Sunday, June 10, 2012

What is Personal Injury Protection Auto Insurance and is it Required?

Personal Injury Protection is a specific type of auto insurance coverage, designed to pay up to the policy limits, for the cost of medical treatment, lost wages, funeral expenses, and loss of essential services for those involved in a car accident, including passengers. Often abbreviated as PIP, this coverage is currently mandatory in nearly 1/3 of all U.S. states.
Vehicle owners must purchase liability insurance to cover the cost of vehicle damage and injuries sustained by innocent parties when an accident occurs, but PIP insurance can be used to pay for emergency treatment while an accident claim filing is still in process.

Do You Have To Purchase PIP?

Each of the 16 states that require PIP a minimum amount in order for you to legally operate your vehicle. Some states require a minimum of only $5,000 of PIP. If you live in one of the above states and shop for auto insurance online or through a licensed agency, the minimum amount of PIP mandated by state law will automatically be figured into your insurance quote.
You can choose to carry a higher amount of PIP if you desire. It is also important to remember that this type of insurance covers the driver of the vehicle as well as all passengers, but some states require that only passengers be protected by this coverage. The vehicle owner may be entitled to waive the coverage for the driver.

Why Does PIP Exist?

The idea behind PIP, in part, is to reduce the number of fraudulent insurance claims. This insurance takes care of emergency medical expenses regardless of who is at fault in an accident.
If you are involved in an accident that results in injuries to passengers in your vehicle, your insurance company will probably reimburse you for the medical costs suffered by your party. However, this can take days or weeks. Your PIP coverage will pay for the medical treatment, and the insurance company can settle the matter between at-fault and non-fault parties at a later date.

What About Medical Insurance?

If you carry health or medical insurance, and if you live in a state where PIP is not required, purchasing this coverage may not hold as much value. It is important to examine your medical insurance policy carefully and see if this coverage takes care of emergency medical treatment after an automobile accident.
If you live in a state where PIP is required by law, taking out only the minimum amount of coverage may be a good idea if you already carry medical or health insurance. Many drivers choose to add PIP to their policy because it usually does not cost very much to do so. And do not forger that PIP provides many other useful benefits besides medical expenses.

Other Benefits Of PIP

There are additional benefits attached to certain PIP insurance policies including coverage for children riding on a public school bus. The policy often covers all household members who drive the family vehicle. Reimbursement for lost wages and funeral expenses are also covered by PIP insurance.
Drivers may lose their ability to perform if they are injured and unable to operate their vehicle. Your PIP may include a reimbursement for essential services such as mowing the lawn if injuries prevent the injured insured from performing such tasks.
Talk to your insurance provider or check online to get all pertinent information regarding PIP if it is required in the state where you live. It is always a good idea to see how adding this additional layer of protection affects the overall monthly cost of your auto insurance policy. provided this article. On their site, you can learn more about PIP coverage and compare free quotes from top insurers in your state.