodily injury, but this coverage is not for the policyholder, but for the people who are injured or the property/ vehicle damaged in an accident that’s your fault. So if you hit another car or a person, you are liable to pay for the repairs or treatment. But what about you?

This is where personal injury protection comes in. 16 States in the US have made it mandatory to have some form of a personal injury protection plan. This insurance policy covers all the cost (after deductible, and some percentage of the total cost) of your medical treatment.

It depends on the auto insurance company what kind of coverage is offered. Some companies would cover the cost of your treatment, rehabilitation, and other monetary aids.

What Does PIP Cover?

Personal injury protection insurance covers almost all the treatment costs after you’ve paid the deductible. Here’s what’s generally covered in this policy:

●        medical Treatment

●        Operations

●        Hospitalization

●        Lost wages or revenue due to the inability to work

●        Coverage for funeral and accidental death benefits

Since many states have mandated personal injury protection, insurance companies give great coverage at affordable prices. Some are expensive for sure, but you can find the cheapest insurance company and still get excellent coverage. This brings us to the next section, how much does personal injury protection insurance costs?

Cost of Personal Injury Protection

The price of personal injury protection insurance can fluctuate a lot depending on the state you are in. Florida, New York, etc have some of the highest rates in the country. The price of insurance also depends on the state’s minimum coverage requirement. The average cost of PIP comes around in the range of $120 to $150, but it could vary a lot depending on your driving record and other factors.

Do You Need Liability Protection Coverage?

For the people who live in states where personal injury protection is mandatory, there is no question of whether you need it or not. It is mandatory and you have to get it. But for people who live in the other states where you can choose to have PIP or not, it all depends on your medical insurance.

Most medical insurance plans do not or may not cover accidental damage protection. So in that case, choosing personal injury protection makes a lot of sense. Some insurance companies have overlapping health insurance plans that sort of integrating your medical insurance with personal injury protection.

Whether mandatory or not, it is always a smart decision to get personal injury protection insurance, even if you have medical insurance which covers accidental injury costs. In the case of an accident, if the medical bills are too high to be covered by just one insurance policy, you can choose to use the other as well instead of suing the driver.

How to File PIP Claim

Filing a personal injury protection claim is just like filing any other insurance claim, but with some extra steps. After you have been in an accident and went through the medical treatment, first discuss with the insurance representative all the paperwork needed for the claim. Also, discuss what is covered and what’s not.

The other important thing to note is to always keep every detail of the treatment, every receipt, prescription, bill, and anything related to your treatment. Insurance companies enforce a very strict rule regarding the proof of treatment and if you want to get reimbursed, you need to keep everything. There have been many instances where companies have denied a claim for lack of bills and receipts.

It is also possible that the insurance company will double-check every treatment cost and even get their doctor to see what kind of treatment you need. The insurance payout is a tricky process and can take a lot of time, hundreds of phone calls, and undying patience. But if you stick to the process and do everything properly and timely, it can be a smooth process. Don’t want to add a financial accident after you’ve been in an actual one.