Personal Injury Protection Insurance

There's a classic episode of Friends where Joey is excited to finally receive health insurance, because it means he can get hit by a bus purely for fun if he wants.

That is not the right way to approach insurance. But there's certainly truth to the idea that health coverage brings about peace of mind and freedom.

Car accidents happen. With the risk of a car accident comes the risk of an injury. With injury comes medical bills. You don't want injuries and financial hardships to pile up. This is where Personal Injury Protection can be a real helping hand.

What is Personal Injury Protection?

PIP is medical insurance for car accident related injuries and complications. PIP is coverage you purchase for yourself which then applies to your injuries. In many cases, PIP coverage also covers medical costs for all passengers in your vehicle, too.

Passenger coverage is often one of the most compelling reasons to purchase PIP coverage. In certain cases, you might end up responsible for the medical bills of anyone injured while riding in your car. If you regularly have one or more passengers, personal injury protection can be a guard against unwanted financial hardship.

Personal Injury Protection versus Standard Health Insurance

PIP provides medical coverage. If you already have medical coverage, PIP might not be worth the extra monthly expense. Your existing health insurance would be used to cover your medical bills.

As with all health coverage, you want to be sure you know what you have. Check with your health care provider for all the details.

How the State You Live in Influences Your Insurance Options

States set their own rules about auto insurance. The amount and type of coverage you need to be legal on the road differs depending on your state.

Almost every state requires a minimum amount of insurance for liability. If you cause an accident, you need to carry liability insurance to cover damages done to the injured party.

This is liability insurance. You can go beyond the minimum, of course. What's called Full Coverage insurance is a bundle of Collision and Comprehensive Insurance policies. This will cover most car damage and properly damage caused by an accident.

No Fault versus Tort System

Your state influences your insurance options in other ways. The majority of states operate under the tort system. Nine states have a mandatory No Fault system . Three states allow residents to choose between a No Fault system and the standard tort system.

A No Fault system means your insurance policy pays for your medical bills. The other parties involved in the accident are covered by their own insurance companies.

With a No Fault system, you don't have to wait for a court settlement. That's what happens in the traditional tort system. Insurance companies often must go to court in order to determine which party is at fault in the accident. The responsible party then pays all or a portion of the injured party's damages and medical bills.

Personal Injury Protection is mandatory in No Fault states. So, do you live in a No Fault state? Here are the nine No Fault states:

·        Florida

·        Hawaii

·        Kansas

·        Massachusetts

·        Michigan

·        Minnesota

·        New York

·        North Dakota

·        Utah

These four states aren't No Fault states, but they are among the states which require some type of PIP coverage : Arkansas, Delaware, Massachusetts and Oregon.  

Kentucky, New Jersey and Pennsylvania are three states in a different category. In these states, you can choose between either No Fault insurance or full tort coverage. 

PIP Coverage

So, you've got your Personal Injury Protection. You've met the legal requirements for the state you live in. From now on, if you're in an auto accident, your medical expenses will be covered. What does that mean specifically?

PIP can pay all or part of the following:

·        Medical treatments

·        Surgical treatments

·        Ambulance Fees

·        Medication

·        Rehabilitation Services

·        Lost Wage Recovery

PIP Coverage Limits

It's important to know that 100% of your medical bills aren't necessarily covered by PIP.

Once again, your state of residence will have an influence here. In Florida, 80% of your medical bills and 60% of your lost wages. In most cases, lost wages are capped at $10,000.

That's just one example, however. You'll want to consult with a professional insurance for more details.

The Importance of Injury Protection

Unfortunately, car accidents are almost a fact of life. The average person will have some type of fender bender (or worse) about once every 17 years.

Even a relatively minor car accident can cause long-term injuries. While a car can be replaced, and there are plenty of insurance options for just that, an injury can have a long-lasting effect.

Back, neck and other injuries from a car accident aren't always immediately apparent. But problems can develop over time, and your ability to work and even function can be compromised.

Finding the Best Personal Injury Protection Plan

PIP can seem a little confusing. Every state has slightly different rules. Probably the easiest way to find the right coverage for your needs is to use Chimp Quote. You can tailor your results to search for PIP coverage which meets your needs. Access top insurers throughout your state and find insurance which meets your state's legal requirements.     

Unlike what Joey thinks, there's never really a good time to be in an accident. But your chances for a full recovery, both physical and financially, is drastically improved if you have Personal Injury Protection for your medical needs.